The web is constantly evolving with people sharing, uploading and creating content every second. There are 13.66 billion indexed pages on the internet (1) – and this was only the indexed content.
The Web is astronomical in size – the amazing content you create can easily get lost in the ocean of memes and pictures of adorable cats. Which begs the question, with so much content online, how will users find my content?
The simple answer is promotion. But in order to promote the content, you need to be aware of the different ways users discover content online.
Identified below are the four types of discovery processes but it is important to realise that situations will determine which state you are in. Often people will adopt various states and move between states of content discovery.
Users at the beginning of their search will be using short tail keywords such as ‘new mobile phones’ and from this consuming and engaging with content in order to help them gain a better understanding of their given subject.
The search seeker is really someone who is either at the beginning of the buying decision making process or towards the end. These users are going to be utilising platforms such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
If they are at the more decisive point in their buying decision making process then they will be using long tail keywords in search queries, such as ‘Apple iPhone 5 16gb White on O2’. Searches become more specific as users are better educated on a subject and are more decisive about which content they are looking to discover.
The social seeker is going to be looking for peer recommendations or acceptance. Users will see what their friends are talking about and will flock to social media in order to gain valuable insights.
They may utilise review sites to see how others perceive products, in order to reduce the perceived level of risk. They may utilise YouTube to see products in action, find more engaging content or even go to Google+ to see what their circles and communities are posting.
The social seeker is really focused on consuming content that their friends or peers recommend.
People are 80% more likely to try a new product if a friend recommends it so the power of recommendation is highly important to any brand online or offline.
Browsing seekers are the types of individuals who like to index the web themselves. They will find content through platforms such as Pinterest, Stumbleupon and Digg. Browsing seekers like to let the content speak for itself and often meander through the web – as opposed to having a set structure in which to discover content.
The passive seeker is someone who is not actively looking to discover content but is not averse to engaging with content. Examples of this are direct mail and email marketing campaigns. You may not be thinking about certain content because you were not actively trying to discover it – but this doesn’t mean you don’t wish to consume or even engage with the content.
It is important to understand the ways in which individuals discover content because we all do it in different ways and for different reasons. If you want your content to be found and engaged with, then you need to work on accessing all the seeker types and promoting it via the ways they prefer.
Encouraging user engagement is integral when considering the promotion of your content. There is little point sharing content on platforms where it falls on deaf ears. Each one of the seeker’s needs should be taken into account when promoting content to increase the ripple effect.
If you wish to get content seen by search seekers then improve your search engine rankings through white hat SEO practices. Assign keywords to content and optimise pages for these keywords without looking spammy or contrived. Content is king, and the quality of content will speak for itself.
If you want content to be seen by the social seekers, then make the content so engaging that people can’t help but share it. Make it visual – social media platforms thrive on visual content. Share your content via different platforms, encourage others to share with incentives, engage people with your updates and get seen in your fans’ friends’ news feeds.
Want to get seen by the browsing seekers? Make your content engaging enough so that people want to socially bookmark it on sites such as Stumbleupon. Make your content shareable with the world. If users don’t bookmark your content, then bookmark it yourself. Unless the content is out there, you will struggle to become discovered.
Let’s not forget the passive seekers – get content sent out via email marketing campaigns and tell everyone what you want to say. Send out direct mail, tell them where to find and engage with your content. Users don’t want to guess what organisations want them to do, they want to be guided through a simple and efficient process.
In the process of doing this you will be creating valuable links back to your hub. This aids better usability for your users by directing traffic in a correct way. This avoids leaving customers asking what they should do next.
Links are so vital to SEO efforts. Google takes great notice of how links interact with a hub. The more links there are and the better quality they are, the more chance your website is going to be found at the top of search engine results pages.
And remember – Google loves social signals, it takes notice of how many people liked, shared and engaged with your content so make that content social.
Now that you have promoted your content, it is time to analyse its reach. Find out more about how you can analyse your content from Keira Long’s blog tomorrow!
(1) http://www.worldwidewebsize.com/ as of 11/04/2013
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