This article first appeared as Anthony Bullick’s column in the Daily Post business section on 10 January 2018.

An up-to-date news section on your website builds valuable trust between you and your stakeholders.

However, ensuring it is full of fresh articles is just the start in order to feel the benefits of publishing the latest company news.

A web visitor’s attention span is less than seven seconds. Follow these steps to keep your reader engaged with the story from start to finish.

The first step is to understand what news is.

Having the ability to upload content to your website means you are a publisher and have your own audience. The followers on your social media and visitors to your site will likely be interested in anything positive your business has achieved.

For example, winning a new contract, speaking at an event, recruiting a new member of staff, and being shortlisted for an award are all good news stories. As is expert commentary, commenting on a topical item in your industry, and sharing your charitable work.

When writing the story, follow the structure used by the media to encourage people to read it all. The first three or four paragraphs should succinctly cover the what, why, when, how, where, and who. Each one keeps the content relevant and ensures the reader does not have any questions about what is happening.

Insert a quote after this to humanise the story and add an extra dimension. Write new information to keep the reader engaged, and include the quoted person’s full name and job title to add context.

Add in relevant background information in the final third of the article. For example, if it’s about a contract win, you could write about stats on other new clients or successes at the company shared recently.

Avoid jargon and keep sentences short and sharp to aid flow, and aim for no more than 350 words total. Insert visual content including images and videos to help break up the copy.

Mundane headlines such as ‘latest news item 20’ and ‘woohoo – some good news’ is unlikely to grab attention. A title such as ‘John Jones invited to speak at leading industry event in Las Vegas’ not only advises the reader what the article is about, but entices them to read it.

As a bonus, if you have written the story in a journalistic style, it increases the chances of it being used by the media. Issue to journalists and editors, and if it is covered, update your website. A trusted third party covering your brand adds huge amounts of credibility.