Let’s take a look at ten content writing best practices that are simple and straightforward, but very important. Content writing is a powerful and effective marketing tool for all businesses and industries. It’s a way to build your brand, share your expertise, build trust and increase your SEO. But like anything you want representing your business, you have to produce strategic, quality content to attract readers and convert leads to sales.
Does your current content marketing strategy follow these best practices?
- Start with a magnetic headline
Your headline is the first thing both readers and search engines will see. It’s important to begin your content with a title that will grab people’s attention without giving away the full story. There’s rhyme and reason to creating a “magnetic headline” and you’ll want to be sure to utilize at least one of these strategies when writing your own content.
- Identify your key word or phrase from the start
Next, it’s important to identify your key word or phrase that will shape your content and include this in your writing as early as your headline and consistently throughout the rest of your content. Focus on just one word or phrase that provides powerful SEO while also accurately describing your writing.
- Write for your audience, not a search engine
Yes, SEO is a mega buzzword that isn’t going away anytime soon, but don’t forget about what you’re really trying to achieve with your writing. You want to attract real, interested people to your website to read your content and follow your call to action. Write for your target audience, not just some keyword-laden jargon for a search engine.
- Offer something more than obvious information
When providing a how-to article, don’t just reiterate what every other article out there is saying. Do your research and look for ways you can add new and valuable information that goes beyond the obvious.
- Write enough
Aim to write at least 500 words, though longer posts of 1000 or more words are widely considered SEO food. Really, this is not hard to do if you’re writing on a topic in your area of expertise. Offer enough worthwhile information to keep both readers and search engines interested in what you’re saying.
- Organize your content into skimmable sections
Use bullets, lists or bolded headlines to break your content into easily digested sections. This will allow readers (and search engines) to easily find your most important points without having to sift through long paragraphs of content.
- Link out
Linking out to other relevant articles and websites within your content is a smart way to increase your own traffic, provide trackable activity and improve SEO. Be strategic when linking out and use reliable, non-competing sources.
- And link within
Give your existing content a boost by linking to previously published articles within your new article. Readers will enjoy exploring your related posts and this will also give your SEO a boost for both old and new content.
- Make it easy to share on social
Does your website make it easy for readers to share your content on the most popular social media platforms? If not, it should! You want to make it as simple as one click to allow people to post your article or blog on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin at the very least. Most website templates offer this feature; be sure to utilize it.
- End with an engaging question
Finally, always end your article or blog with a question that aims to engage the reader and spur up comments. You want people to feel welcome to share their thoughts or ask you additional questions. These conversations make you accessible, relatable and can help convert leads into sales!
Review these ten content writing best practices with your team to keep your company’s marketing moving forward or save time and hire a content team to complete your content projects.