In the film, Words and Pictures, two school teachers have a debate about which is more powerful—words or pictures. When looking at online content, it’s important not only to use both, but to use them in a way that’s most effective.

There’s great web content and there’s content that gets results. How do you know which kind of content you have?

WHAT WORDS CAN DO. . .

Your content has to be engaging, compelling, interesting—and it has to be SEO-friendly. Remember, though, readers don’t care if you’re using the right longtail keywords to rank higher in search engines. They want to be educated, entertained, inspired. So your content has to reach readers, while ranking in the search engines at the same time.

Here are 3 types of content you want to have on your site:

  1. Click-Through Content

A headline or teaser to persuade the reader to click and learn more. If your click-through rate is low, you’re not being persuasive enough.

  1. Call-to-Action Content              

Copy that either makes the sale, or prompts someone to sign up for your emails or newsletters. If your sales are exploding, and your subscribers are growing, you’re doing something right.

  1. Informative Content

This content educates, inspires or entertains the reader. Educating helps position you as an expert in your industry. If you provide great tips, readers will likely believe you know what you’re talking about enough to buy from you or at least set up a consultation. Inspiration leads to making changes. If you get me thinking about my health or fitness in a different, even shocking, way, I might consider signing up for your healthy lifestyle newsletter and buying your special diet shakes or (insert fitness product here). If you entertain readers, remember to tie in your product or service so that readers don’t forget you in the process. Think of those Super Bowl ads that are funny, but viewers forget what the product was that was being sold.

To harness the power of words, keep in mind a few of these guidelines:

Tell me something I didn’t know.

A surprising fact or anecdote often pulls the reader in and compels them to read more.

4 out of 5 people didn’t take a vacation last year.

(Don’t know if that’s true, but it piques your interest.)

A fresh take on an ordinary topic.

Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any new way to talk about certain subjects. But if you dig, you can usually find something. For example, if you sell pet food, don’t blog about only healthy ingredients in the food Fido eats. Do a blog topic about deadly items around your house that can harm your pets. Which brings us to the next idea. . .

It’s okay to go negative.

Psychologically, we respond more to the negative than the positive. This may be contrary to those who say everyone should be more positive, but it’s been found to be true. Your brain responds more to the negative. So when you’re looking for more clicks, the negatively phrased messages may work better. Not always, but don’t be afraid to go there.

Which of these would YOU click on?

5 Valentine’s Day gifts he’ll love.

OR

Valentine’s Day mistakes you won’t recover from.

Whatever approach you take to content writing, creativity should always be a top priority. Saying something in an unusual way or sharing an interesting story can go a long way to attracting readers and keeping them coming back for more.

Testimonials from ordinary customers.

Everyone knows that a company telling you how great they are carries less weight than a person who used a product and had a good experience. Personal, first-hand accounts go far in giving credibility to a brand.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND CLICKS.

Visual content is often a quicker way to get attention, whether they are graphic illustrations, photos or videos. They’ve become increasingly popular, and not only will audiences appreciate them, but search engines do as well.

If you want to explain a startling fact or statistic that relates to your business, you can show it in an easy-to-read graphic. If you need to demonstrate how your products work, you can do a YouTube video that not only shows how to use the product, but why it will make life much easier for your customers. If you notice on infomercials, they make good use of demonstrations, as well as testimonials from happy customers. Consider doing this as well.

Photographs are suitable for many businesses, including home products. You can show “before” and “after” photos of how your product improved the space in a room—a storage shelf, new flooring, light fixtures, etc. Photos sometimes tell the story quicker, and with greater impact, than miles of copy.

New Trends in Online Content

It’s becoming increasingly important to use both text and visuals in your content, not only to engage audiences, but to rank higher on Google and other search engines. You’ll be rewarded for having visual content closer to the top of your pages. There’s also a higher percentage of click-throughs for videos and photos.

Remember, telling the story of your product requires a combination of information and visual elements that are more likely to capture your readers and keep them coming back for more.

For more online trends and topics, keep visiting our blog. To give your business superior online content that gets results, contact Your Page Today.

Your Page Today is a full-service web development company serving central Massachusetts—Barre, MA; Holden, MA; Auburn, MA; and Oxford, MA.