In the past, content quality was often an afterthought for website owners. If website copy contained enough keywords to direct search traffic the right way, it didn’t matter what the article was about. These days, however, creating high-quality content isn’t optional.
Businesses and content marketers can invest time, effort, and resources in the creation and distribution of high-quality content and get results. Or they can take the path of least resistance and write mediocre content – which is inevitably a waste of time and resources better spent elsewhere.
So how do you create exceptional content that drives traffic to your website? Let’s find out.
1. Create strong headlines
On average, 80 percent of people read article headlines, but a mere 20 percent of them move any further. This means, for the vast majority of those who stumble upon your articles, headlines will be your first and last opportunity to make an impression.
Your headline should contain a powerful promise of what comes next, otherwise, you may as well not bother writing the content at all.
2. Identify your audience and create reader personas
You cannot write compelling content until you understand who you are writing it for. One of the most effective ways to clarify your intended audience is to create personas.
These represent identities of typical members of your audience, including their interests, characteristics, and pain points (i.e., the problems your content will solve). You can start by simply reviewing your website analytics and answering the following questions:
- What demographic characteristics are most common among your target audience?
- What type of content and subject matter are the most popular? What qualities do they share?
- What content is the least popular, and what does it all have in common?
The social media insights and analytics of your key accounts can also provide valuable insights. Using all of this information, create an overview of the most common traits of your typical and ideal customer.
3. Create content that answers frequently asked questions
The foundation of strong content is a relevant topic. If you struggle to come up with topic ideas for your content marketing campaigns, here is an excellent and virtually inexhaustible source: questions your company encounters every day.
Talk to your customer support team, sales representatives, and staff in general to identify the questions clients ask most often. Ask them to jot down the most interesting queries in the future. Study the results of the surveys you carried out in the past to see what troubles your customers. You will certainly end up with enough questions to create an endless stream of content.
4. Create actionable content
Unless your content has entertainment value, people are going to read it primarily to learn and get better at something. You shouldn’t just give your readers information – give them data they can act upon.
Readers should be able to use the tips you give them right away, without further exhaustive preparation. This is why step-by-step guides and “How To” articles are among the most-read types of content on the Internet.
5. Keep up with industry trends
There are evergreen topics that will bring you a steady supply of traffic no matter what. And there are trends – topics that everybody is interested in right now, but they will burn out in a few weeks or even days.
Although it is a good practice to focus on evergreen content that will remain useful for years to come, it won’t hurt to follow a trend from time-to-time and benefit from a surge of interest while it lasts. This approach can drive traffic from people who don’t normally visit your site, and they can become regulars with the right motivation.
Google Trends is an easy way to find trending conversations. Meanwhile, Twitter also provides a great breakdown of hot topics that are trending right now.
6. Distribute your content the right way
Content distribution in the form of guest posting is a large part of any serious marketing strategy. It allows you to build awareness, credibility, and influence within your industry. Guest posting also helps you establish connections, reach a wider audience, and build your reputation as an authority in your line of work.
However, before you get to enjoy all of these advantages you have to persuade targeted online platforms (e.g., news outlets, magazines, trades, journals, blogs, etc.) and their editors to accept your content. Content distribution can get progressively more difficult, the more popular a media property is, within its niche.
Last but not least, you or someone on your team should be good at writing. If you apply all these content creation tips religiously but still can’t attract enough site traffic, it probably means that your approach and plan needs a bit of work. At that point, consult a third party or outsource your content marketing needs to a freelancer/agency, when applicable.
Anastasia Tsvion is an internal content marketer in Luckyposting Agency. She specializes in digital marketing, business innovations, and enjoys sharing her 6-year experience in articles.
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