Make your web content as compelling and valuable as possible by following these ten simple steps when writing a new blog post or article. These tips will help to both increase the time visitors spend on your website, improve engagement and search engine ranking.
Break up Paragraphs
Most people on the web don’t read, they skim for a couple seconds. If they don’t see something that interests or resonates with them, they probably won’t stick around.
Long paragraphs, such as those in a magazine or book, make it harder to skim and identify important points.
Try to limit your paragraphs to a maximum of three or four sentences.
Important Sentences Stand Alone
When you are writing blog posts, don’t be afraid to have important sentences stand on their own. This is a great way to get a reader’s attention and ensure that they don’t miss a key point.
Best Resource of Information
Make each blog post or article the best resource of information on a topic that you can. This not only helps improve search engine ranking, it also builds loyalty and creates a positive experience for readers.
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If a reader wants to explore a subject further, they know that your web content will provide links to other relevant source of information. This saves them the hassle of needing to use a search engine to get more information.
Matching Intent When Linking
When linking to other blog posts, articles, and resources, it is important to make sure link matches with the intent of the reader. Intent is not only important with links however also critical for keyword selecting, SEO and search engine marketing.
By carefully choosing what words to use with a link, and by ensuring the linked webpage matches the intent communicated to the reader, you will create a more positive experience for your visitors.
Linking to Experts and Original Sources
When adding links to your web content, try to find the best resource of information or authority on the topic. Take the time to find the original source or the most respected person on the issue you are exploring. This ensures that your readers will not be stuck digging through less valuable links in search of a more credible source.
Matching intent creates a positive experience for your reader and improves the likelihood they will click links in future articles to further explore a topic.
Internal Links and Intent
Internal links are a great way to highlight additional content on your website without having a reader leave.
When you create internal links to other web content, you will want to again be careful to ensure that the intent implied by the keywords linked in the content matches the actual information in the linked page.
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External vs Internal Links
External links work in the same way as internal links, except they take the reader off of your website. If you change the target of external links to “Open in a new window,” readers can explore a link without losing the content they were reading on your website. This decreases the chance that they will not return after clicking the external link.
When linking internally, you should not worry about opening the link in a new window. Since the link leads the way to more content on your website, you don’t have to worry as much about them leaving your site.
In order to create an external link, you will need to add a target to the link. If you have free blogging tools such as the content management system WordPress, you may have an option that takes care of this step when adding links. Just select the ‘add link’ option and check off the box that reads “Open in new window” to ensure that an external link opens in its own window.
If you’re not using a content management system, just add code the following code to your link: target=”_blank”
Here is an example: <a href=”http://www.google.com/” target=”_blank”>
When creating a link, you will want to make sure to give the link a relevant title. This title will be displayed when your reader hovers over the link.
For internal links, you will almost always want to use the title of the article.
When using an external link, you’ll want to use a title that matches the targeted article, website or resource, or describes it in better detail to help readers understand if the link matches their intent. This helps to create a better reader experience for visitors.
People are visual creatures and love images that add to the context of a story, communicate emotion or meaning. Try to include a least one compelling image in your content, especially when it exceeds 800 words.
Image Alt and Title Tags
When adding web content like an image, make sure to give it both a ‘Title’ and an ‘Alt’ tag. Alt tags were originally designed for blind people to be able to find out what is shown in an image, however they are now also used by search engines. Title tags are displayed when a user hovers over an image. In general, you can match your Title and Alt tags.
If you use a content management system like WordPress, you will be presented with both an Alt and a Title field when you upload an image. When filling out the Title and Alt for your image, make sure to use keywords that describe the image and content.
If you don’t have a content management system just add the following code: title=”(your title name)” and alt=”(description of your image).”
For example, here is a link with both an Alt and Title tag:
<img title=”my title” src=”http://xyz.com” alt=”my Alt tag” />
You should now have a basic understanding of how to make your content more valuable for your readers, as well as how to improve your search engine ranking.