Although content has been “king” of the online world for many years, never has it been so important to take the time to create high quality articles that visitors truly want to read. Forget about taking shortcuts: content is the key to a successful online venture, no matter what business you’re in. If you want to write content that really conveys the message you need it to, then bear these 5 key ingredients in mind:
1) Easy To Read
When you’re writing for the web you must remember that most people skim-read. Your target readers are probably subscribed to dozens of news websites and blogs, which can make it easy for them to get bored and simply move onto the next article on their list.
How do you make web content easier to read? Use short paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists and subheadings. Not only does this make the article easier to read, it also gives it some structure to make sure that you’re staying on point.
Just because certain “gurus” may claim to make money by putting out hundreds of poorly written articles, it doesn’t mean you should do the same. Search engines are wising up to keyword stuffing and spun content. What searchers really want is an article that answers their question in a clear, informative and entertaining manner.
3) The Right Length
There are many different “rules” regarding how long your online articles should be, but the truth is that every article is different. Put yourself in the shoes of the person searching for your content: can you answer what they need to know in a mere 100 words? If you can do so successfully then 100 words is long enough! Usually, however, you’ll need to a spend a little longer crafting an article that really addresses their query.
It isn’t always easy to write naturally when you’re taking keywords into account, so stop worrying about it. If you are answering the questions your searchers are asking then the keywords will come into the content naturally. That’s not to say that you can’t include a few keywords on purpose, but this should be secondary to creating an article that’s interesting and informative. (My most popular article and the one that pops up in Google searches most often was written this way. I just answered a question a lot of people needed an answer for. That article, on changing your Facebook fan page and profile URL, is probably 2 years old and still going strong.)
Although some articles can be considered “evergreen” in the sense that they’ll be just as relevant in years to come, most online content needs updating from time to time. Search engines like Google are placing more and more emphasis on fresh content. Take advantage of this fact by keeping on top of your industry and keeping your readers informed.
Remember: there are no shortcuts to high quality content. However, it’s well worth the time it takes to write content that’ll compel your reader to take action.