When considering SEO, it’s easy to focus on keywords. And for good reason. At the core of any successful SEO strategy is proper research and use of keywords. However, with all the focus on the strategic use of words that build your content – whether it be a web page, eBook, or case study – you want to make sure the quality of the content is not being sacrificed for the strategy. And by quality I mean how readable and appealing your content is to the target audience. Because if your content is not interesting to them, you won’t get the results you want- no matter how effectively you employ keywords.
This can be especially true in B2B, where there can be the tendency to produce dry content because business professionals are the target audience. In fact, Heather Lloyd-Martin from SEO Content Institute recently said in an interview “Some industries expect content to be dry and boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, you need to get facts to the buyer. But factual and boring aren’t the same thing”.
So what steps can you take to make sure you’re not producing content that will make your prospects fall asleep in their chair? Here are 3 tips:
1. Watch your tone
In B2B, just because you’re marketing to business professionals doesn’t mean your content needs to read like a textbook, no matter how technical your product or service may be. Prospects are going to relate best to materials that read like people talk. Meaning the writing should flow in a conversational style. This will help the piece seem more inviting to read and allow the prospects to easily connect with it. I think a ‘business casual’ style of writing works best, where your content would read as if you were having a conversation with the prospect during a meeting or at a trade show.
2. Use storytelling
Effective storytelling works just as well in B2B as it does in B2C. When making a purchase decision for a product or service, business buyers are obviously motivated by improving the bottom line. However, personal motivations can play just as large of a role. Maybe it could help them get a promotion, or even just save enough time to be home earlier for their families. Whatever the reason, storytelling can keep your content interesting by helping clearly express benefits that appeal to both the business and personal buying motivations of your prospects.
3. Have people outside the target audience read the content
One way to effectively test how engaging your content is to have people who are not in the target audience read it. This allows you to see where your content falls on the ‘readability scale’. Because even though they may have no knowledge, interest, or use for your product, they can provide useful feedback on how well it flows. You and your team know your audience, so you already know its ‘useful’ content for them. The question you’re trying to answer with this exercise is “Is it written in an appealing, conversational-style where anyone can make their way through it and get the general idea?”
Hope these tips help. Interested in more on SEO best practices?
Don’t miss AMA Charlotte’s digital marketing event this Tuesday 10/18 at UNION: Performing SEO audits with Sona Medspa’s CMO Rene Fielder and Digital Marketing Director Brett Lutz.