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According to a recent article on Search Engine Land, “Intent should be every marketer’s #1 obsession.” In the age of content marketing and They Ask, You Answer, searcher intent must inform all of our inbound marketing efforts.
Search Engine Land writer Amanda Milligan opines, “we should always be focused on what people are looking for and why we’re creating something because where those two elements meet is where the most successful content lies.”
Content shouldn’t focus on keyword stuffing, filling paragraphs with links, and other outdated practices. It should focus on providing answers and real value to people who are looking for information about your services or products — especially because in 2019, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
And even more interesting, a Demand Gen Report reveals that 47% of consumers review at least three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with sales associates.
Because your prospects are starting their research online instead of talking to someone in your sales department, it’s absolutely crucial to create content that resonates and answers their most demanding questions about your product or service.
Creating valuable content that pleases search engines
research shows that we need to create content that is SEO-friendly so that it shows up early in search engine results pages, but also keeps the prospect educated and engaged.
A best practice is to start at the end — ask yourself, “What do I want the reader of this article (or blog post, or website page) to learn after they read this?”
That seemingly simple prompt can drastically improve your entire editorial calendar.
By uncovering the topics that you can create educational and engaging content around, you’ll get away from writing top of the funnel content that isn’t moving the needle. Remember, your prospects are reading three to five pieces of content — make those pieces count.
Once you have your editorial calendar updated so that you’re focusing on educating your audience, you can begin to figure out what keywords SHOULD be included in that content.
By starting with intent first and SEO second, you’re ensuring that you’re not creating keyword-stuffed content just for Google, but rather your audience.
Keywords and adhering to SEO practices is crucial when it comes to your content showing up on page 1 of search engines, but if people aren’t finding value in what you’re writing, they’ll leave and Google will end up pushing your content lower in results anyway.
As marketers and content creators, we should be focused on creating the right content (blog posts, website content, and so on) that focuses on what we need our prospects to know before they even talk to someone in the company; however, that’s not always top of mind for all content creators. Some are just trying to create content for Google instead of for the real people who are looking for information.
Some content creators are still focusing on keyword research and creating content for the sake of using these keywords rather than making content that is actually valuable for our prospects.
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