27 Apr 2014

Internet Marketing Trends 2014 [Part 2 of 11]: Quality Content

Internet Marketing Trends 2014: Quality ContentKnowing may be half the battle, but when it comes to creating quality content for your website, the other half is no cake walk. While there is no one right way of doing pretty much anything, there are certain characteristics inherent in content that people want to read, share, and link to.

Does your content have what it takes? (Part 2 in the blog series inspired by our new free eBook, 11 Internet Marketing Trends 2014.)

1) Well-intentioned.

Nobody wants to read a sales pitch. So if and when you catch yourself writing content singing the praises of your product or service, take a step back.

Granted, it’s perfectly appropriate and necessary for product or service pages where people expect to find this kind of content. But when it comes to your blog posts or articles, focus on topics of interest to your target audience. If you’re a florist, for example, you might blog about flower origins and meanings, gardening, and home decor.

That said, it’s fine to include a call-to-action (e.g., signing up for a newsletter or sending a contact form), just keep it minimal as a tactful, helpful tagline at the end.

2) Conversational.

Nobody wants to read long-winded content. So do yourself a favor and read everything you write aloud. If you can’t say it easily, people probably won’t be able to read it easily either.

Bottom line, write it like you’d say it.

3) Informed.

Nobody wants to read empty content. So do your homework first. Certainly, there are topics on which you may already be an expert. But even then, make sure you’re exhausting your own well of knowledge. In fact, you may spend just as much time brainstorming and outlining your content as you do on the actual writing of it.

As for topics on which you need additional information, don’t stop at one or even two sources. The more you can learn from multiple authorities, the more informed (and original) your own content will be.

4) Easily scannable.

Nobody wants to read, period. At least not when it comes to website content. We want to get the information, and we want to move on. So do yourself a favor and make sure your content looks short and sweet.

Use lists, sub-headers, and short paragraphs to make your content as easy to understand as possible, at a glance.

5) To the point.

Nobody wants to read content that doesn’t deliver on your promise. An introduction is all well, good, and important, but try keeping it to one or two short paragraphs, then get to the heart of the matter. If you struggle in this department, try this exercise.

Look at a piece of content you’ve written. Identify the place where you actually start answering the question you promised in your headline. Then look at the paragraph that precedes it. Chances are this one paragraph could be your introduction, meaning you can eliminate anything that comes before it.

6) Inspiring.

Nobody wants to read content that leaves them feeling nothing. So ask yourself, what are you trying to inspire your readers to do? Improve a skill? Learn more? Try something new? If you don’t know what you’re trying to inspire in your reader, then you’re probably not inspiring much at all.

If you’d like to learn more about content marketing — including optimizing content for Google’s new enhanced search — download our free eBook today.