Content marketing and search engine optimization have undergone drastic changes in the past few years, many of which were necessary and overdue to improve the user experience online. As a result, many marketers are unsure how to effectively reach their desired readership and maintain the highest SEO rankings.
Understand Your Audience
Do you truly understand who your audience is or are you assuming they fit into a specific category? If you haven’t analyzed your readership data recently, you may be surprised by who is actually visiting your site.
The first and most important key to driving traffic is to effectively understand who your audience is. Not only does this include specific information such as race, gender, education and income levels, and location, but it may also include personal interests, political affiliations, religious beliefs, and hobbies. Work toward understanding what truly interests your audience and provide them with the information they desire.
Prove Your Authority
Over the past several years, the idea of authority has fallen somewhat out of vogue with many content marketers. Unfortunately, the lack of authoritative content has left many visitors frustrated. Readers want to know they are getting quality information from individuals who actually understand their problems and concerns.
It is vitally important to prove your authority to your readership. Make sure that all writers have complete bios which accurately demonstrate knowledge and experience. Additionally, each bio should have a head shot to allow readers to see the real person behind the words. Contact information must be readily available and easy to find on your site. Lastly, link to sources so that your readers can investigate further and verify information for themselves.
There is simply no substitute for accurate information. Provide quality information and if you’re lucky, you’ll hear some positive things about it. Publish inaccurate, questionable information and you’ll definitely hear about it. You’ll probably hear about it through every social media format available.
Even worse, you may never hear a word but may suddenly begin experiencing a drastic drop in traffic and readership.
Readers are bombarded everyday with useless information. Worse still, readers have become increasingly angry at the plethora of bad information that is currently available both online and through traditional media sources.
To avoid potential pitfalls always make sure your content is properly edited for grammar and fact checked. Provide multiple viewpoints on an issue, especially if that topic is controversial. If there is any bias or conflict of interest, acknowledge that at the beginning of the piece. Lastly, keep content current by updating it as necessary.
Protect Your Reputation
Integrity and reputation are crucial in building a long term relationship with your readers. Whether a visitor agrees or disagrees with the information you provide, there should never be any doubt as to the integrity with which your business operates. If your target audience loses faith and trust in you, you will lose your target audience forever.
Don’t Publish Useless Content
Every minute of every day, thousands of articles, videos, and photos are published online. It’s easy to feel the pressure to rush to publication in order to keep up with that perceived demand but don’t fall into that temptation. Avoid publishing content for the mere sake of publishing content. Readers do not want the added noise clogging up their social media feeds and inboxes. Make sure that everything you publish offers value to your audience.
Compel Your Readership to Engage
Readers share and engage in content that directly relates to them in some way not articles that advertise a specific product. Find creative and compelling methods to introduce your product or service into your readers lives. Some advertisers offer giveaways for the best photo or video with a particular product. This allows readers to actively engage in the marketing process.
Another useful approach for engaging your audience is to incorporate pride and rivalries. Rivalries are everywhere and easy to find and incorporate into content. Whether your readership supports a specific sporting team or displays a lot of national or regional pride, playing off those rivalries can greatly increase traffic to your site and compel your readers to push your content viral.
Create Partnerships With Others
Building readership is challenging at best, especially when you try to do everything on your own. Consider creating partnerships with other content marketers to share your content across multiple platforms and audience groups. Doing so could expand your content vastly.
When establishing a partnership, remember to seek out other marketers that compliment your own efforts and add value to your readership. Again, you shouldn’t try to provide content solely to provide content.
Also, don’t try to publish to every conceivable platform. It is far too easy to spread yourself and your staff too thin. It is always best to choose quality over quantity.
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