Industry Secrets For Businesses On How To Create Engaging Content For Your Audience, Attract More Readers And Make Them Return For More
Creating engaging content can be challenging for small businesses unless they have a content strategy prepared carefully keeping in mind the audience, competitors, search engines, and SEO.
Here are a few tips for small businesses to create such engaging content:
Table Of Contents
Engaging content is the need of the hour. If a site is unable to engage its audience, then its bounce rate will face a hike and the session rate, an abrupt fall. And both of these can lower your SERP rankings.
The key should be to craft content that is authentic, useful, but at the same time, engaging. When visual is the key to creating engagement, it makes sense to look beyond the text and invest in those content formats that have more appeal to your audience.
1. Engage the audience with different content types
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One of the most effective ways of creating engaging content is to diversify your content mediums. Avoid sticking to one medium when communicating with your potential customers. Different content formats have different engagement values, so diversity in your content strategy can help in reaching out to a broader audience.
If you’re writing text-based blogs/articles, you must re-purpose it into images, charts, infographics, quotes, videos, etc. Recycling textual content into visual helps minimize the efforts and even expenditure. Plus, that can create more ranking opportunities while driving more traffic to your website.
2. Include a compelling Call To Action (CTA)
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A Call To Action (CTA) tells readers what actions to perform next. Using increase your chances of generating more leads, engagement by driving traffic, conversions, etc. When writing CTA text, ensure that your reader is compelled to take the intended action.
A CTA also ensures that the ROI of your content can be tracked through clicks and finally, purchases. CTAs are essential for the success of your content marketing efforts because they provide clear and concise direction on what the reader should do next. Whether that is to purchase a product, register themselves for an event, or call to schedule an appointment.
Without a CTA, your reader might be clueless about the next step, and therefore, the engagement may suffer. But a clear call to action gets them to that conclusion faster. Also, remember not to mislead the user with CTA text and the outcome it performs. For instance, if your CTA says 'Subscribe Now!', it should direct the user to the subscription page.
3. Use your content to tell a story
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People don’t remember facts as much as they remember stories. Provide people with facts, statistics, and other data points through relatable stories so that they remember them easily.
Storytelling has several advantages. Firstly, it builds memories. As humans, we are primed to remember stories; stories which are prepared with an intriguing take are more memorable.
Secondly, stories are good motivators. Stories are a natural fit for content marketing because the purpose of content is to make the user take a specific action, and compelling stories can take them to that point.
All good stories have a moral. Make the objective of your story point to your desired outcome, and you will send out a more natural or original message than you would with a forced pitch or cold content. Recounting your own experiences, inventing fictitious stories and paraphrasing others’ experiences are a few good ways of telling a story.
This is also the reason why case studies sell. They tell stories to people along with facts. They intrigue the audience and provide them with raw market knowledge. Moreover, they help in formulating better strategies for your business in the future.
Apart from that, when you have a case study people link it to their blogs and articles to support their claims. Therefore, by creating case studies, you are creating content that generates links automatically.
4. Optimise your content with keywords
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One of the most crucial elements to generating higher engagement for your content is through keywords. But you can't just simply add the keywords in your content and expect it to rank and boost engagement. Google algorithms have come a long way and easily differentiate content containing keyword stuffing and good quality content representing the keywords meaningfully.
If you want this to work, you need to optimize the content carefully and map keywords in all the necessary places across the content and the HTML.
Along with, you should only map intended keywords, if your content is relevant to the keywords used and adds value to the knowledge and experience for the reader.
You need to conduct keyword research for the right keywords and create a comprehensive list of keywords that you can include in a specific piece of content. Once the keyword research is done, you should place the keywords organically in the Heading tags, meta description, title, slug, alt tag, and the content body. These are the major on-page SEO elements that you need to optimize to rank higher in the SERPs.
When you rank higher for a specific keyword in the SERPs, then your engagement rate will improve over time. And when it does, your rankings will also experience a sudden increase to the top.
5. Add credibility to your content with authentic sources
News, qualitative or quantitative research, scientific evidence, and factual sources add credibility to your content while intriguing the readers. Also, when facts and research support your content, you allow readers to make constructive decisions about a strategy and choose the one which produces maximum profit.
Therefore, whenever you claim your content, ensure that it is supported by a link that testifies it. Remember only to include credible sources. You can check for the domain authority, traffic, and backlink quality of a website before using it to support your claim. You can source back your claims to sites like Wikipedia, Forbes, Inc., etc.
6. Spend Time getting Titles right
Every content creator has a dream of ranking on spot 1 for a piece of content. What is the best advice to achieve this? The best advice comes from Google itself
QUOTE: "The goal of the snippet and title is to best represent and describe each result and explain how it relates to the user's query."
Here are a few more recommendation from Google:
"We use a number of different sources for this information, including descriptive information in the Title and Meta tags for each page. We may also use publicly available information, or create rich results based on markup on the page."
“Choose a title that reads naturally and effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content.”
"Make sure every page on your site has a title specified in the title tag."
"Page titles should be descriptive and concise. Avoid vague descriptors like "Home" for your home page"
“Avoid using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users.”
"Avoid keyword stuffing. It's sometimes helpful to have a few descriptive terms in the title, but there’s no reason to have the same words or phrases appear multiple times."
Create good titles | Google
7. Break your content with headings and subheadings
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As we know, we have six HTML heading elements. Not one and not twenty.
These are six because they can be used to perfectly organize the content between one and six levels. All heading elements should be used according to the level they were intended for.
The numero uno rule to having content that is easy to understand and engaging is to create content that is brief and expresses your thoughts clearly. Your content must have a hierarchy so that the reader finds it easier to read through.
Since online readers prefer conveniently “scannable” content, headings, subheadings, lists, and bullet points must be included to ensure that they stay on the page.
While it's vital to keep the ranking algorithms in mind (search engines prefer both quantity and quality), websites must remember to pay attention to their audience’s preferences as well. So when you write posts, focus on making it presentable and easily readable.
Read our detailed guide on HTML Heading Elements Best Practices
8. Make your content is shareable
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Always add social media widgets to your content. You don't want to miss out on the opportunity of your readers sharing your content. You need to make sharing as easy as possible.
You should include social media widgets and icons across your content while not hampering the user experience. Therefore, when the users come across an impressive piece of content, they can share it with their Facebook friends or Twitter followers with a tap of a finger. Thus, fostering engagement.
9. Ensure that a feedback mechanism is in place
Also, ensure that your content has a comments section where potential viewers could express their views. When you know what your audience is thinking about your content, you will be able to create more engaging pieces and get more content ideas. Additionally, you must ensure that you interact and engage with them to resolve their queries and look for content ideas.
Bonus Tip 1: Run Competitor Analysis On Keywords
When you are optimizing your content with keywords, you should conduct a competitor analysis and check the keywords that your competitors are targeting. When you have a database of your competitor’s top ranking keywords, you can optimize your content with those keywords as well and outrank them in the SERPs.
Apart from that, you need to conduct a comprehensive audit of your website. You can use free tools like Website Analyzer and find issues like duplicate content, spelling mistakes, improper on-page optimization, etc. Also, you can explore more ranking opportunities for your website.
Bonus Tip 2: Use Content To Gain Trust
Publishing compelling content that adds value and serves your audience is a very powerful way for an individual or a business to build public recognition. Public trust in brands is at worrying low levels these days.
How can we do fix this problem?
A good content strategy can do the job for you, in fact, there lies an opportunity for those who can think outside the box.
A few ways you can utilize content to achieve this goal:
- Help your audience through small steps by educating them and helping them with facts so they can make informed and better decisions.
- Take your customers on a product lifecycle journey, from the beginning to the end. Help them understand the difference between needs and wants. Do not focus on sell and sell only. Only relay your intended message, passively. An never forget that a "customer is for life".
- Make your audience, your lifetime customer by being on their side.
Engaging content is not just about providing your audience with valuable information, but also, it is about the way that information is presented.
For engagement, it is of utmost importance to look beyond one content type and include variety to appeal to a broader audience. Additionally, engagement is a result of your content optimization efforts. Depending upon the channel where you put your content, you need to optimize it. It is also crucial to remember that in pursuit of engagement, facts are not compromised.
About the Author:
Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch - a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape. Sahil likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.