The term “inviting” someone to your content may sound a little bit odd, but that is exactly what you’re doing when you bring in traffic. Whether it comes from social media, paid media, SEO, word-of-mouth, reviews, etc., you are consistently inviting people to read your webpages.
While it’s true that not all webpages focus on long-form content, images, video, or short bursts of text all count as types of content that you’re inviting people to read. It’s up to you as a business owner to capitalize on this traffic by nurturing this “invitation” as opposed to simply throwing it out there and hoping something sticks.
If you’ve been working to become a more inviting business, a great way to make this happen with your content is to think about the psychology of meeting someone. The three content creation tactics below can help get you there.
Welcome Them to the Article
First and foremost, you can welcome visitors to an article by introducing what it is that the article will accomplish. This way, the reader knows what they can expect and can decide for themselves whether they are interested in continuing without creating any false expectations or disappointment. There are several ways that you can do this:
● Put a focus on meta descriptions.
● Tell readers what the article should accomplish right there in the introduction, potentially even the very first sentence. Bolding this sentence can help, too.
● Use short, plainspoken words. Anything too fancy or full of jargon will set the wrong tone for your introduction.
Additionally, the title has to directly match the value proposition. Users usually click through to read an article because a certain title led them to believe it would satisfy their need. Unfortunately, many articles don’t actually follow through with this promise. This is because SEO tactics sometimes lead companies to forget the importance of this point and instead end up creating some keyword-rich or even tricky headline.
Clickbait headlines are famous for failing to do this (and the worst part is they do it on purpose).
Take the following clickbait example from E! Online titled Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi Have a Kid. As you can see, the headline does a fairly good job of telling you what it will accomplish (telling you about Ellen DeGeneres’ new baby), but when you click the article, the content is actually about the dog she adopted and named “Kid.”
Because the title and the content don’t match up, the reader is unable to accomplish what they thought they would (which was to learn about a baby, not a dog adoption). They put “Kid” in quotes when you click the article, but those don’t show up on Google, so they get the misled clicks.
Clickbait articles can work sometimes and for certain goals, but in most cases, it only frustrates the reader. As long as you make sure that your article is titled correctly and the content makes sense with that title, you’re on your way to making sure the reader feels welcomed. This is also hugely important in helping bring readers back to your site in the future.
Finally, it’s important to consider proper hosting techniques. After all, we are the hosts of our content, and we want to make the best impression on our visitors. Choosing the right web host for your website is a crucial part of this. There are many different options out there, so I recommend checking out this list to see the different features each offers side by side.
While choosing a host, it’s important to focus on their support options. If ever your website gets overloaded, hacked, a designer makes a mistake, etc., you need to have a host that’s ready to go and get you back up and running immediately. A good hosting choice will also have good backup options. Again, you never know what may go wrong with your site, so not only will support be key in helping you, but having a backup system will be crucial.
Of course, there are many other features to consider when it comes to choosing a web host — uptime guarantees, accessibility, scalability, etc. — but which are most important to you will depend on your company. Check out this article to learn about what it takes to choose the right web host for your website.
Support the Main Theme
You have to make sure that you’re not just introducing a piece well, but that the piece is actually worthwhile. If we’re using the analogy of meeting someone, this would be the conversation aspect of that meeting.
You can do this with your content by focusing on valuable knowledge and media-rich content that not only satisfies their need, but also allows them to get all information necessary without going to another source.
Users often click to read an article hoping to get everything they need to either a) move forward and take action, or b) become more knowledgeable about a particular subject. In other words, content creators should try as hard as they can to provide an all-in-one location for online audiences.
If you’re the content creator, you can do this by supporting your content with useful data, research, citations, advocacy, media (images and video), tools, tactics and links to internal / external content. Of course, you have to make sure you do not overload the content too much, which can be done with solid structuring and clear writing.
Conclude the Article
Always include a proper goodbye and make sure the reader has the takeaways intended by recapping key points from within the body of the content. Those key points can be headers, which also helps increase readability and uniformity of the article.
Finally, at the very end, you can ask a question that incentivizes and empowers the reader to make a connection with the author and brand through sharing their own personal experiences. Internalizing all of what you have just communicated in the form of a comment will help the reader create more of an affinity with it.
And so to follow, my own lessons, below are the key takeaways from this article and a question to get you thinking:
The Key Takeaways
1. Welcome the Reader to the Article
● Always introduce what it is that the article will accomplish. This is oftentimes done right away in an introduction and/or through a meta description.
● Your title has to directly match the value proposition. In other words, avoid clickbait headlines and make sure that readers get what they expected when they click.
● Follow proper hosting techniques by looking at your different options and focusing on support and backup features.
2. Support the Main Theme
● Content creators should try as hard as they can to provide an all-in-one location for online audiences. This means they should not feel the need to navigate away from the page to learn something new or find more information.
● The content has to be high-quality.
3. Conclude the Article
● Recap the key points in the article at the end of the piece. You can do this by having a recap section, like we’ve done here, or utilizing headers to help the key points stand out, which is also what we’ve done here.
● Ask a question that incentivizes and empowers the reader to make a connection with the author and brand.