Putting together an introduction is the most difficult part of any form of content creation. But the rise of blogs and websites that tell stories make this skill just as important as your high school teachers told you it would be. In this article, we help to define not only what makes a good intro, but a productive one. Read on for our fool-proof five-step formula for writing intros.
1. Define the problem
The entire purpose of an introduction is to draw a reader in. The best way to do this is with a hook. And the best hook is to define a problem that is relatable to your audience. Try to do this in a way that is fun and punchy. After one or two sentences, your readers will know that you will (hopefully) present them with a solution. But if they can engage positively with your tone right off the bat as well, you’ll have someone spending a bit more time taking in your content.
2. Introduce the topic
Now that a problem has been defined, there are three routes you article – and therefore your intro – can take. It can solve a problem; it can provide a discussion as to why this problem occurs without providing a solution; or it can both discuss and solve the problem. The path you take depends entirely on the complexity of your content, and how self-evident parts of it are. After all, you never want to be the brand that ‘splains to their audience.
Whatever route you choose, outline it in your intro. We know you want audience-members on your website for as long as possible, but if your article isn’t what they expect and they waste their time, it’s likely they won’t be back at all in future, which is the worse outcome long-term.
3. Set expectations
This is slightly different from introducing the topic. Different audience members will all have different ways they prefer to consume content. Some prefer long in-depth reads, while others like bite-sized pieces of information presented in a more structured way, like in a listicle. In this next part of your intro, let readers know if you will be presenting a list, discussion, analysis, case study or personal storytime. While not necessary for driving sales or SEO in your introduction or your article as a whole, it is a simple courtesy that costs you nothing and is highly appreciated by customers, building brand trust.
4. Copyedit for SEO
Google is getting better and better at recognising useful and valuable content for its users. If you want your website or the information from your blog post to show up at the top of the page after searching for it, your introduction needs to be search engine optimised.
The easier it is for Google’s AI to interpret and understand a piece of text, the easier it becomes for them to decide whether it is valuable. To make sure your website or article doesn’t get left behind, try to follow these Google SEO rules to increase your chances of getting a top spot (and it’s really not as difficult and impossible as people imagine):
- Check that your keyword/phrase appears 1-2 times.
- Use a different font for your introduction.
- Use sentences that are as short as possible.
- Do not use the passive voice, ever!
- Make sure your intro, even if it is divided into multiple paragraphs, is no more than 12 sentences altogether.
5. Follow through
Much like your introduction should strive to be, this section will be quick, easy and to the point. Do what you say you’re going to do in your intro. We know scroll bait is a thing but, at the end of the day, all it does is increase your bounce rate, breach brand trust and give the impression that you’re unreliable.
If you are looking for help with the copy on your website or blog, we can assist with full article creation as well SEO copyediting. Get in touch now!
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