How to Avoid Content Clutter
Great content is a top way to get in Google's favor today. But with all the content variations you could and should publish, how do you correctly sort? Blogs, articles, web pages, landing pages-don't pile 'em up and forget to organize!
Avoiding content clutter amounts to a basic principle that we all learned at a young age. Do you remember your mom or dad telling you to put your toys away and clean your room? The idea was to put things where they belonged, thus cleaning up your space. Well, to avoid content clutter the same principle applies. You need to know where all of your cool toys go and properly put them away after you've played.
Your Cool Content Toys
We all love show and tell! It's time to show off your super cool content toys. So whatcha got? Well, here are a few of the toys that should be somewhere on your website floor, and if they're not, you better get them:
Niche and product specific content: Back in the day when businesses marketed on a local level, competition was fierce. The Yellow Pages and highway side billboards were prime advertising real estate, and the potential audience pool was seen as huge. Successful marketing took specifics. Imagine how much more important this is today.
The Internet isn't local; it's international. Your potential audience pool is a lot less pool and a lot more ocean. Niche and product specific content are essential content variations you must utilize. So if you haven't already, focus on reaching you sales goals by creating various blogs and content for precise products and niches.
Storytelling your way to sales: According to Forbes, "storytelling is used to create an emotional investment" in marketing content. The ultimate goal of storytelling is to make the audience pay attention. Emotionally charged headlines grab attention. Investing the readers' emotions as they read keeps them reading all the way to the most important part of your copy: the call to action.
Storytelling is a good start, but it isn't a standalone toy-it's like the hot wheel that needs a racetrack. You also need to organize your content logically. Otherwise, your audience won't have a clue.
Well-organized content: Structured content can break down into a lot of detail, but for the purposes of this post, we're going to focus on the big picture: your publishing platform, tags and categories, SEO, and meta tags.
- Your publishing platform: Get a good one. It should be easy to use, easy to understand, and capable of basic search engine optimization features. A recommended and epically popular platform is WordPress.
- Build in SEO: Most publishing platforms hand you simple SEO tools. For example, WordPress sports several plugins that offer full site, per web page, and per blog post optimization options including keyword and meta information insertion.
- Utilize tags and categories: This takes a little finesse. You create blog categories and tags to logically sort and label your posts. The trick is to keep it simple. Each post should fit into a specific category, not a ton. And each post should carry relevant tags, not every possible tag under the sun that applies just a smidge. Your audience will use your categories and tags for search purposes. Keep them simple and highly accurate.
- Don't be afraid of meta tags: Wait just a minute! Am I talking about HTML? Yes, I am, and it's nothing to be afraid of! I've seen people react to meta information like these little tags are the gigantic spiders just in from the Forbidden Forest of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. There's nothing to be afraid of, folks! Meta tags are easy to use, and they structure the big picture of your content. Don't be without them!
Tap into the power of a monthly newsletter: Use a monthly newsletter to pull together your best blog topics and send them out to all your clients. It doesn't matter if these people subscribe to your content updates and social media channels. You should still leverage the power of a newsletter because chances are they've been too busy to catch everything. In fact, they likely missed that one topic that was just for them. Help them out. Hand them a monthly newsletter.
Get the most mileage out of your content: Use social media. Share, share, share! Think of shares as miles. For each share, you gain a mile of exposure. The more miles you gain, the farther your content traveled, and the more area your message hit.
Always Put Your Toys Away
To cut down on clutter, you have to put your toys away. Copyblogger points out that we are all "searchers" seeking the best way to solve our problems or satisfy our desires. We make split-second decisions about clicking on a headline, and the last we want to do is trip over a scattered mess of toys the moment we land on a website.
Now, putting your toys away isn't just about putting up your content when you're done. No, it's about putting it where it belongs. That means completing the following steps logically:
- Sorting: Meticulously order your content. Ensure that the how and why of its labels and the display make sense to the audience. If it's not organized, it'll just look like endless, chaotic, and unhelpful clutter.
- Publishing: Be sure your content is proudly published. Build in SEO, use the tools provided by your publishing platform, and don't be skittish of meta information.
- Publicizing: Maximize your miles. Use social media. Publish a monthly newsletter. Don't just publish and hope it gets to the right people-publicize it straight to them!
It's a content jungle out there, and your audience won't hesitate to ignore less than stellar content because if you can't provide it, someone else will. Your goal should be to display your best toys proudly, as they relate to your uniqueness; i.e. avoid content clutter by putting the proper tools in the proper place.
Photo Credit: Content Clutter/shutterstock
Follow Julia McCoy on Twitter