Learning from 2020 to improve your content

Rob Dalton - Copywriter ,

While it’s unlikely that any of us really want to look back on 2020 (frankly, we’re the same), it has to be said that there’s still a lot that it can teach us in terms of producing impactful content.

For all the challenges and curveballs that were thrown our way, we changed our behaviours and adapted in order to keep on going and make it all the way through to the other side.

Some of these behaviours aren’t new, but the events of 2020 demonstrated their importance and that anyone producing content should be paying attention, so here’s what you can do to make you content work harder by using 2020 to your advantage.

Give the people what they want

It might be unsurprising to learn that the volume of searches across both mobile and desktop skyrocketed last year  – which was probably something to do with us being stuck indoors for a lot of the time. Not only did this mean that people wanted more content than ever which would address their needs instantly, but it also revealed even more about what  people were thinking and the keywords they were using.

This bump in search behaviour, brings  more opportunity to carve out your own niche within the world of online content, capturing the keywords that are relevant to your audience. More eyes on screens means you should be producing the content these eyes want to see, and using all the data you can to plan out effective content strategies. Going into 2021, people are still hungry for content while working from home and living most of their lives online, so these bolstered search behaviours aren’t going anywhere.

This doesn’t mean oversaturating your site with every piece of content under the sun, but it does mean you need to make sure you’re getting your share of the market. Check for holes in your content with regular SEO and Content audits and fill them in as soon as realistically possible. Google Trends will always be your friend too, revealing some of the search habits in your industry you might not have noticed yet.

Make your content more mobile

Part of the jump in search volume and traffic likely came from the increased time on the sofa in front of the tv, which is where mobile traffic really excels. There’s been many studies into how media consumption habits have changed, with a lot of attention paid to multitasking – watching tv whilst also performing other activities on your mobile.

Much like how people utilise multiple screens at the office, our mobiles are fantastic for performing small tasks while watching Netflix, catching up with the news, or simply whiling away the time while you’re waiting for your partner to finish the show they’re in the middle of. Mobile searches now comprise around 50% of website traffic, so it’s only natural that the majority of your content needs to be accessible on mobile.

Long form content might be great for getting in a lion’s share of keywords, but when confronted with walls of text mobile users are likely to disengage and move on. This is especially relevant when audiences are multitasking, where they want content to quickly answer their question then send them down the rabbit hole. If your site and its content isn’t optimised for mobile by now, make sure it’s high up on your to-do list for 2021.

Pivot with current affairs

2020 moved at a mile a minute, whether that was because of coronavirus, Brexit, the US presidential election 2020, or other impactful headlines, which shaped conversations at the time which were then replaced by the next Big News Story.

Current affairs can sometimes bring whole decks of brand new keywords on to the search scene – coronavirus and covid-19 being prime examples – with search behaviour for periods of time being profoundly affected.

As we said earlier, more searches in 2020 meant a wider variety of keywords being used which also tied into the wider context of what people wanted to know and how their lives were affected. Lockdown meant that more of our lifestyle was brought inside the home, so searches for “home gym equipment”, “dumbbells” and other similar items jumped in line with lifestyle adjustments people were making.

Keeping an eye on current affairs and considering their effect on your audience, can reveal a range of new content opportunities or adjustments you can make to capture wide search volumes. As long as it’s relevant to your audience and business, there’s no reason why you can’t capitalise on the coverage of a new popular Netflix series or social media incident. Keeping your finger on the pulse will allow you to quickly identify relevant happenings you can leverage to bring your content into the spotlight.

These three areas for improving your content aren’t revolutionary, but that doesn’t make them any less essential to having high quality content that’ll help your onsite copy succeed in 2021. We’re always happy to lend our expertise to those who want a hand in plotting out their content, so feel free to drop us a line if you want to make the most of your content strategy for 2021.

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