Content is just information and whatever you want to write about, there are chances that you are not the first.
Demand for content is searching and with information accessible, at the tip of our fingers and an excess supply of information makes it more challenging to get noticed and produce powerful results.
So in other to do that, you need a system that will lead to predictable results so that your content can stand out from the rest.
So if you are a blogger, freelance writer, or do any type of content writing, keep reading because am going to walk you through a step by step framework to
- Engage your audience
- Satisfy search motors
- Drive consistent traffic and revenue
Whether you are writing for your site or a client, you should have two objectives for your content which are
- The content should drive traffic to the site
- The content should be engaging to the people reading it so that they turn into customers or be pushed further down the sales funnel.
So with these two objectives in mind, let’s go through a simple step by step process to achieve both of these goals.
- Write about topics people are actually searching for
- Assess the type of content Google wants you to create
- Create a data-driven outline
- Create a click-worthy headline
- Write a killer intro using the AIDA formula
- Make your content actionable and easy to digest
Write about topics people are actually searching for
Most people like to write about topics that excite them, that’s all well and good, but they often have a short shelf life.
But when you create content around topics that people are searching for then you get the opposite effect. Free, passive, and consistent traffic that usually grows over time.
To find topics worth really creating content on, you need a keyword research tool. The keyword research tool will be to
- Identify search demand
- Understand traffic potential of the topic: this is the total amount of monthly search traffic you could get if you were to rank high for that query.
So let’s say we have a site on weight loss, to find keywords to target, go to your keyword research tool and search for some keywords broadly related to the topic like weight loss pill, weight loss tip, and weight loss diet.
Look at the traffic column, the higher the traffic volume, the more promising the topic is.
At this point, you should have a topic to tackle, but that doesn’t mean you should write whatever you want. Remember our goal is to rank at the top of Google so that we will get consistent traffic.
Assess the type of content Google wants you to create
Google’s job is to deliver the most relevant results for any given search query and they do a pretty good job at this.
So naturally, if you want to rank for your target topic, then you need to know the type of content Google will rank for that query this is known as “search intent”. It tells us about what searchers are looking for when they key in a query.
The easiest way to do this is to just search for the query you want to rank for and look at the top-ranking results. And the three things you are looking for are
- Content-type: This can be a blog post, product pages, category pages, or landing pages.
- Content format: This can be a guide on how-to, step-by-step tutorials, list posts, opinion editorials, reviews, or comparisons.
- Content angle: This is basically the unique selling point of the top-ranking pages.
So looking at the top ten results for a query “how to lose weight naturally” you see that they are all blog posts. So that should be the content type you should use too.
As for the format, they are how-to’s so you should as well use the same content format.
And for the content angle, there isn’t really a definitive form. From my experience, matching content type and format are pretty good to rank for a topic.
Create a data-driven outline
Content is like a puzzle, there are a lot of different pieces and it’s tough to assemble without some kind of framework.
Outlines are like the edge pieces of the puzzle, they help to form the base and all you need to do is follow the missing pieces.
They also help to make sure you are including all critical points worth communicating on the topic. And from the SEO perspective, it can help you satisfy the algorithm and the audience.
The way Google determines a page’s placement in the search result is algorithmic meaning you can’t pay to rank at the top of Google and your friends that work there can’t move your site to the top.
Their technology is able to understand words and the context therein, and the more content you gave to search engines, the better your chances of ranking high.
The easiest way to find critical talking points is to look at some other top-ranking pages and see if there are similar subtopics.
For a topic on “how to lose weight naturally” the top two pages both talk about reducing refined carbs intake, taking protein, fat, and vegetable rich foods, and exercising. So add these commonalities to your outline as subheadings.
Just focus on writing something that is actionable because it will humanize the post and help you to focus on what matters most helping readers.
Create a click-worthy headline
A headline is important because it’s what stands between you and a visitor its main job is to convince people to actually click on your result then if your content shows up, to keep them reading.
Now if you struggle with writing good headlines, here is a few simple formulas you can use
- How to [achieve a desired outcome]
- [Number] proven [actions/ways] to [achieve a desired result]
- [Number or how to] Simple/easy ways to [Achieve a desired outcome] [Challenge]
- [Number] Reasons you’re [Not achieving desired outcome]
So let’s fill them up one after the other
- How to lose weight naturally
- 7 proven ways to lose weight
- 10 simple ways to lose weight in two months
- 10 reasons you are not losing weight as you should
Now it is important to note that while good headlines might produce more clicks, keep in mind that if your content can’t deliver on the headline’s promise, then it will do more harm than good.
Write a killer intro using the AIDA formula
The introduction is arguably the most important part of a content. Its job is to hook your reader tell them that they are at the right place and convince them to keep reading.
Fortunately, there is a tried and tested formula you can use called “AIDA” which stands for:
Attention: The first line should be dedicated to grabbing your audience’s attention. E.g. you don’t have to intensively workout daily to lose your desired weight.
Interest: Here you have to pick their interest. E.g but the surprising thing is that 99% of people that want to lose weight still choose instructors, which can cost up to 20 times the price of doing it yourself.
Desire: This part is meant to show the reader how your content can solve their problem. E.g in fact, you can have your dream weight by just spending $0.
Action: Here you can enhance the user’s experience using a table of content or just add to the intro by saying something like “let’s walk through the simple 5 step process to lose your desired weight.
Make your content actionable and easy to digest
Your outline should act as a nice skeleton for your post and to add meat to those bones you need to do two things
- Make it as helpful as possible
- Make it easy to digest and read
To make your content as helpful as possible means if someone searches for “how to lose weight naturally” your content should proffer the solution. This will all come down to your knowledge and expertise on the subject.
The best way to make your content digestible is to keep your sentences as simple as possible. This will all come down to your communication and writing skills.
To improve readability you can do the following
- Use headings and subheadings
- Avoid walls of text
- Add images
- Use transitional sentences, e.g. as you know, also, and however.
Now, after you have written your content, I highly recommend you get someone to give you unfiltered feedback. It will help you to deliver a flawless content after putting in your best effort that you hope to help your readers.
Now when it comes to SEO, the content part is a very important aspect, meaning if you can’t get your content right, then you are probably not going to rank high for any meaningful keyword. Also, there are times when you nail your content but you still can’t rank.
This often comes down to the level of competition which usually boils down to quality backlinks.