to Create Content that Drives Inbound Traffic
How do you create great content that captures organic search and social traffic alike?
Matthew Barby on September 14, 2016 at 9:55 am
Delivers results when it addresses what potential customers are searching for and sharing on social media. Content marketing delivers great results when it addresses what a large number of customers are searching for that your competitors are not covering.
So, how do you find out exactly what customers are looking for in search and social and identify potential competitive gaps? In this article, I will show you how to:
A great way to start is using a tool like the Moz Keyword Explorer for your topic:
The four colored bars give a lot of insight into which topics (or, more accurately, customer searches) to build your content around. In general, the perfect topics to target have high Volume, low Difficulty, high Opportunity and high Potential. Here’s what all of those mean:
You can then dive deeper into potential keyword suggestions and try out a few interesting related topics. The more niche you go, the lower the difficulty tends to be (ability to rank higher in SERP).
I find Moz’s “Potential” metric tends to be understated for smaller brands targeting more niche keywords, as it underestimates actual search volume for your content (It will be considered for related searches):
While Moz Pro is a great tool, it costs money. Currently, the lowest-priced tier runs $99/month. If that’s out of your budget range, fear not, as there are other more affordable (even free) options. Here’s an example from kwfinder.com:
You will notice they provide keyword recommendations, overall search volume, and difficulty via “seo competition.” I really like how they give this score. Here’s how they break it down:
0 – 9: “go for it”
10 – 19: “super easy”
20 – 29: “easy”
30 – 39: “not hard”
40 – 54: “possible”
55 – 74: “hard”
75 – 89: “super hard”
90 – 100: “don’t do it”
This is one example of a lower-priced offering, and price is based on usage, with free, $12-per-month and $25-per-month options.
Another great free tool is Google AdWords keyword planner. One drawback is that Google is focused on paid ads versus creating content for ranking organically.
In order to get the most value out of this research, it’s important to build content for search. To improve SEO, make sure to use your targeted keywords in the URL, title and headings (h1, h2 and so on) of your content where possible.
Driving traffic via organic search results is only one part of the equation, and social is becoming a more important source of referral traffic. A recent report by Parse.ly (registration required) found that Facebook drove more referral traffic than Google:
Remember that search and social together account for the majority of referral traffic, so it is worth optimizing for both. I have found that they are not mutually exclusive in planning and tend to complement each other. You can find hidden signals while taking a holistic view of what customers are searching for and engaging with on social.