If you're reading this now, it's almost entirely down to whether you found the headline of this article engaging. Often overlooked, a headline that directly speaks to the reader can work wonders for your content, in ensuring your users take the time out of their busy day to read what you've got to say. Copyblogger is a free-to-use Content Marketing website that teaches its users how to create the best possible online content for their users – a study of theirs found that 8 out of 10 people read headline copy, yet only the remaining 20% went ahead to actually digest the article properly. With that in mind, it's a given that you create strong, thought-provoking, and most importantly relevant headlines for your content, whatever it may be.
It goes without saying, a strong headline is redundant without informative, evocative content to follow up with. Your site is your platform, and any content your feature will reflect on your business and how it is received. A vital first step to take with your content is to make sure that you are succinct and to the point. If your writing poses questions that don't get answered for another 500 words, or even at all, it should come as no surprise that readers lose interest and will look elsewhere. Additionally, if your posts aren't 100% accurate at the time of writing, or the headline promises information your writing doesn't provide, you are in danger of being branded 'clickbait'. Put simply, clickbait is a wholly negative internet term that has recently come about with the rise of sensationalist, exaggerated headlines that often mislead people into quite literally clicking on posts and articles that were designed solely for revenue / views / site traffic. Below is a prime example of what is considered clickbait.
Quite noticeably, the headline attempts to lure in readers by deliberately withholding information that can only be garnered through visiting the article. Unfortunately, the internet is chock full of these sorts of webpages, which usually link people to pages ridden with ads and popups ran by spambots – not something you want to be associated with. These practices are easily avoidable, so be aware of how negatively it can impact your business.
In terms of accuracy, it's important you source any statistics or quotes you haven't compiled yourself. Additionally, you must properly verify the validity of your sources and check where you are redirecting visitors to. By providing your readers with further access to other quality sources, not only are you being helpful, but the more you do this, the more you'll notice a by-product of this is that you're now helping optimize your website for SEO practices, allowing your content to be easily categorized by search engines.
A final note – consistency is another crucial factor in writing well for your audience. Maintaining a consistent stream of engaging, informative content in a recognisable format will see users returning to your site for more. Take Buzzfeed for example; Buzzfeed is a world-leading multi-platform digital media company that delivers a wealth of daily content in an easy-to-read, consistent format for its users. Specific types of posts are categorized accordingly and tailored to a myriad of target audiences. They use not only written word, but animated gifs, videos and images to cater for their user's individual preferences. This is an interesting point to consider – good writing is not solely dependent on the writing itself, but the piece as a whole. Team informed, engaging and accurate writing with images and quality sources, in an easily accessible, regular format, and you'll see a marked improvement in how your content is viewed.