As we all know, as a business it’s important to find out who your target audience is and compel them to visit your site. But you’ll never get them to stay there very long (or convert) unless the content on your site is engaging and valuable. Some clients choose to write their own online content, and this can be very effective due to their intimate knowledge of the industry that they’re writing about. Here at Path, content creation and optimization are a key part of what we do. These five content creation tips inform our process and may help you with yours.
Write in the proper tone for your audience: Your content must address current and prospective customers using the appropriate tone of voice – as is the case in face-to-face interaction, just as important as what you say is how you say it. Establishing the right brand tone – and keeping this consistent across all webpages, blogs and social media posts — goes a long way toward retaining business and converting new customers. This is because consistency in tone and message is an integral part of building trust – if your business’ blog content, web page content and social media content are being created by different people, this can take some coordination to achieve but it’s worth the effort.
Use keyword data to shape content creation: This is a no-brainer, and a fundamental part of SEO — optimizing content for search continues to involve making sure certain target keywords are present in that content. Keyword research is a powerful tool for finding out what your customers are searching for, but it can also be a great way to generate new content ideas. This can be especially helpful in the case of blogs, which need to be updated with new content on a regular basis and thus can be demanding to maintain. Although it’s possible to write content first — and then find keywords to optimize it around after the fact — writing content based on the “seed” of a keyword is an effective way to optimize for search but also generate new content topics when you’re feeling stumped.
Those who are inspired create; those who are stumped curate: Although high-quality original content is the best way to engage your audience and prove your value, it’s ok to sometimes share the ideas of other thought leaders in your industry and provide analysis. If you find a great infographic or insightful article that applies to your industry or clientele and will make a great blog post, sharing it with them doesn’t make you a copycat – by providing commentary that may be valuable to your customers, and graciously acknowledging the larger industry landscape, you can demonstrate your worth. Although it’s possible to go too far in this direction, curating others’ content on your blog with some commentary is much better than going two weeks without a post! Additionally, although guest blogging as an SEO tactic has recently caught some flak, having a few industry partners post on your blog and vice-versa can still have a positive SEO impact and also provide you with fresh blog content.
Make sure it looks good on mobile: With smartphones making up 60% of all cellphones used by Americans, and more and more people making purchasing decisions on mobile devices, it’s important that webpages and blog posts look good on mobile. To a degree, this might mean shorter-form content. But there is some research that suggests the existing best practices about internet content length translate fairly well to mobile users. What’s more important is to make sure your website and blog feature responsive design and that there are compelling pictures and headlines to accompany the text and keep users engaged.
Make the most of the content you produce: Don’t be afraid to do a weekly or monthly social media roundup on your blog where you highlight interactions with customers, fans, and the questions they may have had that relate to your business. Similarly, consider breaking out long-form content from your blog or website pages and rewriting it for use in short-form social media posts. What may seem like a formidably long or dense concept in a whitepaper can often be parsed into the kind of rich-content morsels that translate well to social.