Increase Your Traffic by Understanding Your Audience
Do you have any idea how important understanding your audience actually is?
And I’m not talking about you knowing just what you blog about or what you market.
I’m talking about the different segments in your audience and what they specifically want from you
Just because you blog about food it doesn’t mean that everyone in your email list is interested in every random recipe post you write.
This makes people get tired of your content once you start to fade away from their actual interest.
And this applies to your Twitter followers, Google Plus circles, Facebook Fanpage or any other traffic generation or marketing channel that you use.
You don’t even need Cerebro to cater customized content to your audience.
Simply learning how to use all the features that the tools you have provide, like Twitter for example, it’s enough to start providing customized content to the different sub-niches, groups of people, refined audience or however you want to call it.
People often times wonder why their online marketing is not actually working. Not generating conversions.
And guess what…
…It’s not necessarily because you aren’t popular or famous, it’s not because you are not a “keynote speaker” or “author”
Yes, aiming to become an authority is important (not to fill your ego but to make sure you help masses).
But, it’s much easier if you differentiate yourself by being that much more personalized with your audience. Because every year markets are more and more crowded and it’s harder to grow.
And that’s what I have been experiencing for the last year. When I decided to be super targeted and personalized with the content I provide my audience. I even built a software to help me do that.
A report by smallbizconect, funded by the NSW government shows that one of the major businesses fail is because of lack of differentiation. And this applies if you are a content marketer too.
Here are some really good questions to ask yourself when planning your personalized marketing strategy:
- How are you reaching your prospects
- What is your audience state of mind in each channel (Facebook, Twitter, Google)
- Are you serving them properly?
- What do they really need?
Now, providing customized content can take a lot of time, but you just need to find the balance between the time you put into it and the level of personalization you need.
For example, earlier when I started to implement this strategy I wasn’t creating tons of articles specific for every audience, every day (and I’m still aren’t).
But I created super targeted social media accounts to share content about really specific topics that just happen to be Moneydiver’s categories.
Nowadays, there are articles that I write that I don’t even put on the front page of my blog
Because those are articles about super specific topics that not everyone would be interest in reading and could turn them off.
So, I public them and just share them in the places where people interested on said specific topics are, such as my Twitter discussion boards, Google Plus circles, Pinterest Boards or my segmented email lists.
Only certain articles make it to the front page of my blog, sort of like Reddit does J
But, this is obviously a challenge, because I can only write so much and it’s hard to create tons and tons of articles.
This is why a curate content in social media (not in my blog) and share the best content I can find about specific topics related to online marketing such has SEO, email marketing, conversion rate optimization, Blogging, Social Media Marketing, Podcasting, etc.
This way I make sure to provide my whole audience with a customized experience with my brand, moneydiver.
Here’s two ways you will increase your traffic understanding your audience
- Increase your search rankings: If one thing I have learned is that Google is really smart, they understand the level of experience your customers get in your website and it rewards you for it with higher rankings.
A way that it knows is by your content and categories structure and by your bounce rates (the amount of people that visits more than one page inside your site or stays longer than 30 seconds).
Google is ALL about customization, they have said so countless times. Here’s a video where Matt Cutts talks about user experience.
- Social media shares and viral traffic: What are you most likely to share? An article or an article that talks specifically about the topic you like the most in an industry?
People are most likely to share content that solves their specific problems, fulfil their needs or meets their personality.
They have over 20 segmented accounts.
Moneydiver has six, and we and Mashable do that to keep our tribes properly served increasing our brand awareness and likeability.
- Increase email traffic: You will understand a little more this when you reach the bottom of the article but the idea is that when you share specific content with your segmented email lists, your email open rates (the amount of people that opens your email against those who don’t) and your click through rates, will increase… which increase your traffic.
Now I want to show you two things you can do right now to start implementing a personalized content marketing strategy.
Understanding and Segmenting Your Audience
If you have a brand new blog or website, think of 3 or 4 ways you would categorize it. Close your eyes, concentrate and create these 4 segments.
As your blog grows you can create more and more segments, try to be organized, realistic and do your research.
I mentioned a couple categories inside moneydiver, use that as an example to create yours.
A food website (I love this one, I use it all the time). A food blog could be divided in SO MANY categories, Italian, Spanish food, Chinese, etc.
If you have an established blog with incoming traffic, you can also apply what I said above but you can look at your most popular and high ranking pages or posts, those that bring in the most traffic and create segments of your audience based on that.
Put signup forms of your segmented email lists that will target them based on the specific topic they are looking for when coming to your site.
Or direct them to your targeted social channels (more of this below).
In order to understand your audience you think to consider things like
Where do they hang out online?
How receptive is the community?
What mood are they in at the places they hangout? If they are coming to your site from Google, they are searching for answers straight away, Facebook is good for entertainment posts such as my top earning websites post. Twitter is mobile, people are usually on the go when using Twitter.
Now let’s understand the most popular topics on each of these categories
Finding Popular Posts and Writing For Your Audience
There’s several ways to find hot topics in any niche. Writing for your audience and providing what they truly like will make your life a lot easier in terms of business growth.
Buzzsumo will show you the most shared content in the internet on a selected period of time for specific topics and keywords.
You can enter any topic and see how many shares it gets on the top social networks.
Reddit has these discussion boards called sub-reddits, which are basically subsections of Reddit that are specific for every industry or topic.
They rank content based on up votes and down votes and they are super strict with their antispam policy
Go there and find sub-reddits relevant to the topic you want to write about, find a shared topic and analyse people’s behaviour with it.
The keyword planner tool will tell you how many searches a specific word or phrase has on a monthly basis, it will also tell you where this searches are coming from, which is important when writing your content, you want to consider the cultural background of the audience you are targeting with your content.
This is probably the most important one considering the next step of this strategy.
Simply use it to search trending hashtags about the topic you want to talk about.
Also use it to search for people asking questions about topics related to the topics you want to write about.
And so many more tools, but that will be a whole article on itself in a near future.
Distribution Channels For Your Personalized Content
Now you will want to share your content in ways you can target very specific people through the following channels in order to achieve a successful communication, again, this will increase your search rankings and your social exposur:
- The first one is Twitter
You can either create a branded twitter account and that last part, branded, is super important. You have to tell people that that account is a subaccount of your main brand, blog or website and explain why, they will love that.
Or, you can create Twitter lists…
…Where each list would be a category or subtopic or whatever you want to call it and you can simply choose to share certain tweets with that specific list.
I recommend that you do the account diversification one, because that way you can connect with people that are asking questions about each topic, answer their questions and grow your Twitter followers.
This is obviously a great strategy to increase your followership fast; this is how I have been able to grow from 4,000 to over 16,000 in three months (at the time this post was written), I’m releasing a case study video on this soon.
- The next one is Google Plus.
Google plus allows you to create Circles, but you already know this…
This shows you how much Google believes in the whole segmentation concept.
You can create Circles for the different categories in your website and share the customized content with them. Let me refresh you that customized content can be content created by you for those specific people, or content created by others that you would curate and share because you know your audience will love it.
- Pinterest Boards
Similar to Google Plus, you can create boards on Pinterest. This network is much more visual so you might to keep that in mind, infographics and images work fantastic here.
I have boards on the major categories of my blog, and some on wedding dresses and cakes….wait what?
- Segmented Email Lists
Using an email marketing tool like Aweber, you can create different lists for the different people coming to your site to make sure that you share targeted, customized content with them.
You can grab your sign up forms from this lists to make sure you collect the emails of your audience and put them in the correct list, you might also want to give away a customized hook (a hook is what you give away in exchange for their email, some people call it ethical bribe).
This way you can send relevant articles to each segment and you will know they will like it. This will increase your email open rates and click through rates.
- Smartduu Themes
This is a bit of a shameless self-promotion, but I would do you wrong if I don’t let you know about this.
Smartduu is a provider of WordPress themes that allows you display different versions of your website to each individual based on what they want to see.
[cerebro-content-area id=”cg4″]For example I know that you are subscribed to my list and thanks to Cerebro I can display this paragraph ONLY TO YOU[/cerebro-content-area]
[cerebro-content-area id=”cg5″]I know for example that you didn’t come to this post through my email and thanks to Cerebro you get to see this specific paragraph.[/cerebro-content-area]
[cerebro-content-area id=”cg7″]Thanks to having a Smartduu Theme, I know that you want to learn about affiliate marketing and so I focus on providing as much information about it as I can.[/cerebro-content-area]
Here’s how that previous paragraph looks on the back-end:
I created Smartduu and the Cerebro WordPress Framework because I noticed that Amazon.com and Google where strongly using segmentation strategies and displaying different content to different people to improve the user experience, I wanted that so I created something that did the same thing for WordPress sites.
Ok, let’s breathe and make sure to soak in all the information.
The strategy is simple: Understand and segment your audience > Share customized content through effective channels and harvest the results your deserve.
Remember that in order to stand out from the crowd you need to be super considerate with your audience, provide them with an experience that no one else does and you will grow a tribe and a community that truly appreciates and enjoys what you create.
This can be scale to unimaginable levels, just let your imagination go wild for a second and think of how targeted you can be with your audience.
I have some big plans for next year and I’m creating a huge team to be able to achieve those goals related to this strategy.
What are your thoughts? What four categories would you create for your blog? Share them with everyone