How To Improve Your Content To Reach A Wider Audience
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Once you have an article idea you think your readers would appreciate, it’s pretty easy to get that first draft written.
You lay out all of your ideas, create sub headers and write until you run out of steam, that’s what I do anyway. Next, its time for editing, adding pictures, relevant links, etc. and then, of course, you will have to spend more time on figure out the best way to promote your article.
Why spend all this time and effort on creating online content in the first place? Well, because a lot of people might just be looking for what you have to say. The global internet population in 2014 represented 2.4 billion people, and data never sleeps.
Every minute of every day:
- Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
- Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
- Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
- YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
- Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps.
- Email users send over 200 million messages.
- Amazon generates over $80,000 in online sales.
Now that you understand the potential reach of your content, and the need for small business owners to compete for precious and very distracted eyeballs, let’s look at some tips.
Improve Your Content To Reach A Wider Audience
- Make sure your written content flows and is free of errors and miss-spellings. I always read my articles out loud at least once before clicking on the publish button. You might be surprised by how many grammatical errors you come across. Doing this is also a good way to find out if your article structure flows. Find a catchy, search friendly title, and keep in mind that most online readers will only skim your articles. They read the highlighted content first and only if something truly catches your readers eyes will they focus in and read the rest of the text.
- Ask your business partner, spouse, friend or neighbor to read your content before publishing. Having someone read what you have written can make a huge difference in the quality of your content. Just because it makes sense to you doesn’t necessarily mean it will make sense to everyone else. You might need to answer additional questions or fix a few minor errors.
- Include relevant keywords to optimize for organic traffic. Keyword optimization is about how your potential visitors might find your content on search engines. Think about what you would search for if you were looking for particular content. Rand Fishkin, staff member at Moz in Seattle, WA states in one of his on-page SEO articles, “There are hundreds of “best practices” lists for where to place keywords and how to do “on-page optimization,” but as search engines have evolved and as other sources of traffic — social networks, referring links, email, blogs, etc. — have become more important and interconnected, the very nature of what’s “optimal” is up for debate.”
- Add ‘Alt Tags’ to your images. It stands for ‘alternative tags’ and is code within the image tag (alt=”picture description”). This description will show whenever the image can’t get loaded on the screen or when the image is being read by another computer (either a screen reader for accessibility or a search engine bot indexing a site). For best SEO results clearly describe what the image is about.
- Add relevant links to other articles, blogs and websites. One article can’t possibly cover all the different aspects of a given subject. It only makes sense for you to link out for further information, deeper dives, or relevant tangents. Link to relevant articles within your own site and also link to other key influencers who will be able to solidify your information, and to build relationships. Internal linking and backlinks are extremely important for SEO and brand authority.
- Always ask your readers to share your content. Utilize ‘call for action’ share buttons, like the Tweet This box above, and mobilize your audience to share while they’re reading. Since not all of your readers are probably not dedicated Twitter users you need to implement various other ways to share your article as well. Social plug ins are very easy to implement.
Erica McGillivray, the senior community manager at MOZ and one of the founders of GeekGirlCon, put together this nifty visual aid to show what else you should do before you publish an article.
Click to Enlarge the Infograph
As you can see, there is much more to content publication than simply coming up with an idea, writing a clever article and then sitting back after it’s published. If you want your potential customers and readers to find your content among the millions of other online postings then you have to be diligent about the details that will boost your audience reach, shareability, SEO, relatability, authority, and more.
What do you do to ensure the widest possible reach for your content? Please leave your comments below.
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