It’s a good question to ask, especially if you’re a content marketer. In fact, your clients may well be asking this question right now.
Creating content is a good thing but pretty ineffective as a marketing tool if it doesn’t take into account consumer buying behavior.
It all starts with search, right? But, just how are people searching, and what are they searching for? Retrieving information is what the Internet is all about for the average user, who has made it big business for search engine giants like Google. The big G has made about a gajillion dollars by organizing information and making it accessible to viewers.
There are formulas involved, and math and stuff like that. Search engines crawl, index and analyze the Web, every minute of every day, just for you. Your clients want them to find their content, so here are some points for them to keep in mind when marketing on the Web:
The bottom line for content marketers is that the content you create must be recognized and indexed properly in order to be found, and this means that SEO must be a part of your content strategy. Keywords that are targeted and at the proper density let search engines know what you’re talking about.
Here’s a tip: write for humans, but think like a search engine. This means that, after you’ve written your awesome content that humans are going to love, you need to go back and check for SEO power. Insert a main keyword into the title and body at a density no higher than 2%. Add related terms. And please make it sound natural. Read it out loud to someone if you have to.
What else do search engines care about? Authority. Yes, that’s right. We’ve only talked about the importance of establishing credibility about a million times. This is why. If your content is high quality, useful and authoritative, consumers and other sites will start to take notice. They will link to you and purchase from you.
As Mike Grehan, Global VP of Content for Search Engine Watch, ClickZ and Search Engine Strategies once said, “Company websites can use keyword phrases and position themselves as the ‘Leader of Whatever’, but Google is asking ‘who else says so?’.
Content marketers should also understand user intent. What are information seekers looking for and how are they trying to find it? There are 3 basic types of user intent when searching for information on the Web:
- Informational. As it implies, this is a simple search for information executed through a query. Want to know more about “content marketing”? Type in that phrase.
- Navigational. This is a search for a specific website rather than information about a topic. The query would be for the name of the company, for example.
- Transactional. This search is with the intent to do something, such as make a purchase, download a document or get customer service.
Understanding these points will help you to create content that really speaks to your target market. Once you lock in on what motivates them, what speaks to their purposes and satisfies their needs, you can keep producing useful information that gets them to take the action you want them to take.
And from there? Well, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to social media, where your customers will be able to get your information on the go and in real time. They will then pass it on to others on the spot. Crazy, this kind of agility.
How do you get people to read your content? Create great content that pushes buttons for both search engines and humans. Make them both happy, and you’ve got the ticket to content marketing success.