Who are you writing for? Whether you’re writing for first-time website visitors, longtime subscribers, or the Google algorithm, you’ll find that there are ways to personalize content to increase conversions.
We’re all guilty of occasionally adjusting website copy based on the latest changes to the Google algorithm. When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), it’s important to stay in tune with Google’s evolving changes. However, it’s definitely possible to focus too much on Google’s updates when planning out and developing website content.
What do your readers want? Are longtime subscribers looking for different types of content than first-time visitors? There’s a good chance they are. One way to make everyone happy is to personalize content to increase conversions. That means focusing on the longform content that subscribers want access to, while also publishing the type of keyword-heavy content that search engines love. This can all be done without sacrificing content quality. We’ll tell you how.
How to Approach to Content Personalization
If you want to develop the kind of content that online visitors will enjoy, then being able to personalize content should be the first step in your approach. Here are five ways that digital publishers can personalize content to increase conversions, engagement, and page views.
1. Use the keywords you intend to target.
Using the right keywords is a part of every SEO strategy, but now we’re talking about taking it a step beyond the basics. When conducting keyword research, make sure to look at the intent behind the keywords. Why are people searching for certain terms on Google? What information are they hoping to find when they search for those terms?
Maybe you notice that there is a high volume of searches for your city’s high school basketball team. What are people looking for when they search for the basketball team? Is their intent to find the latest scores, play-by-play coverage of last night’s game, or simply a team roster? The intent behind these searches will help you develop the kind of personalized content that readers (and search engine algorithms) will appreciate.
2. Develop strong reader profiles.
Who reads your website? Most digital news publishers could easily put readers into buckets or groups. Some readers are coming for the sports coverage. Some readers might be coming for the restaurant reviews or the city government stories. Which of these groups is most likely to convert? Drilling down and developing in-depth reader profiles will help you discover which types of content provide the most opportunity for profitability and website monetization.
Are high school sports fans more likely to convert to paying subscribers than visitors to your online events calendar? What are those sports fans looking for when they visit your website? What are they struggling with? Which pages are they looking at before they bounce? Market research will help you dig into your readers’ psyche and create the kind of targeted reader profiles that you and your marketing team can use to actually generate more subscriptions.
3. Research your biggest pain points.
A bit of introspection is necessary to personalize content in a way that will actually lead to real results. If you want to increase conversions, start developing articles and other forms of content that resonate with readers based on their interests.
Once you know what keywords people are using to find your website, as well as the intent behind those keyword searches, start to develop the types of informative content that will actually answer the questions that brought people to you in the first place. In marketing speak, those would be likened to the conversion funnel. Once a reader has landed on your website, you want to keep them engaged. One way to do that is by funneling the reader to the right content. Each article on your website should link to related articles. This can be done manually or using an automated plugin.
4. Analyze your visitors’ behaviors.
We’ve talked about website analytics and tracking software before. If your website is run on the WordPress platform, then you have dozens of excellent options to choose from. Tracking the on-site behavior of your readers is one of the smartest ways to personalize content based on likes and dislikes. Not only can analyzing on-site behavior help you discover what content your readers are enjoying, but it can also help you plan out what content you should produce next.
A Google Analytics Behavior Flow report shows your website’s top landing pages during a specific period of time, as well as which pages readers moved to after visiting those top landing pages. If you’ve been linking to stories properly, you should begin to see some clear trends. To learn more about the most important web analytics for publishers, click here.
5. Direct users with dynamic search.
Not every publisher can easily enable dynamic search. However, if your web developer says this is an option on your website, then it’s worth adding dynamic search as a way to direct visitors to the content you think they will be interested in.
Dynamic search allows you to make content suggestions when users search for certain topics on your website. Rather than arriving at a blank page if they search for a topic that hasn’t been covered, the user would be directed to articles on related topics that could be of interest. Dynamic search keeps people engaged and decreases bounce rates, which are important factors when you’re trying to increase conversions.
To learn more about SEO for digital news publishers, click here.