Write Content to Give Visitors What They Want
Sam Walton used to say “Give customers what they want and a little more. If you do they’ll come back over and over.” Sam was right! The background shows the store he started in Bentonviille, AR in 1950 and the inset shows the growth they had achieved by 2010. Like Sam, you must write content to give visitors what they want.
Write content for your visitor
It must answer the question he has on his mind. How do you know what’s on his mind? You don’t. You can only write your content so that it clearly describes the topic you have in mind.
Write your content so that is easy for Google to determine what it is about. As they crawl your site Google deduces what your page is about and reduces it to a few keywords. By writing your content so that it features your keywords Google will recognize your intent.
When a visitor posts a query Google reduces her search query to keywords that best matches her question. Google then finds a page with keywords that best match the visitor’s keywords. Hopefully, it is your page.
And as it turns out, that is exactly the person you want to attract, she is your prospect. If her query doesn’t match your content, you don’t want her to come to your site.
If the content doesn’t match her query she will pause briefly and then go on to the next Google search result. Google notes when a reader pauses only briefly to scan your page and penalizes you.
Google actually evaluates content
Their guiding principle is “Answer every visitor’s query as good as it can be answered. Point our visitors to the highest quality response for the query term they used.” Likewise, website creators and content writers know they must have the same goal. They strive to deliver content that holds the visitors’ attention, making it unnecessary for them to jump to other sites.
Google times the duration of a visit. It’s not enough to attract a visitor. If visitors don’t stay at least two minutes then the content must not have been good: your site will be penalized. If a visitor lingers over a page, then moves to another page on your site you are rewarded.
How to give visitors what they want?
Most respected digital marketers agree that great content:
- Must attract a visitor’s interest or your page won’t rank in Google.
- Must answer his question completely whether he is just beginning to search for a product or service or whether he is ready to buy. If he doesn’t get everything he wants he may leave and never come back. Give visitors what they want. Use internal links to direct them to additional pages with greater detail.
- Must be an interesting read. Storytelling is often used because it can stoke a reader’s curiosity and he will continue reading until the end.
- More is more. While you may think that as long as the question is fully answered, a 500-word answer is better than a 1200-word answer. Most topics require more than 500 words to fully cover an issue. Google prefers long form (greater that 1,000 word) content.
- Must give information that is actionable. The reader has a problem; he wants an answer. Fully describing his problem without a solution has no value
- Must not be just a sales pitch; it wastes his time. If he doesn’t fully understand the problem he isn’t ready for an answer. Besides, receiving a sales pitch when someone is trying to research their problem is not appreciated.