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A Detailed Guide to Writing Listicle Articles

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Writing Listicle Articles


Listicle articles are popular among bloggers.

They don’t require writing tons of information on a particular topic. Instead, this type of article embraces a wide range of different service or product items in one place.

The goal of listicles is to get people familiar with various products.

So, how to write a listicle piece of content that would look stunning?

Let’s start!

The Basics of Listicle Articles

Listicles represent the posts that have a structure in the form of a list. As a rule of thumb, these posts consist of multiple items with additional information. The purpose of listicle articles is to provide readers with key information regarding specific services, products, or tools.

People like listicles due to a few obvious reasons:

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  • It is easy to read listicle posts
  • Listicles have the advantage of a limited attention span
  • They are easy to digest
  • These articles bring order to chaos and many more

You should mix your content strategy with listicle articles for sure. The game is worth the candle.

Now, let’s run through the entire process of how to write listicles.

A Step-by-Step Process on Writing Listicles

It seems easy to write listicle articles at first glance. Everything you will have to do is to create a new Google Doc and fill it in with what you want to list. That’s all.

But when we’re talking about a listicle article that would drive traffic – it is a different story.

Here are nine steps you need to follow:

Brainstorm a topic idea

The first thing that you should do is to come up with a topic idea. Keep in mind that it makes sense to cover the topic that people are searching for in Google.

You know that search queries can represent the topics. Also, these queries equal keywords you need to explore. Therefore, by conducting keyword research, you will be able to find potential topics to cover.

You can use SEO tools for this purpose. For example, Keyword Explorer from Ahrefs works the best.

Let’s say you want to write a listicle article that would cover the best design tools. Use the term “design tools” as a keyword to start generating more topic ideas.

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Review a report called “Phrase match”, which suggests other keyword ideas. You can consider some of them as the topic for your upcoming article.

ahrefs

There are two metrics you should draw your attention to – Keyword Difficulty and Search Volume. The first metric represents the information on how hard it is to rank for this keyword. The second metric stands for how many searches the keyword has per month.

The next step is to understand if this topic meets the requirements of the listicle article.

Analyze the topic

Obviously, not every topic is suitable for this format of posts.

For example, you can’t cover the topic “how to make an infographic” in the listicle article. This particular topic belongs to a “how-to” guide with a step-by-step process explained.

How to understand if your topic fits this format?

Go to Google and review top results per your search request.

serps

As you can see, the majority of the posts are listicles.

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Think about the length of the post

Post length depends on how many items you’re going to introduce. There is no one-size-fits-all length you should consider. Instead, take into consideration how many items top-ranking listicles have.

long

The example above demonstrates that the first position belongs to the listicle article with 101 SEO tips.

Does it mean that you will have to suggest 101 tips to get the top-ranking position?

Nope.

Remember that quantity doesn’t mean quality. The rest top results cover from 10 to 24 SEO tips.

Decide on format

Listicle articles can be of two formats. Let’s review them:

Basic format

This format of listicles is based on writing short descriptions in a few sentences for each item. It makes sense to choose this format when you have many items to list in the post.

Detailed format

The detailed format is all about writing a comprehensive description of the items. It is opposite to a basic format. You can choose this format when you’re covering a complicated topic or have not so many items to highlight in the article.

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Choose an angle

The angle of your listicle articles can vary. Again, review top results in Google to have a better idea of what angle you should focus on.

Here are the main angles for listicle articles you can consider:

  • “Best” article (“15 Best Email Marketing Tools for Your Business”)
  • “For beginners” article (“12 SEO Tips for Beginners”)
  • “Personal experience” article (“10 Blogging Techniques We Use at Visme”)
  • “Expert opinion” article (“50 Pieces of Advice on Digital Marketing From Experts”)

Whatever angle you choose – avoid clickbait intent. In other words, if you are not sure that your listicle article holds the angle, you should change it.

Work on bullet points

Every listicle article includes bullet points. It is an integral part of this type of post. Hence, if you just list the items taken from the third-party posts – you will neither impress your audience nor Google.

Moreover, your post won’t acquire backlinks and drive no traffic.

That’s why you should work on bullet points right before you start exploring top-ranking pieces of content on the same topic. All you will have to do is to note down potential ideas that come to your mind.

Don’t limit yourself to ideas

Even if you know the topic perfectly, you can’t include all possible points in it. Don’t shy away from asking advice from your colleagues who have some expertise in that particular topic.

However, if you want to generate more ideas by yourself, check out an “Also talk about” report. You can find it by browsing the Keywords Explorer tool.

For example, you want to write a listicle post that would suggest “X Ideas for Halloween”. Let’s see what this report suggests:

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more-ideas

There are 134 keywords that you can skim through to get extra ideas. It is worth taking on board the following:

  • scavenger hunt
  • pumpkin carving
  • Halloween candy
  • Halloween games
  • Halloween costumes

And now create interesting points that you can add to your listicle post. It could be something like “Buy creepy Halloween candies”, “Rent Halloween costumes”, “Brainstorm Halloween games”, and so on.

Add visual elements

On one hand, listicles are easy to read and get the information you need. On the other hand, these posts might seem boring. They are not engaging.

Likely, if you add visual elements to your listicle post, it will look more appealing. It is up to you what type of visual content to implement – images, videos, clips from a webinar, infographics, etc.

However, try to avoid using stock images or including images taken from third-party posts. Instead, create visual content by yourself.

For example, GIFs can enrich your listicle post with funny visuals that would catch people’s eye. To create a GIF manually, you can use a GIF maker.

Use various types of visuals for each item that you cover in the post.

Write a conclusion

If you analyze the structure of listicle articles, you will see that the majority of the posts don’t have the final words.

Do you want to know why?

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People tend to skim through the list of items and don’t read the post from A to Z. As a result, a conclusion isn’t necessary there.

If you want to show yourself as a professional content writer, you must stick to including all components of the written article. It means you should always finish your listicle article with the conclusion.

Besides, it helps to summarize everything covered in the post.

Don’t write a long conclusion. Make it short with the main bullet points included.

A few GREAT examples of well-done listicles:

[Editor’s note] To leave you with some samples of well-done listincles, here are a few:

  • Best gardening books: See the nice “Our picks” section giving you a nice summary of what is listed!
  • Real estate agents: Notice how the actual list is formatted as a chart which allows for great readability and offers some potential SEO benefits like structured snippets
  • Best WordPress plugins: Notice a handy table of contents allowing you quickly jump down to any listed plugin

To Sum Up

Listicle articles are one of the most common types of content.

Yes, listicles are not engaging. People don’t read them completely. Nevertheless, this sort of content has its benefits as well. And to get most of the listicles, you should know how to create these articles properly.

This guide helped you find out the basics of listicle articles and how to write them easily.

If you think this post lacks some tips, feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.

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Sergey Aliokhin

Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Specialist at Visme. When not at work, he likes to spend his time with family, read books on science-fiction, practice playing the bass, and visit the gym.

Latest posts by Sergey Aliokhin (see all)

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A Marketer’s Guide To TikTok Analytics

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A Marketer's Guide To TikTok Analytics

While TikTok might be all fun and games for users, marketers know better.

This social media channel is full of essential metrics to help brands create more engaging and relevant content for their audiences, so let’s get right to it: TikTok analytics.

Read below to learn what you’re looking for on TikTok’s analytics platform, how to interpret the data you find, and how to use that data to grow your brand’s presence.

Accessing Your TikTok Analytics

The first thing to know is that you must have a business or an influencer account to access TikTok analytics rather than a standard account.

Make the switch to a professional account by:

Tap the Hamburger icon (upper-right)> Settings & Privacy > Manage Account > Switch to a Business Account > Select your business category.

Composite image: screenshot from TikTok, annotations by author, September 2022

Once you’re set, you can navigate to your analytics by:

Tap the Hamburger (upper-right) > Click Creator Tools > Click Analytics.

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TikTok analytics creator toolsScreenshot from TikTok, September 2022

Reviewing TikTok Analytics Data

When you navigate your analytics page, you will see three different categories at the top of your screen that you can click into for more data: Overview, Content, and Followers.

Overview

Like other social analytics platforms, TikTok offers a snapshot of how your content has been performing over a select period and the % increase or decrease since the previous period (shown in blue).

This data includes two significant aspects of your channel:

  • Video views: Shown in a graphical format, you can easily pick out trends over the last month on your channel regarding how many people watched your videos.
  • Profile views: Here, you will see the number of likes, comments, and shares for each video you’ve posted over a given period.

Additional metrics offered under the Overview tab include:

  • Likes: The number of likes your videos received in the selected date range.
  • Comments: The number of comments your videos received in the selected date range.
  • Shares: The number of shares your videos received in the selected date range.
  • Followers: The total number of users that follow your account and how that has changed within the selected date range.
  • Content: The number of videos you have shared in the selected date range.

Followers

When you scroll down on that same overview page, you’ll next see that you can click into your “followers” analytics (also found as a tab at the top of your screen, as shown above).

Here you’ll be able to see:

  • How many followers your account has.
  • Your follower growth percentage since the previous period you selected.
  • Demographic information about your followers, such as gender and location.
  • The hours your followers are most active.
  • The days your followers are most active.
  • The sounds your followers have listened to.

Although the actual analytics page might not look like much, we consider this the essential metric TikTok offers (more on this later).

Content

Your analytics page’s “content” tab is a great way to see which content you post is getting the most attention.

You will see this tab broken up into several subsections showing data from the last seven days, including:

  • Video posts: Here, you can see the last nine videos you posted and determine which video had the highest number of views.
  • Trending videos: The videos with the fastest growth rate in views over the last week are presented here.
  • Video views by section: Here, you can see if people found your video via your profile, someone else’s profile, or if you appeared in their feed.
  • Video views by region: This helps you understand where your content is resonating geographically.
  • Average watch time: We love this metric because it helps show you what’s engaging!
  • Total playtime: Unlike average watch time per video, your total playtime shows you a cumulative watch time for anyone who has watched your videos.

Note: If you have more than 1,000 TikTok followers, you are eligible to host Live TikTok videos. With Live videos comes another analytics page for you to see precisely how your live video performed. Learn how to get started with a live TikTok video here.

Extra: Total Engagement Rates

SocialChamp offers a little hack to help you get another metric that could be useful: total engagement rates.

Just follow one of the below formulas to calculate this number:

formula for tiktok engagementImage from author, September 2022

Monitoring TikTok Hashtags

Metrics surrounding hashtags aren’t found in the same place as the metrics discussed above. However, it’s still worth analyzing different hashtags in your niche and seeing the number of times a post with a particular hashtag has been viewed.

To find this data, use the Search bar to find a hashtag.

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Here, you’ll be able to see the number of views that hashtag has, the top videos that use the hashtag, and related hashtags.

TikTok Analytics hashtagsComposite image: screenshots from TikTok, collage by author, September 2022

Using TikTok Analytics To Grow Your Channel

Each section of TikTok analytics provides you with the valuable insight needed to grow your page and influence the right audience. Here are the three main takeaways:

Know The Ideal Times To Post Content

This is low-hanging fruit. See when (the day and time) your followers are engaging on the platform, and that’s when you should aim to post.

Understand The Videos That People Like The Best

Look at which videos people engage with the most through likes, comments, and watch time.

If you find that your funny videos outperform your informative ones, you know what to do!

These metrics should help guide your content creation strategy.

Discover What Is Working With Your Audience Beyond Your Page

Look at the analytics for popular sounds your audience likes and what hashtags they are using, and start incorporating these into your future videos.

Final Thoughts

Love it or hate it, TikTok isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Even if your audience isn’t on TikTok yet, we suspect more and more will adopt this platform, just as they eventually did with Instagram.

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So, getting a head start on understanding how it works and creating a channel that resonates with and engages your target audience is best. (Remember, you can always repurpose your TikTok content for platforms like Instagram and Facebook!).

Happy analyzing!

More resources:


Featured Image: Petryshak/Shutterstock

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