How to get the most out of your content.Yes we have all heard content is king, and Google says this over and over, but how did it become king, or more to the point, what makes it king. I have written nine ways in which to show how you can get the most out of your content, and maybe even get some valuable back links for your effort.What in my view gets content crowned would be:
1.Title must be a knockout.
2. Lists, gives people a quick view at all the options.
3. Appropriate use of multimedia, videos and images can make content just that more better and if original can create something viral.
4. Good linking, a link out to a top source such as Google will allow for richer content and reliability.
5. Include authoritative sources, credibility can be increased with authoritative sources such as popular figures and institutions.
6. A good summary, for all those skim readers out there who just need to get a taste before deciding to dive in – the better your summary the more chance of users reading.
7. Current event / timing, hedging an article on a current event combined with other strategies, can make your content the go-to source
8. Blog comments/interaction/Polls/competitions, you want to make your content as interactive as possible, and if you do readers will keep coming back for more.
9. Optimize for mobiles, how many people you know own a smart phone? Everyone you say. Exactly, making your content accessible from a mobile is a must.
You can see that all the points below can be added together and mixed, so that each strategy takes a bit from the other.
1. Title Tags / Header / HeadlineThe title of your content can say a lot about your post. You want something so good that it explains the entire post in an instant and gets people interested in clicking. It can tell how your content will be recognised and the difference between a click and a scroll over.Tags are also good to relate to relevant content when people are searching – it also great to have title tags of current events that are really ‘hot” right now.
Here are two articles that may be about the same thing, which one would receive more links and traffic? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not “the way I run my business”.
As I said above with a good title, this can go hand-in-hand with a good list. 101 ways to build link popularity is a catchy title but more importantly it is a list. People will want to link to your list as it gives and almost step-by-step of how to do things. Having lists is a good way to get the most out of your content, apart from making it easier to read for those skimmers out there, it also makes it easier to determine the facts. So those newbie’s out there can have a look at each individual point being made and not be overwhelmed by a huge body of content. A list must also be numbered correctly and have clear formatting and layout – if something is easy on the eye it will increase the number of users that will actually read the content.
3. Appropriate use of multimedia (images, videos)Having the first image/video of an original event can really give you the advantage. It’s up to you to decide which multimedia approach to use in your content post. It is also extremely important to give the image or video the correct headline so that it is associated with search results.As an example for appropriate use of video multimedia:
If you were able to gain access to some great footage of the royal wedding just as it was happening, then you would most likely get a high volume of viewers to your content. An estimated 23 Billion people watched the royal wedding worldwide. Even after the main event, people are still interested in watching it for a second time. Where do they go? Straight to the internet where they start searching for a video.
If you have interesting images in your article, it becomes more visually appealing than just plain text. Below would be a prime example of how images can add flavor to otherwise dull content.
-Image provided by Health Store Uk
Images are more appealing than a whole list of statistics as well. Infographics are widely used as a form of visual information. These are packed with relevant images, histograms, info circles and many more. The example below is an infographic portraying the strike on the infamous Osama Bin Laden’s hideout.
As you can see your interest is instantly on the image rather than the content because of it being visually appealing.
A word of warning however, don’t go crazy with the idea of a visually appealing page. Too much info and it might scare away the reader, or he just might not want to read the whole article.
4. Good linking (link to reliable sources in your article)Part of having good content is to make sure that you are linking out to reliable sources, so if you are using examples, make sure you link to a reputable source. If you are talking about new laws being passed, it’s no good linking to a random blog, but rather to government and big news sites. On top of this, it helps to link to current content. When making a list about elections, list to the different party websites. Current content is always the best way to get a lot of traffic. This will build trust for your content and even grow your reputation for further articles.5. Include authoritative sources
When talking about an issue, it is always good to link to an authoritative source. Linking or quoting well known people/sources/companies/institutions will increase the reliability and the credibility of a story.
Eg. The Royal Wedding not only increased readership, but newspaper sales as well.
“The royal wedding gave UK national newspapers a much-needed circulation boost over the weekend” – The Guardian
It can show that you have taken the time to do research for your content and that it has not just come out of your head. People will appreciate the fact that all the information they need is available in your content, and if they need more, they can go directly to the source.
6. A good Summary
An executive summary or just a normal summary will help you write for those power skimmers. These people don’t have time to read through all the content. Just write a short descriptive summary of what the story is about, this will allow readers to get a quick idea and decide if it’s worth reading more. The key is to make it whet the appetite of those readers who are just too lazy. On top of this, if the reader sees something they like, they will want to read more.
7. Current event / timing
As with the example of videos and images, it is vitally important that you get your timing in line with the event. A good idea of being proficient in timing is research. This would fall into two classes, as you will have a current event (Osama Bin Laden’s death) and a predetermined event (such as the Olympic Games).With the predetermined events, you should do your research beforehand. If you want to write an interesting article about the 2012 Olympic Games in London, read up about it. Be original in your work and don’t copy content from other articles, as search engines see the duplicate content and then “ignore” your article post.Making a list should keep you on track with firm goals to follow:
- Do some intensive research (online or otherwise)
- Meet people online and chat to them about their expectations for the Olympic Games.
- Find interesting data about the stadiums being used or built.
8. Blog comments/interaction/Polls/competitions Writinga blog with the option for visitors or members to comment can be a very socially stimulating endeavor. With an excellent content enriched article, visitors will tend to have their own views and suggestions about the topic.Encouraging the visitors to post will help in growing a steady reader base as they will return to see what other people (or yourself) have to say about their idea, suggestions and comments.
A good strategy to bring people back to your site is to use some bait. We suggest you use the usual social applications (chat boxes, shouts) or polls to add regular interaction (and returns) to your site.
Great bait to use (but a bit more expensive) is the use of prizes. Who doesn’t like winning something new, no matter how small? Using this tactic will promote the article. Initially on the launch of a new site you would have to fork out the cash for your own prizes, but eventually when you become known, you will be approached by sponsors (or you can approach them).
9. Optimize for MobilesThesedays everyone has a mobile phone and it would be wise to cash in on the world wide phenomenon which is the mobile web. People use their phones to connect to their favorite sites (Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc), so what’s stopping them from using their phones to connect to your article while on the bus, train or sitting at home.Keeping your images internet friendly (under <400kb at least) will ensure that mobile users will be able to load your article page faster.
Adding easy login features will also ensure that people won’t get frustrated as they try to gain access to your page.
A new wave of interest has hit South Africa in the form of the BlackBerry. If you stay with the current trend as suggested in the above topics, you should try to envision on how to use the new trend.
An example would be to add a BB Pin to your article. This makes your page easily accessible to BB(Blackberry) users. Just think about it, your visitor is reading your article and you posted an image of a spectacular product (or whatever you wish). The reader wants to show his friend this amazing image but his friend is nowhere close to a computer. The solution? Add a bbcode which he can use on his phone and after receiving the image he can forward it to his friend. It’s a fresh approach and will have many still unexplored opportunities. This makes your article interactive and creates a feeling that you’re staying up to date with the latest technologies.
There are many kinds of ways you can utilise your site to make it mobile friendly, it might just be that extra push you need for your article to make it popular.