On the Internet, there’s a saying that goes like this:
Content is king.
That’s because no matter how cool your theme looks. And no matter how neat the functionality you added via plugins is…people are still going to read your site for the content.
So if your content isn’t up to snuff, your site is going to suffer.
To that end, we thought it worthwhile to dedicate a whole section of this guide specifically to content. On this page, you’ll learn:
- What length of content is best to get your content read and found.
- How to craft a post title that grabs readers’ attention.
- How to format your post so it’s easy to read.
- What keyword research is and how to use it to inform your content strategy.
- Ways to add more advanced styling to your content using plugins called page builders.
Let’s dive in.
Should You Write Long or Short Content?
This is a popular question when it comes to web content. Is it better to write a fewer number of long articles or lots of short articles?
Honestly, people put too much thought into length. The best content length is the length which fully does the topic justice. But…
There is some interesting data about content length floating around out there.
First, content with 1,000+ words consistently gets shared more often on social media. Moz ran the data and found that content got more shares as it increased in length:
BuzzSumo found data that echoed that finding. So it’s pretty clear that longer content correlates with more shares and links.
Additionally, Backlinko analyzed over 1 million sites and found that longer content also consistently ranks higher in Google’s search results. In fact, the average result on Google’s first page has over 1,890 words!
So should you strive to make every post more than 2,000 words? Not quite yet.
While longer content seems to perform better for search engines and social media, you still need to write for humans first.
So yes, absolutely write long content for topics that warrant that depth. But don’t try to turn a 500-word article into 2,000 words just because you think it will perform better.
No one wants to read that!
Create A Headline That Makes People Want to Read Your Content
Do you know what makes your content’s length a moot point? No one clicking on it in the first place.
See, your content is what keeps people on your page. But it’s not what gets them to your page in the first place. To get them to click to your page, you need a great headline (AKA your post’s title).
Here are a few tips to help you craft headlines that bring in readers:
- Incorporate numbers. This one is simple. “5 Incredible Tips to Improve Your Headlines” is more attention grabbing than “Incredible Tips to Improve Your Headlines”.
- Use adjectives. Building on the previous example, “incredible tips” is, again, more eye-catching than “5 Tips to Improve Your Headlines”.
- Make a promise. As long as you deliver on it, making a promise like “How You Can Write Incredible Headlines If You’re Not a Copywriter”. As long as you deliver, readers will be drawn to the topic like moths to a flame.
If you need more help, you can also turn to the machines. Some companies have put together headline analyzers to help you improve your headlines. A few good ones are:
How to Format Your Content So People Can Read It
You know what people absolutely hate reading on the Internet?
Long paragraphs. They’re called “walls of text” and they absolutely kill your engagement. Have you noticed how we use mostly 1-3 sentence paragraphs in this guide?
There’s a reason we do that. It’s much easier for readers like you to follow along. See, on the Internet, many readers prefer to skim content rather than read it like they would a book.
It doesn’t matter whether you personally think this is a good thing or not. The fact of the matter is that it’s true.
So if you want to get the most readers for your brand new WordPress site, you should write with short paragraphs to make it easy on your reader’s’ eyes.
But it’s not just about writing short paragraphs, you should also look for other ways to break up your text. Here are some tips:
- Use bullet points. Notice how we’re doing this right now? Bullet points are super easy for your readers to scan and much better than listing things out in a paragraph.
- Use subheadings. Subheadings help divide up your content into easily digestible chunks. You can create subheadings using the WordPress Editor:
- Include images. Images provide a natural break in your text.
- Use bold and italics. Notice how we bold the first sentence of each bullet point. Doesn’t that make them easier to read? Bold and italics are another tool to help break up your content and draw attention to important details.
Want to Format Your Content Even More? Use a Page Builder
The WordPress text editor is great for basic text editing. But it absolutely falls flat if you want to add more advanced formatting. Back in the old days, that meant that the only way to add advanced formatting to your content was learning how to code. Not any more!
Now, tons of talented third-party developers have created plugins called page builders.
Page builders allow you to format your content in advanced ways without needing to know a single line of code. They’re great for beginners!
Here’s an example of what a page builder looks like:
Here are a few quality page builder plugins you can install to add more detailed formatting to your content:
- Elementor – has a great free version.
- Beaver Builder – has a decent free version and a great premium version.
If you purchase a premium theme, many premium themes are also bundled with a page builder called Visual Composer.
Can You Use a Page Builder For All Content?
You can…but we don’t really recommend it. See, there’s a concept called “lock-in” with page builders. Basically, if you ever stop using that page builder, your content will lose all of its formatting.
So if you become 100% reliant on a page builder, you’ll pretty much have to keep using it for life. Some page builders are better or worse than others about this, but to be on the safe side, you should always assume that you’ll lose your formatting if you disable the page builder.
For that reason, we recommend only using a page builder on content that absolutely requires special formatting. For the bulk of your content, try to rely on the formatting options present in the default WordPress Editor.
Keyword Research for Content
Lastly, whenever you sit down to create a new piece of content, you should always perform something called “keyword research”. This helps you match the words you use in your content with the actual phrases that people search for in Google.
Keyword research basically helps you get more traffic from Google search. If you want your site to be popular, it’s essential.
In the next article in our guide, we’re going to dig into SEO, or search engine optimization. And as part of that guide, we’ll show you some tools that can help you perform keyword research. So, head on over to the next article and let’s get into it!