Is your blog content the nerdy kids sitting by itself at the lunch table? Do you want it to be the head cheerleader, front-and-center at the pep rally? Everyone wants their site to have amazing content, but actually creating popular content isn't easy. I should know! I've been producing site content for clients for almost 20 years. Along the way, I've picked up a few tricks that can make your content shareable and search engine friendly. Up until now I've been using all of these tricks for just for clients. Today, I'm going to share them with you.
1. Always Include Interesting Images...and Then Some...
You probably know that you need an interesting photo to share your content on Pinterest. That goes for the rest of social media, too. Content that has photos gets more shares. For example, research done by Socialbakers.com and published by eMarketer reports that 75% of content posted on Facebook are images and found that images have an 84% interaction rate. Research by Media Blog also found that using photos gave Twitter users 35% bump in retweets.
Okay, so it's clear that people love images. I won't keep hammering it into your brain.
What types of images do people love most?
Glad you asked.
The Neilson Norman Group did some research on what photos draw the most attention. Here's what they found:
People love looking at people...but not generic people. So, don't use stock photos of people. Try illustrating your posts with pictures of you doing a task or having a reaction to the subject you're talking about.
If you post a photo of how to do something or a product, give them the option to see a larger version of the photo. The larger version should be at least twice as big. People want to see details!
Don't use photos as filler. The photo should be original and eye-catching, not a stock image.
Posting a photo with your blog text isn't enough, though. You want to make search engines find you using your photos, so make sure that you fill in the caption, Alt text section, description and meta with relevant keywords and phrases.
More images are better, too. The highest ranking articles have 3.2 photos (see the infographic at the end of this post).
2. Cook Up a Title that Gets Attention
Back in the day, any informative title would get your blog post great views. Now, there's too much competition. If you don't stand out you don't get views.
The best way to craft a title that people pay attention to is to play on emotions. Make the title:
Make the reader feel guilty
Make the reader curious
Make the reader feel mad
Make the reader feel like they are going to get a deal (free is always a good word to use)
You get the idea. Here's an infographic to give you some title ideas. (Pro tip: There is more of this post below the infographic.)
3. Meta It Up
Did you know that every single page on your site has its own meta? This helps search engines find your new blog post and help it rank. The best way to add meta to your blog post is to use a plugin like Yoast. (No, I don't get anything for telling you about Yoast. I just think it's great.) It's free, and it makes adding meta easy while it guides you through toning up your SEO in every area of your post.
4. Link Up with Success
You've probably heard that adding links to reputable sites will get you more search engine love. That's true, but there is another reason that you should add links. Links to further information on the topics in your post shows your readers that you care. You don't just try to tell them what you want them to know; you go the extra step to give them even more information. Your readers will appreciate that and will come back to you. They will also be more likely to share your post with others if it's chock full of helpfulness. The highest ranking articles have around 10 links. Mind you, these articles are over 1,000 words. You wouldn't put that many links into a shorter article.
5. Don't Be Boring!
The most popular posts are entertaining. That doesn't mean that you need to be Jim Carry wild to get laughs, but you can inject personal stories into your posts, touching customer testimonials or a joke or two that goes with your post.