Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

Content is King, but Relevance Reigns!

ContentContent may be king on the web but it’s relevance that reigns when it comes to engaging your audience and creating successful relationships that last.

Connecting and communicating with your audience is also the key to having your content stand out from all the online clutter. While using keywords is important, Google has made a strong effort not to let SEO shortcuts control search rankings. Instead, it’s all about engagement, providing value and creating buzz. The way to rank well in search results is to provide real, accurate and compelling content that your audience will want to share. The goal is to position yourself as a thought leader and always create lasting value.

So how do you create relevant content for your target market?

1. Know your audience

Think of the times you’ve struggled to stay awake during dinner conversation while the rest of the table is completely engaged. The problem is that the topic of conversation simply isn’t relevant to you. While you may be stuck eyeing your watch for hours, there are no social constraints to keep a person from leaving your webpage. Whether you’re writing content for a website, blog post, or online article, keep your target audience in mind. Think about what they want to hear and talk directly to them. Don’t try and impress your readers with fancy vocabulary or complex ideas. If you write conversationally, they’ll be more likely to talk back.

2. Clearly identify their interests

Visitors to your site have landed there with a targeted goal in mind. Think about how your content can help meet this goal and how to present it in a way that will be most accessible to your audience. This means keeping information easy to consume, concise, and visually appealing.

3. Research your topics

Before you offer your insight on a topic, its important to be aware of the conversation that already exists. Staying on top of the dialogue means you’ll be able to contribute fresh ideas. As well, discovering who is contributing will help you get to know your audience, their opinions and questions.

4. Present alternatives

Aim to give your readers different points of view on a subject. If your article or post seems biased, your readers won’t want to trust your opinions in the future. Giving a balanced point of view shows your audience that you have done your research on the topic and positions your page as a helpful resource.

5. Include references and sources

Including links to your references and sources can be very strategic. Linking your readers to new relevant content increases the value of your webpage. Referencing sources also shows readers you’re following the dialogue and know your stuff. Finally, linking to other pages increases the likelihood that they will link back to you. Each link to your page enhances its credibility, and in turn, its search engine rankings and visibility to your audience.

6. Request feedback

Always try to prompt a conversation on your page. This will enhance interaction with your readers and increase the relevance of your content. Finish off your article by asking a question and include a strong call to action that encourages readers to post comments.

Creating relevant content is all about catering to your audience. Aim to fulfill their interests, their goals, and to provide valuable information that is easy for them to grasp. In the end, SEO gets people to the door and content invites them in, but it’s relevance that makes them stay.

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About Tom

Tom has over 30 years of experience in branding and Web, and has successfully managed the design and development of projects for Abbott Laboratories, Avon Canada, CTV, IATA, Reader's Digest and Unisource Canada. After receiving a B.Comm from McGill University, he started his career in the brand management system of a major Canadian consumer packaged goods food company before founding HTC in 1982. He can be reached at tom[at]htc.ca

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