Good content must fulfill two non-negotiable goals. It must pique the interest and attention of readers; and rank appropriately on search engines.
Creating content that meet these two goals can be a big challenge for content creators, especially those who are new to the job. This post is intended to demystify and simplify the process of creating such content though.
Content is used in this post to refer to all forms of digital media. These include text, image, voice, video and url.
Here are tips on creating content that appeal to readers and search engines:
Whatever form of content you are creating, readers and search engines must find it meaningful. This is necessary because, without meaning, readers and search engines cannot find content useful. When they do not find it useful, it cannot appeal to them. No reader is interested in unuseful stuff, just as no search engine is.
Content gain meaning through relevance. For content to be meaningful to readers, it must be relevant to their ideas, interests, needs or beliefs. Search engines find meaning in content by relating search keyword to content keyword.
So, if you want to create content that appeal to readers and search engines, do not forget to factor in relevance.
The human mind is quite complex, but it does not like to crunch complicated stuffs. If you want the mind to comprehend something properly and easily, then present it as clear as possible. A particular study found out that managers had difficulty comprehending data presented in tabular form, but easily made more sense out of the same data when it was represented in graphical form.
You can also expect the same from search engines too. Out of the complex algorithms that embody search engines comes a tool that does not like poorly structured information. For instance, if you misspell a keyword in the title or body of your content, search engines are never going to match it to the correct keyword in a search.
With readers and search engines, clarity is highly appealing.
There is little or no appreciation for copied or duplicated content. Apart from the legal measures against copying, when readers find out that content is illicitly copied or duplicated, they are instantly put off. The notion of not been original or legitimate makes it difficult for readers to trust the content, as well as the creator. This jeopardizes any chance of the content appealing to readers.
Search engines, likewise, have a way of distinguishing original and copied content, and they give preference to original content. A search engine may fail to crawl and index your content, the search engine administrator may directly blacklist your content because it is inappropriately copied. This means your content will never show up in search.
Annotation refers to all forms of labelling or marking contained in a piece of content to help a reader or search engine, identify the various parts of the content.
Well annotated or labelled content is very appealing to readers. It aids reading, makes the reading experience more enjoyable and less stressful for readers. Titles, headings, subheadings, subtitles, and so on, in the body of a particular content are examples of annotations that help readers.
For search engines, annotation assists in the indexing of the various parts of the content. A search engine uses annotation in the body or outside the body of the content to identify and classify the various parts of that content. Tags, meta, alt text, etc., are some of the common annotations outside the body of a specific content which search engines would find useful.
Are there any tips you know that were not mentioned in this post? Please, share with us in the comment box.