Who came first: the user or the search engine? Spoiler alert. It was the user who had the query first, which then triggered the search engine to find the best answer.
We say this a lot—maybe even too much—but honestly, we all need reminding. When it comes to writing for the web, you need to write for the user first and search engine second.
Yes, optimizing your landing page or blog post with headers, alt titles, meta tags, etc. is important for keyword rankings, but if you’re doing it correctly, it should actually help users, too—creating a seamless experience for them to navigate your site.
Audience Writing 101
For the sake of this topic, let’s pretend you already know who your target audience is (or audiences are), including their demographic, location, and behaviors. With this information in hand, let’s now review three effective tips for writing for this audience.
1.) Pain Points
Yup, we all got our troubles. That’s why we have so many amazing small businesses across the country that provide products or services that solve a particular need and make our lives both enjoyable and simpler.
So, when you’re writing for your target audience, aside from knowing who this group is (or maybe it’s more than one group), you’ll want to know what’s ailing them, too.
This shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, it’s likely you started your business to fulfill a particular want/need you saw lacking in your market.
Once you identify your audience’s pain points, make sure you address and solve these nuisances in your writing and with the resources you provide. Let’s look at one of our favorite examples:
- The King Arthur brand knows that its customers love to bake. They also know that these same individuals can run into a whole mess of kitchen drama in pursuit of this passion—crumbly cookies, flat bread, soggy cake centers.
- That’s why they’ve created a baker’s hotline to help their audience master both basic and advanced bread-making skills. Frustrated bakers can easily call or chat their questions and get the answers they need in seconds.
Of course, you don’t have to set up a live chat, unless you want, to address your customer’s pain points. In fact, King Arthur also has a host of other online content, including how-to guides, recipes, and videos to aid their users during the complexities of baking.
2.) Header Tags
Headers are a great example of how good SEO creates a better user experience: “They can indirectly influence your rankings by making your content easier and more enjoyable for visitors to read, and by providing keyword-rich context about your content for the search engines” (SEJ).
When writing for your audience, you want to make sure you’re utilizing headers to break up the text and make it easier to scan the information. In this way, you’re allowing users to find the answers they need quickly. Let’s look at another great example of this:
- Many of their longer-form articles include headers and subcategories to help the user find what they need instantly.
- In their article on how to create a better landing page, you can see how the headers are optimized and structured by the level of knowledge of a landing page to reach a wider audience of people.
Yes, there is the worry that once users find what they need, they’ll bounce. Sometimes, they do, but if they find what they’re looking for from your site, there’s a greater chance they’ll want to return later for related questions—thereby positioning you as an authority on a particular subject.
You want your website to make as little work for your users as possible. This way they spend more time reading/listening/watching your content vs. trying to find it.
Life gets complicated, and sometimes, you just want some answers. A frequently asked questions page on your site is yet another great SEO strategy, as it allows you to implement popular questions your users might be asking in the SERPs.
It’s also effective because it helps customers feel more confident about purchasing a product or service from your brand because they have the answers upfront and are better prepared to make an informed decision. Remember, knowledge is power!
Need a great example of a company’s FAQs page?
- Mailchimp pretty much lists every possible question you could think of when using their product.
- The best part is they designed the page to include subcategories that pertain to different skill levels and familiarness with their product.
- That means if I’m a new user, I pretty much stay at the beginning of the page and work my way down. But, if I’m a seasoned pro with a few technical questions, I can skip down the list. Simple yet effective!
The best way to get content for a FAQ’s page is by asking your sales team to come up with a list of at least 10 questions they receive on a daily or weekly basis. If you don’t have a dedicated sales team, can you or your employees think of a few questions you get asked frequently?
Gather those questions together and create a FAQs page for users to find and for you to direct them to.
Need Help Writing for Your Audience?
In addition to creating responsive website design and development, our team also specializes in content creation. From brand strategy and storytelling to web and SEO writing, we can help you write for and engage your target audience with quality content that keeps them coming back.
To learn how we can help, contact us today for a consultation!