Your content needs to benefit your readers.
It needs to fit into their search intent in a marketing sense.
But even more importantly…
It needs to fulfil their needs. And not in the “Eat, Pray, Love” meaning of the word.
Instead, the idea is that any given potential customer, client or contact who comes across your site has some sort of job to be done.
And you need to help them do that job.
So, how exactly do you do that?
You can educate your readers. Or you can give them something they can put to use today.
This article gives you 2 concrete content strategies that work across most industries. 2 strategies that are proven SEO winners and that could easily fill out your content calendar.
We will introduce the strategy to you, tell you exactly how to start doing it step by step and finally give you an example or two of it in practice.
Educate your readers with a dictionary or FAQ
It’s an age old self-evident truth in the SEO community that longer content is better.
But it’s not really a universal truth. Granted, it’s often correct. However, for many search queries it’ll actually drive readers away.
Because the length of a given content piece depends on the searcher’s intent.
If you’re searching for something with a simple answer, you don’t want to read 1000 words of copy before getting to the point.
Now, in your industry and specific niche, there’s probably a lot of those kinds of questions with simple answers. So we need to address it with content that matches up to it.
A good way to do it is by writing a dictionary/glossary or an FAQ.
Unclear? Here’s a couple of examples.
Moz has an all-in-one one page glossary of tons of niche SEO terms. That’s one of the forms it can take.
But you don’t need to be a SaaS company to take advantage of it. Here’s an example of one in the fashion world.
What makes it work?
- It hits a lot of long-tail search terms that are otherwise hard to rank for
- You look like a subject matter expert
- It can be used as sales or customer service collateral
- It’s ripe for featured snippet territory on Google
- It is easily expandable and writing a term up takes very little time. In fact, you could challenge yourself to write 2 a day in 30-60 minutes. That’s 500+ terms a year.
How to get started?
- Start by brainstorming all the questions and niche terms of your industry and put them together in a document.
- Now use a tool like Ubersuggest or Ahrefs to find related keywords.
- You can also use Google Trends or “People Also Ask” on Google to find more.
- Gather all the terms in a document and get to writing. Aim for at least 20 to begin with and add new terms as you figure them out.
- It can be set up as a single page or a collection of URL’s linked to from one master page.
Create useful assets for links and conversions
We’ve just touched upon a more passive inbound strategy. The dictionary or FAQ play will give you a lot of traffic utilizing the awesome power of long tail search queries.
The next tactic revolves around providing direct use value to readers. That will give you conversions (often of the soft kind) and can help capture some of that delicious link juice floating around the internet.
The idea is simple: create a digital asset that your potential customers or users can use. If you create something good enough, that will naturally accrue external backlinks.
For SaaS companies, create something that helps users accomplish a job central to the function of your software. Legaltech company Contractbook has for example provided a ton of contract templates that can be used with their software or downloaded as PDFs.
Attach it to a form requiring an email or other data to get that conversion funnel revved up.
For ecommerces, guide your users to your products. A classic example is ASOS’s massive size guide site. This one has about 350 incoming links at time of writing.
You can also do something similar by supplying free digital copies of manuals or guides to setting up.
What makes it work?
- Helping your users or customers invokes an element of reciprocity, a classic social influencing tactic. Because you’ve helped them “for free”, they’re inclined to feel better about you
- It can reduce uncertainty about your product which leads to more conversions
- It attracts links because it’s concrete and often universally usable… even your competitors might link to it!
- If it’s attached to a sign up, it’s a way to get more emails for direct marketing purposes
- It can also be used as sales or customer service collateral
- It makes you look like a subject matter expert
How to get started?
- Think about the core of your business. What does it help people do?
- Now, think up usable assets that can either increase engagement with the product (contract templates for a document automation platform) or reduce uncertainty around it (The issue with online shopping is not knowing whether the clothes will fit).
- Produce the assets and make sure they are featured centrally on your landing pages and product pages.
- Consider reaching out to others so they might link to it
I hope this served as inspiration for your content marketing efforts. Trust me, I know what it feels like to stare at the empty content calendar. Luckily, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.