Content marketing is an essential part of any effective digital marketing strategy, and nearly all successful content marketers (96%) agree that content marketing has helped build trust with their organization’s audience.
Top-performing content begins with high-quality writing, formatting, and search engine optimization (SEO).
In this article, we share strategies to help improve your website content writing and format your pieces for increased engagement and SEO.
How to Optimize Your Content for Readability
You can improve the quality of your web writing by optimizing the style and formatting of your pieces for readability.
Optimizing Your Writing Style
More than 1.74 billion websites publish nearly 6 million blog posts daily, competing for the attention of the internet’s more than 4 billion users.
To catch the attention of online readers, write high-quality pieces that are easy to read.
- Keep sentences and paragraphs short: Cut out unnecessary words and aim for a sixth- to eighth-grade reading level. Eighty-five percent of the population can read your content if it’s at an eighth-grade level or lower.
- Write clearly and concisely: Get to the point of your sentences, paragraphs, and sections without adding “filler” words to lengthen a piece.
- Relax your tone: Using contractions helps your writing feel more personable. For example, instead of “I will not” or “you do not,” use the contractions “I won’t” or “you don’t.”
Useful Apps to Help You Optimize Your Content
You can check the reading level of your articles and improve the quality of your writing with one of the following apps:
Readable analyzes your content and provides you with a reading grade level, and offers explanations and suggestions for improving your writing.
Hemingway Editor analyzes your articles and provides you with a reading grade level, then highlights sentences that contain too many words.
Both apps can help optimize your writing for the web.
Formating Your Content
Proper formatting helps readers scan your content.
Scannability is essential for attracting readers and boosting their interaction with your content.
You can optimize your content formatting in several ways:
- Use an H1 Header as the title.
- Break your posts up into sections with H2 headers.
- Ensure that each section delivers on what’s promised in its header.
- Use bulleted and numbered lists throughout your piece.
- Bold important points.
- Add an intro and conclusion to each article.
- Break text content up with images, videos, or GIFs.
Improving your content’s formatting makes your pieces easier to scan and more enjoyable to read.
Additionally, Google search bots respond better to content with good formatting because it helps them digest and analyze your content.
How to Optimize Your Content for SEO
According to a study by Blue Corona, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Optimizing your content for search engines is critical in today’s search-driven environment.
Once you’ve optimized the readability and formatting of your piece, boost your SEO further with the following tips:
Include Strategic Keyword Placement
Place your keywords in the title, meta description, first sentence, and image alt text.
You can also include your keywords in a few areas throughout the piece, but don’t overdo it, or it may be considered “keyword stuffing” by your audience and by Google.
Write both naturally and for your reader.
Google picks up on terms and phrases related to your keywords, so you don’t need to repeat your exact keywords over and over again.
Add Internal Links
Adding internal links to your content is critical to your search rankings.
Internal linking boosts your SEO because it engages readers and shows Google that your site’s content is related to similar topics.
The best way to include internal links is by connecting phrases within your articles to other pieces on your website that expand on the topic.
Encourage Incoming Links
Guest posting, artwork sharing, and original research are three ways to encourage other websites to link to yours.
Incoming links boost your credibility with Google and your rankings in the SERPs.
Consider Your Reader
Writing for website readers means tailoring your content to specific grade levels and presenting information in a clear and concise structure.
Quality writing and formatting also improves your SEO, which is further enhanced by strategic keyword placement and linking.
Wells Collins is the Creative Director at Two Bridges Design – a nimble logo design studio based out of Denver, CO.