How To Write Quality Content
The best way to help your search rankings is to provide content that answers questions for your target audience. In short, for your content to help with your goals, it must be unique and useful to your readers. Read on to learn how to write quality content for SEO and your readers.
The two keys for creating quality content are “what” you write about and “how” you write it. The “what” part relates to your area of expertise or interest. However, the “how” part is much more dynamic and is how you define yourself as an author. For example, it might be tempting to write in a dry, professional manner, but will this appeal to your audience? Perhaps a little attitude or humor might make the content more engaging or entertaining. The “how” is about finding your voice and how you want to project yourself as an author and/or a business.
Authors must first know who their audience is. For example, are you writing a technical piece intended for scientists and engineers? Or are you writing for folks who might want to buy your dog toys? A technical piece may be alright with long, fancy terms but for broad appeal, keep the words short and to the point. There are a number of SEO tools, like Yoast, that provide a readability score. In short, they favor shorter sentences and words with fewer syllables. For example, I could write “I often enjoy a refreshing beverage in a shaded area under a towering pine tree”. On the other hand, “I like cold drinks in the shade” says the same thing. It’s shorter and easier words. Keep in mind that many readers have average to below average reading skills. As result, Google prefers simple writing because is appeals to more readers.
Titles and Headings
Titles and headings are important elements in any web design. For instance, they provide landmarks for readers to know what the content is about so they can skim the content. Giant blocks of text can be a turn off, but if the heading shows what it’s about, the reader might make the effort.
Titles are great ways to draw the reader in to your piece and are critical for SEO. The title tells search engines what the pieces is about so be sure to include target keywords. There are a number of title goals that are proven to draw a readers attention. For instance:
A teaser is a title that appeals to a reader’s curiosity so they are temped to click to learn more. Humans are curious by nature and often react to a headline with a desire to discover new things. Some examples include:
- Is Fish Oil Good For You?
- UFO Caught on Camera? (Video)
- Which Celebrity Has The Biggest Mansion?
Instruction style headlines indicate solutions to a problem a reader is trying to solve. For example, many readers search for technical instructions to do something on their computer or phone. An instruction related headline that matches a common search stands a good chance of getting picked up by search engines. Examples include:
- How to Free Up Disk Space On Your PC
- 3 Steps To Improve Your Website SEO
- Save Energy: 10 Ways To Reduce Your Bill
Lists are a very popular form of content because they are easy to process. A well structured list is more appealing to readers that a long block of text. In addition, it allows for skimming which online readers do all the time. So a list headline is a natural draw for readers in a hurry. For instance:
- Top 5 Mexican Restaurants In The Area
- 10 Tips To Speed Up Your Computer
- What Are The 10 Best Places To Retire?
Title and headlines relating to a secret are very popular. Readers want to be in the know so learning a secret is always tempting. Secrets can be fun and playful and are always a great choice. For instance:
- How To Write Quality Content – 5 Secrets The Pros Use
- 4 Secret Ways To Lower Utility Bills
- Tips From Celebrities To Prevent Wrinkles
Remember, the goal is to get people to read your content. You don’t have to get carried away, but don’t be afraid to get creative.
Format refers to many elements of your content as they combine to form an overall feel. This web page as an example, has a certain format. There is the font choice, colors, layout and more. Your content has format as well and the elements may consist of similar things. Keep in mind that most readers on the internet have a very short attention span. A huge block of text is a turnoff for most readers. Content should be “scannable” so readers can quickly navigate what you have written to find what interests them. Try using the following:
- bold type or underline to highlight keywords
- shorter paragraphs
- borders and boxes
- hyperlinks (great for SEO)
These elements will break up the content and provide motivation to read more of your content. For example, when a reader sees an upcoming list, they are inclined to keep reading to get to that point.
I refer to originality here in the context of the author’s voice. When someone reads your content, do they recognize the author by the tone? Do you provide a fun writing style with a few witty remarks thrown in? Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of humor? You are far more likely to remember the content and more importantly, you will be more likely to read more from that author and share it on social networks. (Oops, I better tell a joke here. A guy, a horse and a chicken walk into a bar…)
Wrapping It Up
Chances are there are many people writing about your subject so you have to find a way for your voice to be heard. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your writing. As people get to know you, they will want to hear more from YOU and not just your subject matter.
[…] now many of us are aware that we need to write new and compelling content on regular basis (daily) to reap the rewards of higher page ranking with Google. If I sell shoes […]