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Building The “Right” Audience


Search Engine is all about traffic.  The name of the game is to arrange as many factors as possible in your favor so that your search rankings increase, which in turn increases your organic traffic.  That’s great as far as it goes, but don’t think your work is done once you’ve begun to claim #1 rankings in the keywords you’re aiming for.  If anything, at that point, your work is just beginning.

See, traffic is fine, but it is only a means to an end.  If your ultimate goal is sales, then once you’ve got a reliable source of traffic in the form of high search engine rankings, the logical next step is to begin building a permanent, and growing audience.  This is about building and burnishing your brand.  There are a number of ways you do this, but the two biggest and most obvious to the eye are editorial excellence and paying attention to comments left on your blog.  We’ll go over both of these just below, and as you will see, they play a pivotal role in what happens after you’ve got your SEO firing on all cylinders.

Editorial Excellence

This is mostly about quality control.  If you are your own editor, then this falls on your shoulders, if you’re outsourcing your editorial function, then the Golden Rule is this:  Your editor has final say in content, and edits every piece for the site.  That includes content that you provide and write yourself.  The editor should fully understand your goals and your ultimate vision, and by definition, needs to have final editorial say in what makes it to the site.  That shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve trained and coached your editor properly, and if you don’t trust your editor to do what’s in the best interest of the site, then you don’t need to outsource that function.  Keep it for yourself.

The important thing though, is that if you do outsource it, then for that position to have any weight and meaning at all, your own work needs to come under editorial review.  The moment you countermand your editor, you essentially render him a useless appendage.  Don’t cut your own people down.  That’s no way to succeed, long term.  The bottom line is, every piece gets edited by one person, who is the gate keeper for site content, and that person’s decisions are final.  It’s a hugely important position, so choose your editor wisely.  The net effect of this will be that your site’s content will be consistent, and of the very best quality your team is capable of delivering.  That relates back to building your audience because one of the things that your readers will be looking for, and one of the things that will make them stay is consistency.  Regular postings and consistently high quality.  Make it happen.

Pay Attention To Comments

This actually means two things.  First, you need a dedicated person on point to weed out spam comments.  You’ve probably got Askimet running on your site, and it’s very good, but spam comments will still get through.  These can actually hurt you, so you need to remain vigilant in terms of getting rid of them.  The second thing that paying attention to comments means is actually responding to comments left by your readers.  This creates engagement.  It starts a conversation.  If you accept guest posts from other authors not directly tied to your business, then make it a point to respond on behalf of the author of the post.  That’s your right as the site owner, and again, it breeds consistency.  All relevant comments get a reply, and invites further conversation.  This is a key component to building an audience that will stick around.  Organic traffic is great, but it’s only half the battle.  You want to give your readers a reason to keep coming back.  Comment response is a big part of that.

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