Bill Gates once said content is king.
And I agree.
You’ve heard countless times how important it is to produce content even a baby can understand. It all sounds great until you realize babies, don’t rule the world!
In this article, you’ll learn how to create content that makes you sell like crazy. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s start by identifying the people who make up your audience.
Become the Bartender
You’ve probably watched a movie where there is a guy sitting in a bar, narrating his misfortune to the bartender. If you pay attention to those scenes you’ll notice this bartender rarely utters a word. All he does is listen and refill his customer’s glass.
It’s not because his own life is perfect. He just happens to understands the principle behind a buyer-seller relationship.The rule is, you forget about yourself and focus and whatever story your prospect has.
To increase your sales, you must become the bartender for your prospect. Ok, I’m not talking about quitting your job to apply as a bartender in that bar you’re already thinking of.
What I mean is, you need to create a unique relationship with your prospect.
Who is he?
What are his dreams, hopes, fears, aspirations?
Why should he trust you or your product/service?
If you succeed in knowing your prospects well enough, they’ll think you can read their minds. And this brings us to the next step of this new journey of producing great copies.
This is the key to content that sells. Have you ever seen an ad and thought to yourself, “Did they read my mind?”. This is exactly what audience segmentation does. It helps you send the right message to the right people.
There are essential points you need to look upon when carving out your audience. Based on the product or service you offer, here are some factors to consider for segmentation :
- Stage of life
- Spending power
- B2B or B2C
This is close to impossible for common mortals like you and me, and that’s why we have analytics to help. Google Analytics and Bing Ads provide interesting features for online audience segmentation. They’re also great to help keep track of your audience’s interaction with your content.
Analytics provide valuable information on which content format best suits your audience.
Choosing the Right Format for Your Content
As we’ve seen above, people have different ways of interacting on the internet. Some people like blog posts, whereas, others stick to: a picture is worth a thousand words. This translates into four words. Choose. The. Right. Format.
Before picking out any format, you should make sure it aligns with your business goals. Each format portrays content in a unique way.
- Blogs: Used for both long-form and short-form written content.
- Infographics: Useful for large amounts of data and information.
- E-Books: Ideal for educational and easy-to-read guides.
- Videos: Suitable for engaging and entertaining content.
- Press releases: Perfect for product/service updates and, news-worthy information on the company.
- Webinars: Practical for business-related content that engages and educates your audience.
- Reviews: Great way for prospects to leave their experience with your product/service.
- Case studies: Helpful when it comes to presenting explanatory research.
Knowing the ideal format to use for your content helps you stand out in your niche. But, you shouldn’t stick to one content form as it may become boring for your audience.
Apply the API Formula
Content creation starts with serious brainstorming. At this stage, passion isn’t enough if you must get noticed by your audience. They are three key guidelines when it comes to producing audience-focused content.
Before writing any sales copy, you should be able to join the conversation in your prospect’s mind. I’m not talking about asking them what they think. What I mean is, you need to know them well enough to answer the questions they’ve not even voiced out. I know it sounds crazy but please, hear me out.
The brain is always working. It’s the reason you have ongoing conversations with YOU. Most of the time, you don’t even notice it. This is why when you see an answer to a question you’ve been asking yourself, it picks your interest.
This is what occurs in what we call “love at first sight”. The person you love at first sight is never a stranger. He is most of the time a product of what you designed in your mind.
So, if you’re not answering those questions, you won’t prick your prospect’s curiosity.
And, the best way to achieve this is to write to one person.
Who is your ideal prospect?
When you succeed in having a clear image of this person, writing becomes easy. It’s simpler to write to one person because your brain works best when it has a clear target. If your ideal prospect can relate to what you’re saying, other prospects will.
A great way to check the effectiveness of your copy is by analyzing your conversion rate. It will help you brainstorm the right ideas for your content.
Content creation doesn’t end at the answering phase. You must provide useful and valuable information to your audience. This isn’t always about pouring in a lot of facts and statistics. From what you know of your audience, you can predict how they will react to your content.
You need to give them content they can relate to. If you’re starting your business, you’ll want to focus on building your brand’s style and tone. Don’t make your copies too salesy. Remember, you’re not talking to giant wallets ready to cash out on the go. They need to see you as a professional they can run to at any time. In other words, provide the solution they’ve been looking for.
Use tools like Google Console, Keyword Planner, Answer the Public, or Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest to do a Keyword search. They give you useful statistics on what people are looking for and the words they use to look for your product/service. This makes your content more specific and thus attracts the right audience
Good content should keep the audience wanting more. The best movie plots are those in which there is a leveled amount of intrigue. Proof that your content is good is, people, interact with it. This can be through email, social media platforms, reviews, and, testimonials.
Take your audience through every word of your content. Try to be as creative and persuasive as possible. Every copy should communicate the passion you have for what you do.
Keep them updated on your latest projects and sometimes personal life. This will help you create a unique bond with your community.
Content creation can be quite challenging. This is why most companies now invest in audience-focused content. What makes a marketing campaign exceptional isn’t the content. It’s the knowledge you have of your audience. This is what will place you a step ahead of your competition and of course increase your sales.
The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
Nike.com uses infinite scrolling to load more products on its category pages. And because of that, Nike risks its loaded content not getting indexed.
For the sake of testing, I entered one of their category pages and scrolled down to choose a product triggered by scrolling. Then, I used the “site:” command to check if the URL is indexed in Google. And as you can see on a screenshot below, this URL is impossible to find on Google:
Of course, Google can still reach your products through sitemaps. However, finding your content in any other way than through links makes it harder for Googlebot to understand your site structure and dependencies between the pages.
To make it even more apparent to you, think about all the products that are visible only when you scroll for them on Nike.com. If there’s no link for bots to follow, they will see only 24 products on a given category page. Of course, for the sake of users, Nike can’t serve all of its products on one viewport. But still, there are better ways of optimizing infinite scrolling to be both comfortable for users and accessible for bots.
Unlike Nike, Douglas.de uses a more SEO-friendly way of serving its content on category pages.
They provide bots with page navigation based on <a href> links to enable crawling and indexing of the next paginated pages. As you can see in the source code below, there’s a link to the second page of pagination included:
Moreover, the paginated navigation may be even more user-friendly than infinite scrolling. The numbered list of category pages may be easier to follow and navigate, especially on large e-commerce websites. Just think how long the viewport would be on Douglas.de if they used infinite scrolling on the page below:
Let’s check if that’s the case here. Again, I used the “site:” command and typed the title of one of Otto.de’s product carousels:
As you can see, Google couldn’t find that product carousel in its index. And the fact that Google can’t see that element means that accessing additional products will be more complex. Also, if you prevent crawlers from reaching your product carousels, you’ll make it more difficult for them to understand the relationship between your pages.
To find out, check what the HTML version of the page looks like for bots by analyzing the cache version.
To check the cache version of Target.com’s page above, I typed “cache:https://www.target.com/p/9-39-…”, which is the URL address of the analyzed page. Also, I took a look at the text-only version of the page.
When scrolling, you’ll see that the links to related products can also be found in its cache. If you see them here, it means bots don’t struggle to find them, either.
However, keep in mind that the links to the exact products you can see in the cache may differ from the ones on the live version of the page. It’s normal for the products in the carousels to rotate, so you don’t need to worry about discrepancies in specific links.
But what exactly does Target.com do differently? They take advantage of dynamic rendering. They serve the initial HTML, and the links to products in the carousels as the static HTML bots can process.
However, you must remember that dynamic rendering adds an extra layer of complexity that may quickly get out of hand with a large website. I recently wrote an article about dynamic rendering that’s a must-read if you are considering this solution.
Also, the fact that crawlers can access the product carousels doesn’t guarantee these products will get indexed. However, it will significantly help them flow through the site structure and understand the dependencies between your pages.
It’s impossible to fully evaluate a website without a proper site crawl. But looking at its robots.txt file can already allow you to identify any critical content that’s blocked.
This disallow directive misuse may result in rendering problems on your entire website.
To check if it applies in this case, I used Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This tool can help you navigate rendering issues by giving you insight into the rendered source code and the screenshot of a rendered page on mobile.
But let’s find out if those rendering problems affected the website’s indexing. I used the “site:” command to check if the main content (product description) of the analyzed page is indexed on Google. As you can see, no results were found:
The layout is essential for Google to understand the context of your page. If you’d like to know more about this crossroads of web technology and layout, I highly recommend looking into a new field of technical SEO called rendering SEO.
Lidl.de proves that a well-organized robots.txt file can help you control your website’s crawling. The crucial thing is to use the disallow directive consciously.
Having a large e-commerce website, you may easily lose track of all the added directives. Always include as many path fragments of a URL you want to block from crawling as possible. It will help you avoid blocking some crucial pages by mistake.
Will users get obsessed with finding that particular product via Walmart.com? They may, but they can also head to any other store selling this item instead.
To fix this problem, Walmart has two solutions:
Implementing dynamic rendering (prerendering) which is, in most cases, the easiest from an implementation standpoint.
IKEA proves that you can present your main content in a way that is accessible for bots and interactive for users.
When browsing IKEA.com’s product pages, their product descriptions are served behind clickable panels. When you click on them, they dynamically appear on the right-hand side of the viewport.
Take care of your indexing pipeline and check if:
Your content actually gets indexed on Google.
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