Thursday, December 15, 2016

Relevant Content: How to Satisfy and Delight Browsers

Relevant content is the cornerstone of a good content marketing campaign. Beyond a site's functionality (usability), relevant content is also the most important factor in a good SEO campaign. In both cases, the purpose of relevant content is clear: to attract a specific audience.

Naturally, search engines prefer relevant content. In a page warning webmasters about "little or no original content," Google advises "relevant keywords":

"One of the most important steps in improving your site's ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content."

Relevant content satisfies a browser's keyword search. For each query, Google's goal is to produce only relevant results. Yet relevant content is much more than keywords.

To think of relevant content strictly in terms of keywords--as many SEO specialists do--is to limit what the best content can do. Yes, relevant content should "satisfy a browser's query," but the best content--to borrow a phrase from America's favorite "organic" grocery store, Whole Foods Market--satisfies and delights.

Whole Foods Market aims to not only satisfy, but delight, customers. [Photo source].

How to Satisfy a Browser's Query

The SEO world offers many guides on creating "relevant content," and many suggest optimizing the technical aspects of your content, such as the meta tagsalt tags, and the heading.

Keyword research is also crucial. Before researching keywords, however, SEO guru Neil Patel suggests discovering your ideal user's "intent": user's goal when performing a query. This goal can be defined, as Patel suggests, in three ways:

  • Do something – commercial queries: “Buy a lawn mower online” 
  • Know something – informational queries: “2015 gas lawnmower customer reviews” 
  • Go somewhere – navigational queries: “Craftsman website”

What does your ideal customer want to do? And how will your content meet this desire? When writing content, the goal for a good website is to produce content relevant to an specific audience. What is "relevant" for one brand's audience is necessarily irrelevant for another. Specificity is key.

After discovering user intent, keyword research is a relatively straightforward process that begins with common sense and ends with strategic thinking.

The point is to position your new content to compete against the current top ranking content. To do so, we suggest starting with a few working keywords, Googling the competition, using a keyword research tool, refining your keywords, and finally, Googling the competition for your new, refined keywords.

For more, read: SEO 101: How to Perform Keyword Research

How to Delight a Browser: Purpose

It is important to match browsers with accurate queries--to give them what they're looking for. Yet, most people in the SEO community are merely focused on satisfying a browser's query.

To delight a browser is the true purpose of content. Delightful content speaks precisely to a brand's core audience, defining, explaining, or meeting the audience's needs and desires. Relevant content is purposeful.

To create relevant content think about the element of the content itself: language, video, or pictures.

Think about content that performs several functions at once.Very good content might convey information about a product and make a connection to the reader.

Take a look at this deceptively simply copy from the clothing retailer, Bonobos: "Premium selvage denim with a touch of stretch so you don’t have to break them in."

This line tells us something unique about the product (makes us see): it's  premium selvage denim. Yet it also invites the reader to feel a connection to the product: you won't have to break them in!

To create relevant content, make sure each and every piece of content serves a purpose--or, better yet, multiple purposes.

How to Delight a Browser: Surprise

Relevant content feels necessary--content that stays with the browser after the experience. While being timely, relevant content aims to make an impression. To stand out from a surplus of timely content, offer meaning.

To do so, we believe, you must give the browser more then what they're looking for. Delight, like the best comedy, is a surprise. While satisfying, and even delighting, great content can also transcend, or even upend, user's expectations.

You can, obviously, tick all the SEO boxes--the tags and headers and keywords--while also offering an element of surprise. But here's the thing: Surprise should not be some artificial gesture; surprise can come from the content itself. The key is to be one-of-a-kind. Offer a fresh take on a common theme. Say something new. Or, if you can, say it in a new way.

Content Marketing with Stepman's PC 

If you're looking for an SEO company that understands how to effectively promote websites with 10x content, we suggest contacting our sponsor, Stepman's PC: 215-900-9398 Stepmans PC combines traditional marketing methods and organic SEO--with an emphasis on natural website optimization--to design thoughtful, inspiring, and effective content marketing campaigns.