How To Get in Google’s Top 5: Planning Article/Blog Content
Hundreds of thousands – probably millions – of dollars per year are spent on optimizing websites for search engines, in an effort to get more people to come and spend their time and money on a website.
But right here, in this blog post, I’m going to share the most important secret of increasing your readership. You don’t even need to know what HTML stands for.
Are you ready?
Are you seated?
Okay. Prepare yourself.
The most effective and important method to increasing your online business is to regularly write content that your customers want to read.
Obvious, right? But it’s such an important and overlooked concept, I’m going to say it again.
Write content that your customers want to read.
Interacting with people online is like interacting with people in the real world. In order to understand others, you have to imagine yourself in their shoes. So, let’s take that same empathetic approach to planning our content. Let’s ask ourselves: what would I want to read about, if I was one of my customers?
Let’s think through an example.
Let’s say that you own a coffee shop, and are planning a shiny new website for your business. What would visitors to a coffee shop website want to read about? What would inspire them to want to read more?
Let’s consider those questions.
When I was a boy, my father taught me two things about good communication: talk about what you have in common, and stick with what you know. Our first step should be to figure out our “common ground”, that is, the topic that is most important to both the authors and the audience.
People come to new websites for one of three reasons.
- For information.
- To connect with others socially.
- To buy a product.
Every bit of content we post should satisfy one of these three desires. Any other content is irrelevant to a reader, and will slow them in getting to what they want.
The only way to get people to come to your website is to make them want to do it. This simple idea is too important to overlook. Your content should reflect what visitors want to hear about. If you want to talk about yourself and your desires, a personal blog or private journal is the perfect place for that. When you want to get other people interested, you have to write about what they want.
I would start by providing information about my products or services. This is the most obvious step. I would provide ways to find my coffee shop, and maybe place orders or buy beans online.
The second step would be to provide useful information to my readers. Some of my visitors will be looking for information specifically about the business; and I can currently accommodate them.
But what about other visitors? I’m trying to expand my business, and that means reaching new audiences!
The obvious topic: coffee.
But, you protest, the internet surely has enough informational sites about coffee! Why would a visitor come to our small coffee shop website in such a competitive environment?
Smart comment! You learn quickly! A user looking for generic information about coffee would never find our website; and is probably too far away to be interested in paying a visit to our coffee shop anyway.
So, let’s brainstorm: what else can we write about?
Well, here’s an idea. Coffee shops have a certain reputation for being a meeting place for a community or section thereof. Frequently they have community boards for information about local businesses and events; and sometimes they even host events themselves.
There’s a good idea! Nobody else is likely to have that kind of information. Our coffee shop website could serve as the same kind of source of information that our coffee shop is in real life!
Suddenly, when we start writing about local events and news, encouraging community members to get involved on the website by posting comments and suggesting updates, we get the whole community involved. People will share links to our website for information about local events.
Over time, our website becomes the go-to for finding information about local community events, just like our brick-and-mortar coffee shop always was. All the visitors to our website know our name, are contributing and writing recommendations, enjoying our delicious coffee and spreading our good reputation to everyone in the area with an internet connection. Our business grows and soon our coffee shop has a reputation for excellence and as much business as it can handle.
This basic approach to creating content comes back to one of Epic Websites’ core philosophies on creating websites. The internet is a tool used by people to connect and share information with other people. We always think about our websites with the people that use them as our primary concern. We apply the same thought process described in this article to every website that we author content for.
The whole idea of the world wide web – the whole idea of creating a website in the first place – is to bring people with a common interest together. The SEO “magic bullet”, the trick that others pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for, the secret method to get people interested in you and your business, is to be interesting.
Heard about SEO? We suggest a change in perspective.
Introducing PHO, short for People-Helping Optimization. It’s a little thing we do at Epic Websites to optimize websites to help them help people. It uses all proprietary software, involving a very complex algorithm (which we call Empathy) running on the most sophisticated computer available to date: the human mind. Patent pending.
Thanks for reading! Remember: put yourself in your audience’s shoes, and be interesting!