Here are three key tips to follow when creating new content in order to better connect with your customers:
1. Start with research
Ask yourself and your team what your potential customers would like to know about your brand and services. What are the must-haves your customers need to know in order to understand the benefits of your services, the way your brand can make a difference in their lives, and why they should choose you instead of your competitors? Conduct research about your brand, how searchers look for information about your brand, and what they know about what sets you apart.
Look into your website search function data to understand visitors’ searches on your website. Use Regex in Google Search Console to find questions visitors have about your brand and services, as well as long tail keywords you might want to target with content. Look into research for your brand and market to understand any emerging trends in organic search, or any topics that are losing interest. We like using Google Trends, Keyword Tool and Answer the Public to gather data about target audiences, search interest and brand affinity.
Once you have an idea of what content you need to have on your website or optimize further, perform competitive analysis.
2. Run competitive analysis
Do you know who you’re going against? Competitive analysis is essential in order for you to understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as their messaging to attract customers. Audit your competitors’ websites and look for: highest-performing content, brand messaging, topic clusters, CTAs and conversion messaging, non-branded highest-ranking keywords, and unique keywords for your brand. Understand their shortcomings, whether that’s website speed, missing SEO elements or unclear messaging. We like using BrightEdge Data Cube to gather data about competitors and their share of voice. Competitive research helps you understand the “why” of your brand – why your customers should choose you.
3. Qualify your content
Once you’ve gathered data, highlighted priority topics to cover and understood your potential to rank against the competition, qualify the content topics in order to map out your target keywords. Answer these questions:
- What is the purpose of each content piece? Is it informational, commercial, navigational?
- Is it answering frequently asked questions and concerns your potential customers have?
- Does it make you an expert for topical authority? Remember E-A-T from the Google Search Quality Rater guidelines: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
- Is the content in the right format? Understand if your site visitors want the content as a video resource, FAQ, blog content or product page.
- Does the content have a clear CTA, whether it is learning more about a topic, buying a product or service, or contacting customer service? You want to convey a clear message about where site visitors should go next.
- Is it duplicative of any existing pages? You want to make sure you create unique content with topical relevancy and healthy internal linking.
By now, you should have a qualified list of topics that your target audience is interested in. Create a content calendar for content creation and optimization, and sort it in order of impact. Write down level of effort and internal resources needed to create the content. Now, let’s get to work.