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Listicles? How to make your lists stand out from the rest

July 12, 2021 - Fifteen

Listicles, or list articles, are probably one of the most common types of web content around. The aim of the game when it comes to website content is short, snappy information that can be easily navigated on a computer screen or mobile. As a result, when it comes to describing your services or telling readers about the benefits of your products, chances are you’re going to write a list article. We’re going to go meta here and look at how you can optimise your listicles with a little listicle of our own. 

What is a listicle?

The list format is the skeleton for your story. They can take many guises, be it an article with videos and captions or a list of places to go with contact details and site information. The form that connects all listicles is the format of:

Introduction

Subheading

Information

Subheading

Information

(x5/6/7 however many points you have)

Conclusion with CTA

This format helps you organise information and makes pulling apart strands easier. Readers can land on your blog, scroll down to the section they need and get to the answer quicker, all thanks to the regular layout and subheadings.

Frame your listicle

Now that we have an understanding of what listicles are; it’s important to understand the function of the title. All list articles do essentially the same thing but the title, introduction, and conclusion are where you put a spin on the piece. For example, notice the difference between these list titles:

A) 24 Dogs Enjoying the Summer

B) The 30 Funniest Pet Photos Ever

C) 12 Reasons You Should Always Plan a Roadtrip Holiday

These list articles are shaped by their headings. A is a pure list article, no narrative, just a list of pictures to enjoy. B, by comparison, focuses on drawing clicks by making claims about how amazing or original the post is. Finally, C is a story told through the means of a list. This form is like a hybrid of an article and a list.

String sections together

Because of the nature of this type of content, it’s important that you weave content to move from one part to the next. This shows a connection between several sections and draws the reader into carrying on reading. For example, you can end one section and then lead into the next section with phrases like;

  • ‘Speaking of X, let’s take a look at Y…’
  • To better understand X, you have to understand Y.
  • ‘This is where Y comes in.’

Cutaway the fat

List articles are all about brevity. Most people expect to find information quickly and easily on a list article so do away with fluff and stick to what’s important. If you’re subheading mentions something, talk about that. Don’t go off on a tangent. If you have cool stats or studies you’d like to include, add them as hyperlinks for anyone looking for a deeper read of your research. 

Break long lists into subcategories

If your list looks like it’s going to run into 20+ items chances are users will find it hard to navigate. A great way to break up the monotony is to create further categories. If the reader has 4 sections, each with 5 points, it will be easier to parse the knowledge and find what they are looking for.

We hope you found this blog interesting and helpful. If you need a hand with anything SEO or content-related contact us today and we’ll help you create list articles that engage readers and drive conversion.

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