We all know content is important, but producing content for content’s sake is a waste of time and money.
What’s the point of content? To attract more traffic right? You want to build up your site’s authority so that you can rank well for keywords and add as many channels into your site as possible. The problem most people face is not increasing their traffic but rather increasing the right kind or qualified traffic. The interesting blog post or graphic better be related to your product or service or else you’re looking a whole lot of bounces and very little conversions.
Attracting traffic that makes purchases depends heavily on producing content your customers are interested in.
Three Types of Traffic
Let’s talk about this concept of qualified traffic. Getting the right traffic to come to your site absolutely requires you to research your ideal customer and find ways to get them to your site. Not just any ol’ visitor will do.
Qualified traffic is made up of visitors with a great interest in your industry and a strong intent to buy. Your site has what they’re looking for and they want to know if you’re the one to buy from. These will be the people who hit your conversion points: email submissions, pricing requests, sign up froms, etc.
Indirectly qualified traffic is similar in that they are interested in your industry but have little to no interest in buying anything. They are most likely your target market but are not thinking about purchasing or aren’t aware purchasing is an option. They most likely found your site through organic search or were sent there via a link from another site. There is a chance they will be return visitors and, overtime, you can convert them into qualified visitors who want to buy (hopefully from you).
The last type of traffic is unqualified. These are the visitors that little to no interest in your industry and buying is not even on their radar. They may find what they’re looking for on your site; they may even click around a few pages, but they are not there to buy from you. It’s possible to convert these visitors into indirectly qualified traffic but more than likely this is their first and last visit and they won’t sign up for anything.
Each type of visitor has their own intent and attracting qualified traffic depends heavily on the content you are producing.
Each type of visitor has their own intent. Your job is to identify what is attracting each type of visitor and make sure they are getting to the content they want to see and the content you want them to see.
Three Types of Content
Content is pretty much everything you produce that can be consumed by users. Whether it is blog posts, videos, slideshows, infographics, whatever – it is all content that people find and consume for various reasons. For marketing purposes, I categorize content into three categories: Direct, Indirect and Unrelated.
Direct content is deliberately associated with a business’ brand, service or product. Its purpose is to inform visitors about the company, teach them about the product or convince them to buy.
Direct content is things like:
- testimonial videos
- sales landing pages
- an about us pageI
- screenshots or demonstrations of your product in action
It is the content that most qualified visitors are looking for.
Maybe someone is researching dentists in Chicago because they need a new one. They find your dentist office’s site and want to know if you’re right the right fit for them. So they learn your story, watch customer testimonials and read reviews online. This is all direct content that exists to teach them about your service and convince them to buy. It is the content they were looking for when they started their search to help them make a decision.
Indirect content is what most content marketers are producing. It is any content that is related to your service, product, or industry but doesn’t explicitly sell it. For the same dentist, this could be things like:
- blog posts about “the best toothpaste to buy” or “why do we have wisdom teeth”
- a guide to picking a dentist
- a list of things to do after moving to a new town (including finding a dentist)
The visitors who stumble upon this content aren’t necessarily searching for a new dentist, but the thought is in their head somewhere. They are definitely interested in the industry and could be converted into qualified visitors through this indirect content.
Unrelated content is just that…unrelated. The subject matter may pertain to your industry slightly but the overall message of the content is not trying to attract legitimate customers. Most of the time this content is used solely for linkbait. In keeping with our dentist, here are some examples of unrelated content:
- Famous dentists in movies or on TV
- How do I become a dentist?
- Who was the first dentist?
The traffic coming in through this content is all over the map. They could be movie buffs, jobseekers, students researching a project, etc. You don’t want this kind of traffic. The numbers might look good to your client, but prepare for your bounce rate to shoot through the roof. You’ll be wasting your time trying to convert this traffic into leads and sales because they aren’t interested. They weren’t looking for your service or product and forcing it upon them is not going to help.
The last thing you want to do when developing your content is waste your time and money. Content that is directly or indirectly related to your business will speak to your target market. They will learn from it, convert to followers or brand evangelists and ultimately become a customer. If you continuously produce blog posts, videos and infographics about topics unrelated to your business, service or product you will continuously attract users that are uninterested, fickle and very difficult to convert.
Research your market and understand your ideal customer. Create the content you know they want to see and distribute it to the places where you know they’ll read it. If you do this right, your conversion and traffic numbers should start to correlate and you’ll stop spending valuable time on unqualified traffic.