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Jan Klin & Associates
Charnwood, Hollow Lane
Kingsley, Cheshire WA6 8EF

Tel +44 (0)1928 788 100
jan@janklin.com

The institute IDM Fellow

Lesson Five – Homepage Title Tag

Hopefully you have now got some keyphrase rich copy produced for your homepage.

Good SEO is about aligning the keyphrases people search for to both your on-page copy and the associated metadata. (Metadata being the behind-the-scenes code the search engines see, but human viewers typically dont).

The most important piece of metadata as far as search engines are concerned is the Title tag. Its into this tag that you need to position the keyphrases you identified for your homepage.

Firstly, lets look at a well structured title tag from one of our clients. Then we’ll look at your homepage title tag and work out how how to change it.

So, if you go to the Northern Parrots homepage – www.northernparrots.com. The simplest way to see the tag is to right click on the background and click on View Source or View Page Source depending on which browser you are using.

title-tag

What you should now see is the code as listed below.

You will see at the top (ninth line down) we have the title tag with the contents …
<title>Parrot Supplies | Parrot Shop | Parrot Accessories – Northern Parrots</title> 

title-code

The important point about this tag is that the main keyphrase targeted - Parrot Supplies is right at the beginning of the tag. Parrot Shop and Parrot Accessories are also important phrases so they appear near the beginning too.

Here are another couple examples. Follow the process above to view the title tags and familiarise yourself with what well structured tags look like and work out which keyphrases they are targeting:-

www.towmasteruk.co.uk
www.harland-hms.com

Then go and look at your own and make a note of it.

Structuring Your Homepage Title Tag

Here are some specific instructions for structuring your title tag:-

1. Include the main keyphrase at the beginning of the tag

2. Have the secondary phrase directly after it. You can use a hyphen or the ‘pipe’ character ( | ) as a seperator. If in doubt look at the three examples directly above.

3. Put your company name at the end of the tag. (So that when people search for your company name your homepage appears)

4. No more than 10 words in total (keep it below 59 Characters if possible).

5. No unusual characters – stick to alphanumeric plus hyphens, pipes and commas.

6. Use caps for the first letter in each word and lower case for the rest (it needs to look good as it will show up in search results!)

example: Exhibition Trailer, Hospitality Trailers & Display Trailers – Towmaster

One final point – many people conduct searches for local services (around 40%) so you may want to add a geo variable in the mix. This will also be less competitive than the more general phrases so you’ll get ranked more quickly

example: Exhibition Trailer, Hospitality Trailers &amp; Display Trailers – Towmaster Wigan

This will ensure searches for ‘Exhibition trailers Wigan’ and ‘Hospitality trailers Wigan’ show up in the search results.

If you do this make sure you have the location somewhere within the homepage content also.

If you have any problems or questions please drop me an email and I’ll help you out (jan@janklin.com).

You are now ready to upload your new text content and the title tag for your homepage. Go ahead and do it. The next time google bot comes calling (in a few weeks probably) the results of this activity should be apparent.

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 2 Comments

Lesson Four – Homepage Optimisation – 1

We’re now ready to start the optimisation process. We’ll start with your homepage.

Of course its necessary to optimise all pages you want rankings for and we’ll come to that later. The homepage is a bit of a special case though, for two reasons – one, it should reflect the more general nature of your business – and keyphrases selected accordingly. Secondly, it is generally easier to get rankings for your homepage than others. This is because typically it will have more search engine ‘equity’ in it because links from other sites will direct to your homepage (we’ll study this in greater detail at a later point).

There are two main parts to optimising any page – firstly optimising the on-page text and secondly optimising the metadata (metatags). The latter we’ll address next time but this time I want to focus on producing some good text for your homepage to capture the phrases you have targeted.

Before I ask you to select your homepage keyphrases I want to address the important point of SEO copywriting

Copywriting and SEO

We can’t get away from the fact that search engines, at the moment, place lots of emphasis on the textual content of your site. What they read is important in assessing what your pages are all about. So, you need text, and as a rule of thumb at this stage lets say at least 300 words on each page you want rankings for however the more words the better and if possible there should be at least 500 words.

A common misconception is that users dont like too much text. They do; its more a question of how the text is structured and presented to them. Here’s an example of a great homepage that ranks high for Garden Office (out of 108,000,000 competing pages!).

Take a look at www.iobuild.co.uk. Scroll down the homepage and see how the text flows and how the images used interact and break up the text.

So the trick is presentation and structure..

Choosing Keyphrases and using them effectively

I would suggest you choose two, and a maximum of four phrases for your homepage optimisation. In the example above garden office and garden offices were selected.

In the past we would have been obsessed with including a certain amount of each phrase within a certain amount of text. For example we would have said: Have 5 instances of Garden Office and 5 instances of Garden Office. This has now changed.

Nowadays we recommending working with synonyms as well. So instead of having the same phrase repeated over and over again we use different words that have the same meaning. Google has boasted that it can identify the meaning of words for a long time and over the last year this part of the search engine has improved considerably.

As we can see this in the following example:

outdoor-offices

You can see from the above image that we searched for Outdoor Offices but in the bottom listing you can see that Google has highlighted Garden Offices

Rooms Outdoor: Garden Rooms,Garden Offices, Garden …

So in this example you can see that Google has used Garden Offices as a synonym of Outdoor Offices. This means you can use instances of Outdoor Offices in your text and this will help you get listings for Garden Offices as well as obviously Outdoor Offices.

This can make SEO copywriting easier. You can either research these phrases as we did in the above example, or you can just use good synonyms because Google is constantly improving this part of the algorithm so these should get picked up one day if they don’t already – a way of future proofing your SEO.

If you visit http://www.iobuild.co.uk/ you will see that there are 4 instances of Garden Offices and 12 instances of Garden Office. There are also 7 instances of Garden Buildings (a future synonym in the Google algorithm?). However for this page we have recommended that 5 of the instances of Garden Office are replaced with Outdoor Office.

So, go ahead and choose a couple of phrases from your list.

I suggest when you produce your copy you write the text to sound as natural as possible. The text is there for people not search engines. Having said that you want to make sure that you are repeating the target phrases a few times. Four to five repetitions in 500 words is fine.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of how to produce optimised copy. There are a few other points worth remembering about keyphrase repetitions:-

1. They can be included in bullet points to break up the text

2. They can be included in navigation links

3. They can be included in links within the text

4. They can be included in footers in the page

…and other places to. But at the moment go ahead and produce some good copy to capture your main keyphrases and next time we’ll build on this and do the metatagging.

One last thing…. some people have a problem deciding what to write about on their homepage. In addition to the two examples Ive given above, have a look at this example - www.harland-hms.com - you can see here they have been creative in their copy, using values, information on sister companies, selling points and more.

Best of luck with it. Its not the easiest thing in the world to do (and there are alternatives we’ll discuss later) but its the best approach.

Produce your homepage copy but don’t upload it yet. Let me know if you need any help.

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 1 Comment

Lesson Three – Keyphrase Analysis 1

The first point to accept here is that this part of the process needs to be kept separate from other parts. Don’t be concerned at this stage where these keyphrases will go on your website – we’ll address this later. The important point is to find and record them. You’ll find the best way to do this is to open up a spreadsheet. Here’s a copy of one we use when doing this work with our clients….

Click To View Larger Keyphrase Analysis Image

Don’t worry about all the columns at this stage, it’s the first two only you’ll be filling in at the moment – the phrase itself and the search volume (number of monthly searches). The other columns we’ll fill in later.

How do you go about finding keyphrases that will bring relevant traffic to your site? I’ll introduce you to a tool to take the guesswork out of it, courtesy of Google. The important thing about this is that this in an actual record of what real people have been searching for.

However you will need to set up an AdWords Account if you want  to use this tool. This can be done by visiting: https://accounts.google.com. You only need to follow the instructions until you arrive at the Create a Campaign page.

Then on this page Click on Tools then Keyword Planner

Google-Adwords

On the next page click on Search For New Keyword and adgroup ideas

search-for-keyword-ideasWhen the box opens you can then enter the keywords that you deem as relevant to your website. You can also add and change where you want searches from (such as worldwide or just UK etc).

keywords

Once you have done this click on Get Ideas this will give you a huge number of keyword ideas and will also give the number of searches per month.

When you see the results you can click on Ad group ideas or as we prefer Keyword Ideas

keyword-ideasAt the top you will see the phrases that you searched for but under these you will also get some ideas for more phrases.

Clearly, the search volume (Avg. monthly searches) is an important metric – the higher it is the more people will be arriving at your site if you capture this phrase. (You’ll also notice here that the singular and plural are different, and we need to make a note of both of them.). However its important also to capture some of the other variants, even if they have a small search volume they may have a high degree of relevance (also, they tend to be less competitive to get rankings for).

So this is the process, think of keyphrases you think your potential customers may be searching for, check out the actual phrases which are being used using this tool, and transfer relevant phrases to your spreadsheet.

How many entries in your spreadsheet? At this stage say between 10 and 20 – although we may want to supplement with additional phrases later. (Actually we’ll revisit keyphrase analysis later particularly for ecommerce sites where there may be lots of products in a database)

The two major factors when identifying these phrases are relevance (to your business) and search volume.

So, that’s your task before you read the next lesson – get around 20 phrases in your spreadsheet. Speak to your colleagues about what they think people would type to find your products and services, if time you may also want to ask some of your existing customers.

Next time we’ll look at where to include your more important phrases within your website. That is, start the actual optimisation process

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 1 Comment

Lesson Two – Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools will enable you to kick start the SEO process and will also enable you to satisfy many of the basic requirements of SEO. Incidentally, if you are beginning to think everything is a bit Google centric, its because in the UK (and most of Europe) Google is dominant. Also by optimising for Google you’ll find you are optimising for the other search engines by default; Google being the most exacting for SEO. Later in the series we will address some specific international issues though and specifically look at other important search engines you need to be aware of. So, to Google Webmaster Tools. This will enable you to get recognised by Google, ensure all your pages get spidered, and give you lots of information about how Google sees your site. Its only a slight exaggeration to say it allows you to have a one to one conversation with Googlebot. So the first thing, if you haven’t already, is to register your site with Google Webmaster Tools, go to:- http://www.google.com/webmasters/ and Sign in to Webmaster Tools sign-in-to-webmaster-tools You’ll see you need a Google account (gmail address) so if you haven’t already got one you need to create one. Once you have done this go back to http://www.google.com/webmasters/ and sign in. The first task is to add your site and, very importantly, verify you site. This shows that you are the owner of the site. There are  number of ways to do this, for this exercise we will use the upload file option. Enter the website domain name that you would like to verify then click ADD A SITE webmaster-tools-signinOn the next screen click Download this HTML verification file. To download the file then upload (or ask your developer to upload) this file to the default directory of your website. Once this has been done you can re-visit this page and click verify. verify-your-site Once this has been done you will get a Congratulations page congratulations Click on Continue and this will take you to the Dashboard The essential things to do via Google Webmaster Tools are as follows:- Firstly we need to work through the setting. This can be found in the top right corner (the picture of a cog). Google-settings Set the geographic target to reflect where you want rankings from…. (Ours is set to the UK) Google-geo-target This is only necessary if you have a neutral top level domain (.com, .info. , .net etc). If you have a .co.uk or other country specific domain (eg www.yourdomain.de) Google knows where you want rankings from. If its neutral Google will assume you want rankings from where your site is hosted (eg if its hosted in the USA that’s where you’ll get rankings) so its important you give Google this information. Here you can also set your preferred domain name, which should be www. preferred-domain Next you should add a Sitemap. In the left menu click Crawl then select Sitemaps. Sitemaps Here you will be able to add an XML Sitemap to tell Google about the different pages on your website. Note: You may have to create one for your website One other check to perform, is to check if your website has a robots.txt file. This can be found under Crawl then Blocked URLs This is a file that resides on the server which tells Google which pages to look at and which to ignore. You may want to check with the tools available here what is included in the robots.txt file. (use ‘analyze robots.txt’) Sometimes we find people (or their website designers) have inadvertently excluded important pages of their site. It may also be that you want to exclude certain pages – eg terms and conditions. So familiarise yourself with these options and make sure everything is in order before we move on. These are the essentials, and over and above this play around with the other functionality to your hearts content and put right any other issues Google has with your site – like broken links for example. We’ll come back to Google Webmaster Tools several times later if its necessary to troubleshoot any ranking issues. That’s it. Familiarise yourself well with Google Webmaster Tools. We’ll introduce you to more tools at relevant times. Again, call or email if you have any problems (01928 788100 ; jan@janklin.com)

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 3 Comments

Lesson One – Essential Pre-requisites

So, where to start your SEO activities. (I’ll refer to the practice as SEO – you probably know that it stands for Search Engine Optimisation). There are some essential prerequisites:-

-You will need to be able to change your site’s textual content and ‘metadata’. (This is the ‘behind the scenes’ information the search engine spiders see). You may have a content management system you can use to do this or some other method of changing the content. If not, its not a problem, you’ll have to ask your website designer to put in the changes for you.

-Its important to check that your site has textual content. If its developed totally in Flash it will be a problem. Here’s a quick way of checking what the search engine spiders see at your site:-

  1. Open up Notepad (its usually in ‘accessories’)
  2. Go to the homepage of your target website
  3. Select all the content on the page (by typing CTRL-A)
  4. Copy the content onto the clipboard (by typing CTRL-C)
  5. Go to the notepad you have opened and type CTRL-V

The resulting text is what the search engines can read off your page. Hopefully you will have some text in the notepad, if not you may have a problem. If you drop me an email (jan@janklin.com) I’ll check it out for you.

Another check its useful to perform at this stage is whether the search engines can read all your web pages. There’s a simple way to do this, if you go to Google and type in……. site:www.yourdomain.com at the search box (obviously substituting ‘yourdomain’ with, well, your domain name). See the example below.

The resulting list is a summary of how many of your web pages Google can read (actually this command lists the pages of your website google has a record of in its database)

site-command-janklin.com

You can see here I have around 326 pages identified by Google (see  Results 1 – 100 of about 326 from www.janklin.com at the top of the results).

So, ideally, this number needs to be equal to the number of pages you have in your site. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t, I’ll show you later how to ensure you get more pages included. It does matter though if you are only getting your homepage listed. This means you may have a spidering issue. Drop me an email and I’ll check it for you. (jan@janklin.com).

So those are the basic tests, if all was OK you’re are ready to start the optimisation process. Here’s a checklist summary of what we’ve just gone through:-

  1. Check that you can change your website textual content (or your web designer will have to do it for you)
  2. Check you can change your website metadata – This is the Title Tag, Meta Description and Meta Keywords (again the alternative is your web designer does it for you)
  3. Check that your site has textual content and the search engines can read the text on your website
  4. Check to see that the search engines can access all, or most, of your webpages.

Drop me an email or give me a call (01928 788100) if you are unsure about any of this.

One final thing, we’ll now ask you to set up ‘Google analytics’ so you can monitor your results and traffic as we move through the process. There’s lots of functionality at Google analytics but you’ll find it an invaluable way of finding the number of people visiting your site, the keywords they use, which countries they come from and much more.

Google-Analytics

If you haven’t already got one, you’ll need a Google account before you can set up analytics, here’s a short step by step guide to getting one – Google Account Setup

Then I suggest you so sign up for Google Analytics and familiarise yourself with what it can do for you. If you can do this between now and the next lesson that will be ideal – here’s a step by step guide for the setup – Google Analytics Setup

Next time we’ll set up another important tool to kick start your SEO – Google Webmaster Central.

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 1 Comment

How To Fix Google Crawl Not Found Errors

We’ve all been there; visited a website clicked on a link and seen the dreaded 404 error:
google-404-error1 Over the years we have seen websites suffer in Google rankings for having too many 404 errors and strongly recommend that everyone fixes as many of these as possible to ensure that both search engines and visitors enjoy your website.

Finding & Fixing Not Found Errors

We often get asked how to fix Google Crawl Errors so here is a quick tutorial to show you how to locate and fix Not Found Crawl Errors First Login to Google Webmaster Tools. If you don’t have an account please register for one here: http://www.janklin.com/blog/google-account Once you login click on the website that you want to find and fix the errors for. 1-Janklin-acount On the next screen click on either Crawl Errors under Current Status or Crawl then Crawl Errors in the left menu. crawl-errors The next screen shows a list of broken links. link-popularity-broken Now that you can see the broken links, you need to visit one of these one at a time. To do this click on each link. For example we clicked on blog/www.www.Nile-Cruises-4u.co.uk Not-Found Now that you see this error, click on Linked From To see where Google found the error. On this example e can see 2 pages. broken-links So we then visit each link and find where the error is. For example on our: http://www.janklin.com/blog/success-in-seo-in-the-highly-competitive-travel-sector page. We can see the error on the page: broken-link-on-text We can also see this in the code: broken-link-code Here we can see that we forgot to include the http:// before the www.Nile-Crusies-4u.co.uk in the code. Once we fixed these errors we revisited Webmaster Tools Account and clicked on the Mark As Fixed button Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 15.10.49As soon as this was done we simply move onto the next Crawl Error. Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 15.13.44 We hope this helps but if you run into any difficulties please feel free to contact us: Jon Seymour: 01928 788 100 jon@janklin.com

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Basics of Content Marketing Pt 4 : 4 Epic Tools to Track Success of Your Marketing Strategy

Content-Marketing-Tools

In this, the final lesson in my 4 part series on Content Marketing, I’ll be looking at how to measure your content marketing efforts and some tools that you can use to make the job a little easier.

Already in this mini series, I’ve looked at research methods to identify your audience online, ways of creating killer content, and last time I looked at ways to share and amplify your content to get maximum exposure.

Today, I’m looking at the end process: collate data, examine, assess, repeat success.

You can have the best marketing strategy ever, but if you don’t track success, how will you know what works for next time?

How can you know where you are going if you don’t know where you are?

In order to gauge accurately how successful a piece of content was, I want to know who engaged with it. I like to know who shared it, who’s talking about it, who linked to it.

There are a number of analytics tools that measure content engagement and shares… These are some of my personal faves:

Marketing Strategy Tools That Track Success

1.Google Analytics

analytics

Google analytics is the most popular tracking platform by far, and there is a reason why. Apart from the fact that it’s free, it does an excellent job of helping website owners determine traffic sources, bounce rates, conversions rates, and more. The way I use Google Analytics for content marketing is to isolate the url of my blog post and look at how much traffic it got and where the traffic came from, i.e. Google search, Twitter, Facebook… This is an effective way of quickly identifying strengths and weaknesses in traffic acquisition.

2.Twitter/Facebook

Twitter and Facebook notifications are a simple, free way to see who is doing what with your content. This approach is limited and not automated, but it can help you track the success of your blog posts effectively on these two platforms. Twitter notifications shows you new followers, tweets that have been favourited, and tweets people have re-tweeted, all great ways of surmising the audience engagement of my content. Facebook send weekly engagement reports by email, which are great. These show how many new likes I’ve had and who’s talking about my posts.

3.Topsy – Social analytics for Twitter.

topsy

With Topsy, I can see at a glance who has included a link to my content in a tweet. It’s limitation is that it only shows results for Twitter, but it’s great at what it does and I use it a lot. It also shows who’s influential in my sector and which keywords are popular, which help me craft my next piece of content.

4.Moz

moz

Moz is a bit of a goldmine really, it has so much to offer. It’s a paid for subscription and well worth it at just $99p/m (£60). Moz is actually 12 tools in 1. I won’t discuss all 12 products, just the 2 most relevant to this post; Open Site Explorer (OSE) and Followerwonk. I use OSE for 2 things; firstly, to see who’s linking to my content, second, to see the most popular pages on my, and other site(s). I use Followerwonk to scour Twitter for people to share my content with. One of the coolest things about Followerwonk is it shows the times Twitter is most active for you, saving time and allowing me to leverage time spent sharing content.

Why don’t you have a play around with these tools and use them to assess the success of a recent piece if content?

Moz offers a 30 day trial so you can use it without committing to the subscription cost.

If you run into any problems, let me know, I’ll be happy to discuss your content marketing strategy in more detail.

Got any questions? Don’t hesitate to call us on 01928 788 100.

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Basics of Content Marketing: 3 Key Factors to Be Successful

So far in this mini-series of posts about the basics of Content Marketing, I’ve covered identifying target audiences, places to find audiences and where to look for inspiration to write engaging content.

In this post I’ll look at why creating good content alone is not enough and how social media sites help us to reach new audiences and generate all important leads and conversions.

Basics-of-Content-Marketing

So, you’ve researched your target audience, and you’ve written useful, valuable and relevant content, which caters to them, but now what? The old adage, “build it and they will come”, simply doesn’t work in content marketing, especially if you’re in a competitive niche.

On the Internet, there’s tons of content available to your target audience, meaning that they won’t just stumble upon yours.

Let’s look, quickly, at how it might get found with little or no effort:

Organic Search Results – There’s a possibility parts of your content will get found naturally, when Google indexes the page, so if for some reason someone searches for something quite obscure, which just happens to appear in your content, then your page may appear in the organic search listings.

Domain Authority – The other way your content might get found (again, in organic search results) is if your website already has high Domain Authority or Page Rank.

Subscribers – And of course, let’s not forget, nor under-estimate, any current subscribers you have, who will read your content and are likely to share it.

This is the foundation level of visibility your content has.

What we want to do is amplify it! Your content should not exist in a vacuum. You need to amplify the reach of your content, by sharing it, using the right mediums.

So let’s now take a look at how we get content in front of new audiences.

Three Key Factors in Content Marketing

1. Spread the Word

Social media websites, like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, make connecting and engaging with others easier than ever. Every time you put a new piece of content out there you should promote it across all 3 platforms. There are other social media sites which might be relevant to you as well, which I’ve mentioned a bit further on, but these are the 3 most popular. Make it easy for your target audience to find your content by posting a link to it. This will give your content marketing campaign a boost.

Bear in mind, each social media site behaves differently. For example, Facebook and Google+ should have 1 update for each new piece of content, whereas on Twitter you should Tweet links to your content several times per week. Be careful, though, not to tweet the same thing, as Twitter will see this as spam and could result in suspending your account.

2. Share your Content using Social Aggregators

Social aggregator sites, such as Feedly, allow users to consolidate all of their social media profiles, into one, easy to locate profile. This can be highly useful for businesses, looking to increase the reach of their content, and improve their content marketing overall.

Sites like Feedly also make it easier to manage 3rd party content. This is important because sharing content from other sources not just your own blog is considered best practice and you should invest some time each week to do this.

Content-Marketing

3. Engage your Audience with Content Marketing

Try to generate a buzz around your content, before and after it’s published. If you can build anticipation for your content before it’s available, this is a sure-fire way of growing your audience. And, as long as it lives up to the hype it will get better engagement once live.

The best way to generate a buzz is with social media. Talk about your upcoming content. Let your readers know about the content you’re releasing, and how it can help them. Share related content from 3rd party sources. Join in conversations people are already having in relation to the themes of your soon-to-be-released post. If you’ve researched the content adequately and are confident about your target audiences, then this kind of pre-hype is sure to be successful.

Earlier, I mentioned other social media sites that might be relevant to you. Some of the big ones are Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, Youtube, Medium. Whether these are relevant depends on the nature of your content because, don’t forget, when I talk about content, I’m not necessarily restricting this to blog posts, white papers, or other forms of the written word.

If your content is photos, then Pinterest or Instagram (possibly Flickr too) will work for you. If you deal mainly in video, Youtube is definitely the most relevant platform for you and where you’ll see the most success. Vimeo is another good site for video content. Medium is an emerging platform, popular with intellectual / cultural orientated content.

Try experimenting with your content and see for yourself which pieces become most popular.

Next time, I’ll be looking at how to measure the success of your content.

Got any questions? Don’t hesitate to call us on 01928 788 100.

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Content Marketing: Identify Your Target Audience

In the 2nd episode in our series about Content Marketing I’ll be looking at why identifying your target audience can make your business more relevant, improve customer relations, and even increase your business’ conversion rate.

ContentMarketingTargetAudiance

There are many reasons why identifying target audience is highly important.

1. You can be More Specific with Marketing
2. It makes your Content more Relevant
3. You can Better Identify your Company’s Voice
4. You’ll Create Content that Increases Customer Engagement
5. You can Discover where to Market

How to Write Content for your Target Audience: Research and Planning

Don’t Hesitate to Ask

Asking for ideas, when researching, is a great way to involve your customers and build relations. That way you’ll be able to create the content that your target audience wants to read.

Use Social Media

Find out where your customers like to hang out. Check out their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, Twitter pages and Pinterest boards. See what they’re talking about, what groups they are part of, and what their interests are. This will give you valuable insight into what your audience is interested in, and therefore, what type of content they would enjoy reading.

Share Relevant, Useful and Valuable Information

Once you know more about your clients, create content that would be valuable to them, in a format which they would appreciate. For example, if you sell baby clothes, your target audience would be parents. Create content that would not only be relevant and useful, but in the correct format too. A parent would be too busy to read a long guide, but a short three hundred word blog post would be perfect.

Create Relevant and Attention Grabbing Titles

Whether you’re writing a newsletter, article or a blog post, your title needs to be strong. Good titles are short, engaging, and tell readers, concisely, what the article is about. Identifying your business’s target audience allows you to write content that speaks to your potential customers. This improves customer relations and increases your conversion rate. Start researching your target market today, and begin writing content your audience wants to read.

How to identify your audience

Twitter is a great place to begin. Your followers are, for all intents and purposes, your audience. However, not every follower is a potential customer, so the best thing to do is keep an eye on your notifications. Check who’s re-tweeting and favouriting your tweets. Which tweets are getting the most attention? Is there any discernible patterns? This will provide insight into what content is popular and you can start to think about creating more like it.

Pay attention to new followers too and check out their profile. Do they look like a potential customer? If so, what are they sharing? You’re more likely to get their attention if your content resonates with their interests.

There are tools available that will help you manage this process, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Mention, to name just 3. These tools act as great aids when you need to filter large chunks of data to extract value. But remember, nothing works better than the human eye!

If you don’t have many followers on Twitter the above approach probably won’t work for you. If this is the case, you can turn to your competitors. Choose your 3 most direct competitors and look what they share and who’s re-tweeting. Is their audience the same as your own customer profile? If it is, Bingo! You can see exactly what works in your sector.

Followerwonk is a great tool for carrying out competitor research on Twitter. It displays some really interesting data such as when your competitors are most active, where their followers are located, how many new followers they have gained, and how many lost.

Of course, Twitter isn’t the only way to identify your audience, nor is it the only social media platform, but because it has an open API most content marketing tools incorporate it and build apps for it, making it probably the most accessible social media platform online.

For this reason, I would definitely recommend starting with Twitter to identify your target audience as it’s easiest of all social media platforms to collect some valuable insights.

Once you’ve created your own audience profile and created some content for it, put it to the test and see how popular your content becomes.

In the next lesson, I’ll be looking at the most effective ways of getting your content in front of your target audience.

We will send this and future lessons in our newsletter so please feel free to sign up here: Newsletter Signup.

Also if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email us:

Email: jan@janklin.com

Tel: 01928 788 100

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Basics of Content Marketing

Over the next few weeks we will run you through our process of Content Marketing. This process will allow you to understand what Content Marketing is and start to create your very own content marketing campaign:

Content Marketing Part 1: An Introduction;

Content Marketing Part 2: Researching target customers interests;

Content Marketing Part 3: Piecing content together and the sharing process;

Content Marketing Part 4: Monitoring and learning skills.

Content Marketing 1 – An Introduction

Nowadays, people are exposed to more information and more advertising than ever before. People are not only exposed to advertising offline, via television, newspapers and magazines, but online too. On the Internet, there are advertising links and banners everywhere. As people see so much advertising, they have learnt to ignore it. Now, it’s getting harder and harder for businesses to reach out to customers.  As a result, companies have realised that traditional advertising isn’t enough. Businesses need to reach their consumers using content marketing.
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What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing refers to a marketing technique, involving the creation and sharing of content, from blog posts to newsletters, with potential customers, with the goal of prompting customer action. Great content, which will attract and retain customers, is valuable and relevant to your potential consumers. It provides your potential customers with useful information, which is valuable and relevant to them. This builds customer loyalty and encourages customer action.

Content Marketing: First Steps

Content marketing is an ongoing process, which must be incorporated into your overall marketing campaign. Research is the first step in content marketing. First, consider what your average customer is like. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my target customers interested in?
  • How busy are my target customers
  • How old are my target customers?
  • What information would be useful to my target customers?

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These questions help you to figure out what type of content would be most relevant and valuable to your potential customers. After this, you can craft content that is tailored to the needs of your target demographic. Your content must include valuable and relevant information, it must be written in a voice that connects with your customers and it must be delivered in the right format. For example, if your customers are busy, short blog posts are ideal.  If you want to increase your customer base, start your content marketing campaign today.

Over the next few weeks we will explain the Content Marketing process through a set of lessons. The next lesson is due to be published 28th May - Content Marketing Part 2: Researching target customers interests.

We will send this and future lessons in our newsletter so please feel free to sign up here: Newsletter Signup.

Also if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email us:

Email: jan@janklin.com

Tel: 01928 788 100

 

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