It can feel like you’re being drowned out and that your efforts are wasted trying to be found online. You work super hard on that amazing blog of yours, tweet your heart out, and pin like crazy—only to find that people just aren’t finding you or your work online. It can feel like an uphill battle for most digital entrepreneurs and bloggers because it’s easy to be overcome by the noise of the internet.
Take a look at the brands and people you admire online. What do they have in common? You’ll notice that they are focused on better serving their audience than the rest and make savvy moves to address problems, needs, and desires their audience has. They’re strategic in what they choose to focus on, how they deliver content, and how they convert visitors into paying customers. They aren’t drowned out by internet chatter because they’re able to exist above it and even benefit from the noise surrounding them.
The first assumption is that these people have been around long enough to gain traction—but that’s not exactly true. We’ve all seen that blogger that somehow just gets it and attracts a massive audience in just a few months. Meanwhile, we’ve been toiling away for years for what can feel like a pittance.
The truth is, cutting through the noise has nothing to do with how long you’ve been online. It has to do with having a serious, well-thought out plan put together and executing that plan strategically and thoughtfully. SEO can help you get the pieces put together and create a killer plan.
Define Your Audience’s Problems
You might assume that SEO is all about keywords but it’s how you get to the keywords that really matters. Great SEO focuses in on why an audience is turning to search and how they articulate that into search terms. The methods behind determining an SEO direction can help you better understand your audience and create better content that helps you cut through the noise, as well as get found for your content.
The first step to doing SEO is investigating what your audience needs and how you can fill that need. To get started, it requires some deep digging into what unique content you can provide—not what makes you unique. This is a tricky caveat for many bloggers who often try to do serious soul searching to define what’s special about themselves rather than their content. Instead of getting bogged down in emotional baggage about blogging, successful online entrepreneurs think about how they can provide amazing, unique content that allows them to cut through the noise. Their uniqueness shines through in their content without being the sole focus of their work.
Think about what unique and highly valuable content you can create for your audience that helps solve their problems, rather than what about you they want to hear about.
Figure Out How Your Audience Feels About Their Problems
Once you have a clear idea of what you audience needs help with and how your content can really help them, the next step is to figure out how they talk about their problems. This is where SEO keyword research comes into play. But before you focus on exact keyword phrases to use in your content, it’s important to understand the way your audience talks about their problems. What kind of language do they use? What kinds of emotions and feelings pop up when it comes to talking about your niche? Before you can dig into exact phrases for SEO keyword use, it’s important to understand the tone and sentiment behind how your audience talks about their problems.
You’ll find that people tend to talk about your niche and the problems they’re having in the same way. What blocks do you see as common barriers for your audience? The most successful digital entrepreneurs are loved by their audience because of their positive energy, encouragement and deep understanding of their audiences. If you want to be a entrepreneur who makes a living with their website, you need to show empathy in your content to build trust. Successful online entrepreneurs’ audiences know immediately that they are understood, heard, and can rely on what the top blogger shares with them.
Building trust and getting people to like you is a lifelong skill but it’s no secret that focusing on your audience and making them feel special and understood is a big part of it.
Start investigating with your audience and ask questions. See how they respond and analyze the language they use. What emotions come through? And what can you do to acknowledge and break through those barriers?
Translate it to SEO Work
When we talk about SEO, everyone’s minds immediately jump straight to doing keyword research, looking at traffic estimates, writing alt-text descriptions and other SEO tasks. But the truth is, no amount of keyword optimization can fix not really understanding your audience. Now that you know your audience’s problems and the tone and language they use when talking about their problems, it’s time to take it to keyword research and content creation.
What kinds of content does your audience need? The most successful bloggers make their audiences reevaluate their thought processes and challenge preconceived ideas to help transform their audiences. How can you transform your audience, based on what you learned about their language habits?
If you’ve discovered that your audience feels negatively about themselves when it comes to your niche, positive, encouraging content that incorporates negative emotion keywords into the copy is right up your alley. Since your audience has a negative perspective, they’re likely searching with keywords with negative connotations. It’s up to you to turn those on their heads and get your audience to break through their barriers.
Take a look at the tone your audience uses and the words that keep turning up in your research. How can you incorporate those into your text and keyword research? Put these keywords into keyword research tool and start figuring out which word combinations and phrases will help bring you the most traffic. Since you already know your audience is focused on these words, you’re well ahead when it comes to cutting through the noise.
Next Steps in SEO
SEO tends to focus on plugging keywords into the right places because that’s the easy part of SEO. When you get deep down into SEO, it’s a lot more in tune with emotions and feelings than you’d originally think! Don’t let the technical aspects of SEO dissuade you from using SEO strategies in your digital work. SEO isn’t the easiest thing in the world—but it’s not the hardest either. SEO something you can work on that will positively impact other parts of your business well beyond what words to use in your text.