Below are some elements that we believe are important to consider when writing content for your website, blog or social marketing campaigns.
When creating content, remember that unless something is sent directly to users, they will probably need to find it. Make sure you’re using SEO guidelines to write or create findable content. Use only one H1 and multiple H2 tags on your web pages because they help search-engine rankings and break up text on a page. Use H3 tags only if absolutely necessary as they don’t get very good search results.
Customise the metadata (title, keywords, and description tag) so that it describes the content on the page according to your keyword research. Include links to other pages on the site to increase the content value that search-engine spiders assign to your pages. (Spiders are the robots that crawl through your site to find relevant content). Include alt tags on your photos and other images so they appear in image searches. Describe the picture in the image (because alt tags were first designed for the visually impaired), and use these tags to highlight your content.
After users find your content, do they consider it to be readable? When considering readability, remember that users scan until they find the content they need. The most important facts should be at the top. Keep paragraphs short, no more than three sentences in a paragraph, and no more than three paragraphs under one heading. When people want to consume information quickly, lists and bullet points are helpful.
Creating content that users understand is challenging when topics are complex. Even if you think it might sound condescending, consider explaining even the most basic concepts to your users. Apply a standard reading level to your content for each project and stick to it. This should be based on your users’ personas and market research. There is a function in Microsoft Word for testing reading levels — you may want to experiment with that scoring.
You are creating content because you want readers to take action. Include an obvious call to action. Make it easy for users to comment and ask questions. If you accept comments through your ‘Contact Us’ page, make this page easy to find and easy to use. Provide links to relevant content to provide options to other content that users have liked.
People trust peers more than brands. How can you get users to share your content with others? Provide a reason to share and ask your users to share the content by saying, “Please share this content with those you think might enjoy it” at the end of each article. Make sharing easy and always allow users to personalise the share.