It’s bad enough checking Google Analytics only to discover that the search engine (and therefore people) don’t like your content. Then things get worse when you peek at the competition, and you see they are crushing it. If your average session duration, pages per session, and bounce rate continues to look dismal, there are reasons for this. But there is good news: there are also solutions.
First of all, there can be many reasons why analytics reveal poor user engagement, but this article will focus on content as the culprit. If you have already ran a site audit revealing no red flags, and your content is ranking but just not converting or showing positive engagement signs, be aware that rankings will eventually drop while your competition gains higher ground in the SERPs. More importantly, your organic efforts will likely contribute to revenue gains.
Creating content that Google and your consumer audience loves is extremely challenging. This is why most organizations partner with growth-driven digital marketing agencies in Los Angeles who have an advanced understanding of how buyers engage your industry’s content, and how they make purchasing decisions.
Today’s “modern buyer” no longer relies on sales people to assist in helping them make purchasing decisions; they are avid researchers consuming blogs, review sites, white papers and a number of other content formats that help them better learn about their needs and how various products can provide the best solution. Whether you partner with an SEO-forward digital marketing agency, or your internal team is responsible for your content marketing, make sure these three areas are considered when subscribing to a strategy.
1. You Write for Your Ego and not Your Customers
As the Director of SEO and Content Strategy, I can’t tell you how many times I have had clients hire us for our expertise, and insist on using their content. I’ve heard every excuse from “we have a very particular voice that must be preserved in our blog” to “our buyers are ONLY looking for in-depth content”.
While collaborating is an absolute must to get the right content set in place, you need to base your content on an amalgamation of what will rank AND delight your buyers. Is maintaining a voice worth it if nobody will ever find your website because the content fails to hit the SEO mark? Unless you have a massive budget that allows for an aggressive off-site SEO strategy, your web page content and blog must use appropriate language, that speaks to precise buyers.
Stop making assumptions about your buyers. You may think you know what they want based on conversations you’ve had with some buyers, but remember that these people represent the 10 percentile group. If your goal is to target 90 percent of your customers that are currently being missed, you need to write for them, and not for your ego.
So how do you know what find of content your buyers are looking for? The proof is in the Google pudding; data doesn’t lie. Look at Google Trends to see what industry-related topics are popular. You can even narrow this down to geographic areas. You can also use a social listening tool see what your buyers are talking about, and what kind of content they are favoring and sharing. Pay attention to Google’s predictive search terms, and related searches. These are just some of the ways you can gain valuable insight into actually writing content people care about.
2. You Aren’t Ranking for the Right Keywords and Search Terms
Imagine an ecommerce business that sells phone cases. They have investing exorbitant amounts of money in SEO, and are delighted to rank organically on page one of Google for “iPhone cases”. They must be crushing it in sales, right? Probably not.
Think about it: when you go car shopping, do you just want to “buy a car”? Size, model, color, design, and materials all play into how people make purchasing decisions.
I am a consumer just like everyone else, so here is a personal example: I was looking for an iPhone case, but I insisted it meet these requirements: be made from made all natural dark wood, have a slight lip along the screen’s edge, be low profile, have a reinforced edge with easy access to buttons, and come with great reviews.
I typed “iPhone cases” into Google, and visited a few sites that simply didn’t have what I was looking for. I even typed in “wood iPhone cases”, and though the results were better, nothing resonated. Finally, I typed in “handmade wood iPhone cases”, and I found the winner. And guess what: the search term “handmade wood iPhone cases” has low competition, is easier to rank for, and converts significantly higher that those keywords with crazy-high search volume.
Sure, ranking for broad keywords is important. But start with the low-hanging fruit; these keywords are more focused on the buyer’s actual needs, and convert significantly better. After all, would you rather rank for a keyword that gets 50,000 average monthly searches and get 100 sales from it, or rank for something that gets about 1200 monthly searches, and garners an average of 500 sales? Make sure your keywords and the content they empower are detailed, and speak to common buyer pains.
3. Your Content is too Sales Focused
Naturally, we are tempted to talk about how we are the best at what we do and we want to give a million reasons why. Out fox the competition; buyers don’t want to hear you toot your own horn. Rather, they want you to toot theirs. Go back to your buyer personas and determine what their main pain points are, and the what capacity they use your product in an attempt to triage their key pain points. In other words, do they use them for personal use, or for business? What are the common pain points? Does seasonality play a role?
Direct you content specifically to the various niche buyer groups, as well as the broad audience members while giving context that will drown them through the top of funnel nurturing processed,
Remember, people buy from companies that put an emphasis on their needs while presenting products in a way that clearly come across as the ultimate solution to buyer pains. Talk a lot less about yourself, and instead about your clients. Speak to their hurt, and show buyers how your products offer the best solutions to help them grow.
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