Hundreds of millions, possibly even billions, of pieces of content are uploaded to the internet on a daily basis. At the same time, people are busier today than they have ever been. Our career, our social life, our families, and all other aspects of our lives continue to grow and means that “me time” is at a premium.
One of the ways in which people fill their “me time,” when not using Facebook or another social network, is to read online content.
However, with such a large volume of content available and so little time, only the very best content will be read and attract attention. No one is ever going to read everything. As an example, my RSS feed currently has over 1300 articles, and I’ll probably read 10 of them, if I’m lucky. Of those 10, 8 of them will probably be sources that I go back to because I love their stuff and they grab my attention instantly.
What do you need to do to make your audience love your content so that they bookmark you, keep returning to your site, and share your content bringing all of the SEO and other benefits with them?
Provoke Your Audience
No one likes a ‘yes man,’ but at the same time you don’t want to be controversial just for the sake of it.
What many content writers, and even large corporations such as newspapers and magazine publishers, don’t realize is that people will return and share content irrespective of whether they agree with the message.
As long as the writing hits home and motivates them to think or comment, people will return to your site every day, even if their motivation for doing so is to read what is in their view your misguided opinion.
Make them Talk
This is about going beyond provocation, and encouraging your audience to engage with each other. Whether this conversation takes place on your comments section or via social media, quality SEO content can quickly become a great ‘meeting place’ where people gather to discuss the issues of the day.
One only has to look at popular news sites, and newspapers such as the UK Guardian, to see how regular commenters build a relationship and always discuss certain features, or editorials from particular reporters.
Make People Want More
Try to always end an article or blog with a nod to something you’re currently working on, or the subject you’ll be discussing during tomorrow’s post. Immediately, you are ensuring a constant stream of traffic your pages as people flock to see what advice or opinion you’re going to give next.
If you can master mysterious without being vague, you’ll have your audience in the palm of your hand.
Where Does Your Audience Come From?
Using an SEO ranking tool or an analytics package, you can discover how your audience is finding you, and how long they typically spend on your pages. You can then use this information to better shape your content in respect of who your audience is. For example, if 50% of your readership comes from Twitter, they are more likely to be looking for something short and to the point, which they can quickly share and perhaps comment on.
Readers who simply head straight to your site on a desktop device are probably going to stick around for longer, so you can write more in-depth posts that are going to engage them and create a more detailed discussion.
Publish a wide variety of content so that you attract readers looking for detailed advice and articles as well as those looking for a ‘quick fix’ in a matter of minutes.
Earn Audience Trust
As SEO is all about trust, from Google’s perspective, so content publishing is all about trust from your audience’s point of view. You can build trust with your audience in many ways, including:
- Writing content that reflects your business practices and the products you sell
- Being consistent with your opinions and providing evidence for any thoughts or analysis
- Respecting the opinions of others, and even linking to contradictory articles that challenge your own point of view
- Above all else, be honest and forthright
How many of these points do you consider when pursuing your content strategy? If they’re not all present in some way, then you’re not giving your readers the best value, nor seeing maximum benefits from SEO or social media exposure.
Revisit your content strategy now, and make your audience love your content.
Author Bio: Allan Greene is an SEO expert who is passionate about maximizing the changing face of digital marketing as it becomes more content driven in 2013. Allan spends time talking to entrepreneurs and businesses about the importance of content marketing, and how they can make the most of their own strategies in the coming months.
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