content-is-king

Creating and Curating Quality Web Content (Forget Walls of Text!)

6.08.14 By Erez No comments

There’s little question that producing quality web content is the best way to encourage web users to stick around on your site, but for many first-time website builders, curating elements – whether they’re in video, textual, or image form – is too often overlooked; with all the information that needs to be put in place during the website building process, usability easily falls by the wayside. Regular web users, after all, rarely analyze their own motivations to explore a certain website.

Among the most difficult web content to curate is in text form: web users don’t tend to read information on websites the same way they would a book, and so information has to be laid out organically curated dynamically between other image and video content. It also has to respond to users’ needs in a different way than a traditional information or marketing package.

Here are some guidelines you can follow when creating and curating content.

Make it useful

Don’t make empty content. It doesn’t serve any purpose except to create an illusion of having content. If the text isn’t entertaining, educational and/or engaging, nobody is going to read it. If nobody reads it, it doesn’t drive traffic, doesn’t provoke social engagement, comments and will have almost no SEO value. If you are going to have a blog, make it count – don’t waste your money. Provide the readers with value in your posts and you will get value from your posts.

Everlasting value

While it might seem like a good idea to write about popular subjects because they seem like they might provoke reactions from your readers in the long run, you are just jamming up your blog with unimportant stuff. By creating content that will always be relevant, you will pull out greater traffic and gain valuable resources which will always be in use.

Natural writing

This is a general rule when it comes to content and yes, this includes SEO. A lot of people use different guidelines and recipes that include keyword density and other writing instructions pulled out from algorithms to achieve “maximal content potential”. This approach usually ends up producing artificial content which is hard to read and is aimed at search engines and bots more than humans. Avoid this trap and target humans, not search engines, since quality content which provokes social sharing and reaction in the comment section will pull in more SEO benefits than keyword accurately written content ever can.

Grammar, grammar, grammar

It’s hard to project professionalism when your posts are filled with grammatical errors. Nobody is going to hold a couple typos against you, but if this happens in each one of your posts, you may have trouble forming a steady base of readers. If you can’t trust yourself or your writers with producing grammatically-correct material, hire an editor.

Formatting

The title says “Walls of text are not enough” and here is why. When a reader looks at a post, he or she needs to find what they are looking for immediately. Few readers take the time to read through a whole text if they are not sure the text is focused on the things they want to read about. Sure, the title can help with this but you also need to segment the text with subheadings, bullet points and, in cases of longer texts, (anything longer than 1500 words) it might be smart to bold the important key words.

Mix it up

Combining different types of content is always a good idea. A photo can help explain the text further or make it a bit more visually appealing. It is always a good idea to break the monotony of a text with a couple of photos. The same goes for videos and if you are running a video channel, it is a good idea to turn each individual entry into a blog post, just to network your efforts a bit better.

These are the basics. Remember to adapt your content to your target audience and your niche and answer the comments your readers leave to solidify your relationship with them. Write with passion and your readers will react to your writing.

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