Reader Engagement Strategy


Team of business people working together on a laptop
Writing for Optimum Reader Engagement

Are you having difficulty achieving reader responsiveness? Your audience connection seems at risk or doubtful because of a lack of commenting and sharing of your content with others?

You’re not alone in the frustration of attracting and building on a readership or subscribing audience. The huge volume of internet users today has increased exponentially in recent years whether for personal, social or business purposes. The technologies and applications of our online presence has changed dramatically as well over time demanding our awareness and application of such new innovations and how we can utilize them to our best advantage.

Our website and blog content needs to be highly informative and useful to our targeted audience. When our readers find our content engaging they are most likely to return for more. In terms of business and marketing conversion to sales or new clients that reader engagement is critical. Another powerful tool in the engagement arsenal is the sharing of relevant content from external sources as I often do here with my own posts. What better way to support our own content than to share the resources, experience and successes of others!

Email Newsletters

One of the most successful ways to build a following today, whether to promote business products or services, published works of authors, poets, writers and journalists is through distribution of subscriber email newsletters like ConstantContactMailChimpVerticalResponse to name just a few mailing hosts. Having subscribing (opt-in) readers for a newsletter is a powerful way to establish a more personal connection given the very nature of direct mailing to individuals or businesses who have made the choice to connect to our content. Statistically there is a greater response in terms of new business and sales.

Social & Professional Networking

These networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, to name but a few, continue to grow steadily in user base numbers, a substantial addition to our marketing and audience connection arsenal. If used in a well-designed social and marketing strategy such sites can attract a substantial following through which traffic generation back to your main website or blog hub is critically important.

Essential to that audience connection is in being interactive on a one-on-one basis. Don’t just concentrate all your efforts on the socials with getting ‘follows’ and ‘likes’…that is only the starting point to establishing relationships, making essential connections. We need to be responsive in today’s social and professional networks whether our purpose for being there is personal, business and/or product/service centric. When someone takes the time to comment or compliment on your social pages you must respond! Failing to respond tells people you don’t care, that you have ulterior motives for your ‘connections’ and that turns people off fast. After all, it IS a social or professional networking site! 

Keyword Usage

Keywords have become a critical factor in capturing an audience through search engine visibility. The dynamics of how the various search engines evaluate the relevance, ranking and search results positioning is varied between today’s search engines as is their algorithmic configuration but the bottom line is that careful and strategic application of keywords within our online content is essential to the mapping framework for our online presence…or lack thereof.

When using the various social and professional networks make sure that you are adding keywords within the context of your profile content and bios as well as in your content body AND in your site headings and titles. Best keywords are also essential in the context of site meta tags and title descriptions. Google continues to be THE granddaddy of internet search engines today and I utilize their various applications found at GoogleWebmastersTools to help ensure that my online visibility is optimized. 

The Google Adwords Keyword Planner is an excellent resource tool to determine the best possible keywords that apply for your particular service or product niche. Google provides plenty of reference and resource material to help users familiarize themselves with this indispensable resource base. I can attest first hand that applying these tools does indeed make a difference. Most search engines today provide the how-to’s for implementing their various resources.

It takes time and following the learning curve to get positive end results but this is a key step in developing audience engagement and site traffic…without which you have no customer base to speak of. Understanding and accepting such applications as essential to the process will lead you through the discovery phase. 

Keyword implementation is not an exact science yet by using such tools as the keyword planner and testing different keywords to find which ones are most effective for site traffic generation and your business or sales needs and objectives you should see positive results. My web traffic has increased considerably through keyword application and adjustment to the extent that my site traffic is now doubling every month consistently…that’s powerful!

Mobile Responsive Websites & Blogs 

Internet users in today’s busy lifestyle are carrying their mobile devices in ever-increasing numbers today and a large segment of the population now use their mobiles for internet browsing on the run. That means that a critical segment of our potential business or reading audience is locked in through their various mobile devices during key portions of the business day. That means in a nutshell that we MUST use websites and blogs that are formatted as mobile responsive. Refer to your own services provider to verify whether you do have your online websites or blogs configured for mobile devices.

Engage!  The bottom line is that once you engage, once you make those essential connections with your following or subscribing audience, then you will start to see results. Engaging in organic, genuine conversation and support builds confidence and trust in what you have to offer. The results will follow.

I’ll share with you an article posted by Debbie Hemley on reader engagement strategy in which the writer shares great tips for targeted audience connection at Social Media Examiner. I have been following this site for several years now, an excellent resource and information site on current trends in online presence, marketing strategy through social media and much more. Host Michael Stelzner also broadcasts regular podcasts through the site which are outstanding with powerhouse guest speakers. The site’s following is huge.

Remember friends….CONNECTION = ENGAGEMENT = CUSTOMER CONVERSION

Search Engine & Social Media Optimization Strategies


SEO-OPTIMIZATION-3DStacked

photo c/o Bing Search, source unknown

Wouldn’t it be nice to see your website or blog show up in the Top 10 positioning on search engine results pages?

Top 10 is the ultimate gold when it comes to where our web pages are going to show up when people are searching for our products or services and if we want to see meaningful results for all of our tireless efforts to get our websites or blogs seen we need to make sure that the content we create for our sites will be highly visible to search engines.

That all seems pretty daunting and for many a frustrating part of online website marketing. The thing is that we simply cannot aimlessly practice online website content writing without including keywords and keyword phrases that will be recognized by search engines AND commonly used words and phrases that are most often used by people when they do online searches.

Online document and website content strategy is a critical part of increased reader engagement and web traffic. We may have the best products or services available today but if we don’t understand search engine optimization and social media optimization our sites will never be seen by the majority of those searching online. As equally important is writing high quality, clean, concise, informative and compelling content that will thoroughly interest and engage our readers and leave them with an immediate desire to find out more.

Search engine visibility and website or blog site ranking by the search engines is extremely important for anyone marketing their products, services or non-commercial sites online today. Without being an expert in SEO practices there are tools available online to help find the best words and phrases to use in our web content. Google continues to be the largest search engines by far and our ultimate goal is reaching that Top 10, page 1 search results positioning on Google as well as the other major search engines.

Google.com Webmaster Tools:
Start off by registering for Google tools and resources. I signed up for a Gmail account and have access to Google’s powerhouse webmaster tools that help guide website owners through their various tools and resources for search engine optimization and more.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner:
Once you have access to Google’s treasure chest of resources go the the Google Keyword Planner tool site linked here. If you want to use Google Adwords there is cost involved but to simply research keywords and keyword phrases the keyword planner tool itself is free. The tool landing page shows a number of options to choose from and you want to go to the first option provided which is “search for new keyword and ad groups ideas.”

Next you will see a search campaign box where you need to enter what product or service (or type of site content) you are offering. Think carefully about the commonly known names or phrases that most people would use to search for your site…never use highly technical jargon/language…keep it simple. Then enter your full website address ie http:www…  followed by entering your product, service or website/blog content category. Again, think in terms of the most commonly known terms for the category that would best describe what you offer on your site.

What follows those first three primary fields is ‘Targeting’ and ‘Customize Your Search’. In these two sections you want to focus carefully on geographic regions you are targeting an audience in, their language, search engine options and keyword search filters. There is a small question mark icon located just above these two fields for brief helpful information on what you need to focus on here.

Once this form is completed click “Get Ideas”. What you will see on the results page that follows are a series of keyword or keyword phrases which are the most commonly used terms used by people searching on the internet, a count of the number of searches made for each keyword or phrase, a competition rating and more.

Important: From the results described above, you want to choose keywords and keyword phrases that will serve your own objectives best. If you are a new business startup (just getting started with a new/first business) choose the keywords and phrases that are medium competition and number of searches.  Choosing higher competition ranking and the highest number of searches produces search results to highly established and ranked websites that place them in the Top 10 or 20 (Page 1 and 2) search results positions and even if you have a small search engine visibility, because of the much higher ranked sites for the chosen keywords/keyword phrases your site will never get seen (because your site is listed a multiple of pages deep in the search results). Remember that most people only click on sites listed on Page 1 of search results and a very small percentage will ever go into Page 2 results.

Keyword Density:
How many times you include keywords and keyword phrases (collectively) within each paragraph or web page is somewhat subjective but very close attention needs to be taken here. Google is frequently changing its methods and tolerances for acceptable use and volume of keywords within our content. If overused, and when identical keywords or phrases are repeated, Google now looks upon that practice in a very negative way, commonly referred to as “keyword stuffing” and you can expect that in doing so Google will penalize your site ranking heavily or render your site essentially invisible through poor ranking and search visibility.

There was a period of time where volume of keywording on a website was acceptable but NOT anymore…do so at your own peril. Search engines establish ‘algorithms’ for search ranking and visibility criteria which are essentially the rules that must be followed if we want people to be able to find us in search queries. Ignoring such rules is very risky and will most likely eliminate any chance we have of getting noticed, gaining a following, achieving reader engagement and ultimately our targeted new clients, customers and sales.

Keyword Density Target:  
To ensure that your website stays in the ‘safe’ zone for search engine visibility and ranking you should target a keyword density of approximately 1% – 3% of your total article/web page content. In other words, for every 100 words of content, use a maximum of 3 keyword or keyword phrase applications. To easily calculate this density, while your MS Word document is open, look in the lower left area of your system tray at the bottom of your monitor screen. You will see a page count ie ‘Page 1 of…’ and then ‘Words‘ which tells you how many words there are in your open article.

To calculate the percentage of keywords and phrases that occur in the article, count those keywords/phrases in total and then divide that count number by the total number of words in the article. If you have more than the recommended 1% – 3% keyword density, remove some of those keywords (or other content reworded) until you are back to the density limit suggested.

There is more to website ranking and search engine optimization for increasing search visibility and website traffic results than can reasonably be covered in this article but the essentials outlined above will give you a good start at improving how visible your website or blog will be in search engine queries and help those sites begin to establish ranking by the search engines. The key to establishing best results is to make sure you stay current on the methods best applied for your site as time passes and search engines change their algorithms and rules of engagement.

Test Your Search Results and Ranking:
Remember to frequently monitor your website/blog search results by running your own organic searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. For myself, I would use search terms like “website editing, Peachland, BC” or “document proofreading in Peachland, BC” or “social media optimization in Peachland, BC”. When you see your own site search results placed on Page 3 or higher you know you’re on the right track. Always use ‘organic’ search terms like I have illustrated here for my own searches. Don’t use your site title as the vast majority of people searching don’t know you or your site title and they won’t get results that include your site. Keep tweaking your keywords and phrases and other relevant content wording until you succeed in Top 10, Page 1 search results position…and celebrate! Now you’re talking!!

Social Media Optimization:
Similar keyword and phrase practices apply to social media posts. It’s easy to forget keyword content in social media site posts (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Pinterest etc.) and professional networks like LinkedIn but optimizing our social media content is equally important for generating website and blog traffic. Also make sure that your profile on each of those networks has keywording because it helps users of those networks to find you (and your related website/other locations) in their searches online. When you connect or get followers make sure you interest with them individually through post comments, sharing, Tweeting and private messaging.

Resources:
As a website or blog owner or administrator/marketer, make sure you do research on all aspects of writing website and online document content by doing internet searches. Find the experts online that can help guide you through the processes. Emulate success…do what successful people do. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Find others who are successful on the internet, learn their methods and apply those successful methods for best results.

For years I have consistently referred to two highly successful websites to learn current best practices and I have seen very positive results with my own website, blog and social media presence. SiteProNews is an excellent resource for breaking technology, social media and search engine news. SocialMediaExaminer is an outstanding resource for social media marketing, newsletters, events, networking tips and resources and live podcasts hosting interviews with many of the social media and business marketing giants of today who share how they have achieved lofty heights and their methods. Practice what these successful folks have done and you will save yourself an awful lot of wasted time attempting to get it right.

Ultimately you need to decide whether to apply keyword and keyword phrase content on your website or blog yourself or hire an expert in that service discipline to do it for you. It will take some time to achieve best results on your own. Remain patient and focused! Monitor your website or blog data through analytics as you make changes to keywording to see what positive or negative affect new (or eliminated/updated) keywords have on your website’s visitor traffic and engagement and search visibility. 

Most important of all….always focus on reaching that treasured Top 10 page 1 of search results! That is when the most significant results begin to happen! – See more at: http://lastingimpressionsediting.weebly.com/key-word-blog/search-engine-social-media-optimization-strategies#sthash.0NwJVCMp.dpuf

 

By Don MacIver, Owner, Editor, Writer, Author
© Lasting Impressions 2016

%d bloggers like this: