People always say that the quality of your content is directly connected to the number of links you’ll receive in future.
But, when we say quality of the content there are so many things to be considered.
I am not only referring to the text itself.
Although valid information is crucial for your article to be perceived as serious, you also require visual aids that will help influencers digest your content.
If writing a plain 1000 word copy is the basis of your project, it is necessary to add elements that will instill life within it making it a real masterpiece.
Here are some easy tricks that will help you with crating content that attracts more links:
People rarely read entire articles
This is one of the worst things regarding content writing you have to come to terms with.
Only a handful of people are actually going to read whole posts. Most readers will just skim through them.
So how do you engage such individuals?
“By creating a dynamic layout”
When you finish your article, it is necessary to run through it. Check out how it looks.
What kind of emotions does it evoke?
Can you easily spot key points and understand the article after one minute?
If the answer is yes, then the layout is probably good enough.
However, this explanation is pretty vague. I will now go through details so stick with me.
Your titles have to be snappy
Before people decide to visit your page, they will have to read its title.
If the title doesn’t spark interest what are the odds that a potential reader will actually visit your website?
These are the best ways to improve your titles:
- They should be short (up to 10 words)
- Make sure to use catchy, actionable words
- Asking a question is always a good idea
- Numbers in titles improve conversion
Ask yourself this: “What kind of a title would you click on?”
Implement these same rules on your own titles.
This initial feeling will also affect reader’s decision to give you a link as flashy titles leave a long-lasting impression.
It is much better to put a headline such as:
“Starting An SEO Agency? Read These 35 Lessons”
instead of :
“Calculated approach to building an SEO agency within dynamic SEO world”.
The difference is obvious, right?
Sub-headlines are necessary
If your title is the main plank then the sub-headlines are the glue.
Good title is necessary to attract visitors; sub-headlines are used to keep them on the page.
It is really hard for human brain to process chunks of content. Not to mention how boring this is.
Unlike books which we read from cover to cover, blog posts are usually used for quick information or entertainment.
In that regard, your subheadings are necessary to provide that quick data.
Here’s how to manage them:
- Numbering is the best ways to attract attention
- Explain your subtitles with more words (instead of putting “titles”, put “your titles have to be snappy”)
- Use bold, italic, different fonts or different font size to make your formatting more catchy
Sub-headlines are also necessary as they help the learning process.
For example, instead of reading the whole text and trying to find sense in it, you can just run through its excerpts (the so called sub-headlines).
Lists are the next step
OK, let’s say you already created a title and sub chapters for your piece.
This is a great basis but oftentimes not enough. Because of that, we also would have to introduce lists.
What is so great about lists?
- They further dissect the text
- Lists can be used as excerpts pointing out the actionable info
- If your article is well formatted, your readers can get enough basic knowledge by just reading the intro, sub-headers and lists
If you think about it, based on the initial 4 chapters I mentioned, you should have enough info to create your own rudimentary layout.
Moreover, you should also understand why it’s done.
So it is pretty actionable so far, right?
Although rest of the text is also important it is not as focused as lists and sub-headers.
Numbers can easily catch attention
Even if your article has a nice layout, images, sub-headers and everything else that makes it distinguishable, it still revolves around letters.
As a way to break it up you should introduce numbers.
Human brain always separates numbers and letters in two different groups.
In fact, although both of them are symbols of sort, we usually see numbers as odd parts of the text.
This is why we need to stop for a second when we encounter one as if there is something strange written on the paper.
If you increase the brain activity of your readers they will be more inclined to continue reading your article.
This will increase the odds they will eventually share it on social media and maybe get your some free white hat backlinks down the road.
Makes sense? Good! Let’s move in.
Formatted letters also help
Same rules go for letters written in italic or bold.
If you whole article is full of letters, by bolding some of them (or using italic) you are making them more noticeable.
This is especially important for those who love to skim through text.
When you mark certain sentences (definitions) you are placing focus on the most important things within the article.
Even if person decides to skip the majority of it, he or she will still get the main points.
Also, if your tips are good enough it may even persuade reader to read the entire article afterwards.
Hyphens (quotes) are even better
Sometimes, you layout may be pretty plain.
Simply put, lists and sub-headers cannot be utilized for every text. It may even feel forced creating an unpleasant feeling within a reader.
This is where quotes come into play.
“Quotes are amazing for trivia and tidbits”
They have similar effect as bolded and italic letters; they force person to look at them (check the one above).
Nevertheless, I would always give advantage to quotes as they come off as much more natural and easier to implement.
Visual solutions always help
Some people may even say that you can never go wrong with lots of images and videos.
I wouldn’t agree with this as the main focus of your article should be to pass down knowledge to another person.
If your content focuses on visuals too much, your audience might lose track of information ultimately deciding not to give you a share or a link.
How to properly utilize visuals you might ask?
- If possible, use relevant images
- Images should enhance the information
- Videos should mainly be used if you’re unable to tell the story through text
- Make sure to use same format and size for all the visuals within your site
Have in mind that for certain industries, it is all about images.
For example, content that revolves around t-shirt quilts will require much more visuals than a regular post.
However, this type of content isn’t the main focus of this article so I don’t want to focus on it.
Links are your friend
There is no real reason for not linking to others.
It is in human nature to be selfish but in the Internet world this is often counterproductive.
Unless you’re in a highly competitive niche full of commercial websites, there will be no harm in sharing your resources.
In fact, if you constantly borrow ideas from another website and never link to it, this can have a very negative impact on your reputation in the long run.
Besides the obvious fact that links break up your text, they are also an important source of additional knowledge.
They actually enhance your article as readers can find everything they need from this starting point (your article).
You have to lead a person
With so much information and content looming around, it is really hard to attract one’s attention for 10 minutes.
Even with everything I’ve mentioned so far, you still need to lead your readers by their hand.
Here’s how to do it:
- Write condensed content (avoid blah-blah stuff)
- Ask questions
- Give answers to those questions
- Try to peak interest
- Introduce new concepts
- Show readers how they can benefit from this knowledge
Basically, your article needs to be interactive, not preaching but addressing person directly.
If a visitor gets the feeling that he is in the center of attention, he will likely react in a positive way resulting in a share or a link.
If you have issues with keeping your readers’ interest, you most probably suffer from bad content.
As previously mentioned, content doesn’t only revolve around quality information; you need to pay attention to other things as well.
Only when you master everything on this list can you start getting the attention, engagement and links your copy deserves.
What is your biggest content issue? How do you modify your articles for best performance? Tell me more in the comments