How To Write An Introduction Paragraph?

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Your readers are going to want to know what you're writing about from the get-go, it's a good idea to start your paper with a sentence that will pique their interest. Usually in an article, the first sentence goes into two or more sentences that give details about the subject or what is written in the blog or article. By the end of those few sentences, your readers should know what you're going to be writing about and why it's important.

Take a look at the image below, the main topic of these two paragraphs is "Best SEO Books". Can you identify which is ranking on the first page of Google? Is it A or B?

If your answer is B, you are wrong. A ranks on the first page.

Let us understand why A ranks on the first page instead of B. What is the search intent when somebody searches for "Best SEO Books", it means the user wants to know the best SEO books available out there. But as simple as that is, B is giving you reasons why you should read SEO books, while A is telling you, here's a bunch of SEO books, go read them.

So if you were to head to Google and search for "Best SEO Books", according to you, will you read article A or article B further? It will be A because it answers the user's search intent immediately without giving out a bunch of stuff that I already know or don't want to know.

In case the search term is, "Why should I read SEO books?" Then the correct answer would be article B. 

In this blog, we will share with you some tips, formulas, and examples on how to write a catchy blog introduction for both humans and search engines.

The introduction paragraph is super important. A study from Sumo.com finds that 32% of site visitors left after reading only 140 words as a result of poorly optimized opening paragraphs. 

Generally while searching for something on Google, users click on the result that has the most relevant title, and they'll read the first couple of paragraphs to see if the article is relevant to them. If it does, they’ll continue scrolling to the article, reading only the headings, and stop to read when something catches your attention. But if the first couple of paragraphs are boring, lengthy, don't give a good impression, etc, a reader will bounce off the page.

What does a good Introduction contain?

  • Hook 
  • Problem
  • Expectations/Benefits
  • Key phrase optimization 
  • Search Intent 

Without cracking search intent, everything else will go wrong. 

How to identify the search intent? 

The best way to understand search intents is to do a search on the key phrase.

Search engines are sophisticated, they understand search intent, and will display the best and most relevant results at the top. So, if you are a beginner, whenever you are targeting a key phrase and think you know best, make sure you double check on the search intent before writing your content. 

Types of search intent

Informational Intent - 

This usually consists of who, what, how, guide, etc, in the search phrase. For example, "how to bake cookies", or "Content marketing guide for beginners." People who search for these terms are ideally looking for knowledge or information.

Transactional intent

These usually consist of discounts, coupons, trial, sale, etc. Ecommerce stores generally target these search terms that are related to their products or brand because they are positive that people have the intention to buy their products.

Commercial Intent

Affiliate marketers love these, for example, review, top, best, comparison, etc. People  searching for these search terms are thinking of buying the product. They just need more information to make the decision.

Navigational Intent

These typically consist of login, brand name, terms and conditions, etc. These people already know what they are looking for, they  just want the search engines to direct them. 

Formula of a good introduction paragraph:

Now that you have a clear understanding of the search intent, let’s talk about the formula to writing an awesome introduction paragraph. The introduction is like the bridge between the topic and the rest of the blog or article. Hence, the introduction needs to be strong enough to keep your reader intrigued to read the entire article or blog. 

Hook

If the hook of the introduction, or simply put, the first sentence of your article, is not strong enough, readers will not cross the bridge to read or scroll through the rest of the content. 

We spend hours writing content and people just won't read it. Here are a few ways you can include an adequate hook in your introduction.

  • Include an "Appealing Statistic or Fact" related to the topic. 
  • Include a “Rhetorical Question" related to the topic. 
  • State a “Triggering or Controversial opinion.” Triggering questions forces a reader to think out of the box. 
  •  "Relate with a Problem". For example"how-to" blogs. People often search for this type of content when they have a problem. The best way to connect with them is to describe the problem. For example, "Do you see an error message in WordPress that says the link you followed has expired?"

These are the top four hooks you may come across for most of the search intent. Of course, there are other hooks, but these hooks can work on almost any search phrases.

Introducing the Problem

After you've drafted an intere sting hook, you've got to reel it in with the problem. People will search and read something to solve some problem they are facing, else they have no reason to read the article or blog. Unless it is a piece of news. So understanding the search intent is super helpful when it comes to writing this part of the introduction. You can use a few sentences to introduce the primary problem statement you are trying to solve in the blog post.

Expectations

If there is no outcome or solution to the problem you’ve just spoken off, then what's the point of writing the article? The article is long. There's a solution for you. Sothe reader wants to know if you have the solution. So let them know that they will find a solution if they continue reading. Let your readers know what they can possibly expect from your blog or article and what they are going to get out of it. Nowadays, people are just too busy from the noise that they don't want to bother about reading if it is not worth their time. 

Optimize your introduction for SEO

What we have done in the previous elements is to capture the attention of human readers, us. Now, you need to optimize your introduction so search engines will be able to understand your content easily. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are very good at understanding and identifying human language. But it will still be helpful if you make it easier for them to understand. For effective SEO optimization put the primary focus key search term within the first two to three sentences. And then include as many secondary keywords as you possibly can in the introduction without sounding unnatural. Meaning you should not be forcing keywords in it. 

Once you have a deep understanding of the search intent, you can apply the formula or sequence to your introduction to make it interesting, make it cool, and make it enticing for people to read. 

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