Think about it…As a consumer, you turn to Google for information. You want to know everything there is to know about an industry or product before you buy, and Google obliges.
Here’s an example. My wife and I are house hunting. We’re looking strongly at a house that would need a fence completed pretty much right away. I know next to nothing about them. So, I’ll turn to Google.
But what I want is authentic, authoritative, and friendly content. I want it to feel like it was written for someone pretty much in the same boat that I am, and I want it to feel like it was written in a friendly manner.
That may seem picky, but I can guarantee you that your customers are thinking the same way. They do it on reflex. They may not always know why they’ve closed out your website to move on to the next search result, but if you’re not going to give them what they’re looking for, that’s exactly what they’ll do.
What does authentic, authoritative and friendly content look like? They’re starting to feel like social media and blogging buzzwords, but that’s because it’s what customers are looking for.
It’s content that comes from you. We’ve seen the same five tips on the same five things floating around the Internet in a wide array of places. Don’t become a publishing warehouse for everything else. You have a unique view on things. You’re also an expert on your industry or blogging subject. Utilize this combination.
So many businesses are tempted to fill their blogs and website content with the same keyword 50 times in a 400 word document. Don’t give in to that temptation. It’s been done before. Google updates their system on a regular basis to weed out these types of results. Worst of all, the traffic that you do attract will leave quickly because it’s not directed at them.
Let me put it simply, here. You’re the expert. People are turning to you for advice. Give us a reason to stick with you here. Authoritative content is content that takes a stand. It’s not you on a soapbox. It’s you helping a friend.
Going back to my fencing example, an example of authoritative content would be a blog post about what makes a fence durable, attractive, or even necessary. It would be content on what types of fences are good for people with children and pets. Give us examples, and tell us why.
Think about it. If I know a guy who can build a fence, I’m not going through the motions of an Internet search. I pick up the phone and ask him what it’ll take to get his help.
Some of us may not know that guy. That’s when we turn to Google for help. If you can reach out through your content and blogging in a way that makes us feel like we know you, then you’ve positioned yourself well for business online.
How do you accomplish this? Through friendly, conversational content. Our fencing guy needs to talk with us like he’s here looking over our back yard. A good rule of thumb is to talk like you’re explaining your subject matter to a friend in a coffee shop.
It’s OK to mention your interests. It’s OK for the contractor to mention he’s a football fanatic, loves Led Zeppelin, or is obsessed with coaching his son’s little league team.
They’re all details that make us feel like we know him.
In the Internet age it’s crucial to make an immediate impact. If your readers don’t see the immediate results they’re looking for, they move on.
It’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it. You’ll want to eliminate geek speak from everything that you publish, so that you can identify with your audience on their level.
Do you have a blog post that’s worked particularly well, or received a huge amount of traffic? Maybe it’s a post that clients have mentioned to you as they sign up for your services. What were the attributes that made it successful?