To get the maximum benefit from your SEO efforts – especially as it concerns content marketing – you have to focus on the needs of your audience.
Digital marketers and SEO specialists spent years (decades, even) focusing their efforts on making Google happy. Today, that focus won’t get you where you want to be. In fact, if you aren’t careful, it could hurt you more than it helps in the search rankings.
As convoluted and meta as it sounds, the way to make Google happy today is to give your audience whatever makes them happy.
How Playing to Your Audience Affects SEO
Google’s algorithms are geared toward one singular goal: giving Google users what they want when they want it. The better the results any given search can return, the more likely the user is to keep using Google. And if your results are what makes the searcher happy, Google will reward you accordingly. And, by the way, Bing, Yahoo and every other search engine out there share this goal.
So, how does this affect you and your audience? It’s easier to understand when you look at the process through Google’s eyes.
Somewhere among the billions of internet users who conduct Google searches every day are your prospects and customers, i.e., your audience. Once you figure out who those people are, you have to figure out what they want when they do a search. And then you have to give it to them.
This creates engagement and, ideally, drives behavior. The audience gets what it went looking for, which makes Google happy. And, hopefully, you get conversions as a result.
How Does Google Know When Your Audience Is Engaged?
Like Big Brother from Orwell’s 1984, Google sees all. By carefully monitoring what the searcher does with their results, Google can tell if that individual found what they came for.
So, for example, imagine that a homeowner in Salt Lake City is having problems with hard water. Maybe she doesn’t know exactly what the solution is but she’s tired of water spots on her faucets and glassware.
If you have a company in her area that installs water filtration systems and softeners, our homeowner is likely a good prospect for you, because you have a solution to her problem. But, to get here there, you have to engage her, educate her, answer her questions and lead her down the path to purchase.
If she searches on a term like “hard water Salt Lake City,” she could find content from your site that explains what hard water is and the problems it causes. If she clicks the link and spends a few minutes reading your blog, Google records her activity. The more time she spends there, the more the algorithms register that you’ve provided something she wants.
Now, if our hard water-plagued homeowner clicks a link on the page to contact you or to peruse additional content, Google gets even happier. The algorithm remembers, makes note of the engagement and, the next time someone does a similar search, guess whose content will gain traction in the search results?
Defining Your Audience for SEO & Content Marketing
You may already have a detailed prospect and customer profiles worked out for your business. If not, however, that’s the first step in boosting your content-related SEO. But don’t stop there.
Once you’ve identified your audience – homeowners in Salt Lake City who have hard water problems, in our example – you must identify the type of information they need. You’ll also need to figure out what terms they’re using to search for this information. This means demographic research, keyword research, and a deep dive into the type of topics and information that your audience is searching for.
The way you structure your content should also depend on your audience. In our hard water example, the homeowner looking for solutions likely wants simple, straightforward answers. So, rather than get into the science of water softening or the organic chemistry of hard water, you’ll get much further with a basic explanation of the problem and some clear, logical answers about possible solutions.
For most businesses, the most effective approach to content marketing and SEO is to use the services of an expert. At Be Locally SEO, we conduct the necessary research to determine what type of content your audience is looking for. We use best practices of search engine optimization and content creation to get you in front of your prospects, engage your audience and make Google happy all at the same time. And that helps you grow your business and achieve your marketing goals.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get results with content marketing and SEO.