If you create content and no one can find it, then what is the point?
On TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog we know that SEO is a crucial step in the amplification of content. As Lee likes to say, “Content isn’t really great until someone finds, consumes and acts on it.” Yet, I know from working with clients ranging from enterprise to small business, SEO is not always part of the content development process.
Whether it’s a lack of SEO know-how or a fear of old fashioned ideas like keyword stuffing, Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger Media aimed to break down those walls and show online marketers how to dominate search results with content.
The modern consumer goes to the search engines with questions seeking answers. One of the aims of SEO for content marketing is that when a consumer asks a question, they will find your content. That traffic you receive from the search engines to that piece of content will be highly targeted and likely to convert.
As good content marketers we are tasked with creating content that is found for the key questions our customers are asking, and that is also readable and awesome. The 5C Approach Brian offered provides a strategy for achieving that balance.
The 5C Approach to Dominating Search Results
1. Context (What’s the journey?)
Before you begin SERP domination, you need to know the terms for which you are aiming. Since most of our clients will ask, no, you can’t rank for every term tangentially related to your products and services. So leverage social media and keyword research in order to find the problems and desires that are going to help your consumer on their journey and narrow down that keyword glossary to terms that are relevant and feasible. Understanding the language people use when they search, will help you not only include keywords in your content, but also provide you a snapshot into the mind of your consumer.
2. Cornerstone (What do they need to know?)
Cornerstone refers to content about the things people need to know in order to do business with you. This content is intended to educate your consumer on key topics related to your products or services, and establish you as an expert. Deliver content on cornerstone topics consistently in order to establish reputation and rankings around cornerstone keyword topics.
3. Connection (What do they need to engage?)
This is the type of content you do in order to get attention. You must balance engaging content with cornerstone content in order to be successful. Connection content can draw new eyes and build your audience.
Many companies are afraid of connection content because they are worried they will offend someone. Sure, some people may be annoyed by a decisive headline, but a bunch of others will love it and share it. Keep in mind, you will receive the majority of shares based a compelling headline, so make it count.
According to Brian, connection content should happen day to day, not just once in awhile. Always keep trying something new and engaging. Use pop culture, metaphors or images to keep every day connection content fresh.
4. Conversion (What do they need to believe?)
Conversion content is evangelizing content. It aims to get people to believe what they need to in order to do business with you. This type of content converts because it proves a consumer should do business with you. It can fend off competitor claims, incorrect assumptions, or just be the final proof point which inspires the consumer to take action.
This is the final offer. This is the copy that deals with what you are actually selling. Of course, you have to have a good product, but your copy should also demonstrate that it is great. Understand your prospective customer to tell them in a way that resonates that:
- Your product is fantastic
- The benefit of your product over another
- Overcome lingering doubts
- Reverse risk
In addition to creating content which resonates via keywords and connections, Brian points out that Google Authorship is becoming increasingly vital to achieve high ranking content. The person who writes the content is as important as the content itself. Therefore, in order to truly dominate the SERP page, you must nail down the technical side of Google Authorship, as well as encouraging employees and writers to nurture their social presence and establish a reputation as an influential about cornerstone topics.
Locking down search engine rankings for keyword topics is Phase 1 of a content strategy, on your way to achieving a strategy which also drives conversions. In order to achieve phase 1, the need is to consistently create keyword drive content which is compelling and shareable.
Do you feel your company has locked down the SEO phase of their content strategy?