7 Key Elements to Creating Great Content for Small Business Owners
Believe it or not, writing good content is a matter of choice. You can either choose to devote sincere effort and time into creating appealing content that builds your brand. Or choose to take this initiative lightly and post poor content that will ultimately do no good and result in sheer wastage of your time and resources.
Content marketing as an initiative for small business owners comes with a rather transparent three pronged goal.
To improve traffic, increase search rankings or leads, and drive customer conversions.
For the same, there are no two ways but working towards developing high quality content for your website and/or blog.
One sure shot way is to writing original content that draws attention from search engines and gets to help bring attention and exposure to your pages. For example, it is quite clear with recent Google updates of Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin that websites with plagiarized or duplicate content will be penalized.
In simpler words, Google intends to reward ONLY websites that contains original and high quality content.
In addition to creating an appealing website, original content also helps in enhancing your rankings on SERPs; resulting in a positive impact for your business.
How to Create Great Content
- Create Content that is Original
As specified earlier, great content serves a twin purpose. It attracts an audience, engages with them, demonstrates your capability to solve their needs and problems, and builds a road to an eventual purchase.
On the other hand plagiarized content or content farming not only gets punished by search engine platforms, but you will essentially be jeopardizing your reputation and your bottom line with it.
Do you remember a time when article submission websites such as Ezine/Mahalo would essentially be on the top of most Google Search Rankings? That is no longer the case today. The newer Google algorithm updates have hit such websites the most because of changes that aim or prevent bad content from achieving higher rankings.
What does one mean by 'Original'?
From a broader perspective, original quintessentially also means originality. This means that in addition to creating content that is not plagiarized, the idea or concept behind the content also needs to be out-of-the-box.
According to Plagiarism.org - All of the following are considered to be plagiarized content:
“· turning in someone else's work as your own
· copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
· failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
· giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
· changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source
· copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not “
If even a small part of a work is found to have been plagiarized, it is still considered a copyright violation. Changing only the words of an original source is NOT sufficient to prevent plagiarism.
Therefore, rewriting about the same concepts over and over again is not going to help you. If your content is overdone, few people will want to link to it. This eventually defeats the purpose of content development in the first place.
2. Craft Crisp and Compelling Headlines (and subtitles)
There is nothing like a good headline that sparks interest and draws readers towards your content. Various studies have suggested that while 80% of the readers will read all your headlines, only 20% will go ahead and read the rest of your content.
is more compelling than say,
“Ways by Which Business Leaders Solve Problems”
is more effective than “David Ogilvy’s Most Inspiring Thoughts”
This means the headlines (following with subtitles) you use in your article or post are as important if not more important that the body content itself.
3. Provide a “Call-to-Action”
The last time you wrote a blog post, how did you make sure that your readers took some sort of action?
The best type of content involves strategically delivering words that drive people to do the next thing. It also gives users an actionable insight of how to apply the information they have just read. For you it could be to lead your readers to explore your site more, or sign up on your newsletter or even make a purchase.
Ultimately the aim of every great copy or content is to persuade, isn’t it.
So, when you write you next post, try giving users tips on what to do next.
4. Be in the Position to Present Relevant Answers
The bottom line is that search engines are created for people who need or require answers. Type a query into the search box and you will have a range of pages, images and videos at your dispense. The search engine essentially sifts through information that is developed by experts, business owners, bloggers and individuals to provide the most relevant answers to their users.
This means that your blog post also needs to be in a position to provide relevant answers that your target audience is looking for. With the help of written content, infographics and videos your readers are able to gain more knowledge.
Also, remember that people not only want answers, but they want it fast. Make sure your content is easy to scan through allowing your readers to pick up relevant information quickly.
What Google says about creating Good Content
5. Research Well and Focus on Accurate Content
Every time you post an article on your company’s blog, chances are that thousands of people read it. It can be quite embarrassing for yourself as well as your company if it is found that your content is inaccurate. Additionally, you are also risking significant damage to your company’s reputation.
Your website/blog is essentially a reflection of your company. Any inaccuracy can influence diluted public perceptions. Make it a point that every statistic or quote you mention in your content is verified from reliable sources.
You may even choose link your posts to relevant sources for these statistics or other information you cite on your article. By doing so, you are essentially building trust among your readers.
6. Report from Authoritative Sources
Ensure that your content is reliable and correct; always make it a point to give consideration or credit to the source from where you’ve referred/reporting from or the site that you are linking to. Make sure that both can be trusted and that the l blog/site is authoritative.
The more often you are able to substantiate your content through reliable sources, the more trusted your blog will be perceived to be by your readers.
7. Make your Content Thought Provoking
If you are able to keep your audience engaged, chances are they will hang on to every word and take everything you say seriously. To be able to achieve this, you obviously need to develop content that is engaging.
Leave your readers with questions. However, make sure the question does not result in an incomplete post for a reason to reflect upon a thought. Also, it is important that you focus on creating a promising introduction that grips the reader from the first word and provide a compelling story for your readers to mull over.
8. A Bonus Tip – Update Content Regularly
As much as you have good intentions to start your blog with, any venture, including writing is a commitment that you make. Most business owners who write a couple of posts, falter and then abandon their work are not getting much ahead. Not just that, even search engines do not favor sites what aren’t updated regularly. So go on, make this effort at least twice a week, if not more.
There are many more tips and considerations which can be helpful. Would love to hear them from you.