The Art of Creating the Right Content
Matcha Design - Wednesday, September 10, 2014
There's a saying that 'content is king' when it comes to creating a successful website or web-based marketing materials.
But that 'content is king' phrase refers to high quality content only. Poorly-written content can do much more harm than good!
So when you're tackling the copywriting components of your web design project or materials for that marketing campaign, how do you create winning content, while avoiding an epic failure? Let's examine a few common errors that will result in poor content.
Error #1: The Content is Written for Search Engines, Not People
In the early days of web design and SEO copywriting, people were writing for search engines only. This content was purely driven by a desire to rank well in the search engine results. There was no consideration for the reader. This content was often nonsensical or completely unreadable - such as 1,000 words on a topic that could have easily been covered in 5 or 6 sentences.
Many SEO copywriters would also infuse their content with unnatural keywords, which made the content really difficult and just plain unpleasant to read. A high keyword density is another sure-fire way to kill your content, so if you have "best DUI attorney San Francisco" appearing 11 times in 200 words, then you have a major problem.
But this awkwardness didn't matter to these copywriters, because the content wasn't written for people; it only existed to rank on the first page of Google, where it would pull in readers who would find absolutely nothing of value on the page. As a result, the frustrated readers would click on an advertisement in hopes of getting the information they were seeking.
Google's Panda algorithm update changed all of that.
Today, Google values that which is reader-friendly. If your content doesn't appeal to readers, then it's going to harm your ranking. So think about your reader. What type of information are they seeking? What are their questions and concerns? Also, think of what related content they would like to read and then link to it.
Error #2: Too Much Text or an Imbalance of Text
We mentioned how it's counter-productive to write a 1,000 word piece on a topic that could be easily covered in 75 or 100 words. But many also make the mistake of writing a massive, in-depth 5,000-word article on a topic that interests readers. But this isn't reader friendly. Few people will want to read the entire write up. Plus, it's intimidating and it's also hard on the reader, as your eye tends to lose its place when you're reading large chunks of text. People tend to prefer their information in small, easily-digestible 'bites.'
So instead of examining a topic in one 5,000-word article, divide it up into 7 or 10 smaller articles, which can be interlinked. Remember to use small paragraphs too, to make it easier to read on-screen. This is much more conducive to the manner in which people read on the web.
Also, include lots of images. This is an important part of graphic design and web design. Images add an element of visual interest to a page, while breaking up large blocks of text.
In addition, consider the balance of text throughout the page. Don't put all of the text on the top or bottom of a page. The text and images should be equally distributed throughout.
Error 3: The Wrong Types of Photos
When adding images to your content, pick high quality photos that are relevant to the topic at hand.
Whenever possible, opt for unique, high quality professional photos. There are lots of photographers who specialize in commercial photography. A commercial photography expert can capture beautiful images that are engaging and interesting – a far cry from the corny, inauthentic and oh so cliché stock photos that are most often found on websites and in marketing materials.
Error 4: The Content is Boring
Many companies are compelled to write article after article that promotes their own offerings. This is boring. Nobody wants to read a full-length article comprised of self-promotional drivel.
It's best to provide the reader with something of value – just as we've done here! Instead of writing 500 words on how fabulous Matcha Design is, we provided you with something useful and interesting, with a small self-promotional plug at the end. So here goes....
About Matcha Design
Matcha Design is a full-service creative agency specializing in web design, print, identity, branding, interface design, video production, still photography and motion design. Using our passion for excellence, multi-cultural background, and award winning practices, we consistently provide high-quality, custom, innovative solutions to meet the diverse marketing needs of our clients. For more information, visit www.MatchaDesign.com.