Our 4 secrets to effective (and compelling!) online content

November 22, 2017

Online content blog post

In the age of the internet, it’s absolutely vital to establish at least some sort of online presence for a business; even if you don’t really conduct your business online.

While it’s true that anyone can produce online content, many of you will understand by now that not all content is created equal. You’ve also likely heard us say this before, but if you want to succeed professionally, effectively communicate what makes you special and different, and connect with customers and engage readers, you need to regularly produce compelling content.

Although more easily said than done in many cases, most of us have some idea of the difference between compelling content and boring or bland (read: ineffective) writing. However, for those still establishing their online presence, or those who are juggling online as just one channel within their marketing mix, the thought of having to continually create compelling content can seem daunting.

As experienced storytellers, we’ve compiled some of our top tips for crafting top-notch online content—and trust us, it’ll pay off!

1. Begin with keywords

Place yourself in the shoes of someone searching for your business online. What search terms are they likely to use? What results will show up first? Keywords are an excellent tool for creating a clear image about who you are and what you do, as well as securing a spot in search results.  Keywords also guarantee that your website matches what a user expects to find in their searches—so make sure that the language and terms you use to get people to the page continue throughout your content also.

Keywords don’t have to be difficult to figure out. Begin with a brainstorm of all the topics, phrases, and potential search terms that relate to what your company does – but remember, the key point above is that you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Often the words that you use to talk about your offering within your organisation are not what an external person might think of. Beware of industry jargon, and if possible, sense check your list with friends, or an expert, who is not involved with your business, as they will have a more similar lens to your customers.
From there, the use of your keywords becomes relatively simple… Use them as inspiration for your written content to strengthen the identity of your business – and regularly create and add new content that will also help to boost your rankings.

2. Include strong calls to action

Also known as CTAs, a call to action is a way of encouraging website visitors to complete a specific action as a result of visiting your content. Whether it’s through a pop-up, hyperlink, or embedding a video into a blog post, CTAs encourage readers to download, trial, buy, book, subscribe, or preview your goods or services.

A good CTA should make it easy for visitors to engage with your business online. Word your CTAs in a way that makes the reader feel rewarded—you want them to have a positive experience on your website! Try to avoid bombarding readers with too many CTAs too; it’s best to be selective and consider what will best lead them to your desired outcome. It’s also possible to be creative with your overall content in order to ensure they think, feel or do what you’re hoping after reading also, so think strategically about this or talk to an expert.

3. Give your website a narrative

Imagine that you are discovering your website for the first time. How did you get there? Where will you head to next? The layout of your website and its content are all part of its story, so make sure that it makes sense and that they can flow intuitively through the journey you want them to have with you online! If users find the experience of being on your website too confusing, they won’t keep exploring for long.

Consider the way you want people to interact with your website and consider the technical aspects like the navigation in considering whether it supports this journey. Content plays a part here too – as constructing an online narrative within your website content can lead visitors where you want them to go and keep them engaged – ultimately leading to better results and more valuable traffic!

4. Keep your content fresh

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: when it comes to creating engaging content, consistency is key! Google isn’t fond of websites that haven’t been updated in a while, and neither are users. Weekly – or even fortnightly – blog posts are a great way to keep your website up to date; they bring back regular viewers who are invested in what you have to say, as well as increasing your pool of key terms that might appear in the search engine results for new viewers.

Not sure what to write about or how to write it? Start with your keywords and see which ideas are worth delving into a little deeper. If people are searching for these terms, they’re obviously interested in finding out more! A minimum of 500 words per post is required if you want to rank in search engines, and there’s no upper limit as to how many words you can include. Just make sure that your content is easy to read and navigate. Subheadings, bolding key words or phrases, and bullet pointing important lists make your content visually easier to navigate, allowing readers to scroll through a post until they spot what they’re looking for.

Though content writing may seem like a time-consuming task that’s difficult to master, it’s well worth the effort! If you don’t feel like you have the time or the specialist skill-set, we’d love to help you create the compelling online content that your business needs. Feel free to contact us for a chat.