People usually like to simplify things when it comes to content.
For example, I myself constantly use word content for textual articles. This comes from the fact that I don’t produce images or videos.
Realistically, there are so many ways to categorize content but we usually talk about things that are close to heart.
Anyway, it is better to be specific.
Here is a list of textual content types and tricks that will do wonders for your content marketing and SEO if used the properly.
Let’s start with the obvious winner.
Ultimate or definitive guides have been incredibly popular in last couple of years. There is a good reason for it.
First of all, guides are a long-form content.
No matter what you write about, you can be certain that your post will be more than 3000 words long.
This creates WOW effect in reader as people will love the sheer amount of information presented in one such piece.
Because of this psychological effect, readers are more likely to share, comment and link to your articles.
Guides can easily be optimized (in comparison to other type of textual content) as they are useful and universally accepted.
I always recommend people to start their blogging career with an expert round-up.
That’s what I did last year when I started niksto.com. I did a roundup on Penguin penalties which was a huge success.
In short, it generated a total of 1800 social shares and over 20 absolutely natural backlinks.
Without any additional promotion whatsoever.
Round-ups are posts that compile various opinions from experts and influencers within your industry and present them in one wholesome article.
Putting the whole piece together is the hardest thing when it comes to expert round-ups.
You will need a lot of time to contact all these respected individuals and get their feedback.
A very powerful advantage with this approach is that promotional activity is not necessary. This is due to the fact that influencers tend to link out to the round-ups they took place in.
This is one of two main benefits of this content type.
The secondary benefit is that quickly connects you to a big number of bloggers and renounced professionals from your niche.
It is a non-invasive method of getting attention and making your presence felt.
Evergreen content refers to articles that can be popular for a longer period of time.
Basically, it refers to posts that are not news, trends or revolving around changeable topics.
They can stay in the same form for some time, without any modification and can attract steady influx of traffic. However, if needed, you should be able to update them.
How-to’s are a good example of evergreen content.
People will always ask the same questions and your article will be there to provide the needed answers.
Have in mind that this content should address things that will be relevant in future.
In the worst case scenario, you would expect some minor changes but you shouldn’t focus on topics within a dynamic environment.
Unless you are a news website, most of your content should consist of evergreen articles.
Lists are one of the best converting types of text content.
Why? Because people find it easier to process numbers.
Besides the fact that lists are easily readable, they are also very actionable.
Readers do not have to go through paragraphs and paragraphs to get their answers. They can simply focus on these several lines.
Another benefit of such content is the specific promise it brings.
For example instead of using a title such as “Best Textual Content Types for SEO” you can use “13 Best Textual Content Types for SEO”.
It is instantly better as it seemingly provides a definitive answer as to what can be expected.
All you have to do is read these XX points and your problem will be solved.
No need to read, say, 1000 words of content, right?
Casual blog posts (a.k.a. Rants)
When people first started blogging, blog posts were mainly used to voice personal opinions.
As the time went by, this form became known as rant.
In time, as SEO and blogging grew, emphasis switched to keywords while deliberately forcing certain types of content and promotion.
Rants lost their value as they weren’t focused. Simply put, you might be spending hours writing a piece never reaching target audience.
This doesn’t mean that a rant cannot work. It only means you have to do it smarter.
They are still valid for people who get a lot of traffic.
Although they rarely get the same acceptance as some other forms of content and influencers are less inclined to link to them, they have other benefits.
Rants stimulate debate and controversy.
In fact, rants are great if they allow further discussion as people are always willing to share their views on things that are not definitive.
They can definitely give you a lot of publicity making your content go viral but you need to be careful and avoid negative kind of exposure.
Resource pages are slowly dying out nowadays.
They were really popular when link exchange was a valid SEO strategy. Given that Google has put an end to it, most websites quit this strategy.
Nevertheless, it is hard to deny all the benefits you can get from having such a page on your website.
Resource pages are common for institutional and educational websites. They use them as a way of leading the visitors to the next step in the process.
Interesting fact is that you can also use them for commercial websites.
People are always looking for additional data on certain topics.
Even if you would prefer for visitors to stay on your page, you can send them to other websites (as long as they are not direct competition and are relevant) to get additional info.
Although this will not have a direct impact on your SEO, it will definitely build up good will leaving a good impression on your visitors.
Also, you can use your resource page to build long lasting relationships with other bloggers in your niche by adding them to your list.
Unlike previous types of content, article series are a bit harder to promote.
There are various logistic issues surrounding them but if you can pull it off, they will definitely be worth your while.
Before I mention anything else, bear in mind that article series are more suitable for websites with loyal readership.
You need to make sure that a person will not only read your initial post but also those following it.
If you don’t have readership, you will need time to promote the first article which will force you to make big gaps between the posts losing readers in the process.
Successful series revolve around a compelling first article.
Also, writing series needs to make sense.
You need to split topics properly so that the each post is a separate entity.
This way, a person can read several articles without ever feeling burdened by excessive content.
Forcing people to visit your website over and over again.
Content spread on several pages
Have you ever opened a URL that forces you to click “next” to see all the content?
This trick is has become increasingly popular and it is especially common in fashion, architecture and other niches that work with lots of images.
However, there is a good SEO explanation why content creators do it.
But, there is more to it!
Positioning content on several pages creates and effect similar to article series.
It breaks the post allowing you to digest smaller pieces. This is great for larger posts as it creates sub chapters.
Unlike series, it forces you to read the whole article at once.
There is no anticipation or waiting for the second piece.
A note of caution here though.
For some visitors, this may be too much as there are a lot of people who like smaller posts.
If you present them with something enormous (even if spread on several pages) it may instantly turn them off and even annoy them.
So be careful with this textual content type.
Before you think “Oh, this is the same as guides!” let me assure you it isn’t!
As the name implies, information-rich content is based on ample information.
You can argue that guides are very similar in that regard but there is a notable difference:
While guides usually provide general knowledge and are more wholesome, information-rich content is straightforward.
In fact, the main purpose of information-rich content is accessibility.
You don’t need to read the whole article or be impressed with it; you simply need a quick info.
Even if you skim through it, you will likely be able to get the data you require in couple of quick steps.
This form sits well with people that are only interested in quickly solving their problem.
It is great for products as it allows people to quickly compare various items or get info as how to use or repair something.
Rich category landers
Some people tend to neglect the fact that every word on your website is actually content of sort.
Same goes for category landers.
When a visitor reaches one of your category pages, their first impression will determine how much they will browse afterwards.
Category’s landing pages shouldn’t only provide links to articles from that category.
They also require subcategories (if you have them) and other visual aids that will intrigue the person to keep on browsing.
Category pages need to be updated constantly so that the regular visitors do not get bored.
It is much better if you have some brief description or a paragraph reserved for news talking about latest trends and happenings.
All these little tricks will increase visitors’ interaction with the website boosting your SEO in the process.
No matter what you do, you are probably excited when a new technology or concept comes along.
At the end of the day we are all students of the game and would love to improve our knowledge and successfulness.
There is always room to grow and invent new concepts and this is where research posts come into play.
Research posts are the toughest content to produce.
Furthermore, they are toughest content period.
Before you even consider writing an article, you need to invent a concept that will be researched, measured and quantified.
Only after all these steps are done can you start creating your piece.
Things get even worse when you realize that research can be unsuccessful.
Yes, you can always post negative findings but it won’t garner the same attention as a successful campaign.
Anyway, even with all its risks, successfully performed research can completely change the game and propel you among industry’s top players.
Definitely something worth considering.
E-books are another textual content tool at your disposal.
Although you need to download them and use externally on your own PC, each PDF file is attached to a certain URL.
This means they can rank and bring your traffic.
SEO experts usually use E-books as a way of increasing the number of their email subscribers.
In other words, they can only be accessed by loyal followers.
This type of downloadable content is also know as content upgrade.
It represents a special content type which provides special knowledge that hasn’t been mentioned otherwise.
It is a great tool that will help you create steady traffic.
Lastly, I wish to mention interviews.
After doing an interview with a person of interest, you can post transcript of conversation on your website.
Usually, videos or sound recording will go with it but a lot of blogs still provide text with it.
Interviews can be valuable for your readers as it gives them insight into things that are otherwise omitted.
It addresses common problems and questions in your industry and gives unique knowledge that cannot be found anywhere else on the web.
Although interviews will hardly be a crucial part of your blog, they are definitely a great way to liven things up from time to time.
They can also be quite powerful in terms of building long lasting relationships with popular bloggers and colleagues.
There you go, folks!
Although some of these contextual content types may appear similar, they definitely have different forms and purposes.
Ideally, a successful blog should combine all of them.
Some will only be used once or twice while other methods will become crucial for the longevity of your website.
What contextual content types do you use? Which ones bring the best results? Let me know in the comments below.