The Internet is growing more social by the hour. Community development and an ability to write great content are both increasingly important for player development. Here are some thoughts for using catchy headlines and SEO as a key component for your audience development.

Capture Attention with Catchy Headlines

A BBC News story years back pointed out the Internet is turning humans into goldfish. In short, human attention spans are decreasing due to modern technology like the Internet which allows us to jump between seemingly endless pieces of information at a rapid clip. Today, people spend less than one minute on average for each web page they visit. And with more content flooding onto the Internet every day, the importance of writing catchy headlines is at an all-time high.

Here are some tips for headline writing to grab your readers’ attention and drive traffic onto the pages of your site:

1. Create SEO friendly titles. Before you can please an audience, you have to please Google as well. Make sure your page titles fit on a search engine results page. Additionally, keywords as the first words in your title is better than putting them at the end.

2. Use “power words” for compelling headlines. Which headline sounds better?

  • How to Have Success Playing Online Poker
  • Stunning Secrets to Online Poker Success

You might agree that the second headline is more attention-grabbing. Compelling “power words” like “top x” (like Top 7 Gizmoids), “best”, “free”, “secrets”, “worst”, etc are all good mechanisms for driving traffic to your content.

3. Ask a question. Another method for piquing readers’ curiosity is to prompt them with a question in your title. Which title sounds better?

  • Some Ways to Make a Million Dollars
  • How Will You Make Your First Million?

The call-to-action format of the second title is more likely to generate reader interest and result in clicks. To see first hand for yourself the power of choosing a good title, try some split testing with email marketing.

Characteristics of Top Performing Content

What does great Internet content have in common? If you’re looking for ways to blog a bestseller, this page on how users read the web is a must-read for all Internet content creators.

Here are a few of the important lessons from the findings in that article:

  • users like content with highlighted keywords
  • the best Internet information is: concise, scannable (think: bullet points), and objective (neutral, not boastful, language)
  • maximum one idea per paragraph
  • start content with conclusion and then extrapolate reasoning behind that conclusion
  • less is more

Community Development Through Social Media

In the spirit of community building to improve player retention, how can social media be used for audience development? Many businesses and brands are just beginning to figure out the effective ways to capture attention through social media. Here are some quick tips to use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to grow a community:

1. Stay concise in your delivery. People will unfollow someone who broadcasts too much, too often.

2. Engage and interact. Respond to messages from others. Thank your new followers for their involvement. Be generous about giving credit to your community members.

3. Attention-bait the big players. Pinpoint who the movers and shakers are in your industry or niche and try to build correspondence with them by dispatching occasional messages on social media networks.

4. Share generously your top info. Build a community online by giving away value to your readers and followers.

5. Utilize your web content to gain followers. Conclude articles and email delivery campaigns with calls-to-action to connect with you on a social network.

6. Drive the conversation with your readers through frequent, controversial and thought-provoking prompts to engage your readers into community discussion.

Community building can be a long, slow grind, but with the right content-creation practices and SEO focus, you can build your way to a large and valuable player base.

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