Judgments about your website and content are formed in seconds or even nanoseconds. According to Google, you have three seconds or less to make a positive impression or your site visitor (especially a first-time visitor) will leave. One study says it’s as little as .5 seconds. Not very long, huh?
With that kind of fleeting time and the hit-or-miss nature of attracting and converting site visitors, you really have to create content that’s a grand slam hit that boosts traffic or your site will never make it in the Big Leagues. You must carefully select every word and constantly review how your content is performing and change what isn’t working.
To make that easier for you, here are the 11 insider secrets to creating high performing content.
- Have concrete objectives
This may seem obvious, but so many businesses fail to demonstrate what they want to achieve through their content. You need a sound content strategy that adheres to your business.
According to entrepreneur.com, “A mission statement…captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business’s goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers and the community…Your mission statement should reflect your business’s special niche.” To work and be relevant to your prospects, your content must stay true to your mission and your strategy.
- Target the right prospects
You have to know for whom you are writing before you can attempt to influence, persuade, or entertain them. Plus, you must engage them by telling them how your product or service meets their specific needs.
- Attract strangers with smart heads, subs and titles
When crafting page headlines, subheads and blog titles, think about what people are looking for. Plus, relate those to visitors with the use of “you” and “your.” The Next Web found that the heads and titles with broader appeal work better than narrowly focused or topical ones. They also found that mid length (6 to 13 words) usually performs better than ones that are shorter or longer.
- Go for the quick-skim
You want your content to be easy to skim, making it enticing to read. Content that works best has images, bolded headlines and subheads, bullet points, answers to the reader’s question, and has links to other information. These are all important qualities, because they deliver easy readability without compromising value.
- Be relatable and genuine
Whenever I am writing a blog (or website copy) I am not afraid to give readers glimpses into my personal life. Whether I am discussing a recent experience at a favorite restaurant or talking about my unique relationship with my family, it helps define my writing voice, makes my writing more relatable, and demonstrates my experiences as a real live consumer. Of course, I keep in mind about how revealing something too personal can affect my personal and professional brands (and those of my clients).
Above all, I want to remind you to be genuine. Consumers can spot a phony from a mile away, and appearing fake can hinder trust now and in the future.
- Give the gift of information
Educating consumers and offering them thought leadership provides tremendous value. You shouldn’t be afraid to take an authoritative stance in areas where you possess expertise. If you are truly knowledgeable about a particular field, and can prove it, then share your insights with others.
- Use straightforward analogies and examples
Compare and contrast a complicated subject or concept to something well-known. How is it similar or different? This helps the reader better understand what’s in it for them.
- Feature a clear call-to-action
You need a clear call-to-action that stands out, without any guesswork. You are creating content, not your own version of “Where’s Waldo?” It must be direct and succinct with actionable words. Check out our post on crafting the perfect call-to-action.
- Steer clear of “marketing speak”
Website content needs to offer quality content that people want to read. It has to catch their eye and make them want to come back, without being full of a boatload of marketing-ese (that overly salesy, B.S. fluff).
- Proofread, proofread and proofread again
Typos, spelling mistakes and poor grammar create a bad impression. Poorly written content is sloppy and makes you look like you’re not truly committed to your business or customers. Or worse, it makes you look careless. Be sure to proof and re-proof your content, and have someone else proof it, as well.
- Always track your performance
Regardless of how much effort you put into content development, if your content isn’t being read or isn’t leading to other desired actions (like user engagement), then it has no value. Like most online processes, there are ample opportunities to benchmark the performance of your website content efforts, measure your progress over time, and use the resulting data to drive continual improvements.
Use the data to inspire greater creativity. Let the insight from the metrics inspire you rather than drive the creativity. If you are not sure what to do next, remember to measure, test and repeat.
There is no question that emphasizing quality over quantity will yield higher performance over time. Furthermore, it is not a huge burden to implement these 11 steps to ensure that you are able to continually improve your content’s performance.
On the other hand, you’re busy running your business and serving your customers. How can you also be expected to create high-performing content day-in-and-day-out? Simply ask the content pros at Solamar for help.