SEO Fundamentals | Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
Defining and understanding your target audience is the first step to writing content for them. Attracting just anyone to your website is not so hard, it is attracting the right kind of people and offering the right topics in the right tone in the style that is a challenge. A good way to start is to ask the question, who are the people that we want visiting our site and what roles will they play in an organisation? From here we can go through the exercise of understanding how they are using online channels and where we might be able to message or engage them.
A great tool to start off with is the Forrester Techno-graphics Profile Tool. This tool can help provide an insight into how your end consumer uses different technologies today. For example, if we were targeting a group of US males between the ages of forty five and fifty four we can see that the majority of them are what we call spectators. This means that they often spend their time on videos, podcasts, forums and reviews, but they are reading and not necessarily contributing. Knowing this we might tailor our content to these formats and we know will need to work harder to get any user generated content from these folks.
Once we know what kinds of content our target audience is consuming and we have identified who they are, will need to dive in and look at our topics. Ultimately users are typing keywords into search engines and keywords remain the core and foundation of SEO. So when it comes to choosing topics will want the tied into the key words we have chosen based on relevance search volume and competition during our keyword research process. You will also want to look at tools like Google Insights for search to monitor industry trends and understand what is popular among your target audience and what is being searched for in discussed. Matching your topics to what is popular and being searched for will maximise the size of the potential audience that you are catering to.
Next, you can employ the concept of filling in the gaps. Odds are good that someone else already wrote something about your topic and the last thing the Internet needs is more pages talking about the same old thing. Instead figure out what is missing out there and fill in those holes. Monitor what your competitors are writing about but more importantly monitor what they are not writing about. These are great opportunities for you to offer unique perspectives and even more value. Once we have identified who were running for and what we are writing about the last thing we need to do is define our content angles. This is really nothing more than the approach to writing your content and it should be consistent and appropriate to the audience that you are speaking to.
Are writing technical articles for rocket scientist to read or light hearted commentaries on the state of the entertainment industry? There are very different tones for each. And above all remember that while we are doing all this to support our business objectives and ultimately some kind of sales, no one wants to read a blatant sales pitch. We need to offer up something of real value, content that is compelling and useful for the reader. When you are deciding how the angle and position your content you will want to consider a couple more areas of importance.
First be original whatever you write take the time to make sure that it is unique and that it comes from your own voice. You want to bring something new to the table that will excite your readers that they cannot find anywhere else whether you decide to be humorous or put a creative twist to your content it needs to keep them engaged or even entertained from beginning to end. When they are done reading it they should be thinking I know something interesting that I did not know before or even better they will be thinking I would need to share that with my friends.
From a format perspective you want to think about the style of content that you are putting together will you be writing a blog post or informative style articles, are you taking a comparative style where you contrast product A with product B, what about discussing a before and after scenario or a how to walk through, and remember that content is not just text, pictures are worth a thousand words and you can even use video to capture sights and sounds to convey complex concepts or to make something more tangible to a user.
By understanding who you are writing for what you are writing about and what style you are writing in you will be cementing the foundations of fought full unique and relevant content that will wow both human readers and search engines alike.
Sadhiv Mahandru has been involved in online marketing for over a decade covering PPC, Affiliate Marketing, SEO, Content Creation and also creating effective websites. Specialising in Search Engine Optimisation UK you can learn more about Internet Marketing and SEO by reading my own blog which is updated frequently.