Can you handle the truth? There are millions of pages of content on the Internet for every conceivable topic. There is nothing you can write on a financial topic that will stand-out…. Unless, you are a well-known author or have a substantial current following.
There is a second truth. Publishing content on the Internet is still your best bet for increasing your online visibility and traffic to your website.
These two truths are not contradictory. Their combined impact means you have to write compelling content that captures peoples’ attention.
Following are a few insights and tips that will help you write better content for the web.
People do not read, they scan content to find what they are looking for. At the most, you may have 20 seconds to convince them to read your article. This means the most important space on a page is the heading and the first three sentences in your first paragraph.
Want proof? A research report produced by Nielsen Norman Group, showed a whopping 84% of people do not read online content word-by-word. Instead they scan content looking for information that is important to them.
Succinct is Best
Remember when you were in school? You had to write 500 word essays to get a good grade. What if you only had 300 words of meaningful content. You still had to produce 500 words or you would get a bad grade.
This process produced some bad habits that are difficult to unlearn.
Excess words clutter the messages you want to deliver. You can also lose readers in the first paragraph if you do not deliver a clear message that resonates with them. You must prove, very quickly, your article contains the information they are seeking.
Keep it Simple
Since most people are scanners you want to make it easy for them to scan your content. The easier you make it to find information, the higher the probability they will stay on your pages.
The best web pages have the following attributes:
- Highlighted key points using bolding, italics, and color
- Bullet points for all types of lists
- Limiting paragraphs to a single point
Most people have low regard for reading anything that looks like a sales pitch. They want facts, more facts, and nothing but the facts. Exaggerated, undocumented claims will cause many readers to exit your pages.
- Make objective, credible statements
- Avoid exaggerated statements unless you have proof
- Avoid bragging unless it is a testimonial by a third party
- Minimize language that sounds like a sales pitch
Google’s Bots are looking at the articles that you publish on the web. What they see determines the organic impact of your content. For example, the Bots see:
- How many people opened your document
- How long they spend reading your content
- Did they take action (Contact You) after reading your document
- Did they forward your content to other people
- Did they exit your blog site after reading the article
You cannot fool Google. Your best solution is to produce high quality content that compels people to open your documents and read them.
High volume, low quality content will not produce the Internet visibility and traffic that you are seeking.