Top 2019 SEO Trend: Answering Questions is The New Optimization

Second in Our 2019 SEO Trends Blog Series

In our first blog in this series, we discussed the difference between content marketing and a content-driven strategy. Now we want to dig deep and provide you with some actionable SEO tips to help you optimize your content so that it reaches the widest possible audience. Along the way we’re going to take a look at how you can put your strategy together so that instead of producing random pieces of standalone content, you’ll create a powerful machine that carries your message across multiple channels, leading your audience to conversion.

Discover the Questions That Matter & Offer The Best Answers

You may be familiar with the task of key phrase research, or perhaps you’ve had an agency do it for you. Key phrases give insight into questions people are asking; they also can represent answers to those questions.

Think about the questions your audience needs answers to. Also think about the things you want your audience to know about your products or your organization. List these. Let’s see how this plays out:

  • Question: I need someone who I can trust to rid my home of termites.

Key phrase query: termite exterminator near me

Answer: We’re the best at exterminating termites.

Potential key phrases to optimize for: (City name) termite control; best termite exterminator

  • Question: Where can I buy great tires for driving in the rain?

Key phrase query: buy rain tires

Answer: We’re offering a special this month on rain tires.

Potential key phrases to optimize for: buy rain tires, best rain tires, (your brand) rain tires

  • Question: My dog needs high protein dog food.

Key phrase query: buy high protein dog food; best high protein dog food

Answer: Acme dog food provides 25% more protein than other leading brands.

Potential key phrases to optimize for: Acme high protein dog food; high protein dog food for puppies, etc.

You’ll use the questions and query phrases as themes for your content. The answers and optimization key phrases will fill in all the details.

Content is more than a stray article or a video that offers a general welcome message. It works together in a unified whole, like this:

content marketing strategy | Engine-ius Marketing

You’ll notice that in the above image, there isn’t a straight line from the light bulb (content theme – audience question) to the target (conversions). That’s because people don’t all absorb information in the same way, and they don’t act on it in the same way. A content-driven strategy will take that into account, and present multiple forms of content (copy, audio, video, images), all leading to that target. We’ll discuss this in greater detail, in our next blog.

Key Takeaway: What matters for now is that you understand that aligning questions and answers should be the crux of any content you create. And it all works together.

Now, let’s get back to our question creation and keyword research.

What you want to focus on here are long-tail keywords; these are phrases of several words that, together, create a more specific query. Often people who search using long-tail phrases have high conversion intent (close to a buying decision). You may not find high search volume for these; but that is okay; as you will be able to rank more easily for these phrases. You want to rank for a variety of long-tail phrases, and you can also sprinkle in more specific, highly searched phrases, into your content.

So how do you find these phrases? Take a look at your current keyword list (and if you don’t have one, contact Engine-ius Marketing to get your SEO campaign started – we know how to find the phrases people are searching right now). Add some elements to turn these phrases into questions, like this:

Original key phrase

Baseball hats

Long-tail phrase

Buy Mets baseball hats

And this:

Original key phrase

Seattle literacy program

Long-tail phrase

Where services does the Seattle literacy program offer?

Another way to generate long-tail phrase possibilities is to add the words ‘how to’, ‘who’,’what’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and other question-forming components to your regular key phrases. See what combinations you can come up with. Don’t be deterred from using these long-tail phrases, especially if they are highly relevant to your audience. Google’s smart. It can parse out the ‘trunk’ parts of these phrases and discern what your content is about.

What To Do With Your Phrases, Once You’ve Created Them

The phrases become article titles, subheads, email subject lines, social media posts, blog topics, calls to action and many more motivational elements that inform and lead people to conversion. They become the rich details that set your content apart from that of your competitors.

We also mentioned in our last blog that not everyone is going to come to your website and buy right away. They will often return multiple times before they make a purchase decision. That’s another reason why you need a content-driven marketing strategy. You need consistent, connected content that brings home your message via multiple formats. And in an ideal world, this process never ends. It is a generator of website traffic, trust, loyalty and sales. And it all revolves around finding the right questions and providing the best answers.

Time to Build Your Content Strategy

Build a strategy using a hub piece of content, then branch out from that. Many marketers will start with a blog or an article. Maybe you would like to start with a podcast. Create your first piece of content, then determine what other questions you need to answer. That will direct you to your next piece, and so on. Not everyone is going to react the same way to a Facebook post, or an infographic, or a video. Know that all of these content forms do motivate people, and you can use our gear image illustration to remind yourself that you’ll want to connect these content pieces together (by keeping the message consistent, and literally linking the content via hyperlinks and calls to action). If you have an established brand, you would of course ensure that you emphasize it throughout your content elements. Whether you do or not, you should mention what makes you unique, as you deliver answers to questions.

Make Content-Driven Marketing Work for You

Engine-ius Marketing offers the experience and expertise you need to get the most from content-driven marketing. We’ve spent two decades driving traffic and boosting sales for our customers. Our methodology has proven even more effective in today’s digital marketing landscape. Stay ahead of your competitors with our SEO packages customized to meet your goals. Give us a call or contact us via email now! (800-781-3074

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content marketing strategy SEO | Engine-ius Marketing