“Content Marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” – Seth Godin.
Content marketing and indeed marketing in 2017 is about connecting with your audience. It’s about quality rather than quantity. Entire businesses have been developed around simple blogs, with quality content being the driving force that builds the highly engaged audience. It is not enough to just produce pieces of writing – anyone can do that and many are.
You need to offer readers something unusual and something that will garner their attention enough for them to take time out to engage with your content and subsequently share it with their networks too. The internet is a noisy place, with information available everywhere. It’s about standing out from the crowd and creating a unique point of difference from your competitors.
7 Simple Content Improvement Tips for a Better User Experience:
1- Add Extra Content Elements
People learn and understand in different ways, so look for ways to enhance your content with extra elements, to enrich user experience and content consumption. For instance, a video could feature alongside your written content, to emphasise your key points, or perhaps you could include an infographic. Visual representation and eye catching high quality diagrams are a great way to explain trends and statistics in an easily digestible
2- Create an Engaging Title
Your title is the first thing a reader will see and we all know how important first impressions are! A strong title will let a reader know what to accurately expect without being too dry or inappropriately sensational. You might be tempted to be vague or hyperbolic but this strategy will frustrate people who feel they have been tricked into reading. It’s possible to be fun, provocative and intriguing, whilst still accurately reflecting the content.
3- Ensure the Article is Readable and Aesthetically Considered
Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly (responsive). In 2017, websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are severely disadvantaged. With more people than ever using their mobile devices to consume content, it’s now an expectation that sites display appropriately.
Even on a fully responsive website, large blocks of solid text look unappealing and overwhelming on a page, often depleting a reader’s interest before they even get started. Try to break up the content using subheadings, imagery, bullet points, or short paragraphs. Also, most readers respond to simple and shorter sentence structure, so avoid using advanced language unless you want to appeal to a specific demographic that’ll respond to it.
4- Include Visual Elements
The most obvious visual elements to include are images. You could use your own photographs or browse a stock library to find something appropriate. Low-quality images could do more harm than good, so only use professional photographs that enhance the page. Visuals are incredibly important – from sourcing appropriate copyright-free images to how they can be used to improve the content’s brand.
5- Increase Your Website Speed
Slow website loading speed is one of the biggest frustrations for visitors, often resulting in a high bounce rate. Audiences have become accustomed to to pages loading quickly, so an even slight delay becomes very noticeable. Services like GTmetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights will test site speed and flag any problems, but commonly the issues relate to your server, coding, or large image files.
6- Improve Social Sharing
Social sharing benefits you by increasing the reach of your content effortlessly. It’s a powerful form of endorsement and referral marketing… and best of all- it’s absolutely free! Making the process of sharing content easy improves the user experience and builds an atmosphere of community and interactivity throughout your site. Some simple methods include the use of various plug-ins or website extension tools that add prominent or floating social buttons to all content, allowing sentences or quotes to be tweeted, and adding a comment section.
7- Link to Relevant Sites
Along with social sharing, recommending other blogs and articles is how people find quality content. While some site owners are reluctant to link out to other articles, recommending other sites or citing sources shows you enter into the spirit of sharing, curation and genuine appreciation of high quality content. Readers appreciate your willingness to cite sources and many other site will return the favour, linking back to you in their own content.
Each of these methods can be quickly applied to new or existing content, improving the experience for readers. All niches face some type of competition, so it’s no longer enough to simply post content without consideration.
Creating content is time consuming and small business owners or entrepreneurs often find it impossible to find blocks of uninterrupted time to get the content creations wheel turning. It is often better to create one high quality piece of content a week than 3 shorter, rushed and lower quality pieces that provide a poor user experience.
Readers have an abundance of information available to them on the internet – so it’s important to provide high quality and engaging content that stands out from the crowd, encouraging shareability and fosters reader loyalty (and subsequently brand awareness and sales).