How To Make Your Website Content Work For You

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.

Readable Content

Readable website content uses good structure and interesting topics

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.

Structure

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.

Topic

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. 

Visual Content

Use visual content to engage your readers

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.

Strategic Content

use strategic website content to boost traffic and conversions

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.

Wrapping up…

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.

Featured image by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

Using Gutenberg: Building with Blocks

WordPress 5.0 is set to be released in November, and with it will come the new editor Gutenberg. If you haven’t already started using Gutenberg, now is a good time to see what it can do.

What is Gutenberg?

On the off-chance that you haven’t heard about it, Gutenberg is the new editor for WordPress. It will become part of the WordPress core when it is updated to version 5.0. This is expected to happen later this year, probably mid-late November.

The new editor allows you to create pages and posts rich with visual elements. It does this through the use of blocks. Each block type allows you to do something different, such as add an image, write a heading or create a list.

Why Gutenberg is the Way Forward

As I’m writing this, Gutenberg has over 500 000 active installs. It also has 784 1-star ratings, as opposed to the 335 5-star ratings. Even when Gutenberg becomes part of the WordPress core, you will (in all likelihood) still be able to revert to the classic editor.

But why would you want to?

Using Gutenberg is simple. Alright it differs quite a lot from the classic editor, but it does everything that editor can do, and a whole lot more. Each block type comes with it’s own settings and there are plenty of block types available.

The result? Visually appealing texts that grab your readers’ attention from the get-go.

Why does this matter? I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase Content is King. Well, in the game of content marketing and online branding, content is the way forward. Improved SEO and better brand-awareness can both be achieved through content.

But the biggest problem is that there is so much content available online. Interesting, insightful and innovative posts go a long way to building your content-offering. But visually stimulating content gives you the extra edge.

Making the Most of Gutenberg

You can make the most of the new editor to create interesting and visually appealing texts. To do this, you need to use your blocks!

Add images in Gutenberg to create a better user experience.
Images can add to your appeal and improve user experience

Quotes also stand out from the rest of your text, as they’re now indented. You can make them even more impressive by italicising them.

You can add your reference or citation here.

These are just some examples of the block types available on Gutenberg. You can also create lists, add shortcodes or html, add audio, use different headings and more. Below are some examples of the blocks available to you, including a How-To block from Yoast. (We used FooGallery here, which works with Gutenberg)

You can transform your average paragraph into something a bit more exciting. You can add a colored background, change the font color and size, and add a Drop Cap at the beginning of your paragraph.


All of this helps you make your articles, pages and posts stand out from the rest. With Gutenberg blocks you can establish a greater brand identity. You’ll also be able to boost engagement, ensuring that your good content gets the readership it deserves.

Final thoughts…

Gutenberg is still in its infancy, and is sure to grow and change over time. It is however, a great opportunity to create rich texts and experiences for our readers. It is a way to reach and engage with a larger audience, which can only be beneficial in the long run.

For a more detailed description of how Gutenberg works, check out this post.

Featured image by Esther Jiao on Unsplash

Content Marketing: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Content marketing is fast becoming one of the most effective ways to market your business. It’s a strategy that is gaining momentum, and is something every business should consider. Let’s have a look at what content marketing is all about, and how it can help your business.

What is Content Marketing?

There’s a good chance that you’ve encountered hundreds of examples of content marketing, probably without even knowing it. It is content on your website that adds value for your readers. It doesn’t promote a product or service (unlike your PR press releases) and it doesn’t sell you something (unlike advertising).

Content marketing promotes your business or product by providing value to your users. Your content may educate, inform, entertain or enlighten your audience. In other words, it gives them something of value. Because of this, they become return visitors, and they start to trust you (and your business or product). And this means they’re more likely to purchase your product or employ your services.

Content marketing also goes hand-in-hand with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines are looking to provide users with content that is useful to them. So good content, which uses keywords sparingly but effectively, can often do well in search rankings. This is especially true for content that is useful, relevant and which focuses on the audience.

Content Types

When we think of website content, we often just think of webpages or blogs. Of course, these are both great examples of content, but they’re certainly not the only way you can use content to market your product or business.

eBooks or online courses are an excellent form of content. They are something that your reader can take away from your website, in the form of a download. And this means that users will be engaging with your content on an ongoing basis.

Infographics, images and videos are also valuable. They provide an alternative way to view and understand the concept you’re discussing, while engaging readers on a different level. They also make for interesting visual content – ideal for sharing on social platforms. You might even consider using a podcast to reach a wider audience.

If you have a wide variety or interesting and stimulating content, there is a greater opportunity to reach a wider audience. More consistent content means that you keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. This allows you to build on your relationship with them. And if you can establish yourself as an authority, your audience will trust your content and your product.

Why You Should Be Using Content Marketing

You may very well be asking whether this marketing strategy is right for you. You may be wondering whether it is more effective than traditional advertising. Or perhaps you’re thinking that product-punting would be a better option.

But content marketing does work. For one thing, it doesn’t cost as much as your regular advertising avenues. You may hire a professional writer, or you may do your content creation in-house. Either way, generating good content will still be more cost effective than advertising.

Blogs that offer value, or infographics that explain a key concept are also going to last longer, compounding your ROI. Your content will stay on your website, ensuring new and return users can read and engage with it. This is helped along by SEO, with good content leading to a potentially increased visibility in search engines.

As you add to your online content, you increase the potential for traffic and backlinks, you can establish your expertise and build on relationships, and ultimately, you can increase your conversions. Simply put, more valuable content creates a potential for more traffic which means a higher chance of someone buying your product.

Content marketing benefits

Of course, the emphasis is on offering something of value to your readers. So punting a product isn’t going to work. But you can still add a call to action, or tactfully mention your business or product. The key is to practice integrity and give your customers honest, useful information.

Wrapping up…

The online marketplace is busy. And with everyone trying to sell something, it makes it difficult for your business to stand out. But content marketing is an effective way of offering something more to your customers and readers.

Take the opportunity to provide information, or educate someone. Give your users something worthwhile to read (or view). This will set you apart from the competition and your users will remember this. They’ll grow to trust your brand and value your opinion. And when it comes to crunch time, they’ll choose your product or service.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Awesome Ideas for Generating Blog Content

Blog content isn’t always easy to come by. If you’re trying to generate new content every week, or more often, finding good ideas for fresh content can be a struggle. But not if you know where to look.

Here are some ways to generate awesome ideas for your blog content.

Google It

One of the best places to start is online. There are a significant number of people online, all looking for the answers to their questions. So starting here will give you an idea of what people are looking for and how to tailor this to suit your needs. There are several ways you can get this sort of information.

Google Search

This is a simple way to start looking for ideas. Simply type in one of your focus areas and see what pops up. If you have a specific keyword or key phrase around which you’re trying to create content, you can use this.

You’ll then see what else is available on the topic, along with more specific ideas that can help give your blog a bit more focus. The focus of each blog shouldn’t be too broad, so you can use the search results to figure out how to narrow down your topic.

You can also use the Related Searches, at the bottom of the page, to generate ideas. Say for example, you sell board games. If you plug this into the search bar you’ll find game shops, types of games, reviews and so on. This is already a good place to start. But scroll down to the bottom of the screen and you’ll get even more ideas from the Related Searches.

Blog content generated from related searches

Google Trends

If you want to delve a little deeper into what is trending on Google, have a look at Google Trends. This is a free tool that you can use to see just what people are looking for online. It’s also a great tool for refining your keywords to help with your SEO.

If you search on Google Trends for board games, you’ll see that this is a fairly popular search term. Especially compared to some of the related searches. But this also means its a very broad term. If you look at a few of the related search terms, though, you can see which work, and when. Christmas is the most popular time, with ‘best board games 2017’ doing just a little bit better than family board games.

Google trends shows popularity of search terms

As you can also see, if you click on your search term, you’ll get even more suggestions. You can further explore your keywords by refining your location, time span and categories.

Google Alerts

Another good way to stay up to date is by setting up Google Alerts. With this tool, Google sends you an email with new content every day or week. You enter a key phrase or subject in which you are interested, and Google then sends an email to you with relevant articles and links.

You can use this to understand how others are approaching the topic and generate ideas for your own blog content. As with any of these, if you see a gap that hasn’t been filled, or a topic that hasn’t been addressed, write about it.

Customer Support

Your clients, customers and readers are going to have issues. Or they’ll make comments. Or they might ask you questions. Addressing these in a blog post is a great way to generate content that your users want to read.

If someone has a question about how to place an order, for example, it means that they couldn’t find the answer easily on your site. They might think the order process is flawed, and complain about it on social media. Or they simply have a suggestion for you. This is a good opportunity to provide your customers with the information they need.

This sort of communication may not always fall into your lap though. If someone has a problem, they may take to Facebook to complain about your service. So you need to keep an eye on what people are saying about you on different channels.

Social Communication

Social channels are also a great way to get to know your consumers and readership. Through these channels you can understand what your audience is looking for. And if it isn’t obvious, you can ask them. Find out what information they want, or ask them to suggest content that they’d like to see on your site.

You can also use your social channels to share new content. This way you not only drive traffic to your site but can also gauge people’s reactions to your blog content. This can help you understand what’s working, what you need more of, and what to avoid.

Wrapping up

There are plenty of ways to look for blog content ideas. If all else fails, read up on your area of interest, explore the topic and learn what you can. Write down your questions and answer them in a blog post. Or find a focus area that hasn’t been dealt with and tackle this – this will also help you stand out as an expert and authority in your field.

Listen to what people are saying and asking. Stay up to date with what’s happening in your field. Your blog posts should be topical, current and focused. If you generate these sort of ideas, your content is sure to draw traffic and increase your readership.

Photo by G. Crescoli on Unsplash

Why You Need Regular Fresh Content on Your Site

Good quality, fresh content is no longer a luxury when it comes to online communication. There is a seemingly limitless amount of information readily available online, but when you’re trying to get noticed, this isn’t a good thing.

How do you stand out amongst the masses? How do you compete with the endless stream of information on the internet? One way to do this is to continually provide innovative, useful and fresh content.

Of course, your content needs to be good quality, while providing value to your readers. And this takes time. But if you can offer regular new (or updated) content that ticks all the boxes, then you’re bound to see your efforts pay off.

Fresh regular content improves site traffic and SEO

Fresh Content = Dynamic Web Presence

In today’s online environment, you need to stay relevant. If you don’t publish new content regularly, you immediately put yourself at a disadvantage. Your competitors will be posting new content and they’ll be doing whatever they can to engage their (and your) readers.

Consistent content can build brand awareness, says Inc.com, and you can use this to successfully market yourself across all channels. You may not be able to add new posts or pages every day, or even every week. But you do need to post regularly, so your readers will know when to expect something new.

The idea is to post fresh content, either new or updated, on a regular basis. Posting more often is good, but it takes time to deliver good quality, informative material. And when it comes to content, quality should come first. Not only should posts be useful and informative, but they also need to be well-written and readable. If not, your readers aren’t likely to stick around for very long.

Audience Building

Engaging your audience is a must. New content can keep your readers coming back for more. This builds loyalty and generates interest, which not only means you can retain your audience, but you can also build on it.

Your content needs to add value though. You cannot expect to build an audience without content that offers something unique, new or valuable in some way. Of course, this will depend on your focus, and on what your audience wants. But as long as you add value, your content can help build your following.

There are plenty of innovative ways to engage with your readers. Information can come in many forms – think videos, infographics, and visuals. For lengthy texts, why not create an infographic. This way you can share the visuals on your social networks and drive traffic back to your site for a longer read.

Inc.com points out that keeping your audience engaged can help you generate revenue through existing clients. This is simpler, and generally cheaper, than finding new customers. Of course, engaging content can also lead to more shares and comments, which in turn will help to build your readership.

Authority and Credibility

Publishing new and useful content on a regular basis sets you up as an authority on the topic and helps establish you as a credible source of information. This can further help to establish you or your business as an industry leader.

Innovative thinking can take this a step further. Not only will your audience see you as aa credible source of information, they’ll also see you as progressive and forward-thinking. Use your content to challenge and engage your readers.

Content and SEO

While we can’t know exactly what search engines look for in their ranking, we do have a good idea that fresh content is a factor. Posting regular content, or making updates, means that this content gets indexed. SEO SiteCheckup makes this point, saying that frequent indexing can help with your SEO.

Search engines aim to provide users with content that is useful and relevant, so consider when you are generating this content. Good quality, highly readable information will go a long way to helping your ranking. As will providing content that is of real value to your audience. Plus there is the added bonus of using more keywords.

Fresh content also allows you the opportunity to add links to other relevant pages on your site. More than this, it creates opportunities for others to link back to you. All of this improves your chances of converting traffic into sales, of increasing newsletter sign-ups, or of just improving your bounce rate.

SEO SiteCheckup recommends keeping content standards high and updating your site once a day, or at least two to three times a week. They add that website comments also count as updates, so search engines will index your site when you get new comments. You can also update your homepage or other existing content to help your SEO.

Wrapping up

Fresh new content is every bit as essential as a good product or service. Without it, you are at a disadvantage. With it, you can build and engage with your audience. You can stay relevant. You can establish yourself as an authority and innovative market leader. Plus you can improve your search engine ranking.

But remember, your content needs to offer value. Go for quality content that is easy to read, interesting and helpful. This can help you stand out above the competition.

Feature image by Rafal Jedrzejek on Unsplash