There's a fine balance you'll have to find, when you're trying to create content that readers will love, and that will appease the search engines. While it may be tempting to stuff as many keywords as possible into your content to up your rankings in search engine results, if your content isn't of any value to the reader, you'll find that whatever clicks you receive won't be worth much. Here are six vital steps to take when creating well-balanced online content.
- Don't save the best for last—Get them interested right away with your best, most interesting information. A stellar headline is the first thing you'll need to make readers click-through; then, you'll need to get started right away with the information that'll make them want to keep reading. The average person's attention span is shockingly low - according to research done by Microsoft Corp, our attention spans have fallen to eight seconds, which is just one second shy of a goldfish – so if you don't engage them immediately, and keep them wanting more, you'll lose them very quickly.
- Be an original—This doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to create a new concept or argument that's never before been thought of. All it means is that you'll want to be putting out content that hasn't simply been copied directly from somewhere else. Duplicated content doesn't help your search rankings, and your readers have likely already come across it somewhere else.
- Don't hide behind your keyboard—There's always a different connection to something we're reading when we're able to know a little bit about the person behind the words. Readers can feel a higher level of comfort and trust in what a person has written when they're able to put a face to those words, and see the real person behind the keyboard.
- Stay current—Give your readers a reason to keep coming back with fresh new content that's updated regularly. The search engines also love seeing new content, because they know that it's what's preferred by readers. No one's looking for outdated information on any subject, and the most current content is always the most sought after. And, when readers see that you are regularly updating and adding new content, they'll see you as a reliable resource and will be more likely to turn straight to you the next time they need information.
- Keep it simple—The straight fact is that people love simple, easy to read lists. All of the information they're looking for is right there in just a few concise words, and they don't have to read through all sorts of text to get what they want. Whether you're dividing up your content into labeled subsections or you're including lists throughout your content, it makes it easier for readers to skim through and get to the parts they're most interested in. Without breaking up your content into smaller, easily defined sections, you risk losing readers, because the content looks too long and daunting, and finding what they want is that much more difficult. This is especially important in the mobile world.
- Use just the right length—One factor that many forget about, when it comes to creating great online content is length. Content that's too short could be lacking in detail that readers are looking for, weakening any argument being made within the content and possibly your credibility. On the other hand, content that's far too long will likely lose the interest of most readers. It's been shown that the highest Google ranked websites were those that kept content between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length. That seems to be the magic number to get in all the information you want, without overwhelming readers.
Get it Done Easily with Handy Online Resources
Working smarter is always better than working harder, and with the help of some online tools and resources, it's never been easier to get excellent content that will be of value to your readers and boost your rankings within search engines.
Keyword Density Checkers
Keep your keyword optimization in check with the help of instant checkers, which identify over- or under-use of your keywords, so you can make the necessary corrections to put your keyword density within the ideal 2-3% range: Small SEO Tools, SEO Book Tool, Webconfs.
Word Count Tools
Simple and easy to use, word count tools provide an instantaneous readout of the number of character and words contained in your content: Easy Wordcount, Wordcount.
On-page Optimization Tools
Get the information about the effectiveness of your chosen keywords and see your content as a search engine spider sees it, so you're able to optimize the content and develop the best possible webpages with the help of this free online resource: Internet Marketing Ninjas, Wordstream Keyword Tool, Seorch.
Properly referencing sources can sometimes be confusing for both, but you'll want to make sure you're doing it correctly for your content strategy so that all of the relevant and necessary information is there. Whether you're using MLA, APA or Chicago style, citation tools will tell you what your citation should look like: Cite it in, BibMe, Docear.
Writing and Editing Tools
Ensure you're not falling into plagiarism, whether intentional or not, turn your good writing into great writing by improving your readability and eliminating errors throughout your content. You definitely want to make sure your content is free from embarrassing grammatical errors that could compromise the integrity of your writing and yourself as a writer. The following websites check your grammar, analyze your content and provide you with editing advice for accurate content writing: Australian help, Prowritingaid, Slick Write.