There are two ways you can approach to adapt content for your website.
You can think of ideas that interest you, write them up, publish them, and see how they work.
Or you can find out what your audience wants and needs, and then create content that serves them.
The first way at least gives you a place to start, but there’s no guarantee that your content will attract the response you want. It might result in a few new readers or subscribers—or even go viral if you’re lucky… or no one could read it at all. And content no one reads is a waste of time and storage space.
Taking the second path means starting with the knowledge that you have an interested audience who—as long as you give them something that serves their needs—will reliably read, engage with, and respond to the content. A more engaged audience means more sharing, better conversions, and a stronger brand.
If you’re running your website as a business, and not just a personal blog, you know which outcome you prefer.
The following tools can help you identify your audience and their needs, rework old content or create new content, and personalize your audience’s experience.
Learning about your audience
Google Analytics is one of the best free tools available for starting to learn about your website’s audience. The Audience tab will help you to quickly understand who is coming to your site and where they’re from, along with a variety of other information. You can learn things like your audience’s approximate age and gender statistics, as well as get information about lifestyles and product-purchase interests.
You can also use the information Google Analytics provides on your page traffic to identify the pages that perform best and worst. Which pages perform well will tell you the kind of content you should create more of, and which pages perform poorly will tell you what existing content you need to improve.
This is a great tool that Facebook provides for you to get information on the part of your audience that interacts with your Facebook page. You can get information on fans’ gender, age, when and where they like your page, and which content gets the most engagement.
3. Google Forms
Surveys are a great way to find out about your audience directly, by asking them what problems they have, what solutions they’re looking for, and what they’re interested in. Google Forms is a free tool you can use to create surveys for your audience. It offers tons of options and ways to customize each survey, embed surveys into emails or web pages, and collect the information the surveys gather into Google Sheets.
Adapting content to your audience’s needs
Once you have some ideas about who your audience is and what kind of content topics will serve them best, BuzzSumo is a great place to look for specific ideas about what to write. You can find out what sort of content is shared most, which top influencers offer similar information, and other useful info.
Hemingway App is a great tool for ensuring that your content is accessible to your audience by tailoring your word choice and reading level to their needs. If some of your old content performs poorly and is overly complicated or hard to understand, consider plugging it into the free text editor. By following the app’s recommendations, you’ll simplify your content without dumbing it down.
Personalizing the experience
Evergage offers a suite of tools for deeply analyzing your audience and personalizing their experience on your site. This can help you split up visitors according to what they’re looking for and offer a more engaging, more personal experience by promoting content and services that are specifically tailored to each audience member’s user profile. You can also run a variety of targeted tests to optimize the experience.
Traqli is another service that provides you with the tools to create a personalized experience for your audience, based on their needs and desires as individuals as well as a group. Similar to Evergage, you can segment your email lists according to each audience member’s profile and serve them by offering content suggestions, ads, and forms based on their interests rather than providing a general, one-size-fits-all experience.
Rainmaker Platform, offered by the people behind Copyblogger.com, is a digital marketing solution with a strong focus on enabling you to create great content and get it to the people who will benefit from it the most. With the ability to create membership sites, you’ll be able to collect information from your audience directly and then act on it through the Marketing Automation feature—letting you set up specific behavioral triggers to promote the most relevant content to any given user, right when it will be most useful to them.
There are many tools and strategies you can use to approach the question of how best to adapt your content to your audience, but the ones above will give you a good place to start. By putting in the time and effort to learn more about your audience, you’ll give yourself the most valuable tool of all, when it comes to content marketing: data.
Once you know what your audience is looking for, it’s up to you to find the best ways to serve them. When you do, you’ll reap rewards in the form of better engagement, more conversions, increased sharing, and loyal readers and members.