Quality blogging, as an aspect of SEO, has become more important than ever. Are you aware of the recent news about search engine results pages (SERP)? Google has been experimenting with some innovative design variations. These changes are driven by customer demand. Google wants to give their users what they want, in a format that creates the most value. Additionally, Google has brought the marketing world’s attention to micro-moments—the new way people are performing searches. In the past, many people sat down at their computer with the intent to perform a certain task. Even if it was surfing the web, there was some formal structure to it.
Today, internet search is more impulsive. For example, a co-worker tells you about a new nifty gadget, and you quickly grab your smartphone and search, Where can I buy the nifty gadget? It’s a micro-moment because, in this example, you are narrowly focused and want something specific, jumping on the internet just long enough to fulfil your specific goal.
In order to feed this demand, Google is building their algorithms and search results page designs around query intent. Therefore, when ranking blog content, there is less emphasis on keywords and more emphasis on context and authority. Basically, Google’s SERP works by assessing content to determine whether its search results help the user perform their intended task, and whether the content is uniquely valuable to the user.
According to Search Engine Land, There are four micro-moments that online users make that your business will need to understand in order to create effective blog content that attracts leads and converts them into customers:
- The I-want-to-buy moment
- The I-want-to-know moment
- The I-want-to-go moment
- The I-want-to-do moment
The fact is, many businesses use a blogging strategy based on what they want rather than what their visitors want or need. They make guesses about keywords, and then develop content around a marketing message or self-promotion. Google’s changes tell us this will no longer work, if it ever really did. The Content Marketing Institute reports “as much as 60 to 70% of content goes unused.”
Therefore, most content does not receive click-throughs, comments, social shares, or improve conversion rates. However, the following tips can help you craft blogging content for these intent-focused moments.
#1 Create Content for Consumers at Every Stage of the Customer Life-Cycle
For your blog content to have value it must either be informative, useful, or entertaining. Therefore, craft blog entries for each of these five customer life-cycle stages:
- Target: Those who may not know who you are, but who match one of your buyer personas
- Prospect: Those who are early in the decision-making process, but have limited awareness of your products or your brand
- Lead: Those who are actively making a buying decision and are about to make a purchase
- Active Customers: People who have just made a purchase with you and require continued relationship management
- Super Fan: Consumers who have purchased in the past, and their loyalty and enthusiasm about your products and servicesmake them potential brand advocates
#2 Create Data-Driven Content Focused on Intent
Monitor social media conversations targeting your industry and use website analytics to understand your audience. Use this data to craft blogging content that feeds the demands of your audience and customers.
Backed by industry-leading data and the largest community of SEO experts, Moz reports, “The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position. It is what the user came to see and is thus extremely important to the search engines. … So what is good content? From an SEO perspective, all good content has two attributes. Good content must supply a demand and must be linkable.”
#3 Use the Correct Voice and Modifiers
Your data will reveal how best to speak to your audience. Another big issue businesses have with blogging is not writing for their audience. For example, a local law firm’s content should address the intent of their target clientele; not impress other attorneys.
Your keyword research will reveal how to frame your blog articles. ProBlogger, the blog for bloggers, advises, “You have to know enough about your audience to know what matters most to them, and appeal to those values.”
What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like discuss blogging for intent-focused search, or need more information on what can be done to improve your SEO and online marketing strategy, please contact us at McAllister Marketing. We are a full service branding and inbound marketing team that specializes in helping you attract, convert and retain more customers.