Guest Post by Sarah Arrow.
But did you know it?
Okay, a confession before we get to the meat of the post – I knew you would read me, so I chose a provocative, chatty headline rather than a more effective one. But more on that later.
As bloggers we all understand the importance of having the right headline.
(but here’s a quick refresher – the right headline attracts the right reader to your blog post because it talks directly to them).
You know to include a benefit driven headline. And you know that a keyword or phrase is important in the headline in order to get found… you include a hashtag in the headline (#Blogging #ReadMe #VeryImportantPost) so how come you are not attracting the right readers to your blog posts?
Two things –
- You don’t write for your ideal reader no matter how targeted your headline is
- And you don’t optimize your posts, on page, for SEO
Writing for your ideal reader is fairly easy to do.
You sit down old school style, with a coffee and a pen and paper and you write down everything you know about your ideal reader. Everything.
- What time she wakes up in the morning,
- What she has for breakfast,
- What she wears and where she buys those clothes.
- Does she go to work or drop off the kids?
You write about her day, her thoughts and how she reacts to situations and then you get down and dirty with her issues.
- What keeps her awake at night?
- What leaves her staring at the ceiling at 4am, listening to the dog (does she have a dog?) snoring.
- What tugs at the edge of her mind as she sips her morning coffee?
When you know all of this, you know how to solve her problems.
Solving her problems is something you will do in a series of laser targeted blog posts, posts that speak directly to you ideal reader. Posts that she feels a connection with – like you truly understand her and her needs. She feels like you are talking solely to her, it feels kinda intimate but it’s highly effective.
Some bloggers think by solving your readers problems that you are losing business. Okay let’s be clear here, sometimes solving a problems means offering a paid solution. Sometimes it’s a tutorial on how to use a paid solution and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a video or a how-to post showing them the way.
This is known as demonstrating your capability, it’s also known as showing your expertise and blogger’s do it to build trust and reassure the reader that they are in the right place. We all want our readers to feel safe and trust us, right? You want them to get in touch and subscribe to your services. So how come you don’t do this in your posts and headlines?
On Page SEO
As I mentioned above there is a well known SEO formula that goes along the lines of
mention in the headline the keywords you want to be found for, mention them in the opening paragraph and mention them in the closing paragraph and that’s it, you are all on page SEO’d up.
Awesome, if only that worked…
You need a little more than the above for your SEO to work.
Use your SEO plugin, or the SEO options on your theme. Yeah we all know about them, but you have to use them.
Well actually, I lie. You don’t have to use them and the chances are you don’t use the WordPress SEO stuff on every post. And that’s fine. But how do the search engines know who to send you? How do they know what lines of your posts are relevant to your ideal reader?
Crafting the right type of headlines is just one of the things you can do to quickly improve your SEO.
Remember my headline that had no benefits… that’s not what the search engines see. They see this instead, courtesy of Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin.
That highlighted yellow SEO title talks to my ideal reader; someone who wants their blog posts to get the right kind of traffic and convert them.
Sure, the “hey you” title is what shows on Twitter and I’ll get some curiosity clicks… By telling the search engines what the content is about means I’ll get the right kind of reader to my post, and they’ll feel safe and reassured that they are in the right place.
Over to you, what do you do to attract the right kind of traffic to your blog?