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Here’s Some Game-Changing Content You Should Create and Why

Here’s Some Game-Changing Content You Should Create and Why

When it comes to content for your company’s website, more is always better, provided, of course, that it’s high-quality content.

Content, as we have discussed before, includes blog posts, social media posts, general descriptive information about your organization’s vision, mission, staff, location, products, services, and so on.

If you run a business, then above all else, your content should engage people. Your content should drive traffic to your website. And once a searcher is on your website, that content should be compelling enough to hold the attention of that user long enough for that person to become a customer.

How can you accomplish this? By creating content that is engaging, informative, and soothes the “pain” that the searcher is feeling. The pain is what caused that person to want to conduct a search in the first place.

This pain can take many forms. Your potential customer is increasingly likely to express pain in the form of a full-fledged question, especially as voice searches become more prevalent.

Such pain-related questions may include:

“How can I drive more traffic to my website?”

“How many presidents have been impeached?”

“Where can I get some poutine near me?”

As you can see, there’s a broad range of questions that people might ask hoping to satiate their hunger for information and other things.

If you run a business, the key is for you to be found (preferably first) as the answer to one of these questions.

Content does that for you!

So, back to our original question: What sort of content should you create in order to get readers’ attention (and keep it)? Read on!

Strive to be a Featured Snippet

An overwhelming majority of all search engine traffic goes through Google.

You probably use Google. If so, you have likely seen a featured snippet at some point when you have asked that search engine a question.

To see what a featured snippet is, if you don’t know, check out the screenshot below:

A screenshot of a featured snippet

In this example, the featured snippet features a snippet that defines what a featured snippet is. (Got it?)

The SEO gurus at Moz have done an admirable job of explaining what a featured snippet is. And Google has rewarded them with the coveted featured snippet spot as a result.

In case you can’t quite make out the definition in the screenshot above, know that a featured snippet is a portion of content which Google places in a box above the rest of the organic results on a search engine results page in response to a query. Yes, above the number 1 result!

Google does this, presumably, because its algorithm deems the result in the featured snippet to be the best answer to a searcher’s question and then places it there.

Now, if you’re developing content for your site, here’s some great news: The featured snippet doesn’t always come from the page that ranks first in the organic search results.

In other words, if you write content so helpful that Google’s algorithm deems it to be the best answer to a frequently asked question, then you can actually leapfrog over results that appear above you and get displayed in the featured snippet box!

You can see this in action in the screenshot below. The featured snippet came from the Moz site, but Moz is actually second, not first, in the list of organic results Google provides as an answer to the question:

A screenshot showing the organic search results for a featured snippet search

Speaking of Frequently Asked Questions…

You always want to be of use to any searcher, and you always want Google to recognize that.

The best way to be helpful to anyone using a search engine is to answer questions. And the most efficient method for accomplishing this, of course, is to anticipate people’s questions before they’re asked. That’s where your site’s FAQ page can come in.

Composing a page with frequently asked questions is one of the most effective steps you can take to raise the profile of your company’s website.

Creating an FAQ page for your website allows you to place an abundance of relevant keywords related to your business and industry all in one place.

Remember that the use of voice search is on the rise. This is a trend that is projected to continue as people become ever more comfortable consulting virtual assistants to satisfy their information needs. When you compose your FAQ page, structure the questions just as you would expect a potential customer to ask them. Use the same language a layperson might use and you may match up exactly with a user’s query.

If your FAQ page is thorough enough or helpful enough, this could be your company’s ticket to the featured snippet box.

Show Us Your Infographics!

Infographics are valuable pieces of content. They may serve as possible gateways to a whole new potential customer base.

Why? Because, let’s face it, many people simply aren’t going to read through pages (or even a single page) of just text. Infographics are more eye-catching and much easier for busy searchers to engage with. As a result, your potential clients are more likely to read an infographic all the way through. The longer their eyes stay on your website, the better it is for your SEO.

Plus, infographics are an excellent way to repurpose content that you have previously created. Have you composed a blog post that tackled an aspect of your industry particularly well? Turn it into an infographic and release it into the world again! The time you’ll spend on the graphical layout is more than offset by what you save on not developing an entirely new set of ideas.

Video Saved the SEO Star

When you’re tired of text, and even an infographic isn’t lively enough for you, try some video content!

Video content gives you the chance to liven up your website and your social media feeds. It can add some personality to your business, which may help to forge a connection with your audience of potential customers. Plus, it gives you a chance to be creative in a different way. And although text interviews can be interesting, video interviews are even more riveting, especially interviews with influencers!

Perhaps more important than that are these stats about video content and social media engagement. In short, social media content consisting of videos receives more engagement and produces more fruitful returns. Even if you’re camera-shy, it’s worth it.

In Conclusion

As always, more content is better. Higher quality content is better. A greater variety of content is better.

Compose those FAQ lists and strive to be a featured snippet. Repurpose your blog post text as a helpful infographic. And increase your company’s engagement with your audience by posting videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Still stuck? Reach out to Triple Canopy Media! We can help you to develop the content that will elevate your business to the next level.

Content Remains King. So What Makes a Piece of Content Worthwhile?

Content Remains King. So What Makes a Piece of Content Worthwhile?

In his profoundly influential Poetics, Aristotle said that any good plot will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This wise counsel doesn’t just apply to tragedy, though. Any piece of writing, including web content, should be constructed in the same way. This blog post will help you focus on some of the qualities you should infuse your content with if you want it to be more effective at enticing readers.

If you’re a writer, you should begin every work with an introduction that gives your audience a view of your piece from 30,000 feet and then eases each reader into the points you’re getting ready to make. On the other side of the body, or middle, of the piece, comes the end. Make sure that you provide the reader with a conclusion that summarizes your work in a concise and memorable way. And as for the middle, well, yes, you really ought to provide useful, substantive information in the body of your work.

So, that’s the basic structure of a complete written work. Beyond that, what are some of the other qualities you should fill your writing with to make sure that it is readable, effective, and engaging? Check out this list and ponder how good writing is…


  1. Accessible: When you think about accessibility, consider the often-asked thought experiment question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Why? Because it’s reasonable to wonder, “If you write something, and nobody bothers to read it, is it helping your business succeed?” Maybe. After all, Google might still find your content even if no one will actually end up reading it. But you probably shouldn’t count on that, especially since you want people to not just find your page, but stay there. Instead, as a writer, you should concentrate on making your writing accessible and engaging. And make it interesting and lively, too. If you’re creating content of any kind, whether it’s for a blog that is personal or business-related, make sure you’re changing up the words you use. (Synonyms are your friends, your buddies, your pals.) But don’t fill up your writing with words that everyone but a time traveler from the 16th century will have to look up.


  1. Consistent: In order for writing to be coherent and effective, it should be consistent. This should be true across the board. It applies to tone, form, and topic. As a writer, you should heed this advice:


    • Tone: Don’t start out any piece of writing with a light and lively air and then grind it all to a halt by turning dour. You should stay consistent throughout the piece in order to prevent your audience from getting disoriented. And, needless to say, your tone shouldn’t just be internally consistent. It should also be appropriate for the subject matter itself. If you’re writing a review of an action movie, it should be full of action verbs. But if you’re writing copy for a funeral home, save the flippant asides for another day.


    • Form: You want your audience to be able to read your writing with relative ease. Some of your readers could do some skipping and skimming here and there. It’s okay—they can still get your message if the writing is accessible enough. One way you can facilitate this, though, is to keep the form and structure of your content consistent all the way through. In much the same way that you don’t want to start out with lighthearted asides and end up composing a eulogy, so also should you avoid starting out with brief, easily digestible sentences but then descend into long, twisty, winding, rambling, meandering, never-ending…you get the point, right? At the same time, keep in mind that if all of your sentences contain nearly the same exact number of words, then that will also turn readers away. Avoid monotony, regardless of your subject matter.


    • Topic: Stay on point! Focus! Maybe that can be a challenge, especially since it seems like so many of the aspects of what you’re writing about are interconnected. And maybe they are. Nonetheless, it’s important that you make sure not to wander too much from your main subject. If you’re composing something expository—that is, explaining how to do something—focus on the step by step. If you’re writing to persuade, then make sure that your argument is airtight and that you stick with relevant information when you’re presenting your case. And if you’re composing a listicle, every item on the list should actually illustrate your theme or topic.


  1. Polished: There are times when you might be on a roll. If you’re typing, maybe your fingers are flying and they can barely keep up with your thoughts. You just want to get all of those words onto the page! That’s great! If this happens to you, then you’re the envy of every writer suffering from writer’s block. Be sure to relish those moments of inspiration. But this swiftly-composed work is in no way a final product. You have to go back and edit it. There’s no shame in this. Every writer needs to revise. That’s where the best writing comes out anyway. Read over your work to ensure that it makes sense. Did you stay on topic or did you wander? Does the piece flow well, or are there starts and stops? Is it an engaging read? Deadlines are often tight in the world of content writing, but if you can, put the piece aside and look at it later, preferably the next day. Problems will jump out at you that you might have missed shortly after completing the work. And if your coworkers won’t think that you’re crazy, read the piece out loud. Nothing will bring out issues with tone, transitions, or word choice more readily than your ears.


In Conclusion

Writing remains more of an art than a science. Nonetheless, there are still rules that you should follow. Set up your premise, explain it to your readers, and then summarize it for them so that they will walk away with all of your main points in their heads. Make your writing easy to read and digest, and be sure that it is true to itself and reflective of your subject matter. Finally, double check everything before releasing it into the world. And don’t forget that practice makes perfect. Now, sit down and write!

Content Is King. So What Should Your Company Look For in a Content Writer?

Content Is King. So What Should Your Company Look For in a Content Writer?

We’ve written about content before, (actually more than once), and will certainly discuss it here again in the future. If you want your company to succeed online in the 21st century, then you’re going to need to produce lots of good content. And someone is going to have to write that good content. Needless to say, that someone should be a writer well-suited to the job. Just what qualities should that writer have? We’re glad you asked.

Ideally, your company’s chosen writer will satisfy the major requirements we spell out below.


  1. Your writer should love to write

Or at least like writing a whole lot. Ideally, we should all enjoy what we do every day. Although a person can still do outstanding work when that person isn’t particularly enamored of the vocation, (fueled by dedication and professionalism), isn’t it better for everyone if your writer actually loves to write? Writers who love to write relish the opportunity to connect with an audience using their words. Writers who love to write get a jolt of excitement from devising clever turns of phrase. And, most of all, writers who love to write are always striving to make their writing better.


  1. Your writer should excel at the craft of writing

Writing, like any other skilled occupation, calls for a craftsperson who knows how to do it well. Perhaps this goes without saying, more or less, but we still feel that we can’t stress it enough. Good content plays such a major part in the online prosperity of your business. It can determine whether or not your business lives or dies—figuratively, anyway. Would you board an aircraft with a pilot who doesn’t even know how to take off? Don’t park your company’s future in coach on a grounded plane.


  1. Your writer should believe that writing is important

We hope you can forgive our hyperbole when we say that writing is a calling. Whether or not you fully subscribe to that notion, your writer should take writing seriously and respect the power of the written word to inform, persuade, and inspire readers. When we use the word “seriously” though, we don’t mean “joyless.” Your writer can be as free and funny as your subject matter and audience will permit. The craftsmanship of a humor piece should be just as fine as that of a white paper or a homily.


  1. Your writer should have some life experience

This is not to say that young people are incapable of producing good, compelling content. Nor is it the case that any person off the street is a skilled writer just by virtue of having walked the earth for a certain number of years. It’s not that simple, of course. But experience helps. More time on earth means more time perfecting the arts of crafting an argument, describing an initiative, or understanding how other people think and see the world. If you want to converse with people through your writing, you should have some idea about how they think. From there, you can find them where they are and inspire them to follow your lead. Meeting people in the neighborhood helps a lot, though we gladly award bonus points to those who have cross-cultural experience earned by living abroad.


  1. Your writer should have a passion for research

Effective writing doesn’t just spring fully formed from the head of its creator. Good writing is informed by research. Chances are, your writer already uses Google extensively in other (non-writing-related) aspects of life, so harnessing that ability and applying it to blogging or content creation won’t be an enormous leap. Incorporating sources into any piece of writing is a necessary skill. And infusing your content with backlinks, as we’ve discussed before, is a great way to lend authority to your site.


  1. Your writer should still be able to communicate (when not writing)

No less a writer than Ernest Hemingway spoke about writing as a solitary pursuit, and who are we to argue with a Nobel laureate? But when it comes to blogging, for instance, the most successful posts are often the most engaging ones. And the posts that are the most engaging are usually the ones that are the most conversational in nature. You want your readers to feel as though you’re speaking directly to each of them. There’s a lot of value in being personable. We’re not saying that you should exclude the shy or the introverted from your writing rosters. (Where would we be without the bookish, after all?) But we are advocating for that subgroup of writers who also know how to paint pictures with their words in real time.


  1. Your writer should be willing to listen

But isn’t this true of any employee? Yes. Still, we maintain that this is especially true of anyone you have composing copy for your organization. Your company’s content should be a reflection of its personality. Your writer should be able to accurately represent that on the page. That doesn’t just mean following project directions (though that certainly helps). It also means picking up on the “company voice” and reproducing that in the form of promotional or informative content. Consistency is key here as well since, ideally, your company’s content will make your readers feel like they’re a part of a conversation. And why not be that old, trusted friend that people keep wanting to come back to?


  1. Your writer should be willing and able to take constructive criticism

We all get better at what we do through a reexamination of our own work, whatever it may be. Yet oftentimes it’s a beta reader who is able to provide the best guidance after objectively viewing our writing through fresh eyes. Every writer needs an editor. Every writer needs to revise. All writers benefit from the insights of others. Find yourself a writer who invites feedback and will use critical observations to continually improve, and you’ve got a long-term ally and advocate.


In Conclusion

A great writer will bring the same qualities to the table that your company should expect from any other model employee: passion, expertise, dedication, experience, diligence, and personability. Your organization needs a distinctive and trustworthy online voice. If you can find a writer with these qualities who can also reliably speak your company’s language, add that person to your team and then watch your business thrive.