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What makes content great? How do you know if the content you’ve written measures up? Good content, obviously, ranks higher and brings in more readers. But great content is so much more than that. For content to be great, it should hit home with your readers, hook them in so they don’t leave your blog or page, and make a positive impact on them. Of course, it should also rank higher on SERPs so that it reaches your readers in the first place.
Now let's explore a few of these hacks.
So whether you’re a writer, blogger, or part of the content marketing department of a firm - you’ll need these simple tactics to improve your content’s performance and ace content metrics.
Before the reader even gets to your article, they’ll see the title. According to a study by Copyblogger, around 80 percent of visitors on any webpage read only the title.
In other words, if your title (or headline) isn’t up to the mark, you’re going to lose out. Here’s how you can optimize your titles to get better content metrics.
1. Use a hook in the title: Try answering a question. Or maybe, include something that satisfies your readers' curiosity. A hook is anything that compels your readers to click on your content. Any specific number can be a hook of your title. Or it could be certain words that immediately trigger a response from your readers.
2. Get the right keywords: No matter how well written your article is about a particular topic. If your title doesn’t contain the right keyword, it won’t rank higher on the SERPs. So there’s a chance your readers will miss out on your content.
Here one example from Buzzfeed.
3. Create a sense of urgency in your readers: Call to actions are words that carry a certain level of force or “push” behind them. They psychologically persuade your readers to click on your article. By using words like “now”, “today”, “need to”, you make the readers feel like they absolutely must read your content. This helps improve your click-through rate.
Check out this example from Huffington Post.
If your readers do not know why they should read your content in the first few lines, they’ll just move on to another blog or article. It’ll reduce your engagement time and increase the bounce rate. So grab your reader's attention from the get-go. Do not dawdle. And most importantly let them know what your blog is about in the first few lines.
Pro tip: Include your primary keyword in the first 100 lines of your introduction. It helps Google’s algorithm to understand exactly what the topic of your content is without crawling down further.
Visual content such as infographics, videos, and images can optimize the viewer’s engagement with your content. It also helps increase the dwell time on the page. A study by Hubspot says that marketers found that including videos in their content increased their dwell time by 80 percent.
Just make sure the videos and images you use on your site are optimized for SEO. First of all, remember to scale the images. If you’ve got images that do not fit with the site’s bandwidth, it can increase the time taken for the web page to load. And it’s not a good idea to make your viewers wait.
Also, remember to add the alt text and title to your image. Adding a keyword in your image title is a fantastic idea, as it helps the image rank even if your content doesn’t. An alt text makes your content more accessible to visually impaired readers using a screen reader.
Kissmetrics, in 2012, went as far as to say that the captions on any image in your content are read 300 times more than the body of your content. So missing them out can affect your content performance without you even being aware of it.
Long-form articles help facilitate scanning and scrolling by viewers. It’s a well-known secret that longer articles do get higher SERP rankings as well. Google also recognizes sites with more long-form content as an authority on a subject. There is also a simple correlation between longer content and backlinks - the more content you write, the more you can link out to trusted sites.
But you’ve got to be careful with long-form articles. If not structured well, they can come off as monotonous and boring. Try using catchy subheadings to break up the content. A little humor, images, and memes wouldn’t be such a bad idea either.
Take a look at what Daily Mail does. They list out the key essence of their long-form articles right at the beginning to capture viewers’ interest and compel them to spend time on the site.
If you’re looking for a way to engage your readers and keep them on your page for a longer time, adding humour to your content is the right way to go. It keeps the article light and conversational, and encourages the viewer to scroll further down the content.
Memes are an excellent way to add humour to your content. They also make your brand more relatable, especially if you’re targeting a younger audience.
The best thing about memes and humour? These have the potential to go viral. So if your content has a lot of memes, interesting pictures or humorous graphics, it is more likely to be shared by your readers. Think of all the site traffic and social engagement that can come your way. And you don’t need much to create a meme, just a little sense of humour.
Header tags are unfortunately not given as much attention as they should be getting. Breaking up your blog into H1, H2, H3s, and H4s is the easiest way to make it more scannable and readable.
Look at how SearchEngineJournal uses keywords in their H3s (sub-headings) and appears in the Featured Snippets.
Do not forget to include the keywords in your article (that’s where all the juice is). Using a long-tail keyword in a header tag can increase its chances of being on Google’s Featured Snippet. Even H3s from listicle-style articles (if they contain a high-volume keyword) often get featured on the snippet.
For content to perform well, there aren’t just two or three factors you need to keep in mind - there are several! Think of it this way, if ranking content that aces all metrics is your special dish, then images, formatting, backlinks, etc. are the ingredients that go into creating it. Every part is essential to creating a masterpiece.
While offering our content writing services to our customers, we use these tactics and follow best practices to give the best results to the end-user. We know that these hacks work because we've seen them work for our customers.
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