It’s a common saying in the digital marketing world that “content is king”, but research has shown that it’s just not that simple. About 80% of web content generates insignificant amounts of web traffic, with around 1 in 5 pieces of content actually delivering returns. That doesn’t mean that content isn’t important, but more that we have to work harder to get it right – to make sure that it has what it takes to be king. Here’s some insight into how you can utilise search data to significantly improve content marketing performance.
Evaluating Current Content Performance
Do you know how well your current content is performing? There’s no point in putting in the time and effort to create content when you can’t see the ROI.
Fortunately, there are quite a few useful (and free) tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console that can help you evaluate the performance of your content using the vast amount of data that the search engine collects and records.
Using these tools, you can see user signals like impressions, clicks, views, time spent on-site, bounce rates and search traffic for specific pages, as well as important business metrics like conversions and sales. This allows you to evaluate your content both in terms of the traffic it is driving and its contribution to brand awareness as well as how it is contributing towards bottom-line sales and profitability.
You’ll be able to see what content is delivering and what isn’t, giving you key focus areas for your content strategy that are high-value for your business.
Utilise Search Intent
People use search engines like Google for three key reasons:
- Informational intent – They are trying to research something or get more information on something.
- Navigational intent – They are trying to find a specific business or website.
- Transactional intent – They are trying to find a product or service to purchase.
A key function of the Google algorithm is the ability to identify and classify the intent of each search in order to provide the most relevant results, and Google has become very good at this. If you type in something with informational intent, you’ll likely get very few ads but more results from blogs, news articles, databases like Wikipedia and so on. If you are making a transactional query, your top results will be filled with ads and product listings.
While ads are important, it is essential to realise that the first step in the sales funnel is actually informational intent – based searches. A consumer who is looking for new running shoes is more likely to do some research on reviews of the latest releases from top brands and compare different offerings for different running styles and surfaces rather than going directly to a product or a brand website.
This means that it is essential to develop content that addresses informational intent using high value keywords relevant to their search as well as your products. Using the same example, that would mean writing content around issues like “What are the best running shoes for overpronators?”, “How to choose the best running shoe for your feet”, and “Reviews of the best trail running shoes of the year”, and so forth. This type of content helps create confidence and knowledge that overcomes an uncertainty about a purchasing decision, converting a hesitant researcher into a purchasing customer.
Learn from the Competition
Search analysis doesn’t just apply to your content –your content marketing can get plenty of fresh ideas directly from analysing the search data from your competitors. This not only gives you new ideas on the type of content that will appeal to your audience, it also helps prioritise different content for optimisation. Look at:
- The type of content they are producing in terms of topics and media (social content, video content, blogs, etc.)
- Where they are promoting their content (on different social media channels to you, on their website, podcasts, etc.)
- The details of their content (look at their meta titles and tags, the keywords they are using, how they use link building and more).
- The personalisation of their content (sign up for their emails, see the content they advertise and how they advertise it)
If you’re not sure who your competitors are, use one of the search tools mentioned above and they’ll tell you who they are based on your website content.
Use the Power of Search Analytics to Boost Content Marketing Effectiveness
It’s clear that in order to survive and thrive in today’s new normal, your business needs a content strategy that actively drives traffic to your website, and that means using search data to its fullest potential.
Chat to our team in Melbourne and we’ll develop a cutting-edge content strategy to keep your brand relevant and drive high-quality traffic to your website.