How Can Brands Create Successful Content for Search?
Creating Content for Search
Google now assesses the quality of content by listening to users - it’s down to your audience to determine how successful you are, so you need to create content that talks to them. If you get that right, Google will see how much people love your brand and reward that within the search results – simple.
The difficult part is being the brand that stands out when consumers can access information at the touch of a button in hundreds of different places, making reaching them more difficult than ever. In this pull environment, interesting and entertaining content engages customers in a way that adverts can’t. Successful content marketing should focus on creating high-quality, relevant content for communities to discover, add to, consume and share on their own terms.
Content marketing campaigns need to form part of an integrated marketing strategy, serving brand, PR, search and social objectives. So how do you meet these whilst ensuring customers choose your brand? The trick is to carefully plan and build a bank of content that’s useful for its intended audience and promoted in the right way to gain your customer’s trust. Here are a few of the questions worth thinking about when planning that content:
Is it relevant to what people are searching for?
Search is about answering questions, it’s one of the most personal channels around as customers are directly telling you what they want, so don’t throw that opportunity away by serving irrelevant content; to quote Seth Godin, “talk to me, directly to me, about something relevant and personal, and I will love you for it”.
Who wants to know?
What information do you have on your intended audience? You won’t always have a full picture of an individual, but make the most of what you do have; even understanding the intent behind particular search terms can tell you certain information that helps you craft your content around it.
Is it the right content presented at the right time in the customer journey?
Understand what information your customers want and need at various times throughout their customer journey. Audience signals and CRM data can help you decide what content would be would be most relevant at different stages. Analysing this data properly will help reveal typical purchase points, possibly by customer type, and highlight opportunities where targeted content can help improve the likelihood of a customer picking your brand over a competitors and don’t forget about the content opportunities post conversion to help encourage repeat business.
Does this make us the experts?
With regular content, you’ll naturally build up a profile as an expert in your sector. Make the most of the knowledge within your business to create interviews, how-to guides and thought leadership content to solidify your brands perception as experts in the minds of your customers. After all, as John Hegarty puts it, “The only space worth occupying is the space between someone’s ears."
Is this the best format?
One of the big challenges in content right now is the wide variety of formats your customers use. Make data informed decisions on formats based upon what your customer wants. If Google analytics shows that 80% of your blog page visits are through smartphones, make sure the content is easily accessible on a small screen. Whilst video has become one of the most important and successful formats for online content, it still needs to be relevant for the viewer. Facebook has recently acknowledged this by improving its video engagement measures to better understand what video content its users want to see.
If you’re getting all of that right, you’re customers will love you for it, and if they do, then so will Google.