Does hiring an SEO writer solve for my readership traction problems?
Yet another frequent question that I consider vital in helping shoot down some adopted assumptions. The answer to the question above is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
Search engine optimization means that your content is getting attention from the search engines. That’s good; actually very healthy. But will it mean that your readership will stick? Yes and No. Yes, if your content has a hook that readers will find hard to walk away from, and ‘no’ if the content is informative but missing life.
I am a big champion of SEO content but even for myself, I only consider that to be secondary to the audience I am after. Well, unlike some years ago, SEO writing has really improved and now even ‘value’ in content is a significant metric in measuring SEO content. It would therefore fall that hooking content is a silent prerequisite to what goes top on search results. More reason for one to know that writing for search engines is more or less like writing for an audience.
Then why did I start the discussion with a converse opinion?
Simple, it is only right to assume that most businesses are after meeting more sales, and visibility may sound more appealing than the content itself. Truth is: we run to hire SEO writers because we want optimized content that drives more sales. That is the background that most businesses would approach SEO. But even as I emphasize SEO content in the long-term, it is important that I emphasise that ‘hooking content’ is only as equivalent to ‘optimized content’.
This is why a lot of the successful marketing of content will factor around: passion, creativity and content weaved up with integrity to offer a solution. That is what helps define authority in the long-run. As long as these elements are missing from the content writing efforts, the type of products or services being sold will not matter.
So what are some of the tricks to get your audience hooked before you even start feeding them?
Don’t force style.
This does stand out for me because I am big on the creative use of words. What will make me read your piece? Not so much information but how you warm me up for it. Why does this matter for me? Simple! We are ultimately in the business of selling. People want to see your excellence but even more, they want to know you; feel you and maybe even try to paint you. Your words here matter; how do you present them? Let your personality or what you are selling naturally flow in prose.
How is your header?
In SEO writing, search engines are the big ‘ifs’ here. So let’s try this: what if I type a query on Google and your post lists among the top searches? What next?
For me, I will definitely cursor my eyes around the first header that grabs my attention and still achieves my course. First, as a rule of thumb, ensure that your header title covers enough information to advertise the content of the post. Enough does not mean clumsy but rather creative and effective.
Here are a few titles that can be considered creative and yet are effective in providing information for the typed query ‘getting more sales through seo writing’:
Hiring an SEO Content Writer is a Lead Strategy for More Sales
5 Content Techniques That Will Improve SEO & Sales
The above titles are creative and yet inform the reader that sure they will be informed about how to increase more sales through SEO content. However, some titles too can pass but may not necessarily be considered very effective by the reader. Take for instance for the same query, but receiving this as the title:
How to Write Content For People and Optimize for Search Engines
This is a very good title and creative as well but for the query searched, we observe two keywords for the reader: ‘SEO’ and ‘Sales’. The above title appears to only be addressing SEO and this may not be convincing enough to the reader. Chances of the reader clicking the link above if the earlier titles surface as well can be low. So simply, titles need to address exactly what the writer feels the audience will need to read.
For instance, if the query was ‘how to write interesting content that is optimized’, then the latter would have the highest chance if the other two were also to surface. The dynamics of search engines is just amazing but so, one needs to be careful not to be carried away by generalizing. It is important to be specific; it helps for traction.
SEO content communicates ASAP
It is evident that search engines are becoming more and more biased towards long blog posts. This is a good bias because the assumption is that the long posts are most times very informative and well researched. However, this may not always play out as a friendly approach to your readers. So how do you create the balance?
It is important to hook the readers immediately. Soon after, start feeding them. Let them start digesting your content immediately before they get uneasy. Some readers will be in the habit of scanning different posts before settling on which one appears to have what they want. So you want your content to offer the deep of the content almost as the first content they see once they start scrolling down. If they adore it, they will in most cases, stick around much longer to take in more.
Watch your aesthetic
It is very easy to get hooked to an article first because it is well designed in terms of layout. The use of legible fonts, cool font styles that don’t again scream for too much attention, use of colors, and definitive highlights where necessary etc. These are important to the passive scanner who just wants to isolate the major points from the entire body even without reading the entire piece.
Not only so, but also to anyone who wants a smooth flow without necessarily feeling like the reading is too much. Clumsy and dull content can immediately throw off a reader even when the content is fleshy and packed with goodies. A good SEO writer can help you arrange your content on the dashboards after editing it to ensure that it appeals to your audience.
Empathise with your readers
As an SEO writer, your first obligation is to understand your audience then the topic you want to write on. This helps you know what challenges and problems your readers are going through and how to ‘feel with them’.
A writer who is conscious of the emotions of their audience will in 95% of the situations stand a greater chance of drawing and maintaining an audience. Instead of just offering solutions, you can tailor them emotionally so they can hit to the core. People feel significant if you seem to fully understand and relate to their situations.
Create interactive content
Each audience wants to feel appreciated and one way to do this is prepare content that speaks and further, initiates a conversation. Let the audience feel like they have to indulge in sharing their thoughts. Appreciate them every now and then for taking time to go through your posts especially if you can have a system that tracks repetitive readers. It can be hard to get readers commenting, but mostly this is usually a function of less exposure of your content. Once your content is exposed enough and helps answer the hard and simple questions alike, you will be swarmed even externally with mails and phone calls.
This is my parting shot. Have a plan and in it include everything we have discussed above. And the skeleton of it rests with this step. You need to flesh up what you intend to communicate. Do not speak on something you are not sure about. Take your time and immerse yourself in books, blogs, article directories, surveys, questionnaires and anything that will help you get credible information to share with your audience.
Give them what they want, the best way you can, and SEO writing will not only be an easy exercise, but worth it. We pleasure in hiring SEO writers because we always know what to look for. Thanks to our client’s feedback every now and then, we are getting better at it and we are happy to always help. What else have you tried to help your optimized content attractive to your readers?