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How to write for your target audience

Great content is a key element in attracting the attentions of the search engines. Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest all use sophisticated algorithms to assess whether or not your website deserves the coveted top spot in their ranking systems, and regularly updated, engaging and relevant content is one of the key elements that they search for.

But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any old piece of writing will do. It might just gain you the top spot initially, but your visitors certainly won’t be fooled, and unless they find something of interest they simply won’t return. This sort of behaviour doesn’t go unnoticed by the search engines who will downgrade your site accordingly and make you less visible to your target audience in the long run.

The key phrase to keep in mind is ‘target audience’. Do you know who you are aiming to reach? Do you have a good understanding of your customer base? If you don’t have a very clear picture in your mind of exactly who you are aiming your writing at then your literary arrows are almost certain to fall wide of the mark.

So before you start tapping away at your keyboard it’s time to undertake a little research. You need to identify your market and understand their lifestyles, their hopes and their worries. Are they well educated scholarly types? Are they young, old, middle-aged? Do they own their own houses, or perhaps they are more likely to rent?

Your aim is to become the ‘go-to’ specialist in your particular field, which means that you have to acquire a great deal of knowledge and impart it to your audience in the most appropriate way. Perhaps you are selling products aimed at medical professionals, for example. In this case your content needs to be pitched at an audience with a high level of medical knowledge. On the other hand if you produce medical products aimed at the patient then your approach needs to be completely different. You should assume little or no understanding of medical terminology and procedures and tailor your content accordingly.

Only through a thorough understanding of your customer base can you strike exactly the right note so don’t be tempted to gloss over this stage. Once you have a customer profile in place then you can pitch your writing so that it strikes the perfect note, ensuring a loyal readership.