How to Write Listicle Articles Like a Pro
If you’re trying to rank content in Google, learn how to write listicle articles like a pro to get more views, clicks and engagement.
What do you know about listicle articles?
Listicle articles don’t need lots of in-depth information. They just require listing different services or products in a single post.
As simple as ABC, right?
However, the process of writing SEO-optimized listicle articles is a tough one.
Do you want to find out how to write listicles that would rank in Google?
In this post, you will get all the necessary information about listicles and how to write them properly.
Let’s get to the meat of this topic!
The Essence of Listicle Articles
It won’t be hard to guess that listicle articles are posts that suggest the information in the form of a list. To put it simply, a listicle post contains several items with a short description of each product or service.
Why do you need to write listicles?
Listicle articles serve as a source of information about multiple tools, services, or products. It is a great way to promote your own product matching it against alternatives.
Why do users like reading listicles?
Listicles are great due to the following reasons:
- Listicles are easy to read
- These posts are easy to digest
- They bring order to chaos
If you want to make your content marketing more effective and diversified, you should complete your content plan with listicle articles.
How to write SEO-optimized listicle articles like a pro?
Read further and you’ll find out!
A Detailed Process on Creating SEO-Optimized Listicles
You might be surprised that it is not as easy to write a listicle article as it seems. You believe that the only thing that you should do writing the listicle post is to create a new Google Doc and list “X” number of products. That’s all, right?
If you care less about driving traffic, you can write listicles in that way. But if you want to produce content that attracts traffic like a magnet, you should stick to these eight steps.
- Think about a topic idea
- Analyze the topic you selected
- Choose the length of the post
- Choose the format and angle
- Create bullet points
- Push your ideas to the limit
- Enrich post with visuals
- Don’t forget to write the final words
Now, let’s run through each step one by one.
1. Think about a topic idea
You can’t cover whatever topic idea you want. Your goal is to cover the topic that your target audience would search on Google.
If you know SEO basics, you are aware that keywords people type in search work as queries and they can represent the actual topics of the posts. In other words, to come up with a nice topic idea your first stage is keyword research.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to analyze keywords without using specific SEO tools. In this very case, the Keywords Explorer tool can help you with this.
For instance, your idea is to write a post that would suggest a list of content marketing tools. Take the keyword “content marketing tools” and analyze it with the tool.
What do you need to draw your attention to?
You should review a report “Matching terms” and click on the “Phrase match” tab to see a list of multiple keyword ideas. Skim through the list and explore phrases that you can use as your future topic for the post.
By reviewing keyword phrase suggestions keep an eye on Keyword Difficulty and Search Volume metrics. Search Volume metric helps understand how many searches this keyword generates monthly. Keyword Difficulty shows the information on how difficult it will be to rank for this particular keyword in the SEPR.
Move to the next stage of the process – topic analysis.
2. Analyze the topic you selected
As you might already guess, you can’t cover whatever topic you like in the format of a listicle article.
The topic “how to conduct keyword research” is not a good fit for the listicle post. It should be covered in a “how-to” guide that would describe the entire process from A to Z.
Therefore, your task is to make sure the chosen topic fits this particular format of the post.
The most straightforward way to find out is by observing top Google results using your main keyword.
With the help of this small research, you could discover that your topic belongs to the “listicle” format.
Let’s move on!
3. Choose the length of the post
If you think that there is a golden rule for the post length of listicles, you are wrong. It depends on the number of items you’re going to include in the article.
The best advice that you can get on this is to check out how many items top-ranking posts have.
As you can see, the post with 11 email marketing tips ranks number one. While the rest of the top posts have a completely different amount of tips suggested. One of the posts has 40 tips included.
Likely, it doesn’t mean that you should come up with 50 tips and your post will rank in the SERP. The thing is that in the case of SEO, quantity means nothing. There are different nuances that Google takes into account. And this information will be covered ahead.
4. Choose the format and angle
This stage of the creating listicle article involves choosing the right format and angle of the future piece of content. Let’s start with the format first.
There are two formats you can choose from:
- Basic (it suggests creating a short description per item and works well with a huge number of products you’re planning to cover in the post)
- Detailed (it suggests creating a comprehensive description per item and works well with a small number of products you’re going to list in the post)
The angle of the post depends on what user intent you have in mind. To give you a better idea of what angle to choose, review the main ones:
- “For beginners” (“15 Content Design Tricks For Beginners”)
- “Expert roundup” (“30 SEO Ideas From Niche Experts”)
- “Best” (“Top 10 Best CRM to Choose From”)
- “Personal experience” (“5 Mistakes to Avoid Hiring New Candidate (We Made Them Instead of You)”
After deciding on the format and angle of the post, it is time to work on bullet points.
5. Create bullet points
The main component of any listicle post is having bullet points. Thus, you can’t change the format of the post anyhow. Moreover, it is strictly important to avoid listing bullet points taken from other posts on a similar topic. In that case, your content won’t be unique and Google won’t rank it.
What’s more important, your primal goal is to create a listicle post that would generate traffic and build backlinks.
What can you do?
First of all, don’t hurry up to review what bullet points are included in third-party posts. Instead, brainstorm the future post items by yourself. And write a future draft of what you’re going to add to your post.
6. Push your ideas to the limit
You can’t boil the ocean. And you can’t cover everything in the post by yourself. It is true.
Because it is impossible to know every aspect of the topic, even if you have some expertise in it. Likely, you can reach out to other experts and ask them to share some thoughts on it.
There is an alternative way to help you out. Use the Keyword Explorer tool and review the report called “Related terms” and click on the “Also talk about” tab.
The report suggests 111 keyword ideas. Let’s see, what you could take if you write the listicle post on “X Birthday Ideas to Impress Your Kid”:
- ice cream
- birthday cake
- pool party
- party games
Add these points to your future post slightly updating them. For example, “Run a pool party for the kids”, “Ice cream challenge”, “Bake a few different birthday cakes”, etc. You got a clue.
7. Enrich post with visuals
The only thing that makes listicles uninteresting to read is the absence of visual elements. As a result, the posts are not eye-catchy.
Mix your listicle articles with visuals. You can use whatever visual elements you want – images, GIFs, infographics, videos, graphs, etc.
But don’t use stock images and ones you borrowed from other posts. You would better create any visual you like on your own.
For example, infographics have always been in trend. People like to read posts that contain infographics that illustrate different data.
Tip: You can create an infographic using an infographic maker for free!
Enrich your listicle post with visuals.
8. Don’t forget to write the final words
Read a few listicle articles and you will see that they lack a conclusion. And this is for a good reason.
When users read listicles, they don’t get absorbed in the context. They prefer to observe the items and find what they like the most. People are not interested in whether the post has a conclusion or not.
Despite this fact, a professional content creator must follow the entire structure of the post. To put it simply, the final words should be included in the post as well. You can’t start a post with no introduction. You can’t finish the post without the conclusion equally.
There is no need in writing a long conclusion. Make it short and sweet. The idea behind it is to summarize the information you covered in the post.
You can’t win with your content marketing strategy without making it diversified. For that reason, you should mix it with different forms of content.
Listicle articles don’t compel people to read them completely. They lack engagement. Despite this, listicles have other pros that can improve your content marketing effectively.
Don’t avoid writing listicle articles. Especially, when you already know how to do it correctly.
Don’t hesitate to leave your comments!