Buyer Personas Need to Die. Use These 5 Tactics to Find Your Real Audience

It’s that moment you’ve been waiting for — the big meet. You and your team have gathered your market research and refined your product. Now that digital marketing agency you hired is ready to introduce you to the people — or rather buyer personas — who are going to buy it. This is where all your hard work finally pays off. Are you ready? Okay. Lights please.

Everybody meet:

Owner Ollie: the CEO stereotype buyer persona whose fictional life is so brilliant he couldn't possibly be interested in what you have to say.

Now I know what you’re thinking.

“Strange… This guy doesn’t look like he needs my help. He doesn’t look like he needs help at all, with his blissed-out smile and strangely specific bio. Three Kids, 20, 16, and 11, huh? That’s some smart child spacing there Ollie. I see history has taught you well.”

You’re absolutely right for thinking this. Ollie doesn’t need help because Ollie isn’t a person. He’s a buyer persona — a fictional representation of an ideal customer. And for some reason it seems that everyone, from the campaign gurus at HubSpot to the freelancing experts at UpWork, just can’t get enough of him.

Seriously though, “Owner Ollie?” “Millennial Meg?” “Maggie the full-time Mom?”

Where did these stereotypes come from, and where are they headed?

Why do marketers insist on bringing these non-existent people, these cheesy advertising memes whose fantasy lives can be reduced just to the year they were born or whether or not they own a home, into strategy meetings?

Are we expected to play along? Or to believe these buyer personas could somehow be listening, and nod our heads musingly when we hear that:

“Ollie wants to streamline his life so he can spend more time with the kids.”

What’s Owner Ollie, with his stock-photo grin and fantasy list of turn-ons even doing in this meeting anyway?

Despite what marketers claim, Stepford Wives stereotyping isn’t going to get you the results you want. The truth is there are more efficient ways to figure out who to target with your content without having to listen to someone waxing lyrical about how “Ollie wants you to help him achieve his perfect work/life balance.”

Listen to your audience, don't listen to Ollie

Ollie and all other buyer personas like him are works of fiction. Your audience is real. We need to identify who they are, where they are, and what they want.

It’s time to say goodbye to buyer personas. They have no needs, and they feel no pain. Your potential customers, on the other hand, do. And to make sure they start coming to you to satisfy their needs and alleviate their pain, you can start by asking yourself these five simple questions.

1: Who’s going to buy from me?

You’ve pulled the plug on buyer personas like Owner Ollie (don’t feel bad: neither he nor his offspring ever existed anyway) and now it’s time to find out who your real customers are.

You’ve got the one-timers, who bought from you once then never came back.

You’ve got the two-timers, who bought from you once before switching allegiance to one of your competitors.

Then there’s that vast ocean of prospective buyers — people angling for a product like yours who saw what you had on offer but decided not to bite. And out there in the murky waters of digital marketing are the crowds of people who have yet to hear of you.

You have your best customers of course — that small number of people who account for the majority of your sales. And these best customers will move in circles with friends and family who are going to be interested in hearing what you’ve got to offer.

But your best customers shouldn’t be the only people buying from you.

They should all be buying from you.

They should be buying from you right now and planning to buy from you again in the future—shouting your name from the rooftops, telling everyone how great you are, spreading your name like wildfire.

These aren’t abstract buyer personas. This isn’t Owner Ollie telling his home-owning friends how you helped streamline his life (or find him his home). These are real people. And when you create content that converts — content that understands these people’s pain and meets their needs — you’ll be well on your way to building relationships that will one day blossom into more purchases, more referrals, and a better bottom line.

Shut up and take my money

2: Who’s going to listen to what I say?

One reason real customers are better than fictional buyer personas is that real customers aren’t just smiling back at you blankly from a PowerPoint projector screen. They’re actually answering your questions.

Before they can do this, though, you’re going to have to get talkative in your market research.

Start by interviewing anyone who might be interested in what you create. Keeping your research to people you’re currently in touch with is a good start, but it’s limiting. Don’t limit yourself to the present. Cast your mind back to like-minded contacts from former social networks. Talk to them: Who do they know who might be interested in your product?

And the million-dollar question: Where do they meet?

Forget buyer personas. Your real audience are out there, waiting

3: Where does your target audience hang out online?

Twitter? Instagram? Facebook? LinkedIn? Reddit? Make a note of which sites, blogs and groups your potential customers are visiting; which apps they’re using to drive their daily lives. Before long you’ll have found your target audience. And once you do, immerse yourself in their scene.

Crash their party, just as buyer personas like Owner Ollie crashed your strategy meeting.

Who cares if you weren’t invited? — once you’re contributing to the conversation, it won’t even matter.

Your research needs to go deep, so if you don’t have a profile for one of the sites, create one, and if you don’t have one of their apps, download it. It’s a worthwhile investment; you’re going to be spending a fair amount of time here.

You want to stick around until you’ve got a complete picture of the world your audience inhabits. Get familiar with social networks they scroll through. Become proficient with the apps they rely on. Immerse yourself in the channels where they congregate and the points where they meet.

Come with me and I'll show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes

4: What conversations do they have there?

The more time you spend among your target audience, the better you’ll get a feel for what they’re saying — the discussions, jokes, and banter. This is their language, and if you’re spending enough time with them it’ll soon become yours too.

To be able to reach out to your audience, and address their pain in an engaging way, you’re going to have be fluent in their language.

This might not sound easy. But you know what they say — the best way to learn a language is to live among people who speak it. Think of it like this: you’re treating yourself to an expense-free vacation.

Eventually, you’ll start to get a feel for the conversations your target audience keep coming back to, the jokes they tell, and the memes they throw around. Learn the slang and the banter. Scan the comment sections until you get all the references and are in on all the jokes.

It won’t be long before you start to notice what’s missing in the conversation — where that all-important gap is. This awareness will be crucial when it comes to offering them your solution.

5: Where does your target audience go to stay up to date?

Apart from the main hangout space, your target audience will have other channels where they go to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world. Your job is to find out where these are.

Work out what websites they visit, which feeds they subscribe to, and which publications they engage with and respect. Think about people too. Find out which public figures, celebrities, and influencers they follow, and whose recommendations they take on board when they’re on the lookout for something new.

Then get actively involved. Get chirpy. Retweet their tweets and show up in their timelines.

Be part of their conversation and, with your newfound knowledge, establish yourself within it.

Inhabiting the world of your target audience has never been easier. Spend a week or so with them on a research sabbatical and before long you’ll be able to identify their problems and target them with your solutions.

More importantly, consider how your language makes your audience feel: if you talk to them in a language they understand, it’ll go to their head; if you talk to them in their own language, it’ll go to their heart.

Buyer personas don’t have hearts or minds (or homes, for that matter) to win over. But real people do.

And we can help you find them.

There’s a whole world of people out there — real people — waiting to buy from you. You might already know who they are—and we can help turn your data into actionable insights.

But if you don’t, get in there, enter their world, and learn their language.

If you can adapt your language to pinpoint your target audience’s pain points, and if you can present your solutions in ways that mirror their pain, the battle is basically won.

Leave that to us: playing with language is what we do.

Want more insight into your content creation process?

That’s exactly why we’re here.

 

Schedule your free consultation now.

 

Sneak Past Writer’s Block With These 3 Foolproof Techniques

Everyone on Earth has brilliant, original ideas several times a day. You’re brainstorming all the time, without even trying. Look at you go!

The problem, of course, is that your best ideas never make it onto the page. So before we go any further —

Here’s the number one way to write amazing content:

Make writing a part of your daily routine. Write a little something after every meal, or every time you run to the bathroom — it works wonders. I’m not kidding. Or write down the day’s thoughts just before bed.

Form positive associations with writing. Take a hot bath afterward, or indulge in some ice cream, or sip a mug of fresh-brewed coffee. Listen to beautiful music while you write. Infuse the practice of writing into the rhythm of your life.

Or hey, defeat your writer's block by writing in a hot bath, like Writing in the bath, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston).

Or hey, write in a hot bath, like Writing in the bath, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston).

But even when you’re writing every day — and in case I wasn’t clear, that’s exactly what you need to do — you’re going to hit a snag every now and then. Writer’s block is a beast, and you need to know how to deal with it. So let me drop some knowledge on you.

You can’t overcome writer’s block by fighting it head on.

Instead, you have to sneak past it.

Here’s how to do that.

1. Write the worst sentence you possibly can

A blank page can be one of the most terrifying things on Earth. Its silent emptiness rings with a challenge: What do you want to talk about? How do you start? What if it’s not good enough?

Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick, had good reason for calling white the most horrific color in the world. If your page’s whiteness gets inside your head, it’ll take you down before you even get started.

So never give it the chance.

Without hesitation, type the stupidest, most insane sentence you can come up with. Right now. Do it.

Look at that! Now you’ve got one sentence. You’re no longer staring at a blank page.

Judging by this sentence, the author of "Fifty Shades of Grey" seems to have followed my advice to sneak past writer's block by writing the worst sentence imaginable.

Judging by this sentence, the author of “Fifty Shades of Grey” seems to have followed my advice to write the worst line imaginable.

Believe it or not, the hard part’s done. Everything after this is academic. You have looked the whiteness in the eye, and you have emerged victorious. Score one for the writer.

I’ve used this technique more times than I can count, and it always gets my engine running. When you’re struggling to get words on the page, your worst enemy is your own inner critic.

Your inner critic works long hours, picking apart most of the sentences you read every day, telling you everything’s wrong with them. And that’s fantastic, because that’s precisely what your inner critic is supposed to do. Go inner critic!

Still, to be a writer, you’ve got to distract your inner critic for a minute. That’s why you write the worst sentence you possibly can: because your critic has no idea what to do with that goal. It gets confused.

And while it’s flailing around, you sneak right on past, into the land of creativity.

2. Imagine you’re writing messages to your friends

Strangely enough, nobody who struggles with writer’s block seems to have any trouble sending messages to people they love.

Why is that? Well, obviously, texting isn’t “creative writing.” It’s just talking.

It follows, then, that as long as you treat the blank page like a conversation, your writer’s block will stop bothering you.

These writers may look like they're just texting... but looks can be deceiving.

These writers may look like they’re just texting… but looks can be deceiving.

Think of that one friend. We’ve all got that one friend; you know the one I mean — the one who always understands what you’re getting at, even when you don’t explain it properly.

Explain your topic as if you were texting that friend.

Don’t send the messages, obviously. Just type them on the page, as if you’re going to send them later. Once you get into the flow of the conversation, you’ll start to imagine your friend’s comments and questions along the way. Work ‘em in. Respond to objections. Keep the explanation rolling.

What you’ll end up with, after a few minutes of this, is a page of disorganized rambling. Stay calm — this is exactly the result you want. You’ll clean it up later, in the editing stage. For now, remember why you’re here.

All the time you were explaining this stuff to your friend, your writer’s block was nowhere to be found. Mission accomplished.

3. Use your favorite stories as writing prompts

When the novelist Ernest Hemingway (author of The Old Man and the Sea) was a young aspiring author, he set himself a strange project: he retyped several of his favorite books, word for word.

Why did he do this?

Well, he reasoned, if you want to become a great skier, you go ski the same hills as the pros. So to become a great writer, you write the same books as the masters.

Ernest Hemingway said to beat writer's block by writing the truest sentence you know. But it's often more effective to write the silliest sentence you can think of.

Ernest Hemingway said to start by writing the truest sentence you know. But it’s often more effective to write the silliest sentence you can think of.

You, however, do not have to type a whole novel — unless you aim to write one. In fact, you don’t have to type anything word for word. Instead —

Find interesting articles about the topic you want to cover. Then ask yourself, “How would I tell this story differently?”

Retell the same sequence of events, but focus on different elements. Re-explain the same concept using unexpected examples and analogies. Try switching up the order, or arguing from the opposite perspective. Make it your own.

You’re not really “writing” here — you’re just rephrasing something that’s already been written. So your writer’s block will get out of the way.

And yet, when you’re done rephrasing, you’ll find that the end result contains some ideas that weren’t there before.

Now that’s funny! Where did those ideas come from?

Well, they’re all yours now.

Want more insight into your content creation process?

That’s exactly why we’re here.

 

Schedule your free consultation now.

 

Ask These 5 Critical Questions When Analyzing Competitors’ Content

What’s the first thing you notice when you drop by a competitor’s website? Beyond the eye-catching color and images, you’re probably drawn to their blog.

I mean, just look at it — they’re publishing all these cool articles with big, beautiful images! You need to grab all the ideas you can, then pump out even better versions of them. Right?

Nope. In fact, this approach is a huge mistake.

For one thing, if you rip off your competitor’s content, Google will know. And they’ll downgrade your search rank as a result. This is a real risk.

But there’s an even bigger problem.

If you focus too much on your competitors’ topics and keywords, you’ll miss out on some major opportunities to target audiences they’re neglecting, with messages they aren’t sending.

Ask these five crucial questions to perform an effective competitor analysis — and convert your competitors’ content into impactful insights for your own campaign.

 

1. What audience are your competitors trying to help?

Instead of focusing on the topics your competitors are writing about, take a step back and think about the people they’re trying to connect with. In other words —

Here’s the first question to ask about your competitor’s content:
“Who is this for?”

Some articles will tell you which audience they’re aimed at, right up front. Other times, you’ll have to sift through the text until you get a picture of the target reader. If you’re looking at a competing bicycle shop’s website, you might notice they’re using imagery and language that appeals to high-performance sport riders. Your competitor’s restaurant might share a lot of images of happy families. Are these the same customers you want to connect with?

Your competitors' audience targeting may ignore or leave out certain groups of people who’ll be thankful for the attention you give them.

Your competitors’ audience targeting may ignore or leave out certain groups of people who’ll be thankful for the attention you give them.

Their targeting may ignore or leave out certain groups of people who’ll be thankful for the attention you give them. Since your competitor’s bike shop is focused on athletes, your brand can speak to suburban moms who bike with their kids. While your competitor’s restaurant cultivates a family vibe, you can reach out to the office crowd. Connect with the folks they’re neglecting.

And what if your competitors don’t address any special audience? This is your golden opportunity. Instead of blasting out one-size-fits-all content like your competitor does, you can focus your message on specific market segments, speaking directly to those athletes, young professionals, and suburban moms in their own languages, using imagery they’ll relate to.

 

2. Which problems are your competitors offering to solve?

Almost every brand promises a solution to some core problem. Red Bull offers a solution to the problem of low energy. Twitter helps solve the problem of losing touch with friends. H&M addresses the problem of finding cool, affordable clothing. Even local brands focus their messaging around particular problems: expensive oil changes, frustrating tax paperwork, scary dentist visits.

As you perform your own competitor analysis, you’ll notice that your competitors target their messaging around specific problems, too. They may even make those problems clear in the headlines of their blog posts — after all, that’s what headlines are for.

Ask yourself how you solve those same problems — or better yet, if you can reframe those problems to point to your solutions.

Wise words on competitor analysis, from Don Draper of "Mad Men."

Wise words on competitor analysis, from Don Draper of “Mad Men.”

For example, if your competitor promises the cheapest shoes in town, maybe it’s time to ask whether cheaper really means better. If they guarantee the biggest car selection, point out that browsing hundreds of cars is a waste of time.

Reframe your competitors’ solutions as problems — problems for which you offer the REAL fix.

However you choose to redefine the problems, focus on providing better solutions than the ones your competitor offers. Does their blog serve up recipes? Give your readers more variety, with clearer instructions and bigger photos. Is their blog a guide to used car shopping? Give readers a comprehensive guide to the most eco-friendly used cars on the market.

Outsmart your competitors’ solutions at every turn — whether by reframing them as problems, or by delivering improvements on the fixes they offer.

 

3. Which competitor keywords result in useful clusters?

Duplicating your competitors’ lists of keywords is a very dangerous game. Google will most likely catch on, and your search ranking will plummet. That said —

Your competitors’ favorite keywords can provide useful jumping-off points for generating your own keyword clusters.

Clusters are groups of keywords that Google’s ranking algorithm already thinks are related. For example, say you’re a transport company, and your competitor’s site focuses heavily around the keyword “logistics.”

When you use Google’s Keyword Planner to generate a cluster related to that keyword, you’ll get related keywords like “logistics best practices,” “logistics FAQ,” and “logistics case studies,” because Google frequently sees all these phrases on top-clicked pages in search results for “logistics.”

Your competitors’ favorite keywords can provide useful jumping-off points for generating your own keyword clusters.

Your competitors’ favorite keywords can provide useful jumping-off points for generating your own keyword clusters.

Of course, not all keywords will produce equally useful clusters. To find the most effective clusters for your brand, you’ll need to experiment.

Plug each of your competitors’ most relevant keywords into Google’s Keyword Planner, until you get a cluster — or, better yet, a few different clusters — with large numbers of highly searched, low-competition keywords.

Now, the wrong approach would be to stuff your next blog post with dozens of keywords from that cluster — because Google calls that keyword spam. Instead, you want to save the cluster list you’ve generated, and use just a small sprinkling of those keywords in every related piece of content you create.

As you publish more fresh content containing a few keywords from your “logistics” cluster, Google will start to recognize your site as a hub of information on that topic. Since all your posts feature keywords Google thinks are related to your area of expertise, you’ll begin to climb toward the top of the first page of search results.

 

4. Which topical areas do your competitors circle back to?

Inventing original content tends to get harder over time. Back when your competitors first launched their content campaigns, they probably had all kinds of fresh ideas for unique articles and social media posts — but as the months crept on, that well of ideas started to run dry.

These days, your competitors are circling back to the same old topics, looking for fresh takes on ideas they’ve already covered to death.

As you scan your competitors’ posts, you might get a strange sense of déjà vu. Certain headlines look eerily like earlier ones. The same photos reappear in post after post. Identical keywords pop up with increasing frequency.

As you scan your competitors’ posts, you'll notice a lot of very similar content. Don't make the same mistake.

As you scan your competitors’ posts, you’ll notice a lot of very similar content. Don’t make the same mistake.

Your competitors’ repetitive posts serve as warnings: cover that particular topic just once. Then move on.

Duplicate content will lower Google your search ranking — so instead of obsessing over the same topical areas your competitors do, compile all their best insights, and write one in-depth post that covers that base. Add value with your own unique twists on the topic. Then call it quits and move on to other subjects. That’s the only effective way to safeguard your search ranking.

Coming up with fresh content is a challenge, no question. But the costs of duplication are much greater than the benefits of posting stale, repetitive posts.

Any time you’re tempted to rehash topics you’ve already covered, that’s your cue to sit down with a pen and notepad, and dedicate an hour or so to generating some truly original ideas. Your audience — and Google’s ranking algorithm — will thank you for the effort.

 

5. Where are your competitors leaving coverage gaps?

Here’s one final point to check in your competitor analysis:

Your competitor may be ignoring certain pain points altogether.

Maybe their cheap lunch buffet doesn’t meet a need for vegetarian dining options around town. Maybe their huge car selection fails to offer environmentally friendly luxury brands at bargain prices.

Oversights like these are your call to action: present a better solution. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should directly criticize your competitor. Just make it clear that you’re the go-to brand for those answers.

When you notice coverage gaps in your competitors content — fill those gaps with your own solutions!

When you notice coverage gaps in your competitors content — fill those gaps with your own solutions!

Focus your content on topical gaps your competitors leave, and you’ll attract the customers they’re missing.

Your competitors’ topical gaps can also help you solve the challenge of regularly generating original content. The more you analyze your competitors’ posting patterns, the more you’ll notice issues in your industry that they’re just not paying attention to: news stories, local events, hot-button debates, and frequently asked questions that you can step in and answer.

Another excellent way to fill gaps in your competitors’ coverage is to provide in-depth guides to issues they cover only briefly. If they provide a quick 10-step guide to shopping for houses in your town, counter with a fully researched presentation on each neighborhood’s top sights and attractions, complete with friendly infographics and checklists.

Blow your audience away with the lengths you’ll go to when providing useful, unique insights.

You’ll notice the difference in your site traffic, in your user engagement — and ultimately, in your bottom line.

Want more insight into your content creation process?

That’s exactly why we’re here.

Schedule your free consultation now.

 

 

Generate Meaningful SEO Results With These 7 Artful Tactics

You’re not the first to have this problem, and you certainly won’t be the last. You’ve packed your site with search engine optimization (SEO) keywords. You’re pumping out new, quality content every day. Your digital content machine is up and running. In fact, it’s positively purring.

But where are all those conversions you’ve been promised?

Be lost no more with these artful SEO tactics

The answer lies with the SEO techniques you’re using. The algorithms that determine your site’s ranking don’t see all SEO techniques as equals. Some get preferential treatment. And such favoritism means that these techniques deliver better results than others.

To widen up your sales funnel, and get it working at top capacity, you’re going to need to narrow down and optimize the SEO tactics you use. The key lies beyond the keywords. Let’s dive into the deep end of SEO and pull up some treasure.

1) Headings and subheadings bring success in the search engines.

Have you ever heard of Crawler? It’s an algorithm Google uses to search for keywords in a body of text and check it for relevance. Like us, Crawler skims through the more eye-catching text first—headings and subheadings—before crawling its way through the main content.

So where should you put your SEO techniques to good use and focus your keywords?

You’ve guessed it. Head for the headings.

The most important part of your text is going to be your title tag. It’s the first thing Google (and your reader) sees when looking for relevance so make sure you get the right keyword in there.

A word of caution though: Google has caught on to the overuse of headings and subheadings as keyword repositories. It doesn’t appreciate keyword stuffing (more on this in a moment), and penalizes it by favoring the use of keyword groups, used sparingly and effectively in a text that is natural sounding, relevant, and engaging.

Headings have to be artful. That’s why we think they should tell a story.

Narratives in the headings are good for SEO. If written well, they hook the reader, reinforce relevance and draw the attention of the all-powerful algorithm that will propel your page to the top of the rankings.

2) Headings are good, but meta is better.

Ben Thomas Agency SEO Meta Tag

See this description above? Without blowing our own trumpet, this is an effective meta description. Why?

Because it accurately advertises the page’s content in an eye-catching way, making you more likely to click on it.

Okay, so this is not strictly an SEO hack. In fact, in 2009 Google came out and said that what you have in your meta description won’t affect how it ranks your content—the spoilsports.

Well, at least not directly.

But it still counts among our artful SEO techniques, because while Google’s algorithms won’t reward your keyword-rich meta description with a higher ranking, Google’s users will.

An informative, relevant meta description will increase your CTR (click-through-rate).

Which is basically a jargony way of saying that more people will recognize your page is worth visiting, more people will click on it, and these clicks will push your page higher up the rankings.

3) Use the right SEO keywords to get the right readership.

So your content needs keywords. But where can you go to find them? For SEO warriors like us, the first port of call is Google’s Keyword Planner. First you feed it some keyword ideas. So say you want to promote your London-based tour company. You might write: tours of London, Westminster and Big Ben.

Then you select the category and context you want results for. In this case you want to see what people are searching for when they want tours of Big Ben, not information about who built it, how they built it, or what architectural specifications they were meeting when they built it.

Finally, you select your language and audience, and maybe introduce a link to your landing page, et voilà! You’re in keyword heaven.

Don’t just rely on SEO keywords. Add ideas from Ad Groups too.

Even experienced SEO writers often overlook Ad Groups in favor of its bigger, louder brother: Keywords. But spend some time with Ad Groups and you’ll see it actually has a lot more to say. If you can pick out keywords from these groups that Google has—for want of a better word—grouped together, your text will rank higher for relevance when it comes to the topic it’s dealing with.

“Does this mean I should fill my article with as many of these keywords as possible?”

No. Your text isn’t a chicken; don’t stuff it. Good SEO writing is informative, pertinent, and fundamentally engaging. Like a master chef, a skilled writer will pepper their creation with enough keywords that it fits Google’s culinary requirements. They might sprinkle on a little more according to taste, and add their own stylistic flair for a little extra flavor. But they won’t overpower their reader.

Because going overboard with keywords will make what you serve up indigestible.

 

4) Search engines like both long- and short-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are search phrase that consist of more than two words, while short-tail keywords are phrases made up of one or two.

And that’s the long and short of it.

By nature, long-tail keywords are much more specific than their short-tail counterparts. But they actually make up the vast majority of searches. In fact, around 70% of Google searches contain long-tails of four to six words.

Meaning the good folk at Google optimize content that balances short, general keywords with long, specific ones.

This is what effective SEO writers will do. They will make sure their content attracts searches for the general topic while simultaneously attracting people with specific queries.

5) Avoid Black Hat SEO techniques.

Stuffing your headings with keywords makes for miserable reading. But this doesn’t stop some SEO copywriters from doing it. In the Wild West of SEO copywriting, these cowboys embrace their inner bad guy. And in their short-sighted attempt to get rich fast, they see a short-term spike in the rankings as a price worth paying for a practice that could get their content banned from the top search engines.

Thankfully, Google is on to these conjurers of cheap tricks.

Though it might seem I’m writing to ingratiate myself with Crawler (I’m not), Google is firmly on the good guys’ side in the copywriting Wild West. In fact Google has explicitly come out and said which on-page SEO techniques it considers above board (White Hat) and which it considers below the belt (Black Hat).

But how do I know if my page has become a black-hat stand?

Ask yourself one simple question. Is my reader getting anything from reading this content? If the answer is yes, you have nothing to worry about. If the answer is no, and you think your content might be more spam than substance, you’ll want to rethink your strategy. Fast.

Embrace White Hat SEO tactics. Image courtesy of: www.moneytoplist.com

That said, even Black and White Hat SEO techniques can have their gray areas. And the fact there’s a thin gray line between what can get you more conversions and what can get you censored is scary.

Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to look through your content and tell you what we see.

Or, if you’d rather get yourself up to speed, check out this informative list of Black Hat Techniques.

6) Embrace White Hat SEO techniques.  

You’ve followed all the advice so far and now Google is sending so much traffic your way you’re running out of parking. The secret’s out that your page is the place to be; your users know it and so do your competitors. That’s why they’ve hired their own group of SEO copywriters party poopers to try to move the party to their place.

Your job is to make sure people stick around at your place.

We’re simple creatures in the end. While I’m not suggesting you fill your site with flashing lights and loud colors, some multimedia in the form of embedded videos, images, and diagrams will keep people interested and reduce your bounce rate.

And show them how much more you have to offer.

Google has come out and said it ranks supplementary content highly when determining the rankings. The most effective supplementary content comes in the form of relevant, informative links to other parts of your site, used in a way that doesn’t get in the way of your main content.

Want a perfect example of effective internal linking? Look no further than Wikipedia.

 

7) Make sure your SEO content provides answers.

Why?

Because answers are precisely what you’ve come online to find.

Even the most independent researchers will admit that they like to have things explained to them once in a while. And people curious enough to read up on a topic in the first place are going to want to come away feeling like they’ve learned something they can actually apply in the future.

After all, that’s why you’re still reading.

But more than just feeding your curiosity, providing answers actually works wonders for your rankings. Not least because it forces you to use the golden word of digital copywriting:

Because: the Golden Word in SEO digital copywriting

Any copywriter can command you to take a certain course of action. Few copywriters can tell you why it’s the course you should take. Actually explaining the reason behind something demonstrates a deeper understanding of the subject. And deeper understanding leads to more relevance which, in turn, leads to a higher conversion rate.

SEO techniques might be changing, but we know how to adapt.

The reality of today’s world is you need to produce content that’s going to get you noticed. Not doing so means putting up barriers against maximizing your business’s potential.

Make time to talk to us today.

We love working with inquisitive folk, and the fact you’re here puts you firmly in that category. If you have any questions about anything we’ve mentioned, or want to find out more about how we can help boost you up the rankings, you know where to find us.

We’re waiting to hear from you.

 

Schedule your free consultation today.