People new to content marketing and web writing often fall into the same trap: writing unfocused articles or blog posts on topics that are too broad and general. This undermines a piece’s value in several ways.
Content marketing offers a lot of potential benefits, but most depend on writing about the right topics from the right perspective with a highly focused topic and title for each piece.
Narrow Topics Boost SEO and Targeted Traffic
You want your content to bring targeted traffic to your site via search engines. To pull this off, content topics and titles should closely match search queries. And today’s internet searchers are good at being specific about what they’re looking for, and Google and other search engines are good at delivering it.
Let’s say you’re a personal injury lawyer in Florida. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone searching Google for “proving fault in slip and fall accident in Florida” landed on your site? That’s the sort of specificity searchers use when they’re anywhere on the buyer journey, from initial research to ready to buy.
If you have an article titled “How to Prove Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident Under Florida Law,” this searcher might just see your piece in the search results and click through to your website. Compare this to a generic piece called “10 Reasons You Can Sue a Business.” Nobody’s searching for that (unless they’re planning some sort of get-rich-quick scheme); there’s no SEO value there.
Narrow Topics Turn Readers into Fans
Now this searcher sees your article in the Google results and clicks on your content. Your focused title established an expectation that your article provides the exact information this person wants.
If you satisfy that expectation with a well-written piece offering the information promised by its title, you make this potential client happy. You’re right in front of them, you’ve established some credibility and demonstrated generosity by sharing your expertise, you’ve pleased them with a clear answer to their question—you’ve formed a relationship with someone who likely needs your services.
However, if you don’t deliver on the promise of the title, you alienate this person. They clicked through for a specific answer, not for a meandering piece with all your knowledge about law dumped into it or a big sales pitch about how great an attorney you are.
Narrow Topics Make Content Marketing Sustainable
It’s normal to worry about coming up with enough topics to keep your content marketing chugging along for the long haul. One key to doing so is making sure each piece you publish has a narrow focus.
You may be eager to show off all your knowledge and ideas and try to cram everything you have to say into your first few pieces. The results are usually too long for web readers, too unfocused to attract attention or be useful, and too general and superficial to be impressive. But when you hone in on one facet of a topic, suddenly that topic holds the seed for multiple articles—articles that are more digestible, helpful, and impressive to readers.
For example, you’re still a personal injury lawyer. Your instinct might be to write “How to Win Your Personal Injury Lawsuit” and fill it with all your advice on the subject. Or, you could find content ideas for many months to come by breaking that hefty topic down into focused pieces. Write individual articles on dealing with your insurance company (even different posts for different types of insurance), dealing with the other party’s insurance company, dealing with doctors, obtaining evidence, keeping evidence organized, explaining relevant legal jargon, establishing liability for different types of injuries, dressing for court, pursuing realistic damages, weighing counter-offers, accepting or rejecting counter-offers, finding the right attorney, and so on…
Narrow Topics Yield Better Buyer Persona Insights
On-site content is a great way to learn about your existing and potential customers. By watching your analytics, you see what people searched for to get to that page, as well as which articles and topics generate the most page views, which retain your site visitors, which prompt visits to other pages or clicks on calls to action, which get shared on social media, and more. And which ones don’t.
This offers lots of useful information about what people want from you and what they don’t. It should guide further content marketing efforts, but if you’re paying attention and reflecting a little, it should also provide clues you can use to improve email marketing, social media marketing, and even possibly your business processes, services, or products.
Narrow Topics Help You Write Better Content
Just the act of narrowing your focus improves your content. It forces you to think through a topic more thoroughly before you start writing. Watch for when you start to drift off topic and your writing stays more clear and concise. You’ll also delve into deeper detail and provide more specific, genuinely useful information, rather than simple generalities and the obvious stuff.
It might also trigger some research to flesh out the piece. Research is always good for keeping your content accurate, adding more value for the audience, and generating ideas for future topics.