Content is a key component of any website. Apart from supplying key information, it also works hand-in-hand with SEO. Your website content is such a critical element, that it can make or break your site (and by extension, your business).
Think about it. If your website content is of a poor quality, readers aren’t going to come back for more. If you have well-written content, but no visual appeal, people may find your content difficult to read. If you don’t supply links or easy navigation, your audience won’t know where to go for more information.
All of this means a drop in traffic and, in all likelihood, a higher bounce rate. This can impact on your search engine rankings. And if no one can find your site, they can’t use your service or buy your product.
While this may sound a little far-fetched or overly simplified, the reality is that your content needs to work for you. If it isn’t doing this, then it could well be costing you customers. The solution? Make your website content work for you.
What makes content readable? Readable content is easy-to-read. By this, we don’t mean it should be simple. Complex, technical content can be just as readable as a simple concept. So an explanation of compound interest can be as readable as an article on why children should get pocket money.
The things that make content readable are, primarily, structure and topic.
The layout of your text is an important element here. To begin with, you need a heading that adequately explains the content or purpose of your text. You should also use subheadings to break up the text into manageable chunks, and which also explain the content of each paragraph.
Your paragraphs should be short. A few sentences each (if that), all of which should link back to your subheading. Try, where possible, to start each paragraph with a sentence that explains what will follow.
The reason for this is because people no longer have time to read through extensive texts. They are frequently looking for an answer to a question, and will therefore skim your article to find what they’re looking for. Make this easy for them.
The use of blocks in Gutenberg can also enhance the readability of your text. From headings, quotes and lists, to FAQ and How-to blocks, you can add a range of elements to your page.
The more interested someone is in what you have to say, the higher the chances that they will read your article. For this reason, your topic is important to the readability of your content.
Choose topics that are relevant and interesting to your audience. But you should also ensure that your content is original. Apart from it being bad practice to say exactly what someone else has said, no one wants to read the same thing twice.
When writing your content, focus on information that is original, educational and informative. And then ensure your content is well-written and to-the-point.
You want to make your website content as visually appealing as possible. There are several reasons for this. People consume information far more quickly these days. Visual information can help them process and understand your content better. Many people also think visually, making visual content a better fit.
Images and image galleries can add a lot of appeal to your content. Gutenberg makes it easy to add images and image galleries to your page in WordPress. Alternatively you can use a plugin like FooBox (a responsive lightbox) or Foogallery to add more dimension to your images.
Video is another great way to engage your audience. It’s becoming an increasingly popular channel, boosting traffic on your site and social media channels.
Infographics and graphs can also supply visual information while making it easier to understand a difficult concept or process a large amount of information. When you do have a text-heavy article, graphs or other visual statistics can help break this up.
Whatever visual content you use, make sure it is relevant. There is little value in using a cute cat meme or simply having images of stats that actually mean nothing. Unless they add to or complement your text, avoid using them.
Good content is a central factor of traffic and SEO. But you can help boost these, along with your sales, with some strategic content. By adding extra elements to your content, such as social share buttons, you can increase your readership.
Calls to Action are a good example of strategic website content. If your topic is all about improving your SEO, a Call To Action can encourage people to buy your SEO guide. CTAs should focus on one main action and stand out from the rest of the text.
You should also be including links in your content. You should, where possible, link to other pages or blog posts on your own site. This improves the navigation and makes it easier for Google or other search engines to crawl your site. Include some outbound links to other credible, established websites as well. It can be good for your reputation.
Adding keywords to your content allows you to be found for the right reason. But you need to use relevant keywords the relate to your topic and your product or services. Avoid keyword stuffing though, and focus on the keywords for which you are most likely to rank.
Your website content can help improve your SEO, your traffic and by extension, conversions and sales. But only if your content is effective.
Too many keywords, or visuals that aren’t relevant are unlikely to give you the boost you’re looking for. Likewise, adding good content, but without structure, may have a negative impact.
You need highly readable content, that is relevant and original. You need visual content that can help inform your readers while breaking up your text. And you need strategic content like CTAs to give you the extra edge.