Top 10 Ways to Generate More Engaging Content on Your Website
The sheer volume of content available on the Internet is a consumer’s dream and a digital marketer’s nightmare. Every 60 seconds, more than 4 million search queries are received by Google, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube, over 2 million posts are shared on Facebook, and 200 million emails are delivered. What’s more, 85 percent of consumers regularly look to trusted content sources for information as part of the buying process, and on average will engage with more than 11 pieces of content before making a purchase.
While all of that readily available content is a blessing for the consumer, it tends to make it extremely difficult for marketers to stand out from the crowd. Your content needs to do more than simply present a bland recitation of facts and figures. By empathizing with your audience and addressing their wants and needs, you can significantly boost the level of reader involvement with your content.
Don’t Forget to Sell
Far too many websites are overloaded with an awesome design, intriguing slideshow, and attention getting bells and whistles to the point that the sales message gets lost. The essence of effective marketing is content, and without good content there simply is no marketing.
To effectively engage your audience and convert them into paying customers, your content needs to address the basic concerns of first-time visitors to your website such as:
• Will this site meet my needs?
• Can this website be trusted?
• Does this site have the product solution that will solve my problem?
10 Tips for Creating Engaging Website Content
1. Stick with shorter sentences. Many readers have a tendency to get lost with long sentences. Using shorter sentences makes your material easier to read and comprehend. Remember that the more understandable your content is, the better your conversation rate will be – a confused mind never buys.
2. Break up your text with sub-heads and bullet-point lists. Online readers tend to skim articles before plunging in for the complete story. A solid block of text makes it difficult for readers to quickly determine if your content has the answers they’re looking for. Format your articles so that readers can easily find the main selling points of your content.
3. Create a unique voice for your website content. Writing with a unique voice gives your website a personality that provides continuity, and gives visitors a reassuring sense of comfort each time they visit your site. The Motley Fool personal finance website uses a highly effective unique voice to “educate, amuse and enrich” its readers. The Fool’s content style brings a refreshing change of clarity and pace to an otherwise stuffy and difficult to comprehend topic.
4. Write for humans, not search engines. While keywords are important for SEO purposes, don’t go overboard with them. Your content needs to flow naturally as it is being read. Spammy text filled with too many keywords will turn off your readers, and will likely earn you a ranking penalty from the search engines.
5. Sprinkle a few relevant and useful links throughout your text. Linking out to other pages on your site or to other authoritative sites is a great way to build your own credibility while providing readers with additional helpful information. As an added bonus, judicious linking can also help improve your position in the search results.
6. Mind your grammar. While anyone can make an occasional mistake, more than a couple of spelling or grammatical errors on a web page is going to bring your credibility into question. Always use a good spelling and grammar checker before you publish new content.
7. Stress benefits over features. Readers don’t really care about product features – they want to know how they will benefit from those features. As they say in the advertising business: sell the sizzle, not the steak. The majority of people buy based on emotions, not cold logic.
8. Include a call to action on every page. Every one of your web pages should contain a relevant call to action that helps guide the reader to the next stage of the conversion process.
9. Take frequent breaks. Effective writing requires focused mental energy, and one of the best ways to stay focused is to write in 30 minute segments. At the end of 30 minutes, take a five to ten minute break from the keyboard to collect your thoughts and prepare for the next 30 minute writing segment.
10. Use power words that tug at the reader’s emotions. Engage your readers with power words that help draw them into your content. Some of the most effective power words include:
Discover, free, gamble, victim, breakthrough, reveal, threat, supercharge, astonishing, you, your, survive, and beware.