Content marketing for your customers?
Inbound Marketing relies on a mixture of technical elements to help you in getting found, but you’re also only going to get found and convert visitors into leads by producing good content. What constitutes good content? Perhaps more importantly, how do you produce good content for your customers? The answer is simple really. When you think about your customers, the people that buy from you regularly, what questions do they have that your offer a solution for?
It can be hard to remember that the people who make a search on Google are real people. Their questions are real, and you need to drill down into why your customers need your products or services. If your car packs up, you have a few options. You could get it fixed, you could get a new car, you could get a bike or use public transport. That’s 4 different solutions to a real-life problem. You need to devote some time to think about the searches that your customers might make and start producing content that answers these questions, and you can then optimise that content for specific keyword phrases.
At this point, it’s probably best to ask yourself if you have your buyer personas set up yet. If yes, then you have a good starting point to start looking for their questions and try to establish keywords to research. If you don’t know about them I’ll quickly run through what they are. Buyer personas are fictionalised archetypes or profiles that represent your ideal customers. Every company can identify the types of people that they do business with, you need to write up detailed stories that cover who each of these people is, their problems, their family, their work. Anything that can give you a sense of the sort of things they look for when choosing products/services. This enables you to start thinking about searches that they’d make online in order to find your business. Hubspot has a useful tool to aid you in creating your buyer personas that we recommend taking a look at called make my persona.
Tip: Read this post if you’re unclear about buyer personas or you want to know more about them.
What questions are they asking?
If you’re not sure what sort of questions they’d ask, maybe it’s worth asking them. But 99.9% of businesses have an idea of the sorts or problems their clients have, to which a solution can be offered. As an example, let us say Dan owns a white goods business. He knows that some of his customers are after a new washing machine. But what questions are those people asking? Maybe they’re looking to get a washing machine fixed, which would indicate theirs has broken. Maybe they’ve moved into a property and the previous owner has taken the washing machine? So search queries could be:
- What to do when your washing machine breaks?
- Washing machines for sale
- Washing machine repair.
Of course, these are really broad searches, making it hard for Dan to rank for them. But let’s imagine that Dan is based in Hackney. If someone searches ‘Washing machines in Hackney’ that would be quite a niche search and one that he could try and rank for. As it is location specific, the chances are that they’re near Hackney and are more likely to buy, rather than have a casual browse online. That’s a great opportunity for Dan to try and convert a visitor into a customer.
Draw up a list of questions and phrases that your buyer personas may use when searching online and produce good content to enable you to attract them. Now use a tool like Keyword tool, Wordstream, or Google’s Keyword Planner to see how popular those searches are.
Generally speaking, the ones that are broad are frequently searched and can be very hard to rank for. But try making the search queries more specific, or alter the wording. You want to find more niche searches that you can optimise content for. You may think that it’s better to rank for a broader search term but actually, the people that search for a more niche thing, or use a very specific query are more likely to be interested in your business.
Produce the educational, helpful content people search for
Once you’ve identified search queries that your customers are after, start producing posts and other pieces of good content that cater to your buyer personas. You can optimise these posts for specific long tail keywords in several ways.
Firstly you post titles should contain your keywords. Page URL’s containing keywords will be easily picked up by Googlebot. Google bot also scans meta descriptions. These are the short bits of text that appear underneath post titles in search engine result pages (SERP’s). If you can put the relevant long tail keyword into this description, your post will go up in their estimations. But be careful to ensure your meta descriptions are a good length. Optimal length is between 150-160 characters.
Tip: For WordPress users, the free Yoast SEO plugin allows you to edit meta descriptions and check posts for optimisation.
If you’re producing content that is correctly optimised for the searches that your buyer personas are making, you’ll rank higher, and because you’re producing relevant content that delivers the information or answers that your customers are after, you can be confident of the fact that you’re producing good content.
For more information on SEO best practise, this article is well worth a read. They also label things that should be considered a high priority.