5 tips for creating engaging content
No matter how funky your website, how glittery your graphics or how clever your coding, ultimately what makes the difference is how engaging your content is.
Let's face it, it's your real flesh-and-blood visitors who are the ones likely to register, give you their email address, or place an order. Engaging with real people is critical, and here are five ways you can do just that.
Answer real questions
For web developers, it’s easy to assume you know what visitors will be looking for. But starting with the answers and then coming up with questions is doing it backwards. Do your research, take advantage of social media, and find out what real people are looking for or needing to know, and create content that addresses that.
Talk to real people
Your website doesn’t have to be a formal brochure. If you know your customers and you know the type of person who'll be reading your content, make sure you write for them. Don’t try to show off your knowledge, or oversimplify things that don't need explaining. Don’t ever say something for the sake of it - produce content that targets your audience.
Clear your throat and breathe
No one likes being lectured. We all need a break from a torrent of information. Good speakers will pause, clear their throat and take time to allow listeners to take on board what's been said. Break up your web content, either into separate pages, or simply use paragraphs and subtitles. These make text look less daunting, and make it feel much more relevant, useful and authoritative.
Never fake telepathy
Most of us hate being told what we're thinking by someone who probably hasn’t a clue. When creating web content never come close to telling your readers that you know what they're thinking, or tell them the questions they probably ought to be asking. Be professional, be relevant but don’t write like a cheesy salesman.
Make it clear that you’re human
The online world is so digital that sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that most content has been lovingly produced by a real person. Don’t be afraid to use the first person, to include your name somewhere, or even a photo. This is easier with blog posts than web pages, but always try to look for the opportunities.