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Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in All Matters SEO

Putting Your Audience First: The Importance of Creating Engaging Content

As the digital landscape continues to develop, it’s more important than ever to focus on creating intelligent content. Having strong content on your website is a solid foundation for all other SEO efforts; content that is not engaging will not capture and convert your audience or help you position well in search engines. Though Google continues to change the search engine landscape, content remains the vehicle that drives consumer interactions, engagements and conversions. As seen in the below graphic from Search Engine Land, content quality is one of the top factors for SEO success.

The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors(Image Credit: Search Engine Land)

According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) founder Joe Pulizzi, our goal should be, “creating content that has the primary purpose of improving the life of [our] user and a secondary purpose of driving the sales pipeline.” According to CMI, to create engaging content, we must first understand what our audience wants- content that is relevant to their lifestyle- and then optimize for discovery.

The key to success is to align your content with the needs of your audience. It’s too easy to consistently create content from a brand perspective which results in too much of the same. By considering your audience’s journey, you are better aligned to attract an audience that not only invests in your product, but is loyal to your brand.

In a recent article, CMI gives several ways to help position your brand’s content with your audience’s needs. They all focus on targeting a specific audience and then creating a focused marketing program based on that group. For example, CMI suggests that instead of saying: “We’re going to target this audience,” we should be asking “Who can we help?” Your audience doesn’t necessarily need to be demographically similar, they just need to have a similar need or want. By understanding exactly who your audience is, you’re more equipped to create content that resonates with them, instead of content that is strictly brand-focused.

It is easy for hotels to look too broadly at their audience and thus create very general content. However, travelers will only continue to expect a more personalized experience, making defining and segmenting your audience even more critical. For example, the business and leisure traveler both have different desires when looking for hotels. If you are trying to target business travelers, content that focuses around your family-friendly pool is not going to entice them. However, if you can create content that discusses your business center, high-speed internet connectivity and the large work spaces in each guestroom, you are demonstrating your hotel’s ability to enable a successful business trip. If you’re enrolled in MDS, we take the time to ask the right questions that will uncover your specific audience (or specific audiences) and then tailor our strategy to make the most of your content.

With content and SEO, it’s critical that these two marketing pillars are not thought of as individual silos. When bridged together, they can strengthen one another to improve your visibility and attract a strong, loyal audience. SEO will help get your content in front of your audience, but strong content will help you build authority and position well in search engines. Moreover, if you know your audience, your SEO efforts will be more seamless; it will be easy to weave keywords throughout your content because they are directly correlated to your specific audience. According to CMI, “combining your SEO best practices and content marketing process is easily the most important initiative today if you want to win tomorrow.” By focusing on intelligent content that caters to a specific audience, you are building a stronger customer experience and are better prepared for tomorrow’s digital marketing landscape.

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