Some advice is timeless, and I believe this checklist from Quicksprout is one of them. Marketers are often so busy on content production and testing that they often miss out on the baseline elements necessary for success.
This infographic points to 10 elements necessary for reader engagement, search engine optimization, and social sharing:
- Relevance – research, write and design content to fully inform users rather than to try to play to search engines.
- Content Length – take the time to produce lengthy, complete articles on a topic rather than a collection of short articles.
- Media – utilize images and video on every article to better articulate the topic. Even the choice of a relevant image can increase memory and cognition on a topic. Infographics and explainer videos can provide a complete solution.
- Grammar and Spelling – poor wording, spelling and grammatical errors can ruin a first impression with visitors. Subscribing to Grammarly is worth the investment!
- Readability – avoid the marketing speak and communicate effectively. Confused or complex content can drive a lot of potential customers away.
- Formatting – The layout of your posts, the image usage, the typography, whitespace, bolding, emphasis, keywords and subheadings all improve the ability for readers to scan and retain your content.
- Expertise – Building your online presence and authority in your industry is paramount to building the trust that finally moves readers into customers.
- Social Shares – Counts are an indicator of popularity and authority, so utilizing social sharing buttons and displaying counts of views and shares can drive additional sharing and conversions.
- Links – Avoiding outbound links limits your ability to provide references to the accuracy of your content. Avoiding internal links limits your reader’s ability to dive deeper in a topic. Both are effective and you should be ensuring every page has them.
- Comments – While conversations have largely moved to social sites, the quality of your comments still matters, as does your response time to them. Engage with every great comment and report any spammers.
Two Additional Elements
I’m not sure why they may have been left out, but I think there are five additional, very critical elements missing from this list!
- Subscriptions – Providing a means for visitors to subscribe to an email, newsletter or even just browser notifications can provide you with the means to nurture visitors and keep them coming back.
- Calls-To-Action – What do you want visitors to do on your site? Offering and testing a variety of calls-to-action is imperative to leave the trail for visitors to engage with your brand or buy your products or services.
- Contact – The ability for visitors to call, chat, or even just leave a message is imperative. Even better are maps and directions, click-to-call buttons, and monitored chat solutions.
- Search – Many times, visitors reach your site but can’t find what they’re really looking for. Providing an efficient internal search mechanism can keep them from bouncing.
- Responsive – Is your site optimized for the plethora of devices and viewing dimensions on the market? A responsive website is a must nowadays, and can also impact your mobile search rankings.