It’s time we face the facts. Google has changed their algorithm once again. Keywords alone are no longer king. Today’s algorithms have gotten more specific and Google’s “bots” are now scanning for content creation and the quality of content rather than just keyword density.

These changes will impact your website’s search engine optimization score and, if left uncorrected, your placement in web search results. It has become increasingly important to provide a high-quality descriptive narrative of what your business does and the benefits your products or services provide to the consumer. Here are some tips on compelling content creation.

Clearly define your customer profiles

When asked what their ideal customer looks like, some businesses have difficulty identifying key attributes beyond “has income.” You need to define your current customer base as well as potential customers in order to target your content to different groups. For example, a financial planner may know their current customers are in the baby boomer demographic, as they are nearing retirement, but may not have considered the children of this aging population who may soon be coming into wealth through inheritances.

So how do you define a customer profile? Stick to their key characteristics. These profiles should be based on consumer demographics such as age, gender, education level, income, likes, and location. Let’s say one of your segments is the millennial generation. Some of their defining traits would be:

■ Between the ages of 20 and 36

■ Most likely single or dating, since only 21 percent of millennials are married

■ The median income for younger millennials is $25,000, while it’s almost double that ($48,000) for older millennials

■ Top markets by concentration of millennials are primarily in the western side of the country

■ Interested in diet and exercise for both appearance and health reasons

■ Cares about peers’ opinions

■ Tech-savvy, active online (Source: marketingcharts.com/demographics-and-audiences-40016)

Knowing this information increases your ability to communicate with consumers in this market. You can use this information to create social posts or offers tailored to them specifically, thereby increasing your chances to capture new customers.

Personalize content

Generic marketing is on the decline. Companies are increasingly speaking to their customers’ specific interests. Using the customer profiles you have compiled, start thinking about content creation and how to personalize the content you deliver.

Does your target customer prefer watching videos you publish over reading your blogs? Are they opening your emails or finding their way to your website through social media channels? Digging a little deeper, you can find out user likes and interests. If you can publish content that speaks to your prospect, you may soon capture a new lead for your business.

Focus on benefits 
over features

Many companies use their web copy to extol their virtues, focusing on accomplishments and aspects that make them stand out from their competition. While this is valuable information, this is not why customers are visiting your site. People mainly care about what your company can do for them. They are interested in how your products will make their lives easier or solve their problems. For example, all hotels feature a room with a bed and a television. However, the benefit of a pillow-soft mattress is a better night’s sleep; the benefit of a 50-inch, HD, flat-screen TV is a better entertainment experience.

Include content that tells customers about your products and emphasizes why using your products and services will make their lives better.

Back your content with relevant data

A tried and true way to establish credibility is to provide statistical data.

Quotes from industry experts, statistics, and original research serve to strengthen your position.

For example, a great statistic for an agency that manages social media strategy is “31.2 percent of Mesa County residents spend between 1 and 4 hours on social media every day and 68 percent of Mesa County residents use some form of social media every day.” (Source: Nielsen-Scarborough 2016 Market Study)

Keywords still matter

Don’t throw your keywords out when writing your content. Google still looks for the use of keywords on your site in determining your site’s relevance. Incorporate your keywords into compelling content related to your customer’s interests and the Google algorithm will take notice.

Content creation is only one facet of optimizing your website for search engine results. Use third-party tools and SEO checkers to determine other areas of your site to optimize. Utilizing an agency can help in creating a website that will get you noticed and in managing that website so that it consistently ranks high in search results. While getting that coveted “first spot” in a Google ranking is never guaranteed, moving up in search engine results is a sure thing. Remember, search engine optimization is a journey, not a sprint.

To learn more about SEO and content strategies, please join us for the Sentinel Digital Agency Lunch and Learn at noon on Jan. 12 at Grand Junction Media Inc., 734 S. Seventh St. Guests are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. Snacks and water will be provided. RSVP to nathan@sentineldigitalagency.com to reserve your spot.

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