How to Create Engaging Content For Your Website
This article was updated on May 2nd, 2019. For newer insights on how to create engaging content, check out this newer post: Pizza Party: How to Write Tasty Website Content.
Everybody wants more traffic to their business website. That’s a no-brainer. But what those visitors do when they arrive is critical to your website’s success, and you don’t have much time to get it right. You need to create engaging content to drive those desirable visitor actions.
Reading a single blog post doesn’t equate a conversion (in most cases). Great content marketing is about aligning what your website delivers with what your target audience needs, helping them to find it at the right time, and leading them toward a profitable action: buying a product, providing their email address, downloading content, and other goals.
Unfortunately, a lot of content gets produced for the wrong reasons, and doesn’t help move the needle on conversions. That’s why we’ve put together these tips to help you improve your content marketing.
How to create engaging content
Make it easy to read
Unlike print material, web content needs to be easy to digest — and on mobile devices with different shapes of screens. This means that design and formatting play a roll in creating engaging content. We’ve actually written three articles that expand on ways to improve your content for accessibility:
Make sure to use concise and captivating headlines, avoid overwhelming blocks of text, and use styling like bullets or indented paragraphs to create a cleaner space. Don’t forget to break up your copy with images! Make each step of content creation, from ideation to publication and sharing, about giving your customers the easiest path to completion.
Use a style guide
If you want to consistently create engaging content that really seizes the audience, you need brand guidelines. From voice and tone to colour choices, a complete brand style guide will help ensure your message is on point in every webpage, article, social media post, and email.
Utilize your keywords
One key aspect of engaging your audience is attracting the right audience in the first place. This is where SEO comes into play.
A solid understanding of keyword strategy and search intent will go a long way toward capturing people more likely to find your content useful. In turn, their engagement will send signals back to search engines that your content was relevant and useful, which can boost your ranking. It’s a win/win!
- Use an SEO tool like Moz, SEMRush, or Google’s Keyword Planner to identify the best keywords for your content
- Weave your target short- and/or long-tail keywords into copy naturally, avoiding keyword stuffing and considering Google’s latent semantic indexing (meaning it looks at variations of phrasing that mean the same thing)
- Optimize your images (filename, ALT text), plus headings, URLs, and meta descriptions
- Use tools like Yoast SEO for WordPress to get instant SEO scores on your content before publication, and adjust where needed
How to focus your content for more conversions
The more niche you can be about your target audience, the easier it will be to create engaging content.
Using Forge and Smith as an example, we could just write articles about web design and development. That’s a hugely broad category! Our primary focus is on small and medium businesses in Canada with existing websites that need a redesign. Within that category, we write content that helps those same people learn how to take care of their websites.
We also know that our audience has typical B2B browsing habits: they tend to access our site during the 9-5 hours, Monday to Friday, because they’re researching web design agencies while at work. LinkedIn is where we focus the most of our effort when it comes to amplifying our content, because that’s the social network our target audience uses most — and where the’d most likely engage with our content.
Solve their problems
What unique problem does your product or service solve? How are you different from competitors? Why should people care? These are questions that should drive each piece of content you create. The goal of good content marketing is to be helpful, because helping someone to solve a problem elevates their perception of you — and that’s how your content builds toward trust and conversions.
Google also rewards content for relevance, so the more helpful your content can be, the better. Imagine someone asks you for directions to a coffee shop. If you send them to a busy shopping area that you know has a few coffee shops, that’s kind of helpful. If you give them directions to your favourite little shop, and tell them why you love that place and even your favourite menu items, that’s a whole other level.
How engaging content makes marketing easier
You don’t have to give away the ‘secret sauce’ to your business! You do need to give your audience enough information to understand on their own that you really know this subject, and that your business is a reliable resource. That way when they need your specific product, you’ll be the one that pops into their mind.
Content marketing is a slow burn, and it can take over a year to see the results. It’s rare in our industry that someone would read a single blog post, then contact us to take on an entire website redesign. But by regularly producing content around this topic, we build up our brand awareness and search rankings. We develop backlinks in agency directories and in relevant articles. Happy clients recommend us to other businesses — and when those businesses go to research us, they find a website filled with intelligent content that supports those referrals.
If your goal is to create engaging content, with the best possible user experience, conversions will happen. Trying to get contact forms filled out or newsletter sign-ups without any proof of your expertise, well… that’s a mission impossible.
At the end of the day, your content marketing should make it easy for visitors to learn what they wanted to know, and choose the next step in their engagement with your business. Read more: 4 Ways Creating Content Should Be Like Hosting a Dinner Party.