Have you ever left your doctor’s office with notes full of five-syllable words ending in -ostomy or -ology? When you get home you probably spent more time googling definitions than you spent with the doctor.
I mean why couldn’t the doctor have just said “toe” instead of “metatarsals”?
While that is obviously an extreme example – I imagine most doctors say “toe”, it illustrates my point. Is your business a “metatarsal” or “toe” kind of business?
Is your website more complicated than it needs to be?
Sometimes, as an expert in your business, it can be easy to forget that not everyone speaks the same language as you. Industry terms can be hard to understand, confusing, and intimidating.
Not only that: industry terms may NOT be how your clients are searching for your business.
By using SEO blog writing to create content that is helpful and understandable you’ll boost traffic to your website.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary has an interesting take on what “jargon” means:
They have the primary definition: “the technical terminology… of a special activity or group”. Then, they have a definition that both explains the word and highlights its problem: “confused, unintelligible language”.
Why is jargon bad?
Jargon isn’t bad, per se. If you’re talking to a colleague or an industry expert jargon may allow for more efficient and factual communication.
But, what if you’re talking to a client?
Granted, some clients can become industry experts. Most people, however, are coming to your business because you’re the expert – not them.
By creating content that’s written in terms that your customers actually use you’ll show your expertise, build trust, and create content that can support your sales process.
SEO blog writing can feel overwhelming so we’ve highlighted 6 ways to help drive content.
Tip #1: Semantically Similar words
Understanding how your clients talk about your products and industry is important on a couple of levels.
For one, Google has started to be able to understand website content “naturally”. That’s why you can type in a weird question, in the same way you’d ask a friend, and receive a satisfying answer.
Google is getting better at understanding the relationship between words and content online. That means, by writing content in a way that includes both jargon and how clients actually talk about your product you’ll be able to provide a more helpful answer for searchers.
This slight divergence from traditional SEO blog writing will help set you ahead of your competitors.
Not only that, but more and more queries are submitted using voice search. Voice search relies heavily on finding answers using natural language.
Having content in plain-language makes it easier for search engines to read (literally) results.
What is a semantically similar word?
“Semantically similar” means words that mean approximately the same thing as your target keyword.
Here’s a simple example for the search term kid’s bike: toddler bike, girl’s bike, boy’s bike, bike for little kids, children’s bicycle.
Here’s another example for the term “David Austin Scepter’D Isle Rose”. Including terms like fragrant pink climbing rose, pink shrub rose, repeat flowering rose, roses good for shady areas can help strengthen your content and single to Google that you’re writing for people not just to help rank.
By adding this to your SEO blog writing strategy you’ll create content that is more dynamic and interesting.
But how do you find these? Read Tip #2.
These words help make it clearer to your customer and Google. Instead of using “kid’s bike” 20 times in a post, sprinkle these semantically similar words naturally.
Tip# 2: Talk to your sales team and clients
The best way to find out how people are actually talking about your product is by talking directly to your clients, sales team, or anyone who interacts with your customers.
Don’t rule people out just because they aren’t in sales! Your receptionist or IT department hear people describing products or problems more frequently than you might think.
It’s important to really pay attention. Use open-ended questions to find out what customers are asking for and how they are asking for it.
Here are five open-ended questions to get you started:
- What are the top three questions that you get asked most frequently?
- Tell me about the concerns customers have.
- What products/services do you get the most calls about? Can you tell me about your most recent conversation?
- How does a customer describe x?
- What gets the customer excited?
Also, consider asking your sales team to ask “How did you find us?”. The more details they can capture the better. A client may say something like, “Oh, I just googled (term) and you were listed.” Be sure to note the terms mentioned.
Check your social media and reviews for other ways people talk about your products.
Customers may be talking about your product, brand, or industry in a way that you hadn’t thought of before.
Keep your ear out for those semantically similar words. By adding some of those common questions or descriptions you’ll optimize your SEO blog writing strategy.
Tip #3: Google thyself
It’s easy to assume that you know how you’re company is perceived online. Your product is the best after all! You’re definitely beating your competitors.
Or, are you?
When was the last time you Googled your company?
Not just your company, but your products!
Be warned, you may not like what you find. That being said – it’ll be an opportunity either way.
No reviews? Start asking customers for some! Bad reviews? Start responding.
Not ranking as well as you hoped? Talk to your Marketing team.
You’ll also find other valuable information such as:
- The words people use to review your product and services.
- How your competitors talk about their products.
- When you google your product, the types of pages that show up. Blogs? Product pages?
This is the type of stuff Marketing strategists, like those at IQnection, look at when building a strategy and writing SEO blog content for a client.
Tip #4: Shift your SEO content strategy
Keywords are obviously important. They help target your SEO blog content to an audience who wants it.
Google has shown time-and-time again that they, and most searchers, want more than just that.
Shift your content strategy to capture a broader perspective. Don’t rely just on keywords, think topics.
By thinking of your content as topics you’ll be able to match it points in a buyer’s journey. If you only ever write about the technical aspects of your product you’ll only ever talk to one type of buyer. The world is much bigger than that!
By writing about topics you’ll be able to reach a broader audience, establish yourself as an industry expert, and be helpful.
Content topics build a better experience for your users. If you’re writing about the technical aspects of the hammer, consider adding a link to a blog you’ve written about best hammers to buy for all levels of expertise, hammering technique, a FAQ guide on hammers, and your blog about nail types.
Your customers will find this to be helpful. And, so will Google.
Tip #5: Understand user intent
User intent is important to writing useful SEO-content.
What’s user intent?
User intent is the goal behind a Google search.
How do you figure the user intent for a keyword?
Easy! Google the keyword that you’re planning to write about.
If, for example, you’re planning to write about snow shovels. Google it! You’ll see that most results are lists of “Best Snow Shovel(s) for (year)” – you won’t see a post about the history of the snow shovel or snow shovel techniques.
Google has found that when people google “snow shovel” that they most frequently click on “best” product pages and so have shuffled search results to boost those pages to the top.
User Intent can change! For example, when the French Cathedral Notre Dame was on fire the search results shifted. Before that, particularly if you were based in the US, results generally showed information about Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football/the University of Notre Dame. During, and for a short time thereafter, it switched to the Cathedral.
If the intent changes because of something in the news, stick to matching your content to what it was before the event. But, if it’s an industry-wide change, for example when Apple launches a new product, then it’s time to update your content.
To learn more about creating SEO blog content that captures User Intent, check out this blog!
Tip #6: Write. Write. Write.
Writing consistently is important for a couple of reasons. If you have a subscription service people will expect your updates.
Also, Google likes freshness. While for some it may not be feasible to update your website frequently, posting a new blog once a month is an easy low-budget way to signal to Google that you’re current and relevant.
Create an easy schedule, like once a month.
Just remember the three “r’s” of content: readable, researched, and regular!