There may be all this talk about Search Engine Optimization, but have you ever properly considered your blog’s readers?
You know your blog is nothing without your readers, so for goodness sake don’t neglect them! They’re not the same as the spiders crawling around the web responding only to algorithms.
We ought to not lose sight of Reader Optimization, and how important it is for your blog posts. This Infographic explains what I mean:
And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
I once read this statement: “A blog without content is like a cheese sandwich”. And the same could be said for a blog without readers, though the cruelty afforded here could be lessened somewhat.
Getting readers is hard. We all know that.
In the olden days, the adage “Build it and they will come” doesn’t hold water any more. Not surprising really, considering the amount of blogs there are now in the blogosphere. Somebody will happily quote you a series of figures, but we all know that by tomorrow these will be out of date.
Understand all readers are valuable
Are you writing for your readers, or more for yourself or your company?
If you’re blogging for business you need to get out of your head that you shouldn’t be attracting only your potential customers.
That’s a really tall order. Even if you are selling a world-wide brand.
Get on the right side of your readers, whatever their capacity, and you will have an army of advocates who will promote your business for you.
They may not be your ideal clients, but if you have convinced them enough of the benefits of your products or services, encourage them to talk about the content of your posts to their friends, neighbours, colleagues or whatever.
This can be both on- and offline, as who knows where your next customer will come from?
Are you giving them what they want?
A blog that puts its readers first and foremost, writing about subjects that interest them, is more likely to succeed
What are your readers interested in? Most likely themselves. Everybody has innate programming to consider “What’s in it for me?” whenever they read something on the net.
Therefore you need to find out what this is, and twist your story around to their point of view.
Start thinking like they do, find out what words they use so you can use them too, provide a beneficial ‘hook’ that will draw them in and keep them enthralled right to the end of your post.
For some it will be difficult to step into their readers’ shoes. But unless you undertake suitable market research, not only gathering together demographic data, but really analysing what goes through your readers’ minds, you will find it more difficult to properly converse with them, both on and off the blog.
It’s all about communication
That’s what business blogs are for. To communicate with your readers.
And as your blog has the power, if used correctly, to reach a massive amount of potential readers, you need to put in place Reader Optimization to make your blog posts more approachable, readable, and understandable.
How often have you started to read a blog post and instantly become bored?
How often have you been met with a wall of text and been put off from reading it?
How often have you been enticed in by a headline, only to be bitterly disappointed with the content?
How often have you read a blog and immediately worked out what the keyword is because of the number of times it has appeared in the first paragraph?
Digital marketing gurus bang on about the importance of SEO – but we all know how notoriously difficult this is to achieve good results, especially if it’s used badly. So why don’t we all abandon this lost cause and start thinking more about our readers?
Even Google has woken up (so they claim) about the importance of good writing, good communication, good reader interaction. They may have severely downgraded Google Authorship, which was supposed to reward good writers, but the recent upgrades of their algorithms take note of social interaction regarding writing on the web.
And social interaction can only come from creating a good relationship with your blog readers. Using Reader Optimization will improve your posts, making them more likely to be shared and commented on. And this will happen if you successfully think, speak, and respond like your readers do.
Are you writing for Reader Optimization?
Those who understand SEO will know that I have optimized this subhead. And those who have read my Infographic will also know why I have added a subhead. The clever thing is that I have combined both reasons!
OK, I have succumbed to the SEO by Yoast plugin used on this blog, and I would be mad not to. But it is actually only a guide, and I don’t rule my posts through it.
The real impact is how I am communicating with you. The fact that you have read this far is proof.
If I had written a boring, stuffy, academic piece about the importance of SEO, probably written in a thousand different ways by other people, you would not be here now. The click of the back button would have done its worst!
But I’m asking how much have you considered your readers when you write in your blog? Do they take priority? Do you give them something tangible they can take away and implement immediately, making their lives better?
That last point is most valid. A blog post that is optimized for its readers will have a proper purpose, an aim to improve its readers’ wellbeing, a reason for it to be remembered and therefore acted upon.
And I have mentioned this now, because the two most memorable parts of a post are at the beginning and the end. That’s why call to actions and post-scripts are valuable marketing ploys!