You have heard it before – when it comes to maximizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results, content is king. But what does this really mean? For the best SEO results, content must go beyond words on a page and truly serve as an extension of your business’ overall marketing plan.
You may have a beautifully designed, user-friendly website that is perfect for those thousands of unique visitors that you are expecting. However, unlike in the movies, the concept of “if you build it, they will come,” doesn’t typically apply when it comes to websites. To drive people to your site, you need content that is informative to them. Most importantly, you need quality content with relevant keywords that will rank your site high in Google’s search results. The higher the rank, the higher the probability that your link will get clicked.
It can be overwhelming to decide what to write about on your website, and then actually writing content can be a difficult process. But just like any project, good writing should be approached one step at a time, and the first step is figuring out a topic that will resonate with your target market. The best way to do this is to listen to what that market is saying; unfortunately, many businesses do not have the marketing budget to implement surveys and process the resulting data to get a pulse on what’s current with their prospects.
But there are ways to find out what your audience wants without spending a lot of money. It will require an investment of time on your part, but it is certainly worth it. Here are a couple of methods you can use to figure out what content will get you the most attention:
- Put yourself in your future customers’ shoes – research an area of interest as if you are about to invest in it. For example, if your business sells sofas, go to Google and type keywords relating to sofas, e.g. “sofa,” “couch,” “leather,” “stain-resistant fabric,” “springs,” etc. Take a bit of time to read through the results you find. What catches your eye? Odds are that the results you find interesting will also be interesting to your target market. You can then use these findings as inspiration for your writing topics and tailor them to fit your business.
- Search for online, topic-specific discussion forums to read what is on the minds of your consumers. If you are a granite supplier of residential kitchen countertops, you can search out a discussion forum about kitchen remodeling. These are plentiful, and yield an amazing amount of information on current trends and consumer desires. People tend to speak quite frankly in these forums, so it’s an easy way to get some basic, uninhibited data on what people are researching. Of course, this methodology won’t yield statistically measurable results, since you can’t control the sample size or the pool of respondents, but it can still give you some great ideas for your website content.
Once you have figured out what to write about, the second step to quality content is incorporating keywords that relate to your topic. In the case of the sofa example above, let’s say that your research led you to write about the topic of family-friendly sofas. In your content, go beyond the basic upholstery terms like “stain-resistant,” and use specific terms like “microfiber,” “Crypton®,” and “leather.” If you are discussing styles of sofas, include words like “sectional,” “recliner,” “chesterfield,” etc.
For the granite supplier, a strong writing topic could be “popular styles of granite for a modern kitchen.” This may involve using keywords about the actual geological origins of the stone (e.g. igneous), but more likely will involve specific names of granite that consumers would tend to use in a Google search. Some examples would be “fantasy brown,” baltic brown,” “serpentine,” and “virginia mist.” And remember, it’s easier to write knowledgeably about those popular styles (that translate to keywords) by reviewing your sales data, as well as by reading those online discussion forums to see what people are talking about.
Although Google likes quantity (word count) in articles, quality is still critical. After all, you could write a 2,000 word article and publish it on your website, but if it doesn’t have quality keywords that your target audience is searching in Google, you won’t get the desired result of attracting visitors to your site. By taking some time to do a little research, you can write a quality piece using specific, targeted keywords that will enhance your SEO efforts, drive traffic to your website, and increase customer awareness of your business. Increased awareness translates to increased sales, so your investment of time and effort into quality web content can yield profitable results for you.