It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. Your content needs to stand out in the overabundance of information and grab the flagging attention of online audiences. It needs to be scannable, accessible, and easy to digest. No matter how impactful your message is, if it’s lost in a wall of text, no one is ever going to hear it, especially on mobile devices.
Thankfully, the answer lies with SEO. Gone are the days where writing SEO-friendly content meant churning out fodder for robots. It’s not about ‘manipulating’ readers or search engines: it’s about providing the most relevant content and best onsite experience possible. But how do you ensure your content succeeds in engaging and communicating with your audience?
Break up text
Lengthy sentences and chunky paragraphs don’t help anyone. They’re off-putting to visitors and could harm the readability of your content. Break up content into short, punchy paragraphs, and avoid unnecessarily long words and sentences. As a general rule, you’ll want to add a new header every 300 words or so.
Not only will this be more effective at engaging readers, but it can also have some added SEO benefits too. Content that concisely answers questions in a short paragraph or list can help you target search engine features, such as Google and Bing answer boxes. This means potentially more eyes on your page.
Keep the header structure logical
Headers are one of the best ways to break up blocks of content and introduce new subtopics. Try not to get carried away though. Stick to H2s and H3s (with one H1 for your page which includes your main keyword). Use H2s for subtopics, with H3s below for sections relating to that subtopic. For example, if you were writing an article about the best types of foods to increase concentration, you may have ‘fruit’ as a H2, with different types such as ‘blueberries’ listed below as H3s.
Avoid dropping below a H3, as H4s and H5s have very little SEO benefit and tend to just fracture your content. Additionally, try to get the main keyword or a variant of it into your headers where possible. This will help improve the targeting of your content.
Add relevant images
Relevant images not only help capture your readers’ attention, but they can make your message sticks with them for longer. Humans are visual learners and we’re adept at memorising images. Research has found that when people hear information, they retain around 10% of it for three days. Add in an image though and that figure jumps up to 65%.
Additionally, when adding pictures into your page (with a relevant file name and alt text), those pictures could rank in search engine image results. Make sure you give them a logical file name and alt text to improve accessibility for those using screen readers. Try to avoid using image files that are too large too, as these can slow down the page load speed and impact that all important onsite experience.
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