When it comes to producing appealing content for your target market, there are 3 core principles that should be considered
- Understanding the needs of your intended audience
However, there are also specific criteria — such as the overall length of your content, its technical elements, and even its visual presentation — that play vital roles in ensuring content that attracts interest from users online. Essentially, the process of content creation features many aspects that should always be taken into consideration as these elements are important in ensuring the effectiveness of your site’s content.
This sentiment has been reflected in SEMrush’s research on organic traffic back in 2021. In an effort to identify the characteristics of marketable content, their team examined the engagement and exposure of blogs that have garnered 30,000 to 500,000 monthly views.
As a result, the folks at SEMrush were able to determine key factors that should be considered when developing content in 2022, namely:
So, what are these different factors and why should they be considered when creating content for your website this year? Let’s take an in-depth look.
Headlines, or commonly referred to as H1s, provide your readers with a general idea on what they can expect before moving forward to the body of your content. Essentially, these are phrases or short sentences that serve as an introduction to the write-up.
For some, headlines may seem to be an inconsequential series of phrases. But in actuality, h1s play an important role in setting the tone of your entire content and even user retention.
How so? Let’s find out.
Different Types, Different Results
There are different types of headlines that you can use when writing for your articles or blogs. We can divide these headline types into 4 general categories, namely:
- How to’s
Now, you have to be careful when choosing the right type of headline for your write-up; you have to make sure that it matches the nature of your content.
Let’s take question-type headlines as an example: if you’re going to use a question as a headline, say “Why should you opt for Organic SEO in 2022?”, then you have to make sure that your content properly addresses the reason as to why people should opt for that kind of service. Basically, the type of headline that you need to use for your content is dependent on the content that you’re presenting.
Based on our observation, the guide and how to’s categories of headlines garner more engagement as compared to the others. This indicates that headlines indeed make a difference in the presentation of the content as a whole, provided that they are relevant to the topic at hand.
For you to properly gauge what type of headline is best for your content, let’s a take a look at the different categories below:
As discussed above, headlines are placed to hook your reader into reading the rest of your content. Do take note, however, that you should also consider its length.
The majority of users, including us, tend to click on headlines that are not abruptly cut on Google’s search results because it gives people a clear overview of what they can expect from the content. And since Google favors short, but concise headlines, it’s recommended for you to keep the length of your H1s at around 8 words to avoid truncation issues.
With that said, there are some cases wherein 8 words are not enough to give a clear and concise overview of a specific content. This is especially true for blogs that feature complex and technical topics. In such cases, we recommend creating a shorter version of your H1 that will be displayed on Google’s search results. This will allow you to provide your audience with a short overview on Google while retaining the original H1 on your content.
Here are some tips in writing a strong H1:
- Be creative and descriptive: Provide your readers with an idea on what they can expect even before deciding to read your content. H1s should be enough to give them an overview of your topic.
- Create catchy headlines: Don’t be afraid to create intriguing headlines that trigger curiosity, as this will help in garnering more clicks from users. However, do NOT stray away from your topic. Remember, the purpose of an H1 is to give an overview of the content, NOT to mislead readers.
- Be as short and concise as possible: Keep your H1 short, but make it as concise as possible. And remember, be sure that your headline is relevant to your content.
- Put yourself in the shoes of your reader: Most importantly, you should know your market. Think of it this way: if you’re a person who’s looking for the content that you’ve created, what would you search for?
In a nutshell, these will help you in creating strong headlines that will entice your intended audience to click on and read the content that you’ve worked hard to produce.
Overall Length and Topic Coverage
Moving on to the next key factor, an in-depth coverage and explanation of a certain topic tends to perform more in terms of attracting traffic and user engagement. After all, readers are searching for information that would answer their queries.
However, determining the word count depends on several factors such as the topic itself, as well as the standards of the industry that you’re writing about.
Now, having a long article does not automatically guarantee a high number of engagements. This is where being in touch with your market comes into the picture. Whenever you’re creating content, you need to focus on your market in order to provide them with information that’s relevant to their needs. This would enable you to target your intended audience more effectively, as well as to gauge how long your content needs to be.
Let’s put it this way: having a short, yet detailed content that explains a specific topic sufficiently will be more appealing to people than a long write-up that beats around the bush.
Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of creating content is to provide relevant information to your audience. What this means is that it’s highly important to develop clear and concise solutions that are specifically tailored to answer their queries.
Components of Quality Content
- Relevance of Topic: Let’s say you have a topic in mind. Ask yourself, “is this topic relevant with my target audience?” If the answer is yes, then go ahead and start with the writing process. If not, then you may want to reassess what you want to write about and come up with a more relevant topic.
- Uniqueness: Once you’ve finalized your topic, it’s time to develop the content itself. While you can look for other write-ups that can be used as a basis, make sure that you create a unique output that suits your standards while meeting the expectations of your target audience.
- Overall Length: We want to emphasize that the length of the content is dependent on the topic. Yes, you can develop content that goes beyond 1000 words, just as long as you can ensure that readers would find every bit of it as compelling. But if most of the information that you have included is not relevant, then it will not bring any good in terms of performance and engagement. Remember, longer is not necessarily better.
Next on the list is content structure, which is more important than people may realize. Why is that? To put it simply, we are creating content for people to read, not for people to ignore.
If you present content that has a cluttered structure, chances are they won’t even take time to read it. That’s basically losing potential clients and wasting your effort on writing at the same time.
Moving on to the details of this key factor, developing your content in an organized manner is highly recommended if you want to create a write-up that features improved readability and aesthetic appeal. It helps users to have a better understanding of the information that you’re presenting, which is especially true if you’re planning to feature a complex topic that involves confusing technicalities.
Tags, Tags, and More Tags
One way of organizing your content is to utilize H2, H3, and H4 tags. Remember the headlines that were mentioned earlier, the H1s? Let’s put everything together: if the H1 is your content’s main headline, then H2, H3, and H4 tags are subheadings that are used to segregate the information found in your content and segment them into different sections.
Do take note, however, that these tags have different functions, though they do complement each other in the grand scheme of things.
To have a better understanding of what we’re trying to say, please look at the chart provided below:
Keeping It Simple with Lists
Since we’re on the topic of dividing your content, featuring lists in your content would benefit you in a variety of ways. These include:
- Cutting down time in creating content.
- Helps in delivering concise explanations regarding your topic.
- Retaining the interest of your audience.
- Providing variations in your content that would keep it fresh and aesthetically-pleasing.
Essentially, lists are used to highlight important details in your content without overwhelming the readers with too much information.
Let’s face it: lengthy content gets boring and tends to lose the readers’ interest around the middle part. No matter how good your content is, if it doesn’t contain any images or other visual elements, people will not bother reading it until the end.
Images don’t just make the content visually appealing, but they also add segment breaks throughout the write-up. Based on our personal experience, we prefer to read content with images and videos compared to pure text write-ups.
But while there are countless varieties of visual elements that you can add, you should also consider the overall context of your content. What this means is that in some cases, images are applicable and recommended. But for other content, it would be better to feature videos instead.
Studies show that the more images and videos your content has, the more monthly organic traffic, as well as social media shares and backlinks it garners.
In addition, it’s evident that content with visual elements gains more engagement from their target audience. However, always put in mind that such elements should always be relevant to your overall content.
All in all, these are the key factors that you should consider when writing content. May it be for your blogs or for your website, these core considerations will serve as a guideline on how to create compelling content that would garner interest and traffic from your intended audience this 2022.
However, you must know that there is not a single way to create a single type of content that will work on all kinds of audiences and industries. It all depends on the needs of your audience, as well as the demands of the industry that you’re targeting.
That’s where we come in. Here at Custom Virtual Solutions, we have an in-house writing team that’s capable of providing effective content for all types of audiences and industries. Get in touch with us and let’s discuss business.