What better way to get around Yext
Write better and more interesting texts in 5 steps
In the best case, your client has created an exemplary briefing for you or, as a website operator, you are familiar with your product or service. In the worst case, you don't know anything about the topic. Then you can't avoid research. But that shouldn't be part of the article. As a little tip, I would like to give you the opportunity to look at similar web texts on the topic, that is, those that ranked 1 to 3. If you know, you can start.
In advance: Do not worry about the keywords for the time being, just insert them of course and add further modifications later during post-processing, if necessary.
1. Create an outline
I think there are two kinds of people. Those who plan a text beforehand and those who just start writing on it. Since it is easier for beginners to write a text if they stick to an outline, this point comes first.
Put yourself in your reader's shoes and ask yourself what you would expect from such a text. Think about what you want to get across and how this information can best be structured in a continuous text. Start with the headline and gradually add subheadings.
This method can also be used to calculate the length of a text quite well. Let's say you have a total of five headings with the title and are aiming for 700 words. That makes 140 words for each heading. That doesn't sound that scary at all.
You can later use your outline as a table of contents to make it easier for your readers to navigate through the article.
Illustration 1: Example of an outline
2. Write an introduction
Think of the text like a sales pitch. In such a case, you would not kill the customer with the hard facts. You have to fix him, make him want the product.
It makes sense to keep the introduction pretty simple. Give to the reader a summary description of what to expect. Formulate short, concise sentences that make it easier for him to get started.
According to a study by Chartbeat.com that analyzed 2 billion hits on different websites over a period of one month, 55% of users spend less than 15 seconds on a page. Even with content-only pages, one in three users showed this behavior.
So assume that you only have 15 seconds to win over the reader. The best way to do this is with a teaser that precedes the actual introduction.
You can use the following pattern as a guide for the formulation:
Figure 2: Screenshot "How Video Marketing Can Improve Your Rankings"
Why is? = Video marketing as an effective marketing tool.
What do I get? = 5 tips for optimization.
With what result? = Better rankings and more traffic.
As you can see, it takes less than 15 seconds to read this teaser and yet it still manages to reflect the added value of the article. This is followed by a somewhat more detailed introduction, which further embellishes the topic without anticipating the content.
3. Write the main part
Now the actual paperwork follows, in which you bring content. Here are some hangers you can use to gather enough text:
1. The explainer
Basically, you explain your service or product again in more detail, give tips on what to consider and point out solutions to a problem. Of course, there is no point in explaining to someone what a bathroom shelf is. In this case you would fall back on alternatives, for example: “How can you best mount bathroom shelves on the wall?” Let your own experiences and anecdotes flow in here, these are often more interesting than purely theoretical information.
2. The counselor
Just like in a real sales talk, the customer is looking for information and where better to find it than in a long text on your site? On Answer the Public you can have the most frequently asked questions that users have about your product or service put together for your keyword. You can include and answer the most appropriate of these questions in your text. Either directly with the question or indirectly in the running text. You can really make full use of this source of content. The more important the text for your ranking, the more points you should include.
3. The storyteller
If there is an exciting story about your service or your product, integrate it into your text. If it's just a boring story, tell it engagingly. Background information means more text, means more opportunities to accommodate your keyword and make it look natural.
Figure 3: Attract attention through a story. (Source)
4. The scientist
Find interesting studies and specialist articles on the topic you are writing about and incorporate them into the text. We humans love facts and figures because they help us to classify the information we have read. There is also a very practical advantage in accommodating numbers, as you will see in a moment.
Now it's time to give the unfinished block of text a shape. As early as the late 1990s, the Nielsen Norman Group found out in a study that users tend to scan web texts. An eye tracking study from 2017 supports this finding and shows popular patterns with which users skim texts.
That is very common F shape. In the upper part, some sections are read horizontally before a small jump is made to read another passage. The user then falls into a vertical reading pattern and focuses heavily on the left side of the text.
This example shows how the F-scheme can be counteracted. Not only are the lists indented, the beginning is also highlighted in bold. Below is a gray box that the reader “hits”, so to speak.
Figure 4: Screenshot "My first SEO project: where and how do I start?"
Other scan patterns:
Layer cake pattern:
Here the reader scans the text by reading only the headings and subheadings.
The reader skips large passages of text as if he were looking for very specific information in the text, for example numbers or links.
The eye lingers on the same spot while the mouse is scrolled down.
These and other scan samples show how important a well-structured text is. Subheadings and bold words catch the reader and may bring them back before they jump out.
You can use the following tools to make your text more reader-friendly:
- Highlighting of particularly important information
- Quotes and indentations of important text passages
- Colored information boxes or extra tips
- Possibly pictures
In this step, you should filter out repetitions and redundant information from the text in order to rewrite or delete them.
Proofreading also serves to check the keyword density and to find missed opportunities to accommodate it. Don't be sloppy here and go through several times. If the wording is unclear, a Google search or the Duden website will help.
If you want to summarize the text clearly again, add a list in which you briefly reproduce the most important statements. A user lazy to read will quickly find the information they are looking for and may return to the text passage in which the topic is dealt with in more detail.
If everything fits, the text can go online.
I hope this guide will help you the next time you are faced with a blank document and don't know where to start. The more texts you write in this way, the more routine you will get and the more efficient and faster you will be able to work.
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