Tips on How to Write Better Content (From Content Experts)

Katie Schieder
Katie Schieder Director of Inbound Marketing & Content
Image Source: Pixabay

Content is the foundation for all digital marketing. Really for all marketing. It’s how we communicate an offer, alert a searcher to a call-to-action, entice a reader to learn more, express why a product or service is necessary and better than that of a competitor’s, and it’s also how Google gives billions of people answers to questions every day. It’s vitally important, so you or the agency you work with better be good at it.

We asked our content experts for some tips on how to write better content. They provided these 9 tips to help anyone write better content.

1. Lists

Use bulleted lists as much as possible. Trust me, you aren’t using them as much as you should. Site visitors skim. – Matthew Ulmer

A list is a great way to quickly convey your message to an audience with limited time and attention span. Don’t believe us? You’re reading a list right now. You can always provide the highlights in list form then expand on each item below it. You can also employ the popular TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) tag at the end of sections to give readers a quick synopsis of the content.

2. Keyword Research is Important

Keyword Research Comes First: Before any content is written, conduct Keyword Research to see what terms your Target Audience is using. It’s much easier to write with Keywords in mind rather than trying to retrofit Keywords to existing content. – Patrick Coyne

If you have worked with an SEO agency or have done some in-house SEO yourself, you’ll know that keywords are the best tools to use when trying to climb the coveted Google rankings. Keywords are so valuable and should be researched prior to any content writing. It will give you a good idea if the article or website page you are planning to write will be popular, who will be reading your content, and it will give you a road map for how the content should be written. For example, if you have a business that sells mouse traps, it is important for you to understand who your audience is and how they are searching for your product. You don’t want to come up in a Google search for the board game Mouse Trap, but you do want to come up in a Google search for people looking to catch small rodents. See how that can be confusing? Avoid confusion and start with keyword research.

3. Content Should be Top Heavy

For faster content digestion, write articles in inverted pyramid style. – Ron Sansone

If you took a journalism or introduction to public relations class in college, you may be familiar with the inverted pyramid style of writing. It’s a simple concept. It says that you should put all the most important information at the beginning of the article and then you can provide detail as it goes on. The idea is that the reader should be able to read the first paragraph and understand the main takeaway. This is particularly useful when writing website pages. You want the reader to know that they have landed on the right page instead of bouncing around.

4. Keep the Reader Interested

Keep it interesting. If you’re explaining something technical to a novice audience, provide examples or stories to keep the reader from falling off. – Katie Schieder

Not every industry has flashy, juicy information or news to write about – and that’s okay. You don’t need to sensationalize your business to get people interested, but you do need to make your content relatable and easy to read if you want to retain their attention. Try including helpful metaphors or anecdotes in your articles. For example, people are more likely to continue to read about the inner workings of a CRM if you include a story about how it helped a local business grow and improve. Don’t just explain your product or service, explain how it can benefit the customer.

5. Write for Your Audience (Hint – It’s Not Google)

Write content for humans, not (just) Search Engines: Keyword Research should dictate the direction of your content, but remember the user when writing. Your content should appeal to them as much as to Google. – Patrick Coyne

Keywords are important to get the right people to your website and to tell Google what your page is about, but Google can’t become a customer. Write from humans. You should make it personal, appeal to the interest of your customer, include testimonials that establish credibility and interesting facts to compelling demonstrate you know what you’ve talking a bout. Content should always provide value, just make sure that value is for the customer and not the search engine.

6. Small, Digestible Sections

Break your content into mini sections with headers that quickly encapsulate the concept of that section. Again, site visitors skim. – Matthew Ulmer

We previously said that lists are a great way to quickly convey information without requiring the reader to spend a lot of time consuming your content. You should also keep this in mind when writing blogs and website pages. Keep it short, give it a descriptive header. You never want the reader to feel like they are in the weeds.

7. Quality Not Quantity

Write concisely. Keep sentences short to aid comprehension. Avoid overuse of commas. – Ron Sansone

Keep it simple. There is a quote by Albert Einstein that says “the definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” Remember this when writing your next blog or website page. You don’t need to impress the customer with your intelligence, you just need to convey how your product or service will solve a problem or need in their life.

8. Help Readers Find Additional Content

Internal Links are Your Friend: Internal links are backlinks that point to another page on the same website. Including them in your content will help keep the user on site (thus lowering your Bounce Rates) and provide the user with more, helpful information. – Patrick Coyne

You have the reader’s attention, now it’s time to help them continue their journey further down the sales funnel. You can’t expect every person who visits your website to become a customer, but if you give them additional, valuable information, you have a better chance of turning a visitor into a qualified lead.

9. Use Language Everyone Understands

Re-read your content in search of jargon that has meaning to you and your colleagues deep within the industry, but may not be used the same way or at all by your prospects. Conduct a Google search of the terminology to see how Google thinks that term is used. – Matthew Ulmer

You need to use language that the average user/customer understands. They shouldn’t feel confused when reading about your product or service. An overuse of industry jargon can be off putting to a potential customer, particularly in a consumer-focused industry. Try to use less industry-specific jargon, or if you are required to use uncommon vocabulary or acronyms, provide a definition or explanation of what your are referring to.

Final Tip – Sometimes the Best Content is Written By Someone Else

It’s true, sometimes the best content is written by a copywriter or an industry expert. Writing content is difficult and if it’s not your primary responsibility it can be pushed to the side. There are many great agencies and copywriters ready to help make your content dreams a reality. Talk to Arc about content writing services.