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Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style

From: SEO Fundamentals

Video: Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style

Defining and understanding your target audience is the first step to writing content for them. Attracting just anyone to your website isn't so hard. It's attracting the right kind of people and offering the right topics in the right tone and style that's a challenge. A good way to start is to simply ask the question, who are the people that we want visiting our site and what roles would they play in an organization? From here we can go through the exercise of understanding how they're using online channels and where we might be able to message or engage them.

Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style

Defining and understanding your target audience is the first step to writing content for them. Attracting just anyone to your website isn't so hard. It's attracting the right kind of people and offering the right topics in the right tone and style that's a challenge. A good way to start is to simply ask the question, who are the people that we want visiting our site and what roles would they play in an organization? From here we can go through the exercise of understanding how they're using online channels and where we might be able to message or engage them.

A great tool to start off with is the Forrester Technographics Profile Tool. This tool can help provide insight into how your end consumer uses different technologies today. For example, if we were targeting a group of US males between the ages of 45 and 54, we can see that the majority of them are what we call spectators. This means that they often spend their time on blogs, videos, podcast, forums and reviews, but they're reading, and not necessarily contributing. Knowing this, we might tailor our content to these formats, and we know we'll need to work harder to get any user-generated content from these folks.

Once we know what kinds of content our target audience is consuming and we've identified who they are, we'll need to dive in and look at our topics. Ultimately, users are typing keywords into search engines. And keywords remain the core and foundation of SEO. So when it comes to choosing topics, we'll want to tie them to the keywords we've chosen, based on relevance, search volume, and competition during our keyword research process. You'll also want to look at tools like Google Insights for Search to monitor industry trends and understand what's popular among your target audience.

And what's being searched for and discussed. Matching your topics to what's popular and being searched for will maximize the size of the potential audience that you're catering to. Next, you can employ the concept of filling in the gaps. Odds are good that someone else already wrote something about your topic. And the last thing the Internet needs is more pages talking about the same old thing. Instead, figure out what's missing out there and fill in those holes. Monitor what your competitors are writing about, but more importantly, monitor what they're not writing about.

These are great opportunities for you to offer unique perspectives and even more value. Once we've identified who we are writing for and what we are writing about, the last thing we need to do is define our content angles. This is really nothing more than the approach to writing your content, and it should be consistent and appropriate to the audience that you're speaking to. Are you writing technical articles for rocket scientists to read, or lighthearted commentaries on the state of the entertainment industry? There are very different tones for each. And above all, remember that while we're doing all this to support our business objectives and ultimately some kind of sales, no one wants to read a blatant sales pitch. We need to offer up something of real value, content that's compelling and useful to the reader.

When you're deciding how to angle and position your content, you will want to consider a couple more areas of importance. First, be original. Whatever you write, take the time to make sure that it's unique and that it comes from your own voice. You want to bring something new to the table that will excite your readers, that they can't find anywhere else. Whether you decide to be humorous or put a creative twist to your content, it needs to keep them engaged or even entertained from beginning to end. When they're done reading it, they should be thinking, I now know something interesting that I didn't know before. Or even better, they'll be thinking, I need to share that with my friends.

From a format perspective, you'll want to think about the style of content that you're putting together. Will you be writing a blog post or informative-style articles? Are you taking a comparative style where you contrast product A with product B? What about discussing a before and after scenario, or a how-to walk-through? And remember that content isn't just text; pictures are worth a thousand words. And you can even use video to capture sights and sounds to convey complex concepts or to make something more tangible to a user. By understanding who you're writing for, what you're writing about, and what style you are writing in, you'll be cementing the foundations of thoughtful, unique, and relevant content that will wow both human readers and search engines alike.

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This video is part of

Image for SEO Fundamentals
SEO Fundamentals

64 video lessons · 45681 viewers

David Booth
Author

 
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  1. 1m 34s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the Facilitator's Guide
      15s
  2. 11m 46s
    1. What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
      4m 6s
    2. Reading a search engine results page
      2m 17s
    3. How SEO affects your business
      2m 38s
    4. Setting SEO expectations
      2m 45s
  3. 20m 49s
    1. Why you need a keyword research plan
      2m 47s
    2. How to research keywords
      3m 23s
    3. Tools to help you analyze keywords
      4m 43s
    4. Understanding keyword attributes
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding keyword distribution
      3m 50s
    6. Ongoing keyword evaluation
      2m 20s
  4. 26m 8s
    1. Understanding content optimization
      2m 14s
    2. Optimizing for site structure
      3m 41s
    3. Recognizing different types of content
      2m 23s
    4. Optimizing textual page elements
      8m 30s
    5. Optimizing non-text components of a web page
      4m 0s
    6. Analyzing content quality
      2m 39s
    7. Exploring the benefits of user-generated content
      2m 41s
  5. 22m 12s
    1. Interpreting the code behind web pages
      3m 9s
    2. Understanding how search engines index content
      2m 37s
    3. Working with canonical URLs and redirects
      2m 59s
    4. Leveraging microformats
      2m 39s
    5. Working with server-side factors
      3m 18s
    6. Using Google Webmaster Tools
      3m 58s
    7. Using Bing Webmaster Tools
      3m 32s
  6. 30m 53s
    1. Overview of long-term content strategizing
      2m 44s
    2. Planning a successful content strategy and avoiding common mistakes
      3m 46s
    3. Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
      4m 17s
    4. Understanding different types of content
      4m 25s
    5. Getting ideas for content
      4m 0s
    6. Working with an editorial calendar
      3m 33s
    7. Promoting your content with social media
      3m 52s
    8. Measuring content performance
      4m 16s
  7. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of links
      4m 49s
    2. Building internal links
      2m 5s
    3. Building external links
      4m 19s
    4. Finding link-building opportunities
      4m 36s
    5. Executing a link-building strategy
      2m 39s
  8. 16m 32s
    1. Measuring SEO performance
      4m 10s
    2. Analyzing keywords
      5m 13s
    3. Analyzing links
      4m 9s
    4. Analyzing the impact of social media
      3m 0s
  9. 18m 45s
    1. Understanding SEO and ecommerce
      2m 36s
    2. Working with semantic HTML
      2m 22s
    3. The technical components of ecommerce
      3m 9s
    4. Exploring ecommerce information architecture
      2m 38s
    5. Producing ecommerce content
      2m 33s
    6. Leveraging link building and social media for ecommerce
      3m 12s
    7. Adapting ecommerce websites for international audiences
      2m 15s
  10. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding local search
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding Google+ Local
      3m 0s
    3. Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local
      4m 46s
    4. Getting more citations
      3m 52s
    5. Getting more reviews for your business
      3m 43s
    6. Optimizing your website for local search
      4m 13s
    7. The future of local search
      2m 50s
  11. 15m 48s
    1. Understanding cultural aspects of international SEO
      2m 30s
    2. Optimizing technical content for international audiences
      2m 57s
    3. Optimizing translated and localized content
      2m 9s
    4. Building links for an international audience
      2m 47s
    5. Analyzing and measuring an international SEO campaign
      2m 17s
    6. Avoiding pitfalls with international SEO
      3m 8s
  12. 1m 10s
    1. Determining your next steps
      1m 10s

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