You keep hearing the phrase “content is king” but how do you get there? Where do you start?
First, ask yourself these simple questions:
- What inspires you to share content online?
- What do you share? Blog posts, videos, or slideshows?
- How do you find content that you want to share?
- How easy is it to share content you like?
- How long do you give content a chance?
Already, the path toward shareable content may be a bit more clear.Let’s explore these questions in-depth to learn how to finally create content that will drive valuable traffic to your website.
Let’s explore these questions in-depth to learn how to finally create content that will drive valuable traffic to your website.
Create Content That Feels Good
You’re not seeing things. Those cat videos on YouTube really do have hundreds of millions of views.
But why can’t people get enough of watching cats open refrigerators?
Simple: it makes them feel good.
In the recent Wharton School study, The Science of Sharing and the Sharing of Science, researchers found that people share content that speaks to them emotionally, but they’re more likely to share content that makes them feel good more than anything else.
Moreover, the same study found that people are more likely to share positive content because it bodes well for their digital footprint.
A Buzzsumo study went a step further and broke down the top emotions people feel when sharing content. According to their study, social sharing corresponds most to the following emotions:
- Awe – 25%
- Laughter – 17%
- Amusement – 15%
- Joy – 14%
- Empathy – 6%
- Anger – 6%
- Surprised – 2%
- Sadness – 1%
The New York Times elaborates even more on the motivations behind content sharing in their Psychology of Sharing survey.
The publication surveyed 2,500 of their own readers and discovered the following motivations for sharing content:
- NYT readers share articles they feel will add value or entertainment to their network.
- Readers want to define themselves, so they share articles that most represent their beliefs or lifestyle.
- Sharing content is a way of connecting with your network, therefore, NYT readers share articles they feel best connects them to their family, friends, and colleagues.
- Readers share content that makes them feel more involved in the world, such as politics or human rights.
When brainstorming, don’t forget to consider the science behind social sharing to ensure your content is valuable enough to be shared.
Drive Targeted Website Traffic with SEO
A key discovery in the New York Times study is the motivation to add value to yourself and others’ lives, and what’s more valuable than finding a fulfilling answer to a question?
Ask yourself: why do you, along with 93% of online users, start with search engines?
To find an answer, right?
It doesn’t matter if it’s movie times, restaurant menus, scholarships, or vacation planning advice, an honest answer is extremely valuable.
That’s why search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is so important for shareable content.
So how do you create content that both humans AND search engines will love?
Let’s start with this example: Suppose you run an organic pet food store online. What questions would a potential customer ask to find a website like yours?
Possible questions may include:
- What are the best brands of organic pet food?
- What are the benefits of organic pet food?
- Where can I buy organic pet food online?
- What ingredients are in organic pet food?
From these questions, you can create the following SEO keywords to focus your content on:
- Organic pet food brands
- Organic pet food benefits
- Buy organic pet food online
- Organic pet food ingredients
Now that you have a few questions (keywords), it’s your job to create content that answers those questions, and them some!
Consider these content titles:
- 7 Organic Pet Food Brands You Have to Try Now
- 14 Organic Pet Food Benefits To Improve Quality of Life
- Save 40% When You Buy Organic Pet Food Online
- 9 Amazing Organic Pet Food Ingredients Your Dog is Missing
SEO also makes the content creation process easier. check out our SEO guide for beginners for more!
Think about it: the most relevant questions, or keywords, you have, the more search-friendly content you can generate.
Improve Formatting and Function
Don’t leave your blog out to dry.
Your website visitors must be able to do the following with ease:
- Read and scan content
- View images, videos, slideshows, or other media in posts
- Share content with accessible sharing options
People are more distracted online, so when they read your content, they’re actually scanning it more than anything.
That’s why shareable content must be structured for scannability.
To do this, follow these simple formatting tips:
- Use short paragraphs with no more than three sentences each.
- Break up your articles into sections, with no less than three sections each.
- Start each section with a sub-heading.
- Use bullet points and numbered lists.
- Let the eyes rest with even amounts of white space.
- Break up content with multimedia: images, video, and slideshows all work.
List-style articles, or “listicles,” are another popular format because they directly speak to how information is absorbed and processed by the brain.
Lists “hit an attentional sweet spot”, making information easier to remember and pass on to others, a key ingredient for shareable content.
A consistent theme you may be noticing by now is accommodation of the reader. The less your website visitors have to work to understand, retain, and share your content, the better.
Anything less than three seconds will make your visitors run for the hills, and 44% may even relay their bad experience to friends.
Improve your content’s functionality so you don’t miss out on those valuable re-shares.
You know why content is king, but now you know how to finally achieve it!
Don’t let your content sit and collect dust. Use it to your advantage to drive lucrative targeted website traffic to your business.
Remember to create fulfilling content that adds value, focus on search-friendly questions, and use a functional format to ensure your content is readable, scannable, and shareable each and every time.
is an independent digital marketer who specializes in creating content for big and small brands. She is currently focused on researching the future of content and how AI can play a large role in understanding what the reader wants.