With a lot of emphasis on SEO, it is easy to forget that you need to write content to engage real people, not just to rise in search rankings. Here are five tips to make sure you are able to write engaging content for your audience:
1. Think about your audience
It sounds obvious, but so many writers create content for their website before thinking about their audience. Before writing your content, ask yourself these questions: Who is my primary audience? Why are they coming to my website,? How are they arriving at my website?
Your content needs to address the questions that your audience have, so first, think about the kinds of questions audiences would ask about a particular topic – the kind of information they need. Then set out to answer those questions with your content.
2. Insert visuals into your content
A picture, infographic or video will always make your content more engaging. The brain can process and retain visual information much faster than text. An easy to read chart will do a good job in explaining a complex topic than text will, while images help break up text, making your webpage easier to read. It is best to have at least one image on each article.
3. Follow the “inverted pyramid” model
Attention spans are getting shorter and people have more demands on their time. People arriving at your site will decide quickly whether your site has the information they need or not. Therefore, it is essential to structure your content like an upside-down pyramid. The most important facts come first at the top of the page, followed by more specific and supporting information. Then at the bottom of the page, less important or tangential details.
4. Include links
Links in text help readers find more information that could be more relevant than the initial articles. Always hyperlink words or phrases that relate to other content on your website, so readers can find other content you have. Often, people will arrive at your site on a related article, and the one they are most interested in may be linked from your current article.
5. Write short, simple sentences
Always read over your sentences to see if you can cut down the number of words to say the same thing. As mentioned in point 3 above, people have less time, so long rambling sentences not only make things difficult to read, but people are more likely to turn off.
By making the content of your website engaging, and written for a specific audience, you will attract and retain more readers.