When writing, most people have a topic in mind. But you need to organize your thoughts and do more research before you hit publish.
A common goal for content marketers is to score certain keywords on search engines. Advertising on social media and email can give content a big boost. However, if you want permanent visibility, ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) is a must.
To do this, you need the best and most relevant B2B content on site. And that’s not always easy to come by.
Here are some tips for creating ranked content.
Investigate your subject
Creating great content is a balance between trusting your instincts and validating it through research. Before deciding on a particular route for your content, you should have a plan of what to say and to whom.
Having a topic is a good start, but understanding whether ranking is feasible for that topic is important (assuming ranking is the goal).
First, is it a trending topic? If so, how long do you have before the topic reaches its peak or is no longer interested in people?
To find out how long topics are usually located in different niches, we have teamed up with Exploding Topics. As you can see in the graphic below, the duration of a topic depends on the industry. So keep that in mind when deciding how long it will take to create and promote your content.
Next: Is it a topic that people are interested in? Examine keywords that match your topic to determine their scope. Free Chrome extensions like Keyword Surfer can help.
Don’t just focus on keyword volume, however. If your topic is niche and the keywords are long-tail keywords (more specific than usual) it is perfectly normal to get a “0” volume score – and that keyword could still be ranking!
Ask yourself: Where does my content idea fit in the marketing funnel? When it is all the way down, ranking it may be worthwhile as those who would read the article are almost ready to make a purchase and thus are valuable readers, even if they are few.
For example, I used long-tail software to search for “Best Billing Software For Lawyers”. G2 has a special snippet for this search as G2 provides an easy way to compare legal billing software when you click through (the content is not a typical post, but content nonetheless) and therefore it ranks high in Google search results . By creating this value, G2 can attract law firms that are interested in these offerings and may also be interested in other service offerings.
Examine your audience
Knowing what to talk about is not enough. You also need to know who to talk to. Identifying this can help you focus your piece and make it valuable to a specific group of people rather than a vague or broad audience.
First, pull up your audience figures. Who is your content idea talking to? How can you reflect the challenges and concerns of this audience in your content? If your content isn’t talking to any of your people, ask yourself who you’re addressing and what the target for the piece really is.
Then it’s time to learn more about your audience through question research. This could include doing keyword research and exploring the “People Also Ask” section in Google results. What are people looking for? What solutions are you looking for?
A quick look at the appropriate search section for our previous example reveals other considerations that searchers are interested in, such as: B. Expense, e-billing, and general management software.
When you’ve finished a topic but aren’t sure which direction to go in, a tool like Answer the Public can be helpful. It offers free searches and a quick but comprehensive look at the many questions that are asked about your topic online. That way you can narrow down which audience you want to reach.
When you create quality content that adds value to your audience, you are one step closer to fulfilling “search intent”. This is important in order to get a high ranking as someone who searches for something on Google will select your content to click as it fulfills the intent of the person’s query.
Understand and plan to beat your competition
Once you know your topic and audience, you are in a much better position at creating high-level content. But there is another crucial step: competitive research.
Ranking in the SERPs does not take place in a vacuum: Your content is compared with millions of other websites. Search your topic on Google and see what’s already ranked. Examine the contents as follows:
- What is my first impression of this site? What not-so-great aspects stand out that I can improve?
- Is this page what the seeker intended, and if not how can I do it?
- Is the content easy to understand and navigate? If not, how can I get better organization and design?
- What kind of content is it (video, text, infographics, charts, etc.)? Are there any other types of content on site that would be more appropriate for the topic?
Anything currently ranked is likely to meet Google’s expectations of what users expect from this search query. Think about what content creators are doing right and wrong so that you can better meet Google’s criteria.
For example, let’s say you want to top this Zendesk article for tips on providing customer support. This could be tricky because Zendesk is an authoritative brand. However, when I look at the guide, I see room for improvement:
Parts of the manual are text-heavy – with no bullets, images, or other formatting to make it appealing. It hasn’t been updated since 2014 either.
These types of observations result in better content.
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Before you post anything, you should be able to answer “yes” to this question: Would anyone want to read this content over anything else now?
They want your content to be the best possible answer to their question. When you research your topic, audience, and competition, you create something worth clicking on.