I liked Neil Patel’s post about using UX to improve content and decided to tell you more about why it works.
Make sure your website templates are accessible
A website template is a pre-designed resource that shows the structure for comprehensively laying out and displaying the features of any website. They are provided by various vendors to make it easier for designers to create websites.
A website template is also known as a web page template or page template.
Essentially, a website template provides designers with relatively easy ways to insert content into a complex structure created using classic web languages such as HTML and CSS. A website template can include carefully laid out headers, square or circular images, background banners, stripes and other layout elements, as well as stylized and lined typography. Designers can take advantage of these templates and simply insert their own data and images to get a very sophisticated web style without writing any code.
One of the most useful elements of website templates are new resources for responsive web design. Responsive Web site templates can help small businesses and others address the challenges of the mobile-centric era by allowing them to easily create a new Web project geared toward people using smartphones and other mobile devices. In some cases, business owners or other users can take data and images from their old site and put them directly into a responsive website template to be able to offer a modern, mobile-friendly version of their site to certain customers and other visitors.
1. The way your audience consume content affects how your content should be designed.
2. Website templates should be set up with limited distractions, clear visual hierarchi, clean navigation, high contrast, and mobile accessibility.
Focus on your audience
Let’s take the example of a team coach.
UX specialists have to communicate with a wide audience. From the project sponsor to the software engineers and designers working on the virtual workplace. Each of these people needs something different from us, and our job is to make sure they get it.
How do you determine how people communicate? It’s pretty simple for a trainer: you devote the first 15 minutes of the training to talking to people. You find out what they want out of the day, and while they’re talking to you, you get to know their preferred communication styles and you can even make occasional jokes to learn about their sense of humor. It helps to make people laugh when you’re teaching computer systems; it keeps them from throwing themselves under the bus at lunchtime when they realize they have five more days of work ahead of them…
Now a UX professional doesn’t always have the ability to get all the stakeholders in one room, but they can still run a similar process. It’s a good idea to meet with stakeholders (separately if necessary) very early in the project. While you are presenting yourself, what you are doing, etc., you can spend time asking them what they want from you in terms of communication. That’s all it takes – ask. Ask them for copies of reports, emails, etc. that they really enjoyed receiving or responding to on certain issues. Ask them to identify what they need in a report before you write it, and you’ll find that your job will be much easier when you need to deliver it.
But don’t just rely on what people say; as the project progresses, observe the stakeholders and the team; what do they really like? The more you refine your communication style with your audience, the easier it will be for you to enthuse them.
1. Revisit of your buyer personas and customer surveys to understand what your audience is looking for from your website.
2. Find out where they’re struggling, where they like to spend their time, and how they like to communicate.
Use your content to add value
If you’re wondering how to create useful content, here’s your answer:
1.Determine the purpose of that content. Some useful questions to ask yourself:
- Why am I creating this content?
- What kind of transformation do I want to get from this content?
- How do I imagine my target audience will feel after reading this content? What do I want them to do after reading this material?
- Do I care about the purpose of this content? Why do I care enough to write about it?
2.Do your keyword research with Google Keyword Planner.
- It’s a free tool that will tell you exactly what phrases your audience is using to search online. Creating content based on specific phrases means that your content is more likely to be found and, therefore, more likely to have a greater impact on the world.
- It’s important that you naturally include keywords in your content. Keyword stuffing will do more harm than good and is not a sound long-term approach to content creation.
3.Create a strong headline
- About 80% of people make their decision to read content based on the quality of the headline. What makes a good headline? A good headline has specificity, gives the reader a compelling promise, and is sometimes intriguing. Make sure your article delivers on the promise of the headline. If you don’t deliver on the promise in the headline, your content will be perceived as clickbait and you’ll hurt your brand.
4.A strong start.
- Good content often has a good opening line. Listen to this episode with Damian Farnworth at the 7-minute and 12-second mark, where he talks about how he created a compelling opening line.
5.Look for case studies that support your main idea
- This step is not mandatory, but it helps solidify your position in the reader’s mind. If you can find data and examples that support your main idea, great. But don’t let that stop you from creating content. Most readers care about your opinion, but they also want to see facts and examples to support that opinion. If you take the time to back up your opinion with examples and data, you will become a stronger thought leader.
6.Organize your content so that it is consistent.
- The best way to do this is to start with a “content skeleton.” I often start with bullet points on the page and then flesh out each item. This helps create a steady flow from the beginning. There are also times when I just mull over an idea, and that leads to other content ideas that I put aside for later.
- Whichever way the content hits your screen, the key is to step away from it for a while (ideally at least 24 hours) and then come back and reread it to yourself. Read it aloud, even if you’re the only one listening. This will help your brain fix the pace and flow. You’ll notice mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
7.Write content with one person in mind.
- Imagine your audience avatar sitting and listening to you read to them. Take a picture of your ideal customer and hang it next to your computer. You’ll thank yourself later.
8.Write as you speak.
- Imagine sitting in a restaurant and explaining your idea to your ideal client. What would you say? How would you explain your idea to her? What words would you use? Now just “decipher” that conversation in your head.
9.Use questions often.
- When you tell me about a concept or idea, I hear and understand it. But when you ask me a question that makes me come to the same understanding, I internalize it. I internalize the concept or idea on a deeper level. So use questions often to engage the reader.
10.Use humor whenever possible.
- Humor can be a powerful tool for building trust and rapport. Marty Wilson is an expert on using humor in public speaking. On this episode of the Productive Insights podcast, Marty shared some great tips on how to use humor in public speaking. He said that the end of laughter is the beginning of listening. Some of the principles he shares apply to all forms of content. I encourage you to listen to this episode for some helpful tips on incorporating humor.
11.Organize your content for skippers
- In one of my conversations about content marketing with Sonya Simone of Copyblogger, I mentioned that subheadings are windows into the soul of your content. Good subheadings that are intriguing (but not too vague) will be helpful to your reader when deciding whether to spend time reading the entire article. Subheadings are a great way to convey the essence of your article without having to take the time to read every word.
- Most readers look at the article (through the subheadings), decide if the material is useful to them, and then come back and read the article.
- Use good subheadings. Your readers will thank you for it. They’re even more likely to share the article, which is great for your SEO, as Rand Fishkin explains in this podcast talk.
12.Avoid creating walls of text.
- Paragraphs of one or two lines are less intimidating than a huge wall of text. They create more “white space” and are more easy on the eyes. Whenever possible, use images to break up text. Images convey information faster than words and evoke emotions better. Choose images carefully. A poor choice of images will hurt your content rather than help it.
- Keep sentences short. Long sentences are tedious to read. It’s better to highlight ideas with full stops and spread them out over several sentences, rather than cramming 3 ideas into one complex sentence. This will also help you when editing. Speaking of editing…
13.Don’t edit when you write.
- Writing and editing are two completely different activities. Each requires a different approach. Writing is more of a creative element, while editing is more of an analytical activity of the left hemisphere of the brain. Don’t make the mistake I’ve seen many writers make. They often try to edit as they write. This will force you to constantly “switch” between modes. It will take you twice as long (if not more) to achieve the same result. Write first, then go back and edit.
14.If possible, have someone else edit your content.
- If your budget allows, hire yourself an editor. There’s nothing like taking a fresh look at your content and identifying mistakes that your prejudiced mind is likely to miss.
- If you can’t afford an editor, use Pro Writing Aid. I use it often, and it works great.
15.Decide on a call to action (CTA)
- It’s always good to have a CTA at the end of well-written content. This CTA doesn’t have to involve a physical action. You can ask the reader to think about something. Conduct a mental experiment. Or even take a physical action, like writing steps on a piece of paper.
- Why put a CTA at the end of content? For two reasons:
- First, your content is more likely to reach its original goal (see step one).
- Second, when your reader takes action, it brings a more tangible result to his or her life. It creates a deeper impression, and provides a deeper transformation.
- Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, click Publish.
Offer your audience useful, ungated content that solves questions they didn’t even know they needed to ask.I hope this post has given you a broader understanding of using UX to improve content. Enjoy the new information and don’t be afraid to put it into practice, because this is the only way you will benefit from it.