MATCH CONTENT TO SEARCH QUERIES
The first step is to match your keyword themes as identified on your keyword worksheet with content that needs to be produced. Among the most common themes are:
- Branded or Navigational Searches. These are searches in which customers already know your company and simply use Google to find you quickly. In the example of Safe Harbor CPAs, a branded Google search is literally “Safe Harbor CPAs,” while for Ford Bergner Law Firm, it is “Ford Bergner.” Matching content: your “about your page on the website.
- Reputational Searches. Customers often research reviews about a company, product, or service online before making that final decision to make a purchase. Google your company name plus “reviews” and make sure that what they see about your company is positive; you’ll be creating and encouraging content to proliferate positive content about your company’s reputation. Matching content: people don’t search for testimonials about business; they search for reviews. So rename your testimonials page on your website to reviews for better SEO. Also, claim and optimize your company profiles on various reviews sites like Google, Yelp, CitySearch, Judy’s Book, etc., and encourage happy customers to write reviews.
- Anchor Searches. These are searches in which a core customer need matches a core product or service. In the example of Safe Harbor CPAs, an anchor search would be “San Francisco CPA Firms,” or “Tax Preparation San Francisco.” For a large company like Progressive Insurance, the anchor searches are “Auto Insurance” or “Motorcycle Insurance.” Matching content: your landing pages.
- Educational Anchor Pages. Besides transactional keyword searches, there are often common and repeated: “educational searches” for which’ people want long-form content. An example would be an explanation of the difference between follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplantation as techniques for hair transplants. Or, another example would be an explanation of how to contest a will under Oklahoma law. Matching content: FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) documents, eBooks, and long-form blog posts.
Keyword Specific Searches / Long Tail. Searches that are usually (but not always) long-tail searches (multiple search keywords), and reflect a very focused customer need or educational query. For example, “How to defend against an IRS audit?” or “Rights and responsibilities of a trustee in Texas” vs. just “CPA Firm” or “Probate attorney.” Matching content: blog posts.
Keyword Specific Searches / Micro Searches. Short but micro-focused search queries such as “Tag Heuer Repair,” or “Breitling Repair,” or “AdWords Coupons.” These are short but very specific search queries. Matching content: blog posts or micro landing pages.
News and Trending Searches. These are searches reflecting industry news, trends, and buzz. For example, with recent IRS initiatives to crack down on overseas assets, a search such as “FBAR” reflects an awareness of foreign asset disclosure requirements. Similarly, if you were a networking company, growing awareness of computer security would make blog posts on “cybersecurity” a good bet to attract interested customers. Matching content: blog posts, press releases, and video summaries (with matching YouTube videos)
These are not the only types of keyword queries and matching content that might exist, just the most common. Your TO-DO here is to track trending topics, and blog on them quickly to “get ahead” of the news cycle. Use tools like Google Alerts (https://www.google.com/alerts), Feedly (https://feedly.com), and Buzzsumo (http://buzzsumo.com) to monitor trending topics in Your industry.
Evergreen Content and Link-bait Content
Many SEO content experts also distinguish between evergreen keywords (keywords that are always valuable such as “CPA San Francisco”) vs. time-sensitive content (such as “2019 Tax Changes). And don’t forget the difference between educational search queries and transactional search queries (“knee pain” vs. “best knee surgeon in San Francisco”). Finally, there is link bait content (such as infographics, or tutorial posts) designed to attract links, and of course, social media content, especially content that is designed to be highly shareable on networks like Facebook or Twitter. Brainstorm content that has a long shelf-life and that will attract user interest and inbound links.
Regardless of the target keywords, the basic goal is to map out the types of content that are most relevant to you and your customers and to start a content marketing process that generates highly relevant content on a regular basis. So your process is:
- Identify a target keyword phrase, and match it to branded, educational, evergreen, anchor content, etc. Note: another way to think of this is to
brainstorm “customer needs” or “customer pain points.” What do your customers want to learn about? What interests them that relate to your company, product, or service? What hurts or scares them? What do they desire or want?
- Brainstorm the type of content you need to produce that best matches the keyword query such as a long-form blog post, an FAQ document, or a short and quick blog about a trending topic. Remember in today’s day and age that video content is a type of content; perhaps a YouTube video and companion blog post would be the “perfect match.”
- Produce the content on a regular and systematic basis.
- Promote the content, often by syndicating it as a Press Release, sharing it on social media, or even advertising it on Google, Facebook, or Twitter.
Brainstorm your keyword patterns, and group your keyword families into patterns that reflect branded search, reputational search, anchor search, esoteric search, and news search and other patterns.
CREATE A CONTENT MAP
Now that you have your keyword themes, it’s time to brainstorm the types of content you are going to create that will match the relevant keyword theme. Create a content map. In a sense, you are “reverse engineering” the process of Google search: taking what people search on Google as your endpoint, and creating the type of content that has a good chance of appearing in Google search results as your starting point. Your content map will map your keyword themes to the relevant locations on your website. Here’s a table mapping out how keyword themes are generally reflected on website locations:
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