How hard can it be to write a perfect article? To create a perfect website? To make your content stand out in the large mass of all other? The basic principle for creating successful content is pretty much very simple. But hard to do. To understand the science of successful content keep reading.
How to create a successful content? It is not enough just to create something. Before you even start with that you must research everything about your idea and set your goals. After that it is very important to create something unique and entertaining. Is that enough? Not just yet. All that content must be perfectly optimized to get a good ranking on search engines. But you won’t get all the traffic just by gaining a good search engine rank, you also have to promote the content. And the final step is to measure the traffic and data you get and get the final evaluations of what is good and wrong with your content strategy. So, we can divide the science of successful content into seven categories:
- Content research
- Content goals
- Valuable Content
- Unique Content
- Measure and evaluation (final evaluation).
Let’s get to work.
The first step in creating a successful content is to understand what content are you writing and for who is it for. Understand who your audience is and what they want. There are lots of ways to find that out. You can use some internal or external resources and many tools which should help you with that. Great tools for that are different apps for keyword research, lots of forums and Q&A sites. It can be hard to decide which tools are the best so I decided to make that easy for you and make a list of some tools that should help you.
One of the most important parts you must do when starting a content research is to check keywords. What is the point of writing some content if the main keywords have too strong competition or are not profitable? The best way to analyze keywords is to use Google AdWords: Keyword Tool. It is free, it is easy to use and if you know what you want it will give you everything you need to know. You can search some phrases, words based on geographic position, language and much more.
If you need help with creating some idea or improving the one you already have then Soovle is a great solution for you. Enter your phrase for keywords in search bar on the site and you will get keyword suggestions from lots of websites. You can even pick suggestion websites based on your business category. You can save every search you make and with that create a deep research on keyword movements. Combine this with Google Keyword Planner and some other tools and you are golden.
This is another nice website to get some ideas for content. All you have to do is enter some phrase to search bar and Topix will give you results from different websites and different content related to the phrase you entered. You can also get results for specific location. Very nice tool.
Believe it or not Q&A sites can be a really amazing tool for your content research. And Yahoo Answer is probably the biggest one of them. Q&A sites are very simple, someone enters the question and people answer it. That is the best way to find out what people need from business in your niche and knowing that will make your content much better.
Quora is a Q&A site similar to Yahoo Answers. It is becoming more and more popular and it is improving every day. The concept is the same with every Q&A site, people ask questions and then someone will answer it. Best answers will be easy noticeable. Another great site to find out what people need from some businesses.
Before you start doing anything else do the content research part right to give yourself and your content a boost at the start.
The second part of creating a successful content is to figure out what you goals are. Decide what you want to achieve with your business. Once you do that it will be easy to create content that will work towards fulfilling that goals. Goals can be different with every business and every person, but there are some goals that should be important with everyone.
Your content should always aim to educate clients. Lots of people say that educated client is a happy client. So, make sure that happens. To do that refer to the questions you found out in the research phase and try to answer them in your content. This kind of content is also called valuable content, explained little below.
- Attract people
By this phrase “attract people” I don’t talk just about attracting visitors. I also talk about potential partners who could invest into your business. If you write high quality content all the time then it could attract strategic partners which will help you to expand your business. Be interesting, passionate and people will recognize that.
- Brand awareness
This one is pretty obvious and should be the goal of every business. It is probably the most used goal. A recognizable and popular brand will help in expanding your business and getting more customers. You can find more details about brands and how to create identity in my article – Best visual branding tips.
- Build trust
Another common goal of content is to build trust with customers. If you constantly create a high quality content your audience will trust you. They will see that you know your work and you are constantly good in it. Trust will also lead to increased loyalty towards your brand which will, of course, increase brand awareness.
- Build reputation
Reputation is very important part of your content goals. Not only the reputation with customers because that is covered with brand awareness, trust, education and similar. I am talking about the reputation with search engines. SEO is one of the most important parts of building a business website and it has to be done right. But SEO is not the most important part of successful content science. Lots of people think that everything will be great if they do the optimization right. But the truth is, a content that is valuable to customers will be valuable to search engines too.
I mentioned valuable content few times in paragraphs above. What is actually valuable content? That is a type of content that will be interesting and will worth something to visitors. Valuable content can be answering to some important questions, teaching visitors something new or helping them to get better at something. But even now, when you know what valuable content is and what should you write it can be pretty hard to actually make one. To explain a little better what a valuable content is I will use a checklist created by Content Marketing Institute.
So, a valuable content must be:
A findable content means that users should be able to find it. To make it more findable try to use one h1 and at least two h2 tags on your page. That will give a boost to your search engine rankings and therefore make your content more findable. Other good practices for this is to create a well optimized metadata (tags, keywords and descriptions), increase content value by linking other pages and including alt tags on images.
A readable content will be easy to read, right? But to do that you should follow some rules. For example, divide text into chunks. That means to create paragraphs and make them short. Other good practice is to create lists and use bullets because they will break the monotony and make content more interesting. Oh yeah, and be consistent with your styling, language and with pretty much everything you do with content.
Making a content understandable can be pretty hard, especially for some expert and complex subjects. That’s why it is always good to use pictures or videos that explain some part. Use some metaphors if you are having problems with explaining something in the normal way and give examples if you can.
When creating some content one of your goals is to get visitors to do some action. That can be sharing, commenting, liking, asking some questions, buying something or any other action you want. To do that you must include call to action and place it on a visible place. Also, make sure that it is easy for visitors to ask questions and comments something. Another good practice is to include links to some of your related content.
And the last checklist for creating a valuable content is to make it shareable. To make a content shareable you have to give people some reason to share it. You can simply ask them to share, provoke some emotional feelings in them, or tell some story that will make them want to share it. After you have done that you have to make sharing easy.
Always follow this checklist when creating some content. Lots of people avoid this because they think it is not necessary. But trust me, it will help you.
Do you know how many websites, posts and new content is being made every day? Over 2 million for sure. And that’s why it is very important to make your content unique. I won’t write a lot about this one because it is all up to you and your imagination. But remember, a completely unique content will improve your search ranking while new ways of creating some already familiar content can also be very interesting to people.
Just like I mentioned above, there is really large number of websites and posts and that number is increasing every day. 10 years ago you could have written some high quality content and you would probably get enough visitors and customers without promoting it too much. But today promoting is one of the most important steps in creating a successful content. Without promoting you will most probably end up with nothing. Here are some tips that should help you with making your content a good promoting material.
- Targeting – once again we are going back to the start, the research phase. Whenever you are starting something it is important to do the research first. The same things applies to promotion. Once again decide who is your audience and then you will be able to target the exact type of people that should be most interested in your content. That targeting can be by age, working place, geographic location and other similar settings.
- Catchiness – everything you do should be catchy. From your business and brand name to the tittles of your content. If you don’t have a strong and catchy headline then your content will most probably be skipped by most people.
- Sharing – go back a little bit to the part where you learned how to make your content valuable and read the part about shareable content. A great way to promote your business is to include the option for easy sharing. Who knows, maybe your content will go viral.
- Visual content – it is always a good idea to invest some money into visual stuff. Visual advertisements will get more attention than any other type of advertisement. Visual can mean different graphics, images, or even videos. Always include that in your article and create a professional advertisement for your marketing campaign.
- Social networks presence – what is the best way to promote your business? Lots of people will answer – social media networks. And they are right. Pick the right social media platform for you (check the article – Social media platform comparison), develop a successful strategy and then you will be able to promote yourself and get more customers on that network. To successfully take advantage of everything that social media networks offer and expand your business I recommend reading the article – Expanding Business with Social Media.
And that’s it for promotion for now. Of course, there is a lot more about promoting your content than this but more about that in some other article.
On to the next step. Optimization is a very important part of your content because it will allow people to find it. To successfully optimize whole content you have to optimize four separate parts.
Optimizing text includes creating a perfect tittle tags. That is the most important element in optimization because they are very important to search engines ranking but if you make them attractive they can also get you more visitors. Tittle is followed with description which is another very important part for ranking and for informing audience of what they can expect. Keywords are not always visible to audience but badly set keywords can hurt your ranking. And the last part with text optimizing are URLs. Don’t use long keywords in URLs. Make them short, simple and attractive.
The most important element of image optimizing is the alt tag. That is an alternative text that describes the image. The other element is image tag which appears when visitor places mouse over the image. Very important part of image is the name itself. It should be simple and should include keyword. And the last element of image optimizing is the size. If your image is too large then it could drive away visitors because it would take too much time to load.
Video optimizing is pretty much the same as everything else. You must create a good tittle, description and tags for your video so search engine can recognize it and give you a good ranking.
I didn’t want to get too much in this part because this article would be really too large. Before I create some article with detailed description about optimizing content I recommend reading this one – SEO Survival Factors.
And finally, we reached to the last part. The final evaluation includes measuring and evaluating your content.
Measuring stands for checking the reach of your content and the impact on people. Measuring your content will help you to see if it is successfully going towards your goals.
After you measure everything you will have to evaluate every part of your content and check if it is related to what the audience wants. Combining that two parts will help you to make even better decisions in the future and create even more successful content.
You can see a shortened version of the successful content science in the infographic below. Enjoy!