Keywords were once considered an essential element of content marketing. Hence, the infamous term “keyword cramming” to describe putting certain keywords into an article as much as possible.

Google and other search engines have changed, though. They look beyond keywords to determine if your content is valuable enough to put on the first page of their results.

Google is looking for content that is valuable to readers. Several factors including user experience, mobile-friendliness, and page speed help determine SEO ranking. Keywords and audience-centric content go hand-in-hand in a successful content marketing strategy.

But there’s an important reason why you should begin with the user in mind.


Keywords in a Content Marketing Strategy

Keywords or SEO is one way to bring awareness to your business. A quick Google search could lead to your website, which helps bring someone into your overall content funnel.

The first page of Google results is prime real estate. People rarely go beyond the first page of a Google search. In fact, 75% of searchers don’t make it to the second page.

Even if you do end up on the front page, it’s not a guarantee of your marketing success. How many times have you randomly clicked on a website, found your answer, and then clicked away, never to return again?

Keyword research is indeed a great tactic to learn what your audience is looking up online. Paid tools like Moz can help you discover keywords you can incorporate into your content marketing strategy.

However, even though this can boost your SEO ranking, it doesn’t help your brand define a unique blend of addressing your audience’s needs and promoting your business’s expertise. In other words, focusing on keywords instead of your audience doesn’t make your content memorable.

Keywords are great for building awareness around your business, but it’s not the reason why readers turn into loyal fans.

The key to a successful content marketing strategy is to write in a way that your ideal audience feels heard and understood. Keep them hooked on your content, and you increase the chances of your content converting.

Let’s talk about what truly makes people convert based on your content.


How to Make Your Content Convert

If you want content that converts, then you need to have an “audience-first” mindset. What does your audience need?

Here are a few tips to help you figure out how to connect to your audience:


Identify Your Audience Persona

Do you know the saying, “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one?” This is why creating audience personas is vital to your content marketing success.

You may find that you are targeting multiple audiences, but as long as you tailor your content to each individual, then you may see your content convert.

Here are some elements to consider when creating an audience persona:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • What content do they engage with the most?
  • What topics do they think are interesting?
  • What are their pain points/desires?


Create Content for The Audience Personas

Now that you have created one or more audience personas, you can create content for their unique needs. For example, if you’re creating a marketing plan for a children’s toy company, then you may have multiple personas:

Persona A is a mom who is looking for educational toys for their 8-year-old.

Persona B is about to become a first-time mom and wants to know what toys a newborn can play with safely.

Persona A and B have different desires and pain points. The content you create for Persona A is going to be different from Persona B.

To connect with both personas, you need to create content for both of their needs and what information would be most useful to them in their journey to find suitable toys for their children.

This way, the unique needs of both personas are met, and they are more likely to trust your business and convert.


Ready to Create Audience-First Content?

SEO is often considered vital to business growth. This is a great strategy to raise awareness about your brand, but it’s not enough to convert a casual reader to a loyal fan.

Content that converts happens when users feel like they have gained valuable information specifically tailored to their needs. That is when they will bookmark your site and keep coming back for more. This is why you should create content that matches what your audience persona wants and not just focus on implementing keywords.

What are some ways you are creating content for your audience persona? Let us know in the comments section!