How to Build A Content Marketing Strategy to Reach Your Target Audience
Do you know what your audience is searching for and why? Understanding user intent is the first, and one of the most important steps towards developing an effective search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing strategy. Having a solid grasp on the different categories of intent enables you to strategize your content efforts to better suit the needs of your audience.
What is Searcher Intent?
Searcher intent refers to the reason why someone conducts a specific search in a search engine such as Google and answers the following questions:
- Why are they searching for something?
- Are they seeking answers to questions?
- Are they searching for a specific website?
- Are they looking to buy something?
It is crucial that you ensure your web content matches the search intent of your audience so you can actually reach the people you are targeting.
The 4 Types of Searcher Intent
Here are the different types of searcher intent for which you can optimize.
This is when people are searching the web for specific information. These individuals typically have questions they want answered or are simply looking to learn more about a certain topic.
Searchers with navigational intent are trying to get to a specific website. Ranking high when it comes to navigational intent is incredibly beneficial for your organic traffic if your website is what people are searching for.
People who search with the intention of purchasing something are searching with transactional intent.
This is when someone intends to buy something, but not immediately. They are using search engines to help them research the type of item they are looking to buy before pulling the trigger.
How Optimizing for Search Intent Builds Trust
When creating effective pieces of content, some level of trust from the reader is needed in order to pique their interest. But trust isn’t something that can be attained right away, it has to be earned using certain techniques. Here are some ways you can build audience trust through your content.
Be Strategic with Your Wording
The words you use in your content can create a strong impression on the reader. Here are some words and phrases that have been shown to trigger an emotion in readers and put their mind at ease:
- As a result
- Due to
- For this reason
The reason these words are so effective is that each one has a sense of proof on the other side of it and shows that any claim being made is going to be backed up by a fact. This sends a powerful message to a reader who is constantly having marketing claims and sales messages thrown at them.
Include Users in the Narrative
Your audience wants to know, “What’s in it for me?” One way to effectively demonstrate this is to show the end result of engaging with your brand. Take your content up a notch by telling customer stories in a way that your prospective audience cannot ignore.
Include the Facts
When looking at content, what searchers want most is proof to back up your claims. In order to properly optimize your content for search intent, you will need to convey to your audience that what they are reading is accurate. Focus on serving up hard facts that will inspire a level of trust and convince the reader that you have the answers they are looking for. Optimize for Voice Search Mastering voice search will be critical going forward in today’s content. Just staying current with new developing trends is absolutely critical for search optimization going forward into 2020.
Selecting the Right Keywords
Before you create content and determine your keywords, you first need to have a solid understanding of the intent you are trying to target.
Read More: Is Personalized Content The New Standard?
Try putting yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and think of the different questions they might search for before they find your page. Also consider what pain points a customer would be looking to solve by purchasing your product or service and think about the intent behind the customer typing a particular phrase into a search engine. Try to use keywords and synonyms that create a relevant context around your keywords of choice. Doing so will give your users a more well rounded, useful, and relevant search experience. And remember, what you may think Google views as the “intent” isn’t always what it actually is. Make sure you research your keywords by typing them in the search engine and see what results come up. This will give you some important insight into what Google sees as the intent.
Read More: Why Google Is Obsessed With You
Tips to Help You Optimize Your Content for Search Intent
Gone are the days where you could pump out lots of content pieces stuffed with keywords and see fast results. Search engines have gotten smarter, and so has your audience. These types of articles are typically unable to match search results with audience intent, so they are overlooked and tossed aside. Here are some tips to help you better optimize your content for search intent.
Find Existing Pages to Optimize
You already have content out there. So why not try tweaking it to match your audience’s intent to make it easier to find and improve engagement? A good place to start is by updating the content on your top landing pages.
Figuring out why someone arrived on your website is a critical component of understanding their intent and will allow you to find any possible missed opportunities or areas for improvement.
Once you’ve identified the areas that need improvement, it’s time for optimization. Do this by telling your customers’ stories, using trust-building words, creating case studies, and including facts to help back up your claims. Also, focus on improving the reader’s experience rather than solely trying to gain the attention of search engines.
Implement the Changes
Once your optimization is done, it’s time to hit publish. Now is also a good time to identify the benchmark statistics to see where you are now, in order to measure the impact that your optimization had on your site’s performance.
Make Adjustments as Needed
Wait a week after your page has gone live is critical and make sure to check your analytics to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Record the results and make any adjustments as you see fit.
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Things to Avoid
When optimizing your content for search intent, be careful to avoid some all too common pitfalls. Here are a few examples of things you should avoid when it comes to optimization.
The goal of search engines is to connect audiences with content that matches their search intentions, so they use algorithms that favour high-quality, informative content. When content isn’t written for a human audience and is stuffed with so many keywords that the content is unreadable, you run the risk of being dropped in the rankings or have your content removed from search results altogether.
Too much of anything can often turn negative, especially when it comes to SEO (organic search) for your website. Too much SEO, also known as over-optimization, occurs when you create too many SEO improvements and end up damaging your website’s ability to rank. Just remember to keep everything in moderation, and not go too crazy on the SEO to avoid things from going downhill quickly.
Falling into the Traffic Trap
The ‘Traffic Trap’ refers to when a marketer creates too much content based on a specific topic that tends to perform well, resulting in high traffic, but not an increase in revenue and conversions. Since traffic is often considered a vanity metric, it’s important not to consider traffic as your sole measure of success.
Read More: How To Measure Content Marketing Success
The words that people are using in their search queries will help to identify their intent. For example, using words like buy, deal, and discount means they are more likely to purchase something. If people are searching for specific products, this is also an indicator that they are looking to buy. But if they search using words like information, how-to, and best way to, they likely have an informational search intent. Regardless of whether or not search intent is obvious, you should be doing your own search and looking at the pages that are already ranking high for certain keywords. Then you can create your own similar content that matches what you find on page 1 of the search results. User intent is a fundamental component of content marketing and SEO, so it’s critical that the content you are putting out not only fits the terms people are searching for, but the search intent of your audience as well.
Read More: SEO Marketing That Actually Works
Because trying to rank content where the intent of your message does not match the intent of the searcher is ineffective and only leads to failure. Therefore, it’s crucial that you understand the intent behind the keywords you are targeting. Doing so will simplify the entire SEO process and make a huge difference when it comes to your content’s performance and conversions.