Relevant content, or content that authoritatively connects and engages with your target audience, is hard to create.
Not only is it expected that you are the expert in a particular subject matter, you must also know what the user wants, when they want it, and how it should be packaged up - all in the right tone of voice.
Nearly all organizations publish some form of content today. And, 36% of them have found great success with their efforts already. Blog posts, video, infographics - no matter what content type you prefer, one thing is for certain: content helps a business reach and engage with their target audience, which generates more leads and sales than any other marketing channel.
Realizing this, many of our customers are asking:
“How could we possibly create content today that can stand out from all the noise and help us rank better at the same time?”
The answer is by publishing personalized, audience-centric and relevant content that achieves three objectives:
- Confirms a company’s authority on the topic,
- Includes information relevant to a searcher’s intent, and finally,
- Matches Google’s preferences when ranking pages for specific keywords.
In this post, I'll expand on this issue and show you how to create relevant content that meets the direct needs of your target audience. I'll also share the best way to do this with the tools you have at your disposal or within the seoClarity platform through Content Fusion - an AI-powered content writer designed to help you create engaging content that can succeed in search.
First, let’s get a broader perspective on why some enterprise brands struggle so much with creating content that the audience actually desires.
Recommended Reading: Write Authoritative Content that Boosts Rankings and Engagement
The Content Chaos Challenge
Marketers publish an incredible amount of information each day. According to Smart Insights, for example, within one minute, companies:
- Publish nearly 1500 blog posts,
- Send almost hundreds of thousands of email marketing resources, and
- Post close to 450 thousand Twitter updates.
The problem? Many of these assets fail.
Why? Not all content achieves the search visibility needed to attract and convert any significant number of new visitors. And for the most part, it’s all because they lack relevance. Marketers continuously fail to understand their audience’s actual needs.
Instead, they focus on keywords, and other data points when creating content, without taking the buyer intent into account.
The following are several ways in which you can find topics your audience is actually interested in, thus allowing you to create more relevant content.
How to Create More Relevant Content
#1. Identify Real Questions Your Audience Asks
Every day, your potential customers go online in search for information and answers.
They post questions on sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, Reddit, and many others. Knowing what those questions are, gives you an unparalleled insight into what topics would attract relevant visitors to your site.
For our platform users, that’s exactly what Content Ideas helps you uncover. Based on a crawl of over 1 billion pages a day, the Content Ideas tool uses NLP (natural language processing) to help you identify the CONTEXT behind the information people are searching for.
Instead of returning related keywords or phrases, the tool identifies the most relevant questions and data from various web sources.
Imagine that you run a store selling t-shirts. You’ve created all the product pages and any additional content that might help customers during the buying process. But now, you want to discover what questions you’d need to answer for them to attract them to the site.
Using Content Ideas, you can quickly establish a number of potential problems they struggle with. For instance:
And then, using the Source Type Filter, you could also select a specific source, a Q&A site for example, to find a particular kind of content ideas.
(Results for the same query, filtered by the source type - in this case, showing only the Wiki Answer results)
#2. Discover News or Trending Topics that Engage Your Audience
Depending on the industry you target, its audience might engage with current events or trending news, more than with questions. Our Content Ideas tool helps you find those as well.
For example, take this year’s Super Bowl. If you were an online store selling sports apparel, then publishing content that provides insightful answers or commentary on the event could help you attract a relevant audience. Instead of filtering out results from Q&A sites, you could target news and sports commentary sources for content inspiration:
#3. Learn Phrases Your Audience Associates with the Problem
Language can cause a serious friction in content marketing. The most extreme example of this is industry jargon. Although using industry speak may seem like a good idea - to reassure a person that you know what you’re talking about - in reality, it causes a serious friction.
Not to mention that it often scares them away from consuming the rest of your content (let alone learning more about your brand). But there are other forms of this friction, many of which might seem insignificant. Unfortunately, their effect is equally harmful.
One of those forms is explaining the problem by using different words than your audience.
Our very industry, digital marketing, is a good example of this. After all, how often we speak about PPC when the audience wants to talk about AdWords? Or discuss the importance of anchor text, but our prospects are interested in the text in the link?
Luckily, you can quickly learn that from Content Ideas’ word cloud that displays phrases relevant to your main keyword.
Similarly, you could use the tool to discover new topics or approaches to a topic, related to your original one.
In fact, that’s exactly how another of our clients, Overstock, use the tool to draw customers to their online shopping site. The company needed to update their buying guides with links to relevant products. They’ve used both Content Ideas and the Word Cloud to generate ideas.
With Content Ideas you can discover ways to optimize and deliver content against their needs. But more importantly, we can uncover these content opportunities to engage with your target audience where ever they are in the customer buying cycle.
#4: Uncover the Intent Behind a Keyword
When searching, users typically aim to achieve one of four objectives. They either look for:
- Insights about something or someone,
- Product or service recommendations or
- Specific information about a business like its phone number or location.
In SEO, we refer to those as four search intents. Needless to say, understanding a person’s reasons for using a specific keyword can determine many aspects of your content.
For one, it can help you determine what type of content to create.
The intent behind a keyword can reveal whether this term is transactional or informational. If it turns out to be the latter, for example, then you might find an opportunity to position your content in the Answer Box.
With a transactional keyword on the other hand, you can strive to increase conversions, and so on.
What’s also important is that intent might change throughout the year.
Depending on the time of the year, a keyword might be more transactional. In those months, Google might highlight sites where you can buy or transact in some way. But other times of the year, it might be favoring blogs, offering advice on various aspects of the topic.
And Content Fusion can tell you what intent searchers have for your desired keyword. Leveraging artificial intelligence, it reports what stage of the buying a searcher might be in.
This is a groundbreaking feature allowing any organization to position the right content in front of their audience while always delivering on their expectations at the same time.
Creating relevant content for your audience is difficult - but it doesn't have to be. Although many brands turn to the quantity to overcome their challenges, the real secret of publishing content that engages and ranks at the same time is using data to backup decisions about various aspects of content, from type to length and even the information to include.