The business world has shifted from offline directories to the online search engines, and there are only two ways to get found there: pay for advertising, or create content that matches what users are looking for. Or both.
So how can you create the kind of content your users are looking for? Here are our three favorite ways to make the content your readers want, and make it findable!
Great content comes from three places: personal knowledge, research, and luck. You can rely on luck if you wish, but it’s a stressful route. It’s better to have the occasional lucky viral hit by accident, than to try to count on it.
Personal experience and knowledge only go far. So researching your target customers and the content that’s popular with them, is the best strategy for most of us.
So how do you research your customer and content? You can use the Google Keyword Planner, which is designed to help you purchase advertising, but will also help you figure out how many searches per month your customers are making, and exactly what they’re typing into the search engines.
Once you know what your customer is looking for, and you search for those things the same way they do, you’ll see what content is popular. You can mimic competitors, or do something a little different, and either strategy can work.
Using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, but also online survey sites and email lists, ask your target customers what they’re looking for. Ask them what products they love, and why. Or what they hate, and why.
That’s a very different kind of research (which is known as qualitative research), and it’s not based on volume or assumptions. This is the type of data that will give you insight toward possibly innovating something that people don’t even know to ask for.
3. Use the keywords
Keyword usage in your articles, and also in your page titles, is what will get your content found by the search engines and thus to the consumers. Also, keep in mind that geography is helpful, since a high percentage of searches are local, thanks to smartphones.
If you have a service or facility for kids’ birthday parties in New Zealand, for instance, make sure to use the geographical reference at least twice in the articles you write about your business!