Every marketer agrees that nothing can substitute for the role good content plays in brand building and SEO. But the golden question remains as to what is the formula for writing ‘compelling content’. If I were to answer in a sentence then the content that compels the readers to engage and act upon is the right one. The success of a piece of content greatly depends on the market, audience and the goals set before it to achieve. Here I would like to share my views on how to write compelling content this year that will be appreciated by the readers as well as the search engines.
Content that tells a story:
A content writer is fundamentally a story teller and this fact holds good across all domains. Readers always appreciate a good story and the ones that grip them will leave an impression on them. As a brand or as a content marketing professional you should weave a compelling story that includes your values, aspirations and culture. Narrate the history of your brand and the success stories that are now a milestone for you. A good content writer not only writes to market his thoughts but also harnesses the stories that his audience is sharing. As search engines look for authentic stories, such a narrative will score high.
Content beyond words:
A well narrated story is the one that pays attention to the details. With all the data available for you to analyse and draw conclusions upon, you can equip your content with varied features. Visual content like images, slides and videos can elevate your narrative to a whole new level. Details of surveys, polls and statistics will create a firm base for what you are saying and thus earn the trust of your audience. When a written content is backed with such substantial details, it successfully continues to command the attention of the readers leading them to get into action.
Machine learning for your rescue:
As we know, Google is using its artificial intelligence system, RankBrain that aims to provide ‘better search results’ to users by continuously learning from the search activities. Now as a marketer you would most certainly like to get into the ‘brain’ of RankBrain and create heavyweight SEO-friendly content. With the help of Google search and Google Adwords Keyword Planner and several other free and quality tools you can zoom in on those high performing key phrases related to your agenda and then work on incorporating them into your content.
Content with four S’s :
In the words of a senior SEO director, “shareability is the #1 KPI for content”, meaning when a reader skims through your content, he should be motivated to share it. Put your analytics tools to good use and study each segment of your audience. Then structure your narrative to cater to particular segments that feel addressed by your content. The bounce rate from a lengthy, unstructured and keyword stuffed content is enormous and the solution for this is to make your content ‘snackable’. This would essentially be a good length content with quality information, gripping language and well organised content with labels that is worthy of being shared.
An expert very rightly advises, ‘Don’t write for keywords but write to answer the search”. From a user’s perspective when they search a particular query, they would read, spend time upon and share that content which answers their search most elaborately. Bring in all the knowledge you accumulate from machine learning analysis to create ‘searchable content’.
Don’t forget the basics:
Many content marketing professionals in their eagerness to writing compelling content often ignore the basics. Writing snippets for example of less than 300 words is not always advised. Always go for a good length blog of 700-800 words that gives you ample room to space your keywords. One has to be diligent in link building and sharing the right content on the right platform to get maximum visibility. It is necessary to make people notice your brand in the content but don’t make it too obvious.
Storytelling as an art takes time to be mastered but once you learn it, the results will be phenomenal. With search engines getting smarter day by day and even smarter audience, you cannot anticipate SEO success with mediocre content. To sum up the significance of a well written content, its worthy to quote a content market expert who says, “Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Facts tell, but stories sell”.