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Robin Good's insight:
Good usability and web design advice from Neil Patel, who points out eight key things to pay serious attention to when optimizing your page content and layout, based on what eye-tracking data reports show.
I can only confirm, that based on my own experience as a web publisher, these eight points are indeed all very important and often underestimated.
In particular I'd like to highlight three:
1) Info chunks are best
2) You need a lot of white space
3) Use pictures of people
Read the full article to get better insight and understanding on why these factors are important and why it is useful to do something about them.
Rightful. Useful advice. 7/10
Reading time: 5' mins.
Over 200+ hand-curated content strategy resources: books, blogs, journals, articles, conferences, and meetups - all in one place!
Robin Good's insight:
If you re looking for great articles, resources and guides about content strategy and its characteristics, you have found what you were looking for.
Jontahon Colman, has curated an excellent catalogue of the best resources on content strategy resources available online.
From books, to magazines, journals, blogs, articles, forums and events, this annotated list has plenty of valuable resources and it is definitely a valuable reference asset to save for anyone interested in deepening his knowledge about content strategy.
Free to use.
Robin Good: If you want to create valuable content online that meets and intercepts your specific user needs, here is a good set of strategies to follow.
In this guide, Rich Brooks shows three approaches that you can use to identify precisely what are the specific needs and issues of your audience that you should cover with your best content.
#1: Be the resource your customers really need
#2: Answer the unanswered questions
#3: Find the questions your customers are asking
From the original article: "If you want to attract and engage a loyal audience to your blog, you need to be continually creating content that is of interest to them, not necessarily of interest to you.
By researching your keywords, digging a little deeper and uncovering the questions your ideal customer is asking, you can build a blog that builds your business."
Good strategies. 8/10
Full article: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blog-content/
Robin Good: Andrew Edwards at Clickz provides some interesting and valuable advice for content producers that I strongly recommend you pay attention to.
He writes: "Look at any tabloid today (but hurry, as they are mostly going the way of all tree-based media) and you'll notice the following traits:
1) catchy, sometimes kitschy headlines;
2) active voice (subject, verb, few adjectives, no adverbs);
3) short paragraphs without semicolons (!); one sentence = one idea; and, if referencing culture, make it pop culture.
This last one is important because we're now in an era where one apologizes for erudition lest it may embarrass a certain type of reader or - night terrors! - send someone to the "dictionary."
Finally, make sure your text is broken up (by subheads if possible, but not more than a few per thousand words). It creates white space."
That's gold advice, written in three paragraphs.
"...If you don't care about whether anyone ever pays you for your work, go ahead and do anything you want. You may get lucky.
But if you're expecting to get paid, follow the guidelines.
Do the work and do it well. And care about what the audience wants.
If you care enough and are good enough, your audience most of the time will reward you."
Truthful. Applicable. 9/10
Robin Good: Good post by Neil Patel at ProBlogger explaining one of the fundamentals of online marketing 2.0: create free, tangible value, like no other, with unique content assets that people will WANT to link to.
He writes: "A linkable asset is a piece of content that is responsible for driving lots of links to your site.
It could be an infographic that you update every year, but it’s usually much bigger and complex.
The Feltron Report is an annual report that’s like an infographic on steroids. It’s more than likely you’ve heard of the Felton Report. Its personal data from the life of Nicholas Felton, a designer and data guy, who’s been cranking out these reports since 2005.
Must-know stuff. 8/10
(Image credit: TotalProSports.com)
Corbett Barr writes over at ThinkTraffic.net:
2) How can I present this information best so that it will be read and shared by as many people as possible?
When it comes to presenting the information in the best way possible, there are really two things to focus on most, headlines and something I’ll call post types here."
- ...and I definitely agree. Headlines and content format types are absolutely "strategically vital" in helping your content be found first and be immediately appreciated next.
These are indeed two areas that can provide tremendous positive benefits when one starts to explore new approaches and methods outside of what everyone else is doing.
"Beyond headlines, there are certain types of posts that constantly attract more readers, comments, tweets, stumbles and links than other types of posts. ...I’m talking about the overall structure and concept of a post...
If you study popular blogs, you’ll find a number of different post types that are constantly used and that constantly become the most popular posts on the web.
...I narrowed those different post types down to [FIVE] that... "
P.S.: Two of these alternative formats, n.1 and n.5 are two great and effective "curated content" formats, which may be easier to approach and appear to be built on more solid value-generating foundations.
Valuable advice: 7/10
(Curated by Robin Good)
Robin Good's insight:
Translate this idea to your specific reality, niche or industry and you have a great approach that integrates storytelling in its DNA and a fantastic way to always have interesting and attention-grabbing content for your readers.
The story of Dave Gorman, a British stand-up comedian, goes like this:
"...instead of trying to think of interesting things to write about for his act, he would do interesting things – and then write about those.
It turns out that people are far more interested in the weird or exciting things you’ve done that in the weird or exciting things you’ve just thought about."
A simple idea like this can truly transform the way you approach writing and the creation of content to build your own reputation and credibility online.
"In other words, doing interesting stuff makes you an interesting person to follow."
Thanks to Ian Brodie for this article of 2012, but as valuable to read now as it was then.
Full article: http://www.ianbrodie.com/marketing/interesting-content/
Reading time: 4':35"
Robin Good's insight:
Andrew Gouty analyzes the history of SEO, while highligthing how increasingly important it is to look less at "SEO tactics" and more at producing truly quality content.
The article cum infographic reviews the main five SEO eras, from the 1994-99 Meta era, and through the PageRank years (2000-2003), the Florida era (2004-2009), the Content Era (2010-12) and the Present Day.
A good, fact-supported overview of what really counts when it comes to content visibility on the web.
Useful. Data-rich. 8/10
Full article + infographic: http://www.raidious.com/content-marketing/the-history-of-seo-effectiveness/
Robin Good: Some really valuable and long-tested advice on specific, immediately applicable things you can do to your writing and to the formatting of your content to make sure it looks professional, and it gets more people to read and appreciate it.
The advice contained in this infographic is excellent and I have been using each and every single one of these ten rules for a long time now on MasterNewMedia. If you have not yet started to consider some of this variables, dive into this infographic and start reserving some mental and production space for them too.
A) Impatient searchers
Jakob Nielsen’s seminal web usability study from 1997 showed that 79% of web users scan rather than read. Think about how you use the web. You’re in search of information. And if you don’t find it on the page you’re visiting, you click away and look elsewhere. What can you do to engage your readers so they lean into your content, stay on your pages and interact with your information?
B) Make it snappy
To write successfully for the web, you need to forget some of what you learned in English composition class. Accept that people scan web pages rather than reading them in detail, and work with this reality rather than fighting it.
C) Structure your paragraphs in the inverted pyramid style.
This means stating your conclusion first, then supporting it with the sentences that follow. This helps scanners to move from point to point, and decide where they’d like to dive in deeper.
1. Embrace the line break
There are few easier ways to make your content more readable.
And try writing some paragraphs with one sentence only.
2. Break up your content with compelling subheads
Is there a compelling story? Will they get the gist of your information?
3. Use bulleted lists
4. Use deep captions
Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”
Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig in to your whole article.
5. Add highly relevant links
Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material. External links demonstrate that you’ve researched the topic and want to highlight other experts.
6. Use strategic formatting
Add emphasis to your web copy by bolding important concepts. You reader will be able to scan through and pick out the most important information at a glance. Emphasize the key points so the scanner can quickly pick them out.
7. Harness the power of numbers
Think those numbered list posts are tired? Think again. Numbers are an incredibly effective way to both capture attention and to keep the reader oriented.
8. Check your dual readership path
Does the reader get the gist? Have you pulled out the most interesting and relevant words, the words that will pull your scanner in and turn her into a reader?
Excellent. It works. 9/10
Robin Good: Brad Neelan does a good job of outlining and summarizing what it takes to find relevant new content themes that can help you or your company stand out and become more relevant to your readers.
In synthesis, this is the three-step strategy he suggests to use:
"What you are looking for is data insights that highlight a trending topic or illustrate an opportunity area based on emerging interest.
When you couple these trending keyword opportunities with categories of interest to your business clientele, you can formulate a snapshot based on growing patterns of interest.
...When you begin to institutionally think about where you can capitalize on keywords that are either not yet in vogue, or about to become breakout, you will find that search provides a wealth of potential insight to inform your next big differentiating position.
...Once you have begun to think about the opportunities keyword insights can provide, you collect the concepts into a pool of potential targets grouped by theme."
How do you attract passionate customers?
What can you do to cut through the noise and get people to notice what you have to say?
The answer is CONTENT—interesting and compelling information that helps solve your customers’ problems.
Here’s an analogy: If a big-time investor invited you to pitch your business idea to him, how much effort would you make to impress him?
I’m guessing that you wouldn’t dare show up without a compelling idea and a well-thought-out strategy. And yet most businesses do just that when it comes to social media marketing.
Given the opportunity to influence an online audience of potential customers, they simply show up without preparing a compelling message.
No wonder they don’t see the results they want with their social media campaigns. http://bit.ly/AkkhCK