Introduction: Unique and Quality Content
We, that have been in the online marketing scene for any length of time, have heard buzz word, “Content is King.” Further, for the sake of staying on Google’s right side, we must make sure what we write is unique and it is of great quality. But what constitutes uniqueness and quality? Well, I’m here to show you. It’s not very hard, however many bloggers and marketers fail to do this properly – especially on blogs which are ripe with such content. Our quality content just sits there … and sits there…and sits there. We who write it wonder, Why doesn’t it convert?
The answer to this situation lies very much in who (or what) we are writing to. Are you feeling this pinch? You’ve followed all the rules, but not getting results? Let’s find out what’s going on here. Let’s find out if we are following ALL the rules. I myself, am sick and tired of writing stuff, having people tell me just how fantastic it is, yet it’s not doing what it’s there to do – and that’s the big problem right there… What’s it supposed to do???
The Golden Rule
We all know what Google wants – unique and quality content. Google frowns on duplicate content and only awards the oldest incidents of such. Another thing it hates is spun content. Google has extensive algorithms that detect what’s spun and what isn’t. It takes sentence structure and other semantic characteristics of the article and compares it with others. Words replaced by other words do not fool Google anymore! Remember that Google is a search engine – what entity could be more expert at finding spun articles?
Even though article-spinning is discouraged by the major search engines, spinning is still actively taught and encouraged in some circles and unscrupulous marketers still have this type of software created to cash in on those who are unfamiliar with it. Those who resort to spinning their content are being deluded by false security.
Following This Rule Blindly
On the other hand, many aspiring, and even seasoned online marketers are fully aware of this taboo. In efforts to keep the search engines happy, these folks have gladly given up their spinners and article writing short-cuts and delve whole-heartedly into unique and quality content.
Did you know you can still err big time doing this? While you are on the right track, many writers forget one major thing so elemental to marketing – the customer…the human audience that also reads this content.
Folks rush out there without regard to what SHE wants and pumps out unique and quality content daily to keep the search engines happy and their ranking high. Whilst this helps, it’s only half the battle.
Akin to the disregard for the audience we are trying to target is the preparation of content with regard to ourselves, not our audience. In other words, we write what pleases ourselves, not our customers. These perils come when we don’t pay the price of doing our homework – research, both in the keywords we choose and who our customers are and what they want.
Content Which Serves NO Interest to Anyone
I’ve been guilty of this. Many of us have. We find low-hanging fruit in our keyword research. Great ones are to be found out there, low competition and high search volume. Great! Let’s take it!
Little did we know that the keyword we chose may have great numbers. Have you ever chosen such a keyword and built an entire campaign from it? You have a website based on that keyword – one thing missed however – what audience is searching that keyword? This is where things go wrong with low-hanging fruit – much like Adam’s Apple, the keyword you chose (and I’ve chosen myself) is targeting the wrong audience!
An example of trying to fit a keyword to the wrong audience:
We’ve failed to do the proper research and it turns out the keyword we found is a proper name to a specific business, a television show, a rock band, what-have-you. Turns out the relevant searches from the audience you’ve targeted doesn’t even exist! This is a common mistake and not always as straight way as this.
Unique Content Can Be Boring Content
This isn’t the only way we can flub-up big time! We can totally fail to make our content interesting. This does take practice and knowing the semantics of your audience is VERY important. How you write to your audience will make or break you very quickly.
Let’s break this down…
Unique Content Alone Is Not Enough
When we write something that suits us as writers, and we are not taking into account whether or not the customer will engage in it, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Without the proper research into how our customer thinks, what she likes, what she wants, what she needs, what her trends are, and we write on what WE think she likes, needs, wants, trends,etc, we miss the mark.
The content may be good, well-written, thoughtfully-prepared, but if it doesn’t reach the customer, it’s as good as anything poorly written, thrown-together and spun. Believe me – I’ve written many, many articles, blog posts, etc and had my cohorts tell me how fantastic it is, but conversion is very low and even non-existant.
Content Must Be Interesting
If Content is King, then the Customer is Queen! The King MUST be interesting to the Queen!
One way we can miss the mark, even though we’ve done our homework in buying behaviours of our customers, what they need and want, is in the semantics themselves. We may wonder, after doing all the research, why the content still isn’t converting and our customers either don’t read all of it, or read none of it at all.
There is nothing worse than a layman trying to read something written for scientists that was meant for the layman. Scientists generally don’t like reading something about research in their scientific field if it is written in poetry form. General casual audiences don’t like business-styled writing. Someone at the fourth grade level in their reading does not like trying to read scholarly works – and vice-versa.
In all these cases, people will lose interest and put the article down.
Are your articles getting read at all? Maybe you should look at your titles. The title is the most important part of your article! It’s the doorway to the work and if it’s appalling rather than appealing, or that is it dry and not catchy in any way, it will get overlooked. When I write, I also make sure I’ve begun with a skeleton – an outline. The elements of the outline become the subheadings inside my articles.
It’s always ABOUT them
There is no better way to get content out there meant for a targeted audience than to know firsthand about your audience. How do they talk? What do they do? What do they want? What do they need? What do they buy? What do they like? Where do they go? What are their occupations? What are their habits? Where do they live? How do they live?
It’s not about you. Don’t write for you – write for them. It’s all about them. If you can put out content that is about them, they will reward you. If you write what you THINK is about them, they will ignore you.
It’s always FOR them
Do NOT write for the search engines! Do NOT write for the search engines!
If you put out quality content and it’s unique AND it’s for your customer, the SEO will usually take care of itself. The semantics of your writing will be detected by Google. Your readers will not enjoy content that has been 2% stuffed with the targeted keyword. Have the keyword in the title and one time near the top of the article and that is enough.
Write your content like you are speaking to your audience face-to-face. The sincerity will be well-appreciated and the search engines will reward you for other keywords you have in there. This is called “latent semantic indexing” (lsi keywords.) If you know your audience and the topic you are writing on, just being natural and thorough in what you write is more than enough.
Getting Into the Mind of Your Customer
This is perhaps the most important thing in marketing. If you don’t do this, you will not get very far. There are tons of ways to get into the minds of your customers. Some are easy and some take a little tenacity.
Get to Know Your Customers Better
The best way to know your customers is to engage with them. Doing this will result in success! One of the best, if not THE best example I can come up with is Wealthy Affiliate. This is an online business training community membership-based operation founded by Kyle & Carson.
From the very beginning of its existence, these two knew one thing – Know Thy Customer! That they did. From the beginning unto this day, these folks interact on a daily basis with their members and they take good care of the community in every way. They find out what the members need, want and how they trend, and they delver it. Simple as that.
Beginning as a mere keyword list site, this operation now heads the online business training industry by miles above. Nothing can come close to this empire now because they did this one simple thing from the get-go – the strove to know their customer!
Find out what they are interested in
What Kyle and Carson did – and what you and I should do as well…
Kyle has written an excellent tutorial on the Customer Purchase Lifecycle. If you would like to learn more about how to get into the heads of your customers, this is an AWESOME resource! To access the tutorial, you will need to open a free account. There are no strings attached. Whilst you are there, take a look around. If you are looking for online marketing training, you need go no further!
They went great strides in finding out what interests their customers. In fact, this is standard procedure for all large businesses and small businesses that are growing. What is the most effective way to find out?
ASK your customer what she wants! Get right to her and find out what she wants, what she is interested in. She will tell you. Never assume anything. Assumptions are almost always different than what the customer actually wants and is interested in. There are ways too numerable we can use to ask our customers what interests them.
Surveys, email, engaging in social media, ANSWERING their questions, but the most important thing here is that we don’t assume anything. Asking is all part of market research and as marketers, this is a MUST.
You can read more about where I went wrong myself with two of my websites. The link below will take you to a blog I wrote within Wealthy Affiliate. At the bottom of that short article you can access the same tutorial noted above. Click on the image below to read what I did on my blog and what I needed to do to correct it.