What happens when you put hours and HOURS of work into your content, but none into your site? Not much, actually. And that’s fine if you want to run an unsuccessful blog that burns a hole in your back pocket. You might be thinking, “My content is what’s really important, right? My website is just a shell that surrounds my content, and just a way to get a link for social media, right? My audience is over on Facebook constantly, if I’m getting good views there, why should I spend time on anything else? Right??”
Wrong. If you want to DRAMATICALLY increase your audience and start hitting goals, you need to take the importance away from social media. Consider the kind of users who live on social media – slaves to their phones and the mind-numbing social media landscape. Your content is fighting clickbait, cat videos, breaking news, friends’ updates AND advertising. While social media is a great way to establish your brand and communicate with your audience, it’s not the #1 revenue-increasing solution – and it’s not even the best way to reach your IDEAL audience.
Who is your ideal audience? Hint: it has nothing to do with niche. Whether you’re targeting young parents, car enthusiasts or jewellery makers, the most important portion of your audience is those who WANT your content. Sure, regular readers and followers want your content, but do they NEED it? It’s time to focus on those who are hungry for what you’re offering. Wondering how to find them? You don’t – they’re already looking for you.
When you need an answer, how do you find it? You already know how, but think about WHY. You can search Facebook for brands and groups that MIGHT have the answer you want, but how easy will it be to find it in the midst of self-promotion & noise? Instagram only allows you to search for names or hashtags – not very helpful if you’re looking for a plumber in your area. YouTube might tell you how to swim, it doesn’t know your local pool’s opening hours. Social media is a minefield for finding answers when you need them, and that’s exactly why most of us, most of the time, turn to good ol’ search engines to find what we need, instantly.
Google anything you like and you’ll usually get a never-ending stream of results. There’s plenty of links for you to find what you need, and you usually don’t have to travel very far. Search engines filter and tailor content to deliver exactly the answer you’re looking for within the first few links, or even directly inside the results page (helloo, Google Rich Cards!). No unrelated ads, annoying announcements or cringe-worthy updates, just an answer.
Go on, convince me.
Did you know there are 936 million Facebook users active every day? Too bad most of them are ignoring most of what they see. Let’s not forget, there’s an entire portion of the population that DON’T use Facebook (or watch Game of Thrones). On top of that, our social media use is shifting drastically – towards isolated platforms and lessened use. On the other hand, there are 1.6 BILLION Google searches every day. Yep, every. single. day. That’s 1.6 billion chances someone is looking for exactly what you’re offering. Remember, each search is someone actively looking for an answer – you just need to get in front of them. Unfortunately, getting found isn’t quite as easy as just smashing out a post and whacking it on your site – your site NEEDS to be Google friendly – you can find out more about SEO here.
Your blog is a resource
Your content tells a story, captures your knowledge, and as far as Google is concerned, answers a question – even if you don’t realise it. To get inside the mind of a search engine, you need to rethink what a ‘question’ means. Luckily, search engines often compensate for human laziness and love of ellipsis and will fill in the blanks that we so often leave – such as phrasing a search as an actual question.
If you search for ‘broken gate’, what results would you expect to see? You might be looking for an image of a broken gate, for a symbolic blog post. Or maybe, you’re looking for a handyman to fix the one at your house. Perhaps you’re looking to learn how to fix it yourself and need a quick tutorial, as well as a new set of hinges that can ship the same day. OR, you might even be looking for an Australian vineyard. If you want to narrow down your search, you might go for “How to fix a broken gate YouTube”, or “Broken Gate wines”. Whatever it is, you’ll find what you’re after, guaranteed.
So, which questions can your blog answer? Do you review baby products, and write about particular parenting experiences? Perhaps you have the answers to ‘best toddler car seat’, and ‘how to deal with teething’ on your site, and a whole range of alternative searches (like ‘car seat review’ or ‘teething hacks’). The key is linking each post to a searchable ‘question’ and sending out clear signals to search engines about your content.
Don’t believe us?
Before we got in touch, SkinnyMixers didn’t utilise SEO. Nikalene Riddle had established herself in a niche community and nurtured her social followers – all great for brand building and awareness. Her traffic wasn’t abysmal, but she never imagined the heights it could reach by simply directing the focus to her own site. After whizzing over her site with our SEO Superheroes course, SkinnyMixers saw a MAJOR uptick in real traffic – NOT time wasters. Want nearly 40,000 new visitors EVERY month? SkinnyMixers got just that, a matter of months after completing our course. Her January year-on-year traffic increased by 204,884 sessions, on top of all those new readers.
Oh, and the best part? SEO IS FREE! Facebook sponsored posts are looking a little sad now, aren’t they?