Content has always been considered king when it comes to developing and marketing a website. For a long time this meant creating articles, reviews, and product descriptions packed with target keywords that the search engines could pick up on and include in their results pages.
Unfortunately, this tactic would typically overlook the end user, whose experience should be the number one priority if you're trying to build a trustworthy brand and increase your profits. But because of the many updates Google has made to their algorithms in recent years, balancing content that offers a positive user experience and that also gets ranked well in search results is pretty easy to manage.
Sure, you still need to decipher which keywords to base your content off of to give Google and other popular search engines an idea of what your content is about. But whether you're posting on a blog, writing descriptions for your products, or simply trying to introduce your business to the world, you'll also need to create a unique and rewarding user experience for your readers.
The more helpful and engaging your content is, the more likely your readers will be to stick around and read what you have to say. The longer readers stick around, the more often they'll share your content and buy your products and services. And all of these actions are tracked by search engines, indicating to them that your website has something of value to offer – and therefore, your site is more likely to show up on the first page of search results for your chosen key terms.
As you can tell, search engine placement and user experience work hand-in-hand to get your website the attention it needs for success. When users appreciate your content, so do the search engines. When the search engines are happy with your website and rank it well, more readers find your content. And when your website is filled with awesome content, your business looks really good to customers, investors, and competitors! Here's what makes for engaging content that generates an optimal user experience:
Short and Direct Content Development
Create your content as if you are having a conversation with your readers. This ensures an easy-to-read flow that can be quickly digested and easily comprehended by a wide range of audiences. Tell a story with your words, but don't spend an entire paragraph setting up the scene. People shouldn't have to reread sentences to get a firm grasp on your message. Test your content on readers before publishing it on your site.
Actionable Content that Makes a Difference
Your readers should be able to actually put your message to use in their own lives somehow. If you're selling cosmetics and your content is about choosing a fall color for the eyes, tell readers how they can test shades at home with the right lighting, palettes, and mirrors. If you are promoting a clothing line, give readers tips on how to mix and match their old pieces with new ones. Helpful, actionable content helps to position yourself as an authority figure in your industry and demonstrates your experience and enthusiasm for the topics you're talking about.
Clear Credibility Built into the Content
It's important to build credibility within your content so readers know that you've done your research and can trust what you have to say. Anytime statistics or numbers are used, it's a good idea to link to a study or reliable website that backs up your claims. Your ideas, insights, and even your tips and tricks are typically trusted more when authority websites can backup your information.
Adding one or two valuable links to your content can significantly increase your brand's credibility. You can even link to other pieces of content within your own site to show readers that you've spend time covering the topic before.
Clean and Easy to Read Content Structure
Your content's structure is just as important as its words. Readers should be able to scan the content structure to get an idea of what is covered, and to quickly find the aspects that appeal to them. Clear subheadings are important because they break the content down into comprehensive elements, and short paragraphs are needed to keep the content display nice and clean. Adding graphics to the mix is a great way to break the text up and make it more pleasing to the eye.
Implementing these tips and tricks into your quality content is sure to make a positive impact on your success.