Good content, in a nutshell, serves a purpose for the consumer. It answers a question or gives them information or clarifies something for them. It’s that simple – and it’s that complex.
When we speak of content, we’re talking about a couple of outlets. First, there’s the obvious website content. Pages and Posts for the majority of our websites, since we like to play in the WordPress space. Pages are static. They are the pillars of a website with titles like “About Us” and “Contact Us” and so the content on those pages is important, because they’re usually in menus and are indexed by search engines first. Posts are more informational, topical and time sensitive. They may be press releases or articles. Good content for posts should include an eye on being “evergreen” – meaning that the post will stand the test of time.
Another outlet is podcasts. We spend a good amount of time scripting them, and when posted, also posting a transcription to accompany the podcast. It’s crucial to think about how the listener will consume the podcast. Sometimes they simply don’t have time to listen to a podcast, but want the takeaways. We’ll always post the links mentioned in the podcast for easy reference.
Video is on the rise. With the advent of reliable high speed Internet access for most consumers, coupled with the ease of using tools such as Facebook Live, it’s all the rage. Since it’s been proven that attention spans are shorter, we’ll always coach our clients to have a rough idea of a script, and stick with it. Once the video is posted on social media sites it’s again suggested that any key takeaways, links or people mentioned are tagged for the viewers.
The one aspect of good content that we are asked about the most is that of writing for search engines. Our philosophy is that we don’t. We write for people. We write articles of good information, thoughtfully researched and designed with a purpose, as outlined above. We aim to answer questions. We aim to inform. Articles, blog posts, whitepapers, podcasts and infographics should provide the same outcome – the reader understands more than when they arrived.
We pay close attention to a couple of key items. First the headline or title. We want it to accurately reflect what’s inside the box. We’ll often have discussed keywords and keyphrases for the content, but we don’t write with the intent of stuffing them in, but rather insuring that we’re on target for the market we hope to reach. We’ll also pay close attention to the first paragraph or the excerpt, making sure we hook the reader from the beginning. We’ll often use bullet points or lists that can be easily passed on, and we’ll be sure to have a “pull quote” or takeaway clearly differentiated in the content so that it’s easy to share in social media.
Good content has some structure, but in the end, it’s all about serving a purpose.