Does Your Web Content Sell Your Community or Bore Your Reader?
So, you’re ready to launch a new property management website, or you’ve launched one recently. You probably already know you need high quality content. You hear the concept of “engaging content” everywhere, right?
If you’re still a bit confused about how to create engaging content, keep reading.
Is Engaging Content Just Another Genre?
Writing high quality content is kind of like trying to write a page-turning thriller. You may have a spine tingling plot, a well-defined cast of characters and illustrations that heightened the tension, but, if your content doesn’t capture the reader’s attention and keep them interested, they’ll quickly move on to the next book on the shelf.
Whether you’re writing a suspense novel or creating content for static web pages, respect your reader. High-quality content always starts with the basics.
Proper grammar, syntax and semantics: Use the proper words, in the proper context, spelled properly.
Know your resources: Anyone can say anything on the Internet. Savvy consumers want more than pretty words and pictures, although those are important elements. If you quote statistics or experts, make sure they’re credible and verifiable.
Show, Don’t Tell: You’ll hear content writers say this over and over. Easy to understand examples help you connect with your audience.
Format for visual appeal: Based on research conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group, web page visitors only read about 25% of page content. Since you have roughly 20 seconds to capture visitors’ attention, content must be concise and focused.
- Articles with bullet points, short paragraphs and plenty of white space are easier to read and digest.
- Create eye-catching headlines and page titles.
- High quality images inspire and motivate readers to learn more. Images are also the most sharable content from on social sites.
Even if your property management web pages are completely error-free and technically correct, you may still miss the mark.
Let’s revisit the suspense novel to illustrate why.
Giving Readers a Reason to Care
Every suspense novel has some common characteristic – a strong, capable protagonist, the evil villain, time constraints. The most important element, though, is the crisis. Whether it’s racing the clock to foil an assassination attempt or saving the proverbial damsel in distress, the crisis drives the plot and keeps readers glued to the page.
Visitors to your website are looking for solutions to their own “crisis.” How well you relate to your audience directly impacts whether they choose your solutions or look elsewhere.
So how do you connect with residents and property owners? Write directly to your audience. Instead of telling them what you want them to hear, give them what they need to hear. Use these questions to shape your content:
- What problem does my audience have?
- What solutions can I offer to solve the problem?
- What resources and information will resonate with the readers?
- What topics will motivate them to seek more information?
- Who is my audience? Where do they live, work, worship?
You may want to shout the advantages of leasing from your property management firm, but readers value content that answers their questions. Your desire to keep occupancy rates high must never overshadow a prospective resident’s need to find his or her next home.
SEO strategies, content standards and engagement building tools may change from day-to-day, but your goal remains the same. Discover your readers’ “crisis;” then, show them your solutions.
We would love to hear your comments. Tell us what you think is the most important question property managers should answer with their content.
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AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money. Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.