Is there anything worse than slogging over your SEO strategy, crying into your keyboard as you desperately try to do away with the blank screen and having nightmares about generating links to your website, only to see a stagnant report at the end of the month.
Your keywords aren’t moving, your Google Analytics traffic report looks like a long flat road with a few speed bumps, and your lead funnels are as dry as a three day old sandwich in the Sahara.
It seems like no matter what you do, your SEO content strategy just won’t give you the results you want.
If you’ve been in this situation before, you’ll know how hard it is. If you’re experiencing it right now, here’s a few things to look at.
Your targeting the wrong keywords
The keywords that you’re targeting are based on your customers’ search habits, so if you haven’t done the initial research at the start on your customers, who they are, what problems they have or what answers they’re looking for, you won’t be targeting the right keywords.
A lot of people guess large chunks of their customer and keyword research.
They ‘try to get in the heads’ of their ideal customers like it’s some kind of telepathic trick.
They create buyer personas and come up with 26-year-old marketing managers with a grey shirt and brown shoes as a character.
What you should do, is interview your ideal clients or customers and find out what their problems are. You can do this in a lot of ways. If you already have customers, ask them.
What brought them to you? What problem were they trying to solve? What had they tried before that didn’t work? Had they tried any other products or services to help? What happened with those?
Get deep with this research. By the end you should know in great detail exactly the problems your customers are having.
If you don’t already have customers, use forums like Reddit to see what conversations people are having. Join groups on LinkedIn and similar. Don’t dive in talking about yourself, just sit back, observe and listen to what’s being said, and ask questions.
You’re on a fact finding mission, not a self-promotion tour.
Take all these questions and answers and use them to guide your keyword research.
This way you’ll at least know the copy you write or content you create is hitting the right mark.
You’re not creating relevant content
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they write for SEO (especially when they’re new to it) is they write for Google’s Algorithm.
They forget that Google isn’t their customer.
Or, they write too much about themselves and their own services. That’s why so many websites read like:
“We offer this…”
“We’re the best at this…”
Here’s the truth.
No. One. Cares.
Your customers and prospects especially don’t care about you.
They care about their own problems and their own lives. When it comes to you, the only thing they’re bothered about is how you can help them.
If you want to succeed with SEO content writing, you should write everything for your customer.
It should be relevant to the problems they have, and provide them with the information they need to solve the problem.
But wait. Why would you give away your expertise for free? Surely your customer will just go away and do the work themselves?
No, they won’t.
Because they’re not an expert and they’ll still need help doing the thing you’re telling them about.
People watch hours of videos of how to install a dividing wall in their own home. But hardly anyone is actually building one.
And those that do soon realise even with some guidance it’s harder than it looks.
So, you’re either going to get customers because people find you an expert because of the content you create.
Or, you’re going to get business from people who took your content, tried to do the thing themselves, and now need help fixing it and doing it right.
This is usually a problem for smaller websites that are just starting out in SEO, especially those in highly competitive industries.
You might not want to hear it, but results do take time for SEO.
If you’re in a competitive industry going up against websites with high authority already then it’s going to take something special to get above them.
What you’d be better doing instead is targeting longer keyword searches that have less competition.
You’ll have the added benefit of those searches coming with higher conversion rates than short-tail searches.
Plus, while some changes to Google’s ranking factors mean you’ll have a shot at ranking with short content answering specific questions, you need to invest some time and money in creating better content.
There’s so much noise online today that a couple of 600 word articles that offer high level, generic responses don’t work anymore.
You’ll basically be replicating the content from the first two pages of Google, so you won’t rank.
Instead, focus initially on creating long-form, in depth, evergreen content that will be relevant to readers in the long term.
Google might not rank it highly at first, but as your technical SEO brings results and your content creation picks up pace, these articles will start to move to the top of search results.
Feel like you need some help getting your SEO or content marketing on track?
Get in touch with us and we’ll give you a free SEO audit of your website so you know what’s going well or not.