Most business owners recognise the importance of keeping their websites updated with new content, to keep both customers and search engines happy. But don’t make the mistake of putting just anything online – you need to be discerning in order for your content to be really effective. So what exactly should you be looking for?
Here is a checklist for producing good digital content:
1. It should reflect your business
This may seem obvious, but it’s really important so it goes at the top. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative when you’re coming up with ideas for new content – it’s great to think of different angles – but stick to subjects that are at least partially relevant to your business. The tone of the content should also reflect your brand, whether that’s quirky or serious, aspirational or down to earth.
Make sure that new content is always rooted to your business objectives by including a call to action, eg ‘sign up for our newsletter’. These calls to action should be unmissable and easy to follow.
2. It should be useful and/or interesting
As much as your content has to meet your own business needs, it should also meet the needs of your customers. If it doesn’t engage them, then there’s no point in having it there at all. Never forget who your target market is, and tailor your content accordingly.
Ask yourself what is the aim of that particular piece of content. Who is it for? What need is it meeting? What do you want to get across? Are you answering a question? Are you stimulating ideas? Are you giving advice? What do you want the reader to do afterwards?
3. It should be authoritative and trustworthy
With such a vast amount of information available out there in the digital world, you need to have the edge over others in order to catch people’s attention. Luckily, you do have an edge – your expertise. Let this guide you when choosing which subjects to focus on, and use it to help you lend authority and authenticity to your content.
It should go without saying that your content should also be original, factually correct and error-free.
4. It should be easy to read
Catching someone’s eye with an appealing title or intro is one thing, but getting them to read down to the end of the page is another. Make text easy to scan by organising it into short paragraphs, and use sub-headings and lists. Language should be clear and simple, avoiding jargon and clichés. Make every word count and don’t write any more than is necessary.
By following this checklist, you’ll be able to produce high quality, effective digital content. And don’t forget to make sure everyone knows it’s there by making it easy to share and promoting it through social media.
Jenny Brindley is a freelance writer and editor who specialises in working with SMEs to enhance their web presence. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.