This article examines the four parts of effective content on the Internet. It aims to explain what these elements are, how they work, and ultimately how they can be used to create effective content. The intended audience is content marketers and bloggers.
If you carefully examine some of the most popular content on the Internet, it doesn’t take long to see numerous similarities. Understood correctly, these commonalities between effective content can be used as a recipe for creating your own masterpiece. Below we’ll look at what content is exactly, the four things that almost all effective content have in common, and how you can use these things in your own work.
Content Made Simple
Content is a mixture of information and packaging, but it also has purpose. For example, persuasive content aims to persuade, entertaining content intends to entertain, and educational content aims to teach. Effective content is often considered to be content that achieves its purpose, but it’s not quite that simple. That’s because the way the content is packaged, both in consideration of human psychology and SEO, is also a crucial factor.
In the early days of SEO, web developers sacrificed user experiences for a greater degree of optimization. Today, many developers are doing the opposite, and are sacrificing their SEO in pursuit of even better user experiences through great content. But that is just much of a mistake because the greatest content in existence has little value if it’s impossible to find.
In many ways, visibility is the most important element any piece of content can contain, and there are numerous ways you can increase the visibility of your content. One easy way is to add a search bar to your website, allowing your readers to easily find what they’re looking for. You can also make adjustments to the navigation of your website. Numerous studies have shown that minor tweaks in navigation can have an astounding influence on everything from reader retention to conversions.
After you have visibility, the only thing your content needs to be shared is people who think it’s worth sharing. Ultimately, there’s no way of getting around this fact apart from creating that type of content. But it’s equally important that your content be easy to share. If your next visitor has to click more than once or twice to share something on a social media site, you’ll lose half of your potential shares immediately.
When you’re making new content, spend some time thinking about if it’s something that you would share on your own Facebook profile. You should also spend time thinking about how your content actually appears on these sharing sites. For instance, have you been writing headlines that are too long to be displayed on Twitter? Does the leading image of your article get cropped poorly when shared to Facebook? If you spend a few minutes answering these questions, you can increase the “share worthiness” of your content overnight.
For content to achieve its purpose, it needs to have ease-of-use. If you’re putting together an educational article, the more readable that article is, the greater its ease-of-use. This can include anything from the style of your writing to the font you used to present it. For example, if you’re creating a podcast, it ought to be conversational, and easy to listen to. Ultimately, you want to make your content as easy to use as possible, which means understanding what makes your content usable.
With the gradual development of Google Hummingbird, these ease-of-use elements may be even more important in the near future. This is largely because writing in a conversational tone now allows you to capture one of the most valuable types of keywords, longtail keywords, which are increasingly important to the mobile market. And as Google continues to expand its capacity to handle queries meeting conversational language, creating content with an “ease-of-use”, friendly, conversational tone stands to be doubly rewarding.
Permeable to Metrics
How good is your content? Without the ability to measure its success, you’re unable to ever answer this question. For every new article you create, for every video, podcast, and infographic, you should always set clear goals. It can be increase in conversions, a boost to your traffic, or just about anything else, but measurement is crucial. Managing measurement is also easy with free tools like Google Analytics. These tools allow you to keep tabs on everything from user engagement to your bounce rate, allowing you to carefully track your goal whatever it may be. Measurement also allows you to hone the development of your future content because it allows you to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.