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Blog posts, articles, and other forms of online content represent an important part of modern marketing. These are the strategies that present your brand to internet users while cementing your status as a thought leader in your industry. The problem with this type of marketing is that it only works if people click through to your pages. That’s why it’s so important that your content ranks highly on Google and other search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a major part of marketing in the digital age. For years, professional SEO experts have been determining the best ways to increase visibility on search engine results pages. As these professionals have developed new tricks, Google has improved its algorithms to do a better job of giving users what they want. Today, the algorithms are so fully developed that they usually provide the exact types of results that a user was looking for.
The fact that Google is so good at giving users what they want takes some of the magic and trickery out of SEO. Gone are the days of keyword-stuffing and similar backhanded tricks. Classic SEO tools like keywords and backlinks are still important, but they should only be part of a larger strategy. Now that pleasing Google and pleasing users are essentially one and the same thing, you can focus on creating content that will have value to potential customers.
When people complete a search on Google, it’s usually because they have a problem or a question. Your job as a digital marketer is to answer the types of questions that your potential customers could be asking.
Creating posts and articles that rank highly on Google is a two-step process:
- First, you need to do some research and find out what types of questions your customers are asking online.
- Second, you need to create valuable content that clearly, succinctly, and directly answers these questions.
The good news is that there’s no dark, secret magic associated with this process. The entire project falls firmly within the realm of common sense. Your job is to attract people to your branded content. You can do that by providing information that people will actually be interested to read. With the right mindset and a few clever tactics, you can consistently produce blog posts and articles that rank higher on Google.
Find Out What Questions Your Customers Are Asking
You might not be producing a 50-page thesis or an in-depth white paper, but creating online content is still a research-heavy endeavor. If you assume your customers are asking certain questions and you turn out to be wrong, all your content production will accomplish nothing for your brand. That’s why it’s so important to develop a firm understanding of what your customers are searching for online.
There are several methods available for discovering what your customers are asking. Sales team members have probably gathered some useful insights during their regular interactions with clients. The internet is also full of useful resources, from keyword tools to social media sites. By monitoring all these sources simultaneously, you can gain a pretty good idea of the questions your customers are asking.
Ask Your Sales Staff What Questions Customers Have
You might be dealing with digital marketing, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the real world as a valuable resource. Your sales agents, whether they operate on the phone, through email, or in a physical location, talk to customers and potential customers every day. They’re constantly listening to questions and concerns, and they’ve probably identified a few consistent patterns. By asking your sales team what they’ve been hearing, you can develop a pretty good sense of what customers are thinking.
Use Google to Identify Common Searches
Your content should reflect the types of searches that your potential customers make online. Luckily, the internet is full of useful tools that can help you make informed decisions. You can complete lots of research within Google itself. With Google Trends, you can identify keywords that are trending now as well as those that remain popular over time. You should also play around and search for different terms, seeing how the search engine responds. Check which phrases Google automatically suggests when you start typing in the search bar. Look at the “People Also Ask” section to see what similar questions users have been posing. Scroll down to see what “related searches” Google has chosen to highlight. All of this information will give you ideas for valuable blog posts and articles.
Use Keyword Tools to Gain Key Insights
Keyword-stuffing might be counterproductive, but calculated, reasonable keyword use remains an integral part of SEO. Even before you start writing your content, understanding what keywords are commonly used can help you choose the right topics. There are many online tools designed specially to help with keyword research. SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner are two greater options, but there are many similar platforms available. By identifying the words and phrases that users are most frequently searching for, you can decide which topics would truly make an impact.
Monitor Social Media
Social media might seem like a confusing vortex of contradictory opinions, but it’s actually a great place to identify trends and see what people are thinking. Your potential buyers are likely on social media, and they probably use the space to ask questions and voice concerns. By keeping an eye on the social chatter, you can develop valuable insights and then apply them to your content marketing strategy. Make a point of following industry-related pages, and try to check out the hashtags that concern your business. You shouldn’t base your entire marketing approach on the latest social trend, but you should certainly look for patterns and common questions that could serve as the basis for a post.
Create SEO-Friendly Content That Answers Your Customers’ Questions
Completing in-depth research is just the first step of the content-creation process. From there, you’ve got to produce the pages that will reliably draw online traffic. It’s important to remember that the main objective is to create valuable content. Your posts should be thorough, meaningful, and full of useful information. You’ve already identified the questions your potential customers have been asking. Now, you need to answer them as completely as you can.
While the value of the content itself is most important, there are certain SEO strategies you should employ to maximize your pages’ online visibility. By answering your customers’ questions with search engine optimization in mind, you can produce the type of content that Google places at the top of its results pages.
Come Up With Relevant Topics for Content
The topic of each post is what will largely define the content’s success. This is the decision on which all other decisions are based. Only by choosing a topic that genuinely interests potential customers will you succeed in attracting attention online. That’s why it’s so important to make the right choice. Luckily, your research should make it relatively easy to make an informed decision. If you already know which questions your customers are asking, then all you have to do is highlight some that you know you can properly answer.
Include Long-Tail Keywords
While single-word keywords are useful for SEO, you should also include some longer phrases in your content. Look back at the research you conducted and identify the longer terms that users have been searching for. Then, try to work these terms into your writing. Multi-word phrases are called long-tail keywords, and they can help you attract people who are searching for very specific content. These are the folks who know exactly what they’re looking for, and they’re likely to be farther along on their buyer’s journey. This makes them excellent targets for click-throughs and conversions.
Use a Q&A Format
Since your goal is to show users and Google that you’re answering people’s questions, you might as well make the point obvious by presenting your content in a question-and-answer format. Try phrasing your subheadings as questions or placing a “frequently asked questions” section at the bottom of the page. Not only is this a user-friendly format that makes your content easily digestible, but it also allows you to seamlessly include your targeted keywords throughout the page.
Want to Rank Higher on Google? Answer Your Customers’ Questions
Google’s central mission is to give users the information they’re after. That means the best way to rank higher on Google is by creating the type of content that your targeted users would find useful. Questions and problems are what drive people to search for information online in the first place. By providing the right answers and solutions, you can increase your pages’ visibility and attract attention to your brand.