A guest post by Dylan Mazeika from BuyerZone's Content Team
Something that's changed in the world of online marketing is how content on websites is not only written, but the intent for that content.
Not too long ago websites had countless articles that tried keyword mapping to drive traffic for every possible related keyword. Now, if you're creating content for SEO and marketing purposes, it should ideally meet the following points:
- Unique (on your site, and across the web)
- Valuable (to your user)
That last point should be your overall focus. When brainstorming ideas, you should constantly be asking, "Does my ideal user want to read this content?"
Instead of starting with a list of topics, it's better to make a plan. Following these steps will put you in a good position to target the right audience with your site's content.
- Evaluating your current content situation
- Establishing who can help you
- Organizing your data to execute your content plan
Evaluating Your Current Content Situation
The first step is to find your indexed content, and get a feel for your site's "content footprint".
Kevin Gibbons from Blue Glass does an excellent job of listing out steps to performing an audit of your indexed content and establishing a performance ratio for your site. This evaluation of your site will provide you with engagement metrics for your content (traffic, links, interaction, social shares).
Seeing these content metrics is useful in showing you which content types may be underrepresented, as well as a chance to take down or update content that isn't performing well on your site.
Out of date content can be detrimental in the lead generation space. Not only can it make your site look less credible but it can lead to bad lead quality.
In the B2B space there are a number of different content types that users could find value in: pricing info, product specs, how to's, brand information, etc.
This content breakdown could be a good indicator to invest time into creating pricing information.
Now that you have an idea of how your content is performing and what type of information you're already offering visitors, it's time to bring some different perspectives into the content process.
There are a number of departments that have insight into creating unique, quality, and valuable content for buyers - but who often don't get a chance to share the information..
Cross Department Feedback
Your sales team is the bridge to your clients and should have most contact with them. Therefore, they can provide valuable insight into a client's "ideal customer," allowing you to build a buyer persona and create content that any customer would want.
On top of buyer personas, your sales team will be the first to know any industry trends, new technology or regulations, or new features that your clients are offering; all topics that would make for great content.
SEO and Content departments can gain a wealth of knowledge from picking the brains of search marketers. Get a list of their top performing keywords as well as a negative keyword list that contains keywords that have been singled out as terms not to bid on -- i.e. a topic that would generate a potentially less desirable customer.
Their top performing keywords are a great place to find topic ideas, as they are the keywords bringing in the most revenue and conversions. Keep these terms in mind and be sure that any new (or existing) content is only bringing targeted traffic, and your ideal supplier.
Who knows the industry and landscape better than your product management team? They know where your industry has been and, like your sales team, often know where it's going. They are constantly working to make sure that the product is top notch and dynamic, and should always be providing insight into content.
Your customer service professionals work on both sides, ensuring good customer service for suppliers and are the first to hear if a visitor has a problem or issue. As they receive feedback from suppliers they will often have to act as the "Lead Doctor," working to ensure that only qualified leads are being delivered.
What better way to fix poor lead quality than with content that is designated for the ideal buyer and promotes a healthy lead.
How to Use This Data
It's now time to arrange this data so that you can fill in and improve your "content footprint." A good way to go about this is by establishing what you don't want to be creating content around and what sort topics would hurt you.
This is going to include the negative keywords (PPC), types of unqualified leads that get submitted (customer service), and the topics that wouldn't help your client's ideal customer (sales).
The rest of the information you've gathered will help you create topics to drive qualified leads to your site: industry trends (product management), new features/services offered by clients (sales), insight into your perfect buyer (sales/customer service), and top performing keywords that are driving qualified traffic (PPC team).
This goes beyond the typical and outdated keyword traffic and even beyond the targeting of long tail keywords. While this content will certainly be specific and focus on long tail terms, the process you went through ensures you have the right topics and terms because you started the process with your user in mind.