Bop Design Instructs Businesses About How to Create Impactful “How-To” Lists

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Content Marketing Firm Shares Guide for Popular Blog Format

Content Marketing How-To

Content Marketing How-To

Using your how-to list to promote other pages on your website should be a key part of your content marketing plan.

According to Google Trends, since 2005 the interest in searching for “how-to” lists has nearly doubled. “How-to” lists can be a useful part of any business’s content marketing plan since they provide readers with quality content and establishes a business website as a helpful resource. San Diego web design company Bop Design has released a “how-to” list for businesses that want to craft “how-to” lists that get attention. “Crafting the ultimate how-to list requires a little thought and some homework,” explains Bop Design business principal Jeremy Durant. “But once you follow these handy pointers, you can generate an open-ended treasure trove of content that is beneficial to your clients—and your business.”

Below are their suggestions.

Pick effective topics.
Topics that resonate with readers will get more clicks. To generate a list of topics that will resonate with readers, businesses should do the following:

  • Ask their company’s customer service department to provide a list of

questions they receive most often from clients.

  • Write down a list of basics about their service or industry. Each item becomes its own how-to list.
  • Address fears and concerns that their clients might have (example: “How to Reduce Your Chances of a Tax Audit”)

Keep it simple.
After writing a rough draft, marketers should aggressively edit their content. Wordy posts can be overwhelming and difficult for readers to follow. Additionally, if what is being explained is complicated, marketers should create multi-part tutorials. This enables cross-linking to other pages or posts within the business website, and also encourages readers to return for more content.

Use clear headers.
Clear and simple headers make it easier for readers to scan the post for basic useful information at-a-glance. The text under each header should explain why that step is important.

Include screen-grabs or images.
If explaining complicated or technically oriented subjects, marketers should use screen-grabs or images to illustrate their point. Instead of spending too much text explaining what the viewer should be seeing, the image should be used to get the point across, then the writing should explain the importance of what it means.

Answer reader questions before they ask.
When crafting the steps of a how-to list, marketers should address questions or hesitations their readers might have. Things like “Be sure to check your...” or “Don’t forget to…” are truly practical additions to any how-to list.

Cross-link within the website.
“Using your how-to list to promote other pages on your website should be a key part of your content marketing plan,” explains Durant. “This helps your SEO efforts and also gives readers a reason to further engage with your website.” Businesses should seek opportunities to link back to their company’s service offerings or products. If the post is one installment of a multi-part how-to series, they should be sure to link to the other sections in their intro paragraph so readers can access the rest of the series if interested.

Ask someone else to review.
Before publishing a how-to list, article writers should ask a business associate to review. Outsiders often find overlooked information or bring up useful questions that can be incorporated into the article before posting.

Ask for feedback from readers.
Writers should end their how-to post with a call for questions from readers. If there are pertinent questions, they can edit the post or create a new “Updated” version and release it as a new how-to. However, marketers should never cut and paste old content into a new article because this lowers credibility with search engines. Instead, they should write a new post with a new slant and use short excerpts from their previous post.

Durant concludes, “Constructing a series of helpful how-to lists will generate interesting, quality content to engage your readers. Just remember to keep it simple and interesting and you’ll soon find your readers coming back for more.”

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Jeremy Durant
Bop Design
+1 619-330-0730 Ext: 801
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since: 10/2009
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