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Here's What Goes Into a Highly Shareable List Post

Here's What Goes Into a Highly Shareable List Post

List-based blog posts – also called “listicles” (seriously) – are some of most important pieces of content your blog can produce.

Listicles aren’t just easy and fun for your audience to read; they get shared more on social media and yield higher organic traffic through search while also triggering more engagement, lower bounce rates, and more conversions than any other type of blog post.

But how can you tell if you’re making the most of your lists? The good people at Siege Media recently put together an extremely compelling infographic on what works for listicles.

Here are a few of the most fascinating takeaways you need to know:

Headlines

Let’s start at the top! When titling your list, keep in mind that your keyword should be pluralized, the better to match up with your prospective searcher’s needs. Though your headline can be on the longer side, be sure to keep your URL brief – short URLs are 2.5 times more likely to get clicks, according to Marketing Sherpa – and make sure your keyword is in the URL, which significantly helps with SEO.

And here’s an interesting quirk to keep in mind for your next list post: Listicles with numbers in their headlines generate 36% more clicks. Makes sense. Even more interesting? Listicles with odd numbers in their headlines generated 20% more clicks than those with even numbers. On your next post, keep this in mind: 5 apples that look like Chicago Cubs pitchers may actually be more compelling to your reader – and get your site more views – than 6.

Images

If you’re going to include a large number of images, make sure they’re as appealing as possible; high quality images get 121% more shares, according to Siege.

And make sure your photos are consistently formatted and don’t take an extremely long time to load. Users are 23% less likely to return to your brand after a subpar user experience, and awkward images can negatively impact your readers’ ability to quickly scan through your list.

Readability

While we’re on the subject of scanning, studies show that most readers are going to breeze through your posts quickly. The more accessible and easily-scannable your structure, the more enjoyable users will find your content.

The same holds true for your written copy: The more concise your text, the better. Concise text can improve readability 58% over non-concise writing. Keep it short, keep it clean.

Social Sharing

One of the benefits of listicles is their enormous popularity on social media (the Buzzfeed empire was basically built on their backs, after all). But there are steps you can take to prime the pump for maximum sharing.

First, be sure to embed floating share buttons; these easy fixtures have been shown to increase social traffic by nearly 30%.

Your top image is also important for generating shares. Research from our good friends at Buffer have shown that pinned images (the visual content attached to social posts – usually pulled from the header image of your post) – perform better when they feature overlaid text. In fact, pins featuring text received 300% more engagement than those without.

Ready to start producing high-quality list posts of your very own? Whether you’re looking to generate content or improve your brand’s presence on social media, Geek is here to help! Drop us a line to help kick-start your content marketing strategy today!

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).