Let’s face it. Readers have less time for you.
Even if your content is great, it still may not be enough to keep visitors around.
Don’t have a title that pulls readers in to your exceptional post? You’ve missed an opportunity with your readers. Don’t reach out to readers with visually appealing content? You may lose another segment of your audience.
Nailing the details is what counts for creating content that drives traffic to your website.
That’s the message that Jon Henshaw, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Raven software, brought to Authority Intensive in Denver last week. The first ever conference from the Copyblogger team — as led by Brian Clark — gathered online marketing industry notables including Bryan Eisenberg, Ann Handley and Seth Godin.
Hundreds of marketers, veterans and newcomers, from as far away as France and Australia, learned how the intersection of content and design helps to drive traffic and conversions. Jon connected the dots with his presentation, How to Create a Traffic Machine for Your Content.
Jon reviewed four types of details that matter for content that generates traffic:
1. User Experience as Content
Generic content does not resonate with your customers. Standing for something does. Your brand is part of the user experience. It’s what makes you unique, memorable and trusted.
To create a valuable experience for your customers, it starts with more than just content.
- We create meaning when we think about the design and layout of our content.
- We create value when the reading experience matches the quality of the content.
- We create trust when we give customers options on how they consume our content.
2. Navigation as Content
The online marketing industry has been so focused on “content objects” that many have forgotten the very first content type — links.
Links represent content in that they lead your visitor to the information they seek, moving them further into your site and, ultimately, to some type of conversion. One of the first impressions your website makes is through its navigation.
Navigation helps emphasize the focus of the site to both visitors and bots. It must be clear and concise and provide your visitor with a sense of place.
3. Code as Content
Jon also talked about how traffic comes from what you can’t see, such as the underlying code. Below are four ways to increase organic search engine traffic with HTML code.
- Open Graph protocol : Provides structured data and enables any Web page to become a rich object in a social graph.
- Authorship: Enables Rich Snippets and can easily land you on the first page of Google search engine results pages (SERPs) for those in your G+ circles. You can test it here.
- Publisher: Enhances brand related results, including control over how your logo displays and recent posts, giving you added visibility on Google SERPs.
- Schema microdata: Structured data is a way for search engine machines to make sense of content in your HTML, which can make your content stand out in the SERPs. (Raven created a WordPress plugin for that specific purpose.)
4. Epic Content as the New Quality Content
“Epic” content is the new normal — think along the lines of The Verge’s Longform articles. Jon presented new ideas and a bunch of resources so you can start dominating your niche with fresh ways to present your story.
- Make your content interactive.
- Enhance posts with Google charts.
- Add an interactive timeline.
- Design interactions into your website customized for the user experience.
- Enliven your infographic with cinemagraphs.
- Reuse quotes to tell a visual story.
- Create an e-book and interact with customers in a totally unique way.
When you consider these details for your content, that’s when you’ll be able to turn more visitors into customers and more customers into brand ambassadors.
More Content, More Authority
The two days of Authority Intensive 2014 laid the foundation for a new era in online marketing where the user experience is central to all of our messaging. If you missed it, review more highlights on Twitter with a search for #Authority2014.
Or get a head start on next year. Copyblogger has already posted the 2015 conference registration page.