Content is a creative and powerful tool for connecting people to your business or brand. When used effectively, content increases presence, enhances search engine positioning, builds social channels and creates a positive user experience. By composing original and informative content, you business can tap into your consumer’s needs and empower your business in the realm of digital conversion. This article gives you key steps of developing high-quality content to engage consumers, inspire social sharing and increase conversions.
Four Steps To Creating Relevant Content
1. Understand Your Audience – Content builds a connection to consumers, therefore it is essential to analyze your audience and what they want and need. In a world inundated with messages, effective content separates your brand from the competition by highlighting your unique selling points. After a comprehensive evaluation of what people are searching for, craft content that expands your vision and the showcases the benefits to your audience.
2. Organize Content – Organize and prioritize your content into pages and “buckets” people can easily use. Once a customer hits your home page, organized content and navigation will drive them to a conversion path. Use targeted bullets that highlight your unique selling points as relevant to search queries. Incorporate a crisp, clean aesthetic and give your audience reference points.
3. Engage & Inspire Action – Embrace audience lifestyle and get them excited about your experience. Once you know what your market considers interesting and sharable, tap into the emotion to bring your business to life. Useful content converts users into customers and inspires booking, purchasing, or sharing. Follow up with supporting content on social channels, profiles and posts, via Facebook or Twitter, so that you inspire interaction with your business and freshness on your site.
4. Substance For Search Engines – Search engines want substance, like people. So when you write for humans, you perform better on search engines. Google’s latest Hummingbird and Panda algorithms reward content that is pertinent for the user and ranks it higher. Changing the way search engines qualify information, Hummingbird examines the whole query rather than pulling keywords. The Panda 4.0 update rewards quality content and penalizes thin content in its results. Develop great information and ideas that support your intent. Watch this great video by Matt Cutts for more info.
Improve Conversion and Avoid Penalties
Your content has to connect with your audience with relatable, clear messages. Successful content conveys a voice and a lifestyle that builds confidence. The most effective content is positive, inspirational and connects with people’s emotions. When audiences are invested in the information you provide, they want to be part of that life “style”, and will trust your vision. Once you build a relationship with an audience, your business will convert readers into doers.
When you write interesting content for the human element, the technology will follow. Google’s new Panda 4.0 algorithm supports that high-quality content not only engages people but performs better on search engines. Initiated May 2014, the latest Panda update boosts great content sites while punishing thin or low-quality content sites in search results. The strategy is to write content that is fresh, shows real intent and drives conversion. Fluff will hurt your site in the long run.
- CTR – Content should provide relevant information that encourages people to explore more pages of your site to conversion. To achieve a high CTR, your content has to inspire the user experience, have clear messages and be relevant to search queries. Quality content inspires people to click through to other pages and hopefully become a new customer. High CTR is a good indication that users find your site helpful and relevant.
Query: San Francisco Hotel
- Relevant to the intent and conversational
- Keyword stuffed and not conversational
- Bounce Rate – Write relevant content that supports keywords, has depth, reflects your intent and offers ideas that keep people curious. The goal is to keep readers on your page and click through your conversion path to a purchase or share. Low-quality content results in higher bounce rate (low time on page), and can trigger a Penguin penalty.
- Keywords – Find keywords that are relevant to your business, geo-market and audience. Keywords should be used naturally in conversational language and not overused. Search engines are more intuitive, and can determine the intent of search terms. Your content should showcase the real intent of your business and topic without “stuffing” the language. It should flow organically and feel like a friend.
- Intent – Search engines reward content that indicates intent. Search Engine Watch offers an example in the “Why Google’s Hummingbird Isn’t for the Birds” post, saying that the intent behind a search is the character. The algorithm rewards content that offers creative information or insights. Make sure your content stays relevant to your topic and offers original information. With the growth of the knowledge graph, engines also know more about terms and nicknames. According to Google’s Matt Cutts, Google is better at understanding natural language and the user’s queries and intent.
- SERPs – META titles and descriptions are key to positioning and free advertising on the Search Engine Results Page. Titles tags should lead with a high volume search term and adhere to a max character count of 60. Powerful real estate on the SERPS, descriptions should highlight your unique selling points up front, be engaging and stay within a character count of 155 to avoid truncation. Short, compelling descriptions are the origin of your promotion and should entice people to click to your site.
Content For the User Experience
Content is about the user experience. It must be organized and prioritized so people can take your journey and absorb your message. Create a content structure that makes sense, is easily navigated, and categorized into buckets. Once a potential customer gets to your home page, organized content will guide them to internal pages and your established conversion route. Create buckets and bullets that highlight your unique selling points as relevant to search queries and incorporate a clean aesthetic so everything is easy to scan and follow.
After your page is designed, create an H1 that is the focus of your page. The H1 should be keyword rich to enhance on-page optimization and support the essence of the topic. Body content should be written in a crisp format, with one or two paragraphs that relate your product, concept, voice and intent. If you have more to say, use lists that are easy to read and represent the best selling points of your business. Find more tips on strategies for writing successful content here.
Meta titles and descriptions are paramount to the structure of your content. Titles should be keyword rich and between 55 and 60 characters to fit cleanly in the SERP. Descriptions should convey a unique selling point up front and feature compelling content that promotes your lifestyle and voice on the results page. The description is a powerful aspect of your promotional strategy and will determine whether a “searcher” likes your site. For a great read on the specifics behind the Google SERP display update click here.
Make Your Content Sharable
It’s human nature to share what you like. People like to share information that is creative, unique and inspirational. Based on a BuzzSumo analysis, shareable content taps into emotions, like awe, laughter, amusement, and entertainment, to reinforce positive interactions. Great content gives people what they love and are passionate about.
The integration of your site and social media is paramount to getting your business shared. Your site is home base and social channels interact with real life and invite dialogue to your business. Write content that can be shared across multiple channels and maximizes your marketing outreach. Add graphics, lists and media to reinforce content and inspire people to come to your website.
Social engagement bridges your website to a community lifestyle. Blogs not only keep your content fresh for the engines, they draw audiences into your product or culture and inspire sharing. Here are some insights on what content is most sharable.
- Long-form blogs with interesting information and perspectives are most shareable
- Emotions like awe and amusement help users feel happy and connected to your business
- Using at least one image or photo encourages sharing, especially on Twitter
- People like to share lists that are easy to scan
- Use trustworthy content with authorship that is credible to share
- Create evergreen content that is always relevant and can be re-shared
Visual by OkDork
The Word on Content Performance
Content is a powerful force behind your website’s engagement and conversion. It compels people to your business and experience. By identifying your audience needs, you can emerge your product into their lifestyle through compelling content and social channels. Relevant and informative content delivers your message and drives conversion and social conversation. Follow these insights and let your content be your voice and vision.
- Understand your audience and how your product relates to their purchase needs
- Organize your content through clear navigation and unique selling points
- Engage via relevant and original content that feeds emotions and inspires conversion and sharing
- Adhere to SERPs with high quality content and meta data that leads with USPs
- Create content that connects to audience lifestyle and is sharable and social
- Avoid search engine penalties by crafting “thick” relevant content that reflects user intent