Expand Your Keyword Universe to Increase Customer Satisfaction
Update: It has come to my attention that some marketers are trying to ‘game’ Hummingbird by adding large amounts of low quality content to their sites. I would ask marketers who are doing this or contemplating doing this, to think twice. You are much better off if you create a content strategy first.
Key Takeaway: Decide what answer your content provides to the questions or needs of your audience.
Creating dozens of fluff pieces is essentially a waste of time; they may even do harm. Keep in mind Google is looking for high quality, in-depth content that shows your authority on a particular subject. Here are a few tips to help you create the best content possible:
1) Create a strategy and an editorial calendar to plan your content creation and deployment. Plan ahead. Don’t use the excuse that ‘things change too much in my industry to plan’. That’s an old excuse. Avoid it. You can always blog or create new content if something big changes in your space.
2) Video, audio, images, infographics, pins…keep your mind open: Content is not just text.
3) Remember that quantity is fine if the quality is there. Here I will define quality at its most basic:
a. No spelling errors
b. Complete sentences
c. Don’t create content around topics that have been done to death; but if you must do so, make sure you have a very unique take.
d. Edit, edit, edit: Give your content to someone else to read or comment on.
e. Take an extra few minutes to make it great!
All of the above hints are the bare minimum definition of quality. What you should really be after are thought pieces, interesting photography, humor, Vine videos…go cutting edge.
Please remember Google’s Panda updates are now monthly. It’s important to get a content strategy in place. Content marketing isn’t something you do once and it’s done. It’s a continuous process.
All of this may sound like a rant, and maybe it is. It frightens me to see some of the stuff marketers are passing off as ‘content’ lately. People are scared they aren’t creating enough of it. I’d hate to see them harm their marketing efforts by promoting this trash which has little connection to their brand. Pump the brakes people and get a solid strategy going; you will be better off on the search engines in the long run. Your audience will thank you, too.
Last time we talked about Google’s new Hummingbird update and how you can take advantage of it through consistent production and distribution of quality content.
Today we want to discuss some keyword research strategies that can help you with that content creation. Much of what we cover here isn’t rocket science and it’s not necessarily new information, but it is information that some marketers may not have paid close enough attention to, until now, and this how-to should help you get your content marketing ready for Hummingbird.
Since Hummingbird is focused on returning results that best match searchers’ intent, it stands to reason that we’d like to create content that has a better ability to match that intent. To do the best job of content matching, we want to find suggestions on how we can expand our key phrase research.
These expanded suggestions are what is known as long-tail keyword research. You can perform key phrase research in Google’s Keyword Planner and check your search volumes in that tool to decide if the phrases are worth going after. But what if you want additional suggestions?
Did you ever notice Google’s Related Searches at the bottom of search results pages, every time you do a search? That’s one good place to look. Also you can see what Google Instant (that auto-complete feature that guesses your intended searches as you type them into the Google Search box) offers for suggestions.
We also recommend using a tool called Ubersuggest. You can gather a number of variations on a phrase and get the tool to suggest additional phrases. Then you can feed these phrases into Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to check search volumes.
You might also want to try Wordstream’s free tool. It will help you discover even more long-tail key phrases, and when you enter your email address you can receive an entire list of phrases sent to you for free.
Key Takeaway: What good marketers have always done is encourage user feedback to gain insights into what customers are thinking. This is much easier today via the use of social media. Post Hummingbird, it’s more important than ever to give users as many ways to provide their feedback to you as possible. Then you must track that data and create content (not just copy, but images, audio and video, too) around that feedback. Use your long-tail keyword research to help you target as many user intent areas as possible.
Encourage Feedback and Collect Data that Reflects User Intent
–> So leverage the data you get from posting questions on Facebook and Twitter.
–> Find out what your customers are thinking by mining blog comments.
–> Read the reasons why people unsubscribe from your newsletters.
–> Gather data from customer reviews.
Pay more attention than ever before to all of this data; it will help you create content that matches user intent.
Of course your main goal should be to ensure customer satisfaction. Your data mining will definitely help you accomplish that, too.
Need help with keyword research or ideas for content marketing? Let us know what you’d like to learn more about and we’ll post it here for you. Contact us or give us a call at 865.325.9289.