Wednesday Roundup: Writing Content that Gets Read
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Writing Content that your Reader Wants
As Sery Content Development dives deeper into the digital marketing world, I have noticed two things. First, most businesses post a lot of content that has the exact same theme. Nearly every single post on their website or Facebook page is all about themselves. Nobody cares if you have a degree in astrophysics; the consumer wants to know how the product will enhance their life. Second, many writers are still pandering to Google as though it were 2005.
Today’s Wednesday Roundup takes a closer look at writing content that the reader wants to read, not what the writer wants to write.
Start with Some Content Tips
There is a lot to content marketing. While the main focus should be on the reader, writing what he or she wants to read, there is more to it than that. Quite a bit more to it than that really.
Take a look at this great article by Amberly Dressler. She took the time to track down 52 experts in the web industries, and ask them exactly what their tips are for content marketing. Those tips range from linking internally, to using visuals, to knowing your keywords. But as you read through those tips, count how many times those experts talk about writing naturally, writing for the audience, don’t write for Google, and similar insights. If that many experts are giving the advice, then it’s something you need to listen to!
Why Should You Write for Your Readers?
Let’s take a look at this a little closer. On the one hand, you want to write what your readers want to read. But on the other hand, you want your work to be found online. Now you’re faced with a dilemma. Do you make your writing appealing to a smaller group, or easier to find by a larger group?
Sean Nicholson sums up that debate neatly. He has a short article that he wrote quite a few years ago that is still applicable today. In his post about writing for your readers and not the search engines, he poses the question of whether you want 100 new readers that never return, or 25 return readers who keep coming back and share your content. The latter is the only way to have a sustainable content marketing piece of your business.
Can You Write for Both Google and the Audience?
The answer is a resounding: absolutely! This is where some skill as a writer comes into play, as well as Google’s updates in the past few years. Some people have the mistaken impression that Google is trying to squash those who post content. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Google’s job (as a search engine at least) is to provide the most relevant content to the user’s query. So if you recall back to the late 1990’s the best way to get to the top of the search engines (this is pre-Google era) was to use a keyword over and over. This wasn’t even stuffing, this was listing a keyword at the bottom of the page hundreds of times. Those days are long gone.
In order to write for your audience, and for Google, you have to develop a key topic, not just a keyword. The fancy term for this is Latent Semantic Indexing (usually abbreviated LSI). LSI is a fancy way of saying “words that are related to each other.” For instance, laptop and computer are closely related. So if I typed in “Laptop repair near me” I would get results for computer repair shops (shameless plug for iDoctor there). Head over to Nick Stoyanov’s article on Latent Semantic Indexing for some tips and tricks on how to incorporate this into your content marketing plan.
Write so People Want to Read
Are you having trouble connecting with your audience? It may be that you’re writing what you want to hear instead of what they want to hear. Take a step back and determine what they need, and then meet that need!
At Sery Content Development, we have a passion for seeing small businesses and websites succeed. If you’re struggling to connect with your audience, it may be that you need a fresh set of eyes on the work. Send me an email, and we can see how Sery Content Development will help you get found online!
Although we’re located in Billings, Montana, we can help businesses around the world.