To stand out from the crowd, you need to focus on grabbing the attention of your readers by writing articles that are value- packed and beneficial.
In the recent Age of Information, the sheer amount of articles available on the Internet is staggering. The average internet user will be bombarded with articles all day long.
Search engine results can turn up thousands upon thousands of results, making the competition to be seen extreme. In addition, even if users click on your webpage they may not stay to read all your content if they feel like they could save time or learn more somewhere else.
Poor-quality content will result in little traffic, while top-notch articles will have internet users flocking to your page to absorb your knowledge. Before the vastness of the web discourages you, rest assured there are a few tricks of the trade.
Revealed below are the secrets of creating articles that drive traffic to your page.
1. Know Your Audience and Meet Their Needs
Writing general content to the general public will probably not get you the traffic you desire.
There is simply too much information out there. View your articles the same way you would view a tangible product in a brick-and-mortar store—through the lens of the simple economic principle of supply and demand.
There is always a demand for something specific and a product to supply that demand.
The information you share in your articles must meet specific needs of a certain audience. Even if you feel that everyone everywhere could benefit from your articles, pinpoint who your exact audience is and write content they want to learn about.
To nail down your exact target audience, you’ll have to do a little market research.
The best way to do this is to create a profile for your average buyer. You can get the information for this profile by having your audience fill out online surveys. With this profile, you’ll narrow down your audience’s background, their demographic information such as age, gender, and race, and the terms they use to identify themselves.
Once you have a profile built, determining your audience’s needs and the type of content they like should be more targeted and less of a mystery.
Meeting the needs of your audience has two benefits.
The first and most obvious is that your readers will want to keep returning to your articles because they know you offer sensible solutions and great discussions.
The second involves the Law of Reciprocity, which is a psychological term describing how people respond to favors and kind acts. If you do something nice for someone, that person will be instilled with the deep-seated desire to do something nice in return.
In the business world, this translates into sales and customer loyalty. If you provide them with a solution to their problems, your audience will feel compelled to buy your products instead of someone else’s. Supplying information in this manner ends up yielding a return on investment simply by being of value.
- Writing Content Based on Audiences Keyword Searches
Once you have established who your audience is, you can delve in a little deeper and see specifically what they’re searching for.
Doing this will in turn increase your knowledge of your audience, giving you even more details to help you hone your content and tweak your audience profile. You must write your articles with keywords in mind.
Keywords are what search engines pick up on to direct traffic to your site. Having the right ones in the right quantities is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and can make or break your traffic numbers.
When creating content based on keyword searches, include the keywords themselves along with a few other variations of those keywords in the article. By doing this you will maximize your search engine optimization, sending an increased amount of traffic your way.
Keep in mind, the keyword searches you will be using will need to be pretty specific, as the audience you will be writing for is a specific niche and not the general public.
The more specific the search topic, the more likely your published content will see higher traffic volumes. There will always be stiff competition for content views and website traffic.
With this in mind, the more specific your keywords are, the better you’ll direct your target audience to your site.
One great tool for deciding which keywords to use is Google AdWords. It allows you to see the search volume and competition for any word or phrase you type in.
Simply put, the more value you can offer your audience, the more your following will grow.
Writing articles that say nothing unique will offer little to no value to your readers.
In light of this, do your research to find out what has already been said. If you’re an expert in the subject your audience is interested in, you will be able to offer a lot of value automatically, but if the territory is unfamiliar you’ll have to educate yourself first to keep from parroting other sources.
Creating a steady flow of content is extremely important for driving traffic to your sight. Make a habit of brainstorming article topics and ideas.
Use online trend tools such as Google Trends to see what issues are current and what questions people are asking on any given day.
While the demand for articles may exceed your natural knowledge and expertise, you can always do your research and keep up with the latest trends and information, blending your own experiences with what you learn to create unique content.
Again, remember that your content should solve a problem your audience has or provide a solution to their questions.
It is unlikely that you will produce completely original content, which is why it is important to put your own spin the content you produce. Find an angle to write from and do your best to ensure it is as fresh and unique as possible.
Writing with a fresh angle makes the content interesting and memorable, and most importantly setting you apart from the rest.
The angle you take will be the beating heart of your company’s identity. In other words, creating a unique voice for your content helps establish your brand.
Make sure that your style of writing is in line with your target audience. By doing so you will be strengthening your brand as well as creating a loyal following.
4. Empathy and Engagement
The most important duty your article should perform is solving a problem, but how it does this is important as well.
You must create a connection with your readers for your content to touch their hearts and minds.
To do this, start by establishing a voice of empathy and engagement. Writing as if a robot dictated commands into a word processor will alienate your audience, even in the information is extremely valuable. Make your article relatable to your audience, keeping in mind the subject matter and who is reading it.
Don’t make the mistake of overusing humor instead of creating a real connection.
While humor can be compelling at the beginning of your article, building rapport, and decreasing the intensity of boring facts and statistics, use it sparingly unless the purpose of your writing is to provide entertainment. Some subject matter may require you to completely leave out humor, such as writing advice to grieving family members or coping with a mental disorder.
A better connection can be established by being empathetic to the audience’s problems, engaging that problem in a heart-felt way, and offering unique solutions that are insightful.
Empathy is a marketer’s most powerful tool.
If you feel unprepared to engage an audience whose needs are completely foreign to you, never fear—empathy can be learned and improved by building a detailed audience profile.
The better you know your audience, the better a connection you can forge. The problems you’ll tackle in your articles are the types of issues that matter most to your audience. They are the thorns in your readers’ sides, the problems that keep them up at night, and the issues they discuss with their friends over cups of coffee.
Never underestimate empathy.
The best advice for formatting your articles is to keep it simple.
More than likely your target audience won’t be Ivy League professors or medical researchers. Using long, complicated paragraphs will keep your audience from finishing your articles.
If your readers click on your article and are bombarded with a screen full of text, they won’t feel compelled to read on. Make your content as user-friendly as possible.
Use charts and graphs. Have hand-picked, on-topic pictures to break up blocks of text. Use headings and lists to abridge your bountiful thoughts and advice.
Give enough information without being excessive or verbose.
There’s a fine balance you’ll have to strike between adding important details and writing a thesis. Don’t wrote a thesis. Your articles should be backed up with facts, figures, and simple statistics, but don’t overload your readers with dry information.
Sprinkle your writer’s voice and personable storytelling in to keep readers engaged.
6. Hook Your Readers
You might find yourself pouring so much effort into the article itself that you forget to hook your readers in with a compelling headline.
Never assume your content will speak for itself; an interesting title will compel readers to click on your content regardless of the information you provide.
The best types of headlines pose a question or a challenge.
Psychologically, this offers bait that most readers can’t resist. Keep in mind to match your headlines with the type of article you’re writing. Your headline shouldn’t sound like sensational tabloid journalism if you’re trying to have a distinguished, upper-crust appeal, but neither should your headlines sound stuffy or boring.
Another winning formula for an attention-grabbing headline is to use a list. A s online readers’ attention spans grow shorter and shorter, offering a list delivers information quickly.
Article titles such as “5 Reasons Why…” and “8 Daily A ctivities to…” are great ways to pull readers in.
Try to capture the essence of your article in the headline.
If you could summarize the outcome of your article in a few words, use that summary. Tell the reader what they should learn after reading your article or what questions your article will answer.
Essentially, people judge books by their covers and make snap decisions without even thinking. Don’t have your article overlooked because the title didn’t sound compelling.
Putting it all Together
Content marketing is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website and expand your brand.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you can increase the effectiveness of the content you publish, attracting more eyes to your articles and ensuring that your content achieves its desired effect. See you at the top!