There is a difference between writing content for your blog and writing for your audience. While the former satisfies your needs, the latter solves problems of your audience.
This is something many writers fail to understand and end up writing content that is bland and ineffective.
Let’s take a look at how to make your content come alive and perform well on the Web. In other words, let’s see how to make your content entice actions from the readers.
Craft Your Tone as per Action Patterns
While developing content for your audience, keep in mind the action you want to them to take. In a marketing scenario, the copywriter obviously wants her readers to become buyers but it’s not always practically possible.
Your readers can take different actions that might lead to sales sooner or later. For example, they may subscribe to your newsletter, bookmark your blog, leave a comment or share the content on their social profiles. All these actions are a part of the sales funnel and have the potential to become a sale eventually.
Similarly, different types of content have different action patterns. For example, you can’t really expect your audience to buy your products by reading a press release. At most, a press release will create brand awareness among your potential customers. A blog post breeds authority and loyalty while a sale copy convinces them to become paying customers.
Therefore, you should know what kind of content you’re building and what action you should expect them to take when they are interacting with your content.
Does Your Content Solve Their Problems?
While developing content, many writers prioritize keywords, losing sight of the intention of the people that use those search queries.
The right approach is to understand the intention of the people, and in order to understand the people, you need to understand the intent behind their search queries.
Search queries may not be enough to understand what they are looking for but they definitely offer a clue which you should base your research on.
You should research to solve their problems and not write your content. When you have ample information that could be adequate to solve their queries, you should start writing the content.
Again, you should craft your writing style based on the action patterns you are expecting from your readers. If you are writing a blog post, you intention is to engage them in the discussion to the extent that they should leave a comment or subscribe to your blog. Don’t set your expectations too high – they are not going to click on the product link and buy a product straight away.
Understand the sales funnel and sale cycle. If they have already done what you blog content was intended for, your job is done and you should give yourself a pat in the back.
While writing your content, check each paragraph to see they are offering the solution to search queries of your readers. If they are not, rewrite them again or do more research until you come up with the information they are looking for.
I think keeping this in mind will help you frame the sentences effectively enough for the target audience to take some positive action.
Understand the Intelligence of Your Target Readers
Titles, heading and sub-headings are the gateway to your content – keep them simple, relevant yet catchy. Don’t go overboard and use words that don’t make sense to your readers. Be straight-forward with them.
Your target audience consists of people with reading skills and intelligence ranging from average to excellent. Plus, on the web, they are always in a hurry to take some action. Yes, there are people who settle down in their couch with their iPad and browse through your blog as well but they are few in numbers and unlikely to convert into paying customers. Your main target is people sitting on the fence and looking for information that helps them in their decision making. In fact, this is what Google wants too. Google wants to keep its users happy so it wants webmasters to deliver what their users like. Optimize your sub-headings for users and Google.
Use Images, Videos and Infographics
Sometimes, your audience may be looking for information that helps them in their decision-making immediately. They don’t always look for text-based information but images, infographics and videos. It all depends on what they are looking for. Therefore, you must understand their needs before even starting the research. Maybe, your post needs to have more visual information than textual and hence, you should focus on collecting high quality images or videos rather than worry about content.
Write Relevant Titles and Descriptions
Slip into the shoes of your readers – take a closer look at the Meta Title and Meta Description that appears on the Google’s Search Result Pages (SERP’s).
Ask yourself if a perspective user will land on your page (who doesn’t know what the heck your website is about), are the Title and Desc compellingly optimized to earn their clicks?
Even if a certain page is well optimized for Google and manages to appear on Google’s Search, the Title and Description may affect the clicks (in online marketing jargon, “CTR”). When Google finds that nobody is clicking a result on its search despite it being better positioned, it assumes it’s probably not relevant enough for their users. To fix this perceived issue, it starts pushing it further down the search results which affect traffic to our site.
Consider the above scenario vis-a-vis your Title and Description keeping in mind the fact yours is not only result that is visible to Google users. Make no mistake but that snippet could be losing its visibility unless it carries the words that stand out from the rest and prompts users to click.
Craft each peace of content based on your user’s behavioral patterns and you can become Google’s eye-candy.