Designing a well-designed website is arduous. Apart from the obvious parameters like a good design and layout, it has to have a solid architecture. It also has to be user-friendly. Above all, it has to have good content. The content on a website has to be of different types, has to perform different functions, and should be designed for specific purposes. This process is defined as content outlining. Let’s find out what it is and how it impacts the performance of your website.
What Is a Content Outline?
You can think of a content outline as a detailed and insightful version of your website’s sitemap. A sitemap is a visual representation of what your website looks like, and where the content lives on the website. A content outline takes things further, and lists the various types of content on each of the pages, its functionality, and the intent behind the content.
A content outline is also a blueprint for how your content looks on each page. This blueprint can include various elements like images, headings, call to action (CTA) elements, statistics, and more. It makes for a great starting point to organize and develop your content. You can use it to structure the flow of the article, organize relevant research, and create a polished and ready-to-publish final draft.
Why Are Content Outlines Important?
Content outlines help a website’s content-first approach for driving better conversion, engagement, and user satisfaction.
Content outlines help websites take a content-first approach. This ultimately helps with conversions, better user engagement, and user satisfaction.
A content outline can help content developers create impeccable brand messaging and compelling content, following which users might go through with the CTA.
Content is instrumental to the success of a website. Hence, it is crucial to consider this process early in the website development.
Steps to Outline Your Content
1. Define the purpose of the content
Before you begin the content development process, it is essential to determine why you are creating that content in the first place. There can be many reasons to create a piece of content, such as:
- Educating the target audience or stakeholders
- Optimizing SEO or ranking for certain keywords
- Building backlinks
- Boosting brand awareness
- Obtaining user information via forms for building email lists
- Explaining your products or services
Once you have defined why you are going to create a piece of content, you will automatically work towards creating the best quality content. That is why, the first step in outlining your content should be defining its purpose.
2. Select the target keyword
To start working on a piece, conduct some basic keyword research and find the target keyword(s). Even if you don’t intend to rank for the keywords on search engine result pages (SERPs), it is still a good SEO practice to mention some relevant keywords in your content.
It will help your content be discovered by the target audience as the search engine algorithms will recognize its intent and purpose more clearly. You can use various keyword research tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Google Keywords Planner.
3. Examine the article pitch and keyword’s search intent
To properly resonate with the users and entice them to click on your page link, you must satisfy their search intent. Figuring out the search intent of your target audience determines which type of content you would be creating for them. There are four types of content you can create based on a user’s search intent:
This will help you figure out what the pitch of your article or blog post will be. For instance “mobile marketing guide” is a keyword that will guide you towards an informational angle. Similarly “best SEO company in India” is a keyword that will propel you towards a commercial angle for your content.
4. Select the Unique Selling Point (USP) and title
Your USP is what will differentiate your content from that of your competitors and other websites in your domain. From a user’s perspective, the USP plays a key role in making your articles or blogs worth clicking on. And often, the USP is conveyed through the title, which tells users exactly what they will get if they click on your website link. If you are able to convey your USP well through your title, chances are that the users will click on your article rather than your competitors’.
5. Include headings and subheadings in your articles
Giving your content a structure can help in holding the attention of the users and engaging them enough to read through your entire article. Headings and subheadings create a narrative that keeps users hooked and yearning to read more. Descriptive headings and subheadings that convey exactly what the article and the sections are about will help in holding the reader’s attention, and improving their experience on the website.
6. Create links and Find statistics
A reader would want to feel confident after consuming your content. Including statistics from reputable sources can increase the reliability of the information in your articles and keep users satisfied. Obtaining backlinks from authoritative websites can accomplish the same result.
Start Creating Your Content Outline
Content outlines help content creators to write content that is effective and informative. A good content outline can result in a better ranking for your content on SERPs. Now that you know the importance of a content outline and how you should approach creating one, it is time to start using this practice that can help your website’s SEO.
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