In 2019, 4.4 million blog posts were published every day. It’s more than twice the number of blog posts published 7 years ago.
Underneath those numbers is a growing industry that is making people rich. In 2020 this industry will grow even bigger. If you want to succeed in it, here are a few trends to adopt:
1. Make content easier to consume
Your English teacher won’t probably like it, but short sentences are better than long. The longer the sentence, the greater the risk of losing the reader. This is because lengthy sentences weaken, rather than strengthen, your connection to your readers. Short sentences make the message clear and simple, which speeds up and improves the understanding of the message you’re trying to communicate.
The formatting rules you need to follow include:
- Write short and clear sentences
- Write short 4–5-line paragraphs
- Improve your flow. The goal of the first sentence is to make the reader read the second sentence. The goal of the second sentence is to make the reader read the third sentence and so on.
- Use H2-H6 headings
- Use bulleted or numbered lists
- Use bold text for memorable phrases
- Include relevant graphics, images, and charts
- Give photos helpful captions
2. Help readers get results faster
Different navigation elements embedded inside articles will make your content easier to consume. You can go fancy implementing filters like here. Or you can just walk the beaten path with this Wordpress plugin for inserting Table of Contents to your blog posts.
3. Create content according to the user search intent
Google can now detect the type of a user’s search intent and ranks high the pages that best fit it. There are three types of search intent that dictate the type of content you write:
- Informational — eg. what is machine learning
- Transactional — eg. website design cost
- Commercial — eg. best SaaS marketing agencies
User search intent must be your guiding star when planning and creating content.
4. Move readers to the next stage of their journey
Most content teams base their content decisions on SEO only. If you can find a keyword in Semrush that has enough volume, it makes sense to write a long-form blog post about it, right? The SEO-based approach is okay, but the buyer’s journey is a rad.
When you create content, make sure that each piece includes a call to action prompting readers to move to the next stage of their journey. And create content based on the buying journey in the first place! Gartner has a nice take on that one (for B2B folks only).
5. Build content hubs with connections to rank better faster
This trend naturally comes out of the previous ones. If you create content that respects user search intent and maps according to the buyer’s journey, you will be able to build a topical authority.
What does it mean in practice? A wide breadth of topics that fall under a single umbrella. All those topics need to connect and link to something called a content hub — a big fat article you are betting on to rank high on Google.
6. Implement a question-driven content strategy
Do you know that 50% of Google queries result in no clicks? This is because it’s not necessary to click on a link to get your question answered. If your search results page sometimes looks like Quora, you know what I’m talking about.
As the Gig Economy and the Sharing Economy have come of age, the Answer Economy is beginning to catch on. And Google wants to be THE answer engine. The trend is easily explained. Technology and the Internet made us impatient — we want direct answers in real-time and on-demand.
Content creators are the key players in the Answer Economy. If before optimizing content for answers was a “nice to try marketing tactic,” now it’s no longer so.
To adopt a question-driven content strategy sniff out intent for a given search term, and deliver ultra-relevant pages and content accordingly.
What content trends have I missed?
Let me know in the comments!
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