Nowadays, everywhere you look online for marketing advice you will see that you have to produce great content on your website to attract visitors. Yet, many small and medium businesses still fail to create the right kind of content.
No matter how many blogs you write, how well-written they are or how well-designed your site is, if your site’s content doesn’t match what your customers are searching for on Google and Bing, you will never be found.
Create Website Content for Your Customers
SEO Research Matters
Search engine optimization (SEO) is centered on one simple idea – generating business from your website. Marketers and SEO experts have many tools at their disposal to improve the way a site is read by search engines, increasing your odds for showing up in the search results (often measured by rankings).
But every strong SEO strategy starts at the same place: Research.
Even if you are an expert in your industry with years of business experience, you most likely will not know exactly what your ideal customers are typing into search engines when they are looking to solve their problems.
SEO research is about pulling back the curtain and finding out how the customers frame their problems. Through a variety of different tools, it is possible to collect some data on how many people are searching for keywords related to your business.
You can guess which keywords and phrases customers are using, but if you guess wrong, as is often the case, you will get little or no search engine traffic coming to your site, leaving money and business on the table for your competitors to claim.
The more time spent on good quality SEO research, the more targeted your web content and blog content can be. Targeting matters because your customers have an almost an infinite number of options on the web at their fingertips. You cannot stand out and get the attention of your ideal customers unless you are speaking directly to them.
Have you ever been in a noisy, crowded room looking for someone specific?
It’s difficult to find the one person you are seeking. But, if you suddenly hear your name, you will turn and look at whoever is calling you. You can hear your own name above the noise.
Great SEO research lets you call your ideal customer by something even better than their name; you can call them by exactly what they are searching for.
If Your Site Doesn’t Have the Right Lead Bait, It Won’t Catch Any Fish
Attracting the right web traffic is like fishing. If you just throw a bare hook in the water, you likely aren’t going to get any bites. You have to use bait to lure the fish to the hook. But, you can’t just use any bait. You have to know the fish you are after and you have to use the right type of bait that will attract the kind of fish you want to catch.
If your business plan is to appeal to everyone, you will have a business with no customers. You need to have a narrower category of people you are looking to serve.
SEO research needs a starting point and that starting point is to first identify what kind of customers you hope to attract to the website. The more details you know about your ideal customer, the easier it will be to find the right bait to lure them to your site.
Once you are able to start attracting the right kind of traffic to your site, you are off to a good start.
It’s important to keep in mind that the content on your website shouldn’t really focus on you or your business. Instead, the content should focus on your customers. You are there to solve their problems.
The key to SEO is making sure the content on your site, or the bait, matches what your customers, the fish, want. With the power of the web, it is possible to identify what your customers are looking for.
Once you know what your customers are looking for, then it’s your chance to show them your unique way of solving that problem for them. The content on your website is how you show your unique place in a crowded market and why it’s important.
Content is about Customers
Saying content is about customers is easy, but executing the strategy can be difficult.
The temptation is to show off. We all like to brag a little about how great we are and how we are the perfect match for any customer, but that is just like throwing a bare hook in the water.
Customers do not really care about how great you think your business is. They care about solutions to their problems. If you can create content that shows people how to solve their specific problem, they will swarm to your website and your business will take off.
The best way to produce useful content that will attract lots of customers eager to give you their money is to give them exactly what they want. Content that solves problems shows your expertise and builds trust with potential customers.
Through client-centered content, you can form relationships and create bonds of trust with people all over the world (or even in your own community). And once the relationship is established, the money will follow.
That doesn’t mean your credentials and experience don’t matter. But, when you create customer-centered content, you explain why your credentials and experience can help them solve a problem. Every sentence you write on your website needs to be aimed at showing a customer what’s in it for them.
Be Cautious with Keywords
Keywords have gotten a bad reputation in the eyes of some.
The problem is that before Google became as sophisticated as it is today, scammers and fraudsters would produce junk content stuffed with keywords.
People would click on sites based on the frequent repetition of a phrase only to find a site that was unusable or worse, one that was loaded with malware or viruses.
Fortunately, Google now does a great job of keeping poor quality content and spammy sites off of its search results.
But, keywords are still a vital tool for getting the attention of search engines like Google. Keywords can’t just be crammed a hundred times onto a single page anymore. If you focus on filling your site with keywords, Google and Bing will punish your site and nobody will find you.
The most effective way to use keywords is sparingly and strategically. Keywords are the vital link between showing search engines and potential customers that your site is a match or an answer to their search query.
For instance, if you are a roofer that specializes in ceramic tile roofs in Houston and your ideal customers are searching for ceramic tile roofs, having the keyword “ceramic tile roofs in Houston” on your site increases your chances of getting in front of your target audience.
Many small businesses don’t have the right keywords or, at the very least, don’t use the right keywords in the right places. This results in a website with little-to-no traffic.
Keywords need to be placed strategically in places like home pages, service/product pages, and blog posts.
A website with great SEO will also use keywords in titles and meta descriptions (the little blurbs that appear in search engine results). If your keyword isn’t in these places, chances are you’re probably going to miss out on vital web traffic.
Identifying the right keyword phrases and where to put them in your content is a very strategic process and should not be taken lightly. Be sure to conduct thorough research before publishing any content to your site.
That said, be careful not to get too focused on keywords.
They can be an important tool to help you identify what customers are looking for and attract them to your site, but they can also be (and often are) easily misused. Only use them where they naturally flow in the content. Otherwise, your efforts will end up having an adverse effect and you’ll probably end up driving users and search engines away from your site.
When was the last time you evaluated the content on your website?
Are you really attracting your ideal customers with the right content to answer their questions?
If your website doesn’t match what your customers are looking for, it may be time for a website (and content!) makeover. It’s amazing the difference the right bait can make when fishing for the right customers.