How to Write Quality Web Content – 12 Tips to improve your Blog posts
We all want to find new ways to write better content and engage our readers – and we have all heard the age old saying ‘Content is King’. This is certainly true and coupled with a good blog design you should be able to attract, retain and grow your online audience. If you let one of these 2 areas slip, then your site will be lost amongst the millions of others out there.
You should always strive to write quality content for 2 main reasons:
1. You will gain new visitors and traffic
2. Following our blog quality tips will make your job as a blogger easier and reduce any writer’s block problems.
12 Tips to write Quality Blog Posts and Web Content
1. Create a catchy Title/Headline users will want to read
The Title is the first things your readers will see, whether it’s on your website, through an email subscription or RSS feed you need to capture their attention with the title.
You want to write a thought provoking headline that explains your subject but shows the readers there is plenty more information on offer. This can be done with certain trigger words such in the title, such as:
X.. number of tips
How to X…
Did you know …X
2. Introduction/ Opening Paragraph
Assuming your visitors are interested in your blog and the subject matter you discuss they are likely to read the title and opening paragraph. Therefore create an introduction with an interesting fact or statistics that leaves your readers impressed and wanting more information.
3. Write Questions about the subject you are discussing
When writing a blog post this is an open dialogue between yourself and your readers. When explaining your particular subject matter, ask yourself questions that you think your readers may ask – and answer them!
For example: What are the best Social Media Marketing tips for small businesses?
Small businesses at the very least should have an interactive Facebook fanpage with deals, specials and advice for its customers. It is also a good idea to spread this information onto Twitter and possibly LinkedIn to capture additional users.
A Google Places listing is also highly important for any physical businesses and providing free organic traffic to that company.
You users will be asking questions in their head when reading your article. Try and predict what they may be thinking and answer those questions right there and then – Write both the question then answer in your blog post! This will be a little different from the normal and generally people like this type of writing style.
Doing this will also encourage more comments to your blog post and possibly more questions too, which is good as this encourages further dialogue with your audience.
3. Incorporate user-friendly content/ page layout
Make your content easy for your users to read. Use headings, bold and underline your main keywords and phrases.
Whilst your website may incorporate advertising, don’t let this become intrusive to the article and hinder the reading experience.
Having big ads in the middle of your article between text is sure to annoy your readers.
Don’t start off an article with a photo or a video (unless you are a Photoblog) as you need to provide some context if you are using any sorts of visual media.
4. Keep your readers in mind
Always keep in mind the primary readers of your blog. In my case I have a blog on social media. If I decide to write an article about blogging or web design – then I should explain how using social media can assist your efforts in blogging and web design.
If you go off on a total tangent you are not keeping true to your niche and may confuse your readers. It’s fine to write posts that are not exactly part of your subject matter, but try to reference back to your main topic.
5. Article Tone
It obvious writing a blog post is much different to writing an email, a letter to your boss, a SMS to your friend, or a love letter to your partner.
You need to understand the correct tone for your niche. In my case for Social Media – I aim to be informative, but casual with a spark of fun and entertainment.
Every niche would be different – have a read of other blogs in your space and get a feel for the general tone they set. Does the writing style invite comments and interaction by the users? Do you get an overall feeling of being satisfied by the content provided?
6. Search Engine Optimisation
If you are writing great content make sure the search engines can find your work. With WordPress I find the best and most user-friendly SEO plugin to be the All-in-One SEO Pack (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/). This allows you to set the Title element, short description and keywords on a per article/page basis, and also for the homepage of your site. Take your time to fill this section out on every page as this is a highly important aspect of your traffic generation.
To aid the search engines crawling your website you should also have a HTML sitemap (I like this one – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-sitemap/). This will make a page on your website (or a couple of pages) that links to every other page on your site. Have a link on your homepage to your HTML sitemap so the search engines have no trouble finding it – don’t bury your HTML sitemap pages deep!
In addition to this you also need an XML sitemap (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/) that you specifically submit to the search engines. Make sure you have signed up and verified your sites with both Google (http://www.google.com/webmasters/), and Bing (http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster/) for maximum traffic potential. Yahoo results are now powered by Bing so in my opinion this is important and you don’t want to miss out on any possible traffic.
There is no point taking any shortcuts when it comes to your SEO. When setting up your blog spend the time to fully configure all these plugins and signing up to the search engine webmaster sections. In the long term this will really benefit your blog.
Also change the default WordPress permalinks to something search engine friendly, eg %postname%. Try to keep your URLs short-ish.