It Starts With the Title & Meta Description:
Whether your post is popping up in the search engines, being shared on social media, or being sent out via email, the title is a major element. It’s the first impression that can either attract or deflect traffic away from your website. And the end goal, of course, is to bring traffic to your site in order to provide visitors with the valuable information you have to offer.
A meta description is a short summary of your post which appears in the SERPS (search engine results page) directly under the title. The search engines can create this description for you naturally, but you can also choose to modify it to say exactly what you want it to yourself. It only allows about 160 characters maximum for this description, so you want it to be concise and intriguing. This description is almost as important as the title since it can be a preview of exactly what your post has to offer.
Blog Post Titles That Convert:
The blog posts that receive the most clicks are typically “how to’s” and numbered lists. When it comes to “how to’s”, people are looking for detailed guides concerning how to perform a specific task. They want to ask Google a distinct question and are looking for a detailed answer. Obviously, you want to be the person providing the best answer. When it comes to number lists, people are looking for simplification, as well as options. These I know are attractive since I click on them all the time. Here are some examples: “How to Find…”, “Top 5 Ways to…”, “7 Habits of…”, “Secrets to…”, “10 Rules for…”.
Images Can Make or Break Your Post:
We live in a visual society in which people desire quality images in order to spark their interest. Take the success of social media platforms such as Pinterest & Instagram for example: both of these platforms are based off the idea of people sharing images. If you’re not enticing readers with your images, they may click away. If you expect people to be able to focus on pure words for an extended period of time, then you’ll have a hard time keeping them on your page.
Your best friend will be any type of tool that allows you to take screenshots, such as Monosnap. These will oftentimes be the best images you have to offer. I personally like to use Canva in order to create images on my own. It’s like a toned down version of PhotoShop and is much easier to use. There are also sites out there, such as Photo Pin & Compfight, that offer free images for anybody to utilize. I use these on occasion, but tend to shy away since I dislike stock photos. You may also want to consider embedding videos from YouTube/Vimeo, as these can greatly complement your writing. And similar to how people like images, they like videos even more.
The Importance of Subheadings:
Not only do you need to put an emphasis on your post title and images, but you need to focus on subheadings as well. These subheadings allow you to break up your post into different aspects and allow your readers to skim through to find the information they need. If visitors aren’t able to skim through with the help of subheadings, they may feel overwhelmed and leave before giving your post a chance.
Keep in mind that people prefer about 7 minutes of content, which is estimated at 1200-1700 words. This doesn’t mean that every post you publish needs to be within this range, but it gives you an idea of what to aim for.
What Type of Writing Style Do People Like?
In my experiences, people tend to like being spoken to as a friend. Your grammar doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to be a professional writer to appeal to your site’s traffic. You want to be personal and share your experiences concerning the content’s topic. For example, online reviews are very popular and convert due to the story-telling aspects of them. You share your personal experiences with a product or service in order to help others who are considering buying them. Have you ever searched for reviews of a specific product or service online? I bet there’s a good chance you have. The fact of the matter is most people make decisions based on what others have told them.
Don’t Forget Your Call-to-Action:
Your call-to-action is arguably the most important aspect of your post. If your post attracts visitors that read the entire thing, but then don’t know what else to do when they’re done, you’ve missed out on a huge opportunity.
The bottom line is, you need to outright tell them what to do next. Whether you want them to subscribe to your email newsletter, share your post on social media, leave a comment, or purchase the product, you need to make it easy for them to do. I’ve watched many website reviews by expert online entrepreneur & author, Scott Fox, and he has repeated the same quote many times to website owners without calls to action in their posts: “How can I give you money? I couldn’t even give you money if I wanted to!”
If you’re expecting to make a sale, or just looking to gain a subscriber to your email newsletter, you need to tell your visitors exactly how to do it! It’s as simple as that.
Written by Matthew Thomas