Is your content boring, aimless, blasé, or just plain bad? Actually take a second and think about it; read your last few articles under that lense.
It’s very easy to fall into a formula that you think works and get complacent, even when you’re not getting the response from the search engines or your audience that you want.
Let’s get that content back on track and always keep these 6 tips on how to write quality content in mind.
Keep SEO in Mind
We start of this guide to how to write quality content by ensuring that you’re content is keyword-friendly.
You can write the best article, post, page, etc. ever about any topic but it won’t matter if it isn’t optimized for search engines, that is, written around/with a keyword in mind.
If your content is not optimized for search engines then you’re essentially making it more difficult for them to determine what your page is about.
Consequently, it’s more difficult for search engines to determine what search queries (which your target audience is searching for) should trigger your web page.
Almost every CMS makes it easy for you to optimize your content for SEO with a simple plugin or module to make on-page SEO simplified.
After specifying which keyword you want to rank for, it will do a lot of the legwork for you and, depending on the plugin, even tell you the best way to use it in said content.
This typically just means blending your keyword/some variations of it organically into your article itself when possible as well as specifying the keyword-rich meta-description and title as they will appear alongside your page in the search engines.
Now you know you have no excuse to not optimize your on-page content for SEO. So now when you are writing the world’s best article, you can be sure it will be found in the search engines.
Make it Clickworthy
Admittedly, clickbait isn’t typically synonymous with quality content. In fact, it seems like it’s exclusively designed to suck you in to give you nothing in return. It pisses you off and you click away from the page quickly.
While clickbait doesn’t have any value; its value should not be underestimated.
Remember that if clickbait makes you click on it then the author is doing something right. If you want to use this to get clicks there are four great ways to do this.
1. Number Articles - People like lists and so do you if you’re still reading this. Gotcha!
2. How To - A how-to teaches you something new. If your content is teaching someone something they want to learn, you’re likely to get that coveted click.
3. Something Outrageous and Maybe Extreme - Saying something that’s way out there can pique interest.
4. Topical - This may be harder to optimize for future use, but optimizing your content for something a lot of people are currently talking about is a good way to get clicks; just make sure you’re putting unique content out there.
(Over)Deliver on Your Promises
A good title gets you a click, but no one will want to read your content if you aren’t giving the reader what was promised in the title. If your content is boring, uninformative, and meanders people will leave.
So do the opposite of this! If your content is exciting, informative, and gives the reader what they want you are doing your job. You want to give the reader what they came to you for and perhaps even answer questions they didn’t even know they needed answer yet. You don’t want to overdo it, like the bad clickbait no one likes, but you want to put a positive spin on clickbait that makes it work for your content.
Write For Your Audience
This is one of the major aspects of how to write quality content which people overlook.
It is way easier to write for yourself, but you need to be writing for your audience. Writing for your audience engages them and keeps them reading your content and will likely come back to read more of your content.
To do this you’ll want to think like a customer. This can be tricky, but here’s how.
The Audiences’ Familiarity - How much does your audience already know about the topic? If it is already a subject that is familiar to your audience you don’t need to be as detailed, but if they’re not familiar then you obviously need to expound more on the topic. You want to make sure your audience doesn’t get dazed and lost in the information you’ve given them if they’re not familiar, and you don’t want to bore them with what they already know if they are already informed on the topic.
The Audiences’ Motivation - The motivation of your audience is probably the most important part of writing for them. People are looking for answers and solutions and you are the person who is giving them the answers to their questions and problems. Once you know what the motivation of your audience is you can write for them as if you’re having a conversation. This makes your content feel like it’s coming from a friend.
Vary Your Content
There is no set length for how long your content needs to be, but typically you’ll want it to be around 1000 words unless it is a quick tutorial or answer the audience is looking for.
Readability is a huge point of how to write quality content.
Articles longer than 1000 words are way too dense and you’ll lose even the most motivated readers. Even with longer content you can keep your readers if you do the following:
Short Paragraphs - A paragraph that is a block with line after line of text can lose readers. Short paragraphs with a couple to a few lines are best.
Breaking up the text into short separate paragraphs, such as this section, make it easier for the reader and keeps them reading your content.
Write It Like An Outline - Writing your content like an outline is a great way to keep your writing lively and your audience engaged.
Use Headings - Headings are a great way to break up your content and make it look organized. It’s a good way to separate different topics and can even be broken down into smaller headings to organize your content further.
Use Images - Images related to your content are a welcome sight for the reader in content of any length. The word related is important; you don’t want images that have nothing to do with what you are writing about.
When using images you’ll want to make sure they are optimized for your content using a program such as Photoshop.
You will also have to make sure you are using ALT tags for your images to further optimize your SEO keyword usage. This gives the images you use the chance to also rank for the keyword you are targeting.
Embed A Video - Videos are a better way to reach your audience that prefers to learn visually.
Embedding a video about your content at the top of the page will give your visual learning audience a great way to learn what they came for without reading lines of text. You’ll also want to make sure you optimize your videos for your SEO keyword; this drives home even more what your content is about to search engines.
Videos are becoming more commonplace and many people may click away from your page if they don’t see one.
Leverage Your Content
So far we have discussed 5 ways of how to write quality content and how to make it better. The last tip is designed to help you to reap the rewards of all of the work you’ve put in.
There is no point in employing any of these methods if you’re not going to take advantage of the ranking.
Your content should always be catered to your audience, but you also want your content to work in your favor.
You do this by creating a call to action at some point in your article. This can include getting people to sign up for your mailing list, following you on your social media account, getting them to buy something from a sales page, or even just including a link to another article so that they stay on your site.
Including this does not mean that they will necessarily do what you want, but if you don’t at least give them the option then you are limiting yourself and squandering any traffic you DO pick up.