Whether you work as a copywriter, a blogger, an SEO, or a content marketer, we all want our content to be better. No one in this business should ever be satisfied with their work, and if you think you’ll be the first then you’re dead wrong.
So with a healthy dose of respect for the fact that perfection is unobtainable, you can start to improve, fail, improve, fail, and so on and so forth. It doesn’t end, ever, and that’s part of what makes the work so exciting. There’s no plateau to reach or game to win, there’s just continuous learning.
While that may sound intimidating to those of you who are new or struggling to create content or manage your business’s content strategy, there are a few ways you can improve right this second. Read on to find out how you can instantly start creating better content.
Stop Writing for Search Engines and Start Writing for People
This is something that is repeated in most content advice articles related to SEO, and for good reason. It’s really important to get this out of your head now.
But how do I do SEO without thinking about search engines?
You can still accomplish SEO goals without thinking about search engines. Instead, think about the people searching. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the natural language they would use to search?
Forget keywords. Think about how you would naturally type your query into Google and base your writing around that.
- Am I writing for the proper intent?
Context is everything in 2015. Put yourself into the user’s shoes and think about their goal when they search a specific keyword. Would you click on your own content, or does your content lead to a dead end?
If I search “Chevy models,” it’s very likely I’m looking to learn about Chevy models. If you only write about Chevy models that are currently available, you’re not thinking about the models that came before the current lineup. If I was looking for just what’s currently available, I would have searched “new Chevy models.” Different intent = different results.
The goal here is to break the mindset of search engine dribble and push you to create compelling content that people actually want to read.
Integrate More Images and Video
By adding more images and video to your content, you can almost guarantee your content will be better than it was yesterday. We’re visual creatures, and the Internet only makes that more apparent because by simply adding more images and video you’ll increase visitor “dwell time.”
Not only is this important because naturally you want people to stay on your page (and site) longer, but it’s also a ranking factor.
Create Enticing Headlines
The headline, or title, is something many online writers take for granted. But improving them can pay huge dividends. If you’re simply writing “New 2016 Chevy Models,” and expecting people to get excited, you need a reality check.
Sticking with our Chevy example, here are some suggestions:
- Here’s a Sneak Peak at the New 2016 Chevy Models
- An In-Depth Look at Chevy’s 2016 Models
- What You Need to Know about the New 2016 Chevy Models
Here are some quick headline tips for all types of content:
- Be intriguing
- Add urgency
- Challenge your audience
Want more headline ideas? Copyblogger has a great list of formulas you can use to craft better headlines right now.
Use Statistics to Build Audience Trust
People love opinions, but they love facts more. If you can back up your opinions with statistics, you’ll build trust with your audience and likely inspire links from those who agree with your opinions and love that you saved them the research time to discover specific stats themselves.
Quick Sprout’s Neil Patel suggests using stats in headlines as well. Something like “Why 70% of Car Buyers Love Chevy’s New 2016 Models” would get people curious about Chevy’s new models in our current example.
Loosen Up, Be Funny, and Write More
Most writers get stuck in a cycle of one-tone, serious writing that is not very appealing to users. This somewhat falls under our first topic of writing for people, but it really deserves its own section.
Read over your last post. Could you read it as if you were having a conversation or was it more of the stiff, boring lecture type?
Instead of writing like an encyclopedia entry, try to write as if the person were right in front of you and you were explaining the topic to them. Loosen up your style and try to add humor to the occasion when it’s appropriate. You can be informative while also entertaining your readers.
In fact, the more you put this idea into practice, the more you’ll actually end up writing. That will more often than not lead to more social shares and higher rankings.