Using “Yes” Content for Effective Emotional Content Strategy and SEO

Yes Content

You and I are created as emotional beings. We fear. We hate. We love. We laugh. We want. We feel. Feelings have a lot to do with your decisions – especially quick ones. Ones made when browsing the internet.

This is part of a tutorial series entitled Content Strategy from SEO School where you can learn SEO that works.

Here and There

Reading blogs and other pieces of content in the internet is very different from reading an article in a magazine or newspaper. In the magazine, you only have a handful of articles, some photos for your perusal, and that’s pretty much it. You don’t have much of a choice when you want to read about something else. What’s in the magazine is what you have.

In the internet, things move way faster and the choices are limitless. You want to read about food? It’s one search away. You saw a post in Facebook about Love? Click it. You want to learn more about SEO? It’s all available – you don’t have to buy another magazine. You don’t have to stick with your newspaper. In the internet, information can be accessed and it is limitless.

Do I know you?

What does all these tell you? Well, it simply means that if people don’t like your content, they can easily click the ‘x’ button or the ‘back’ button and bounce off your page. They can easily move on to another site. They have choices – who are you to stop them?

But it goes way before your content. It all starts with your title.

The 2 Second Rule

If your title does not grab a visitor’s attention in 2 seconds, you’ll lose that person – probably forever. They have a lot of titles to go through in a day. Even if your title is the longest, most descriptive title, if it does not touch base with an individual’s emotion, it will not get any attention.

So what do you do?

Grabbing Attention

Create Great titles that Grab Attention and Trigger Emotion

Grabbing attention can be done in a lot of ways. It can be done using strong eye-catching words like ‘Sex’, ‘Discover’, ‘Free’, ‘Help’, ‘Know’, ‘Money’, ‘Powerful’, ‘Secret’, ‘Proven’, ‘Save’, ‘Trust’, ‘Understand’. These are most often used in internet copywritten articles as head-turners. Notice these words touch base in one way or another with the reader’s emotions? Because if you want to grab attention, unless you’re running a porn site, your words have to trigger your user’s emotion.

Now that you have their attention, what’s the next step?

Create “Yes” Content

This is the kind of content that gets people’s heads nodding. The kind of content that backs-up your title and completes that emotion that your title has triggered. This is the kind of content that your users will say “yes, yes” to. “Yes, that’s exactly how I feel.”, or “Yes that’s where I am right now – what’s your solution?”, or “Yes that is just what I need!”

Yes content is important because it brings your reader to your side. It establishes an emotional connection between you and your reader. It makes your readers relate to you and somehow it makes you someone who relates to them. Yes content helps build:

  • Loyalty
  • Trust
  • Familiarity
  • Likeability
  • Word of Mouth
  • Branding

In short, Yes content builds your readership. It builds a following – people who have emotionally touched base with you and what you’ve written and are eager to read more of your stuff.

How does all this relate to SEO?


Without readers, you won’t have any user activity. User activity affects Author Rank and Dwell time Metrics.

Dwell Time Metrics consist of:

  • Bounce Rate
  • Time on Site
  • Page Views
  • Social Engagement

These Dwell Time metrics sends a positive signal in your site’s SEO and can cause and/or verify rankings. Your content has to be read – this sends a positive signal to your Author Rank (which is rolling out soon – you should read how to implement Author Rank and how it affects SEO here.)

Having a higher Dwell Time per user in your website can consequently lead to more Word of Mouth links – which will consequently increase your rankings even further.

Here’s my deck where I took this post from by the way – I made it available for downloading if you want to use it in your own circle of influence. You can use this deck to teach them about Yes content and creating great Titles that Grab attention and Trigger Emotion.

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  • This is the first article that i have read in your website. It’s a nice follow up to your MorCon 2012 talk.

    Btw, if your stats in GA for returning visitors increases – im one of those to be blamed. I will definitely keep on coming back to your site to read more posts =)

    • Hey Kenneth,

      Yep! I’m sure you already have a good handle of how to write Yes Content since this is the 2nd time you’ve seen me ‘talk’ about the topic Kenneth :)
      Glad to know that you like the stuff here! I’m honored. If you have a topic on SEO you want to read about, just ask and I’ll tip you off.

  • Hi Sean

    There is no doubt that certain trigger words, like the ones you have mentioned. Do get more visitors to take the desired action. I know by looking at some of the emails that I have written to my list. That my all time number 1 trigger word is Urgent.

  • Anon

    It’s an honor to read good quality content like you have written here. You have proven your true writing talent and presented your views well.

  • Wow. Just 2 seconds to grab and hold a web visitor’s attention…that’s pretty short. And I thought it was something like 5 seconds. I guess it’s really uber fast for the internet. Totally different from TV.

  • Matthew

    Hi Sean.I agree.A great title can help a lot.Your content is useless if your title does not catch the attention of your readers easily.I always learn from your blogs.Thanks for sharing!

  • This post definitely had me nodding, especially that pic of the feet – certainly grabbed my attention. ;)

    • Haha! Thanks for dropping by Ana! You’ve already ‘mastered’ creating Yes content in your blog – I’m sure all the things I wrote here already work out great for you.

  • Yes,yes,yes Sean,
    great information from you as usual, I also loved the two feet as a quick grab and I guess “Sex” always gets us in !!
    The old “2 second trick” is the question which makes you really put your thinking cap on. I am a complete novice on SEO and can’t wait to start learning the correct method from you about content and application.
    Thanks again Sean…

  • Thank you for this post. I found that another importan “yes” content is the practical one. “yes that’s what i needed” strictly focused post on narrow subject, aiming to satisfy a very specific need. Something like a “rage comic” of posts. A meme pinpoints a very precise feeling about something that happens very often, a post could outline a very precise solution for a problem that comes out often too!

  • Hey Sean, Really fantastic write-up! When writing the right content for your website, it’s good to find out about what is this article written and is it useful and beneficial to your company as well as for your readers.

  • Hi Sean,

    I have found this article very helpful. I have a blog that I started in order to post inspiring things and my creative projects however I have found instagram useful for that type of sharing and as far as writing is concerned I don’t have much to say about it.

    When I think of creating posts with more than two sentences, I would rather right spiritual-feeling-ministering-sharing type posts like the ones you do. But I feel that isn’t exactly appropriate to get design agency/prospective employers/design clients attention which is the reason I have the blog in the first place. Can you see my dilemma? I want to show my creativity and passion to prospective employers but I have found it hard to allow my personality to show through my posts unless I can talk about God and my spiritual battle. What do you think? Your advice is very much appreciated. I am constantly reading your posts, they are so great!

    • Hi Rayna,
      I think that there can be a category that you can set apart for that. Or you can create another blog for your personal posts as to have a different niche. I personally have where I blog my personal stuff and where I let off my emotions if I’m in distress. The posts are hidden though so you won’t be able to see them or search for them because of the way the theme is designed. Case in point, don’t let personal mix with your profession unless it’s a way for people to get to know who you are and not just to teach about a different niche altogether. I have some pretty ‘persona’ posts here in our company history. But that’s as personal as I’m about to get.
      Thanks for being such an awesome reader Rayna :)
      Hope this helps,