A lot of content we absorb online has a very specific goal: to buy, sign up or learn more. Most of the content we digest and engage with every day is a part of the content marketing funnel. This is a multi-tiered process that moves people from being aware of a service or product to estimating your product and finally making the target action. The successful content marketers are masters at creating search engine friendly content that supports their marketing funnels.
Generating leads and traffic is a high-priority task of most marketers. But leads and traffic don’t mean just to buy something, people come to learn more and educate themselves. This is why businesses need to determine the right content marketing funnel.
Businesses need to find out more about their target customers to better understand them and create successful content strategies that can attract them at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Make sure that content and SEO tightly correlate. So, if you want to create effective content, you should integrate the best SEO practices to be found in search results. The best way to do that is to identify the search intent of the users.
Maria Monroy from LawRank says that besides relevance, meaning, and context, Google also takes into consideration the search intent to improve semantic searches. So, once you understand the way users search and the search terms they enter, you can exactly define which stage of the content marketing funnel people are currently at, and optimize your content for search intent.
To understand how your content copes with the overall consumer journey from awareness to purchase, here’s the guide to creating search engine friendly content for each stage of the marketing funnel.
This is the first stage of the content marketing funnel. Potential customers want to learn more about your brand and what services you provide. They might have seen your ads on Google or social media visited your website or followed your pages. They have already interacted with your brand somehow, it’s time to focus more on educating your audience about your brand.
Content goal: Brand recognition.
Getting to Google’s featured snippets will help you position your brand as an authority on your subject, with the additional advantages of ranking in position 0 of Google search.
Keyword intent: According to Alexa, using informational keywords allows people to realize whether they need your products to solve their problems and learn more about them to build a long-term content marketing strategy with potential customers. The best way to do that is to provide informed answers to their questions using the search term “how-to”, “where”, and so on.
Content strategy: According to this research, 131% of customers would purchase from a brand after digesting educational content. You need to write how-to guides, video instructions, tutorials, white papers, and eBooks that help to answer customers’ questions or solve their issues. Offering this content doesn’t expect to get something in return.
To improve this content strategy, I recommend using a compelling conversion factor. For example, you can add an email sign up form or publish exclusive content that people can get in return for email. You can find out more here.
Tip: Measure the success of your content marketing strategy. You can dig into Finteza to better understand whether your content resonates with your audience. Check out SEO metrics and KPIs like a number of reviews, bounce rate, and time on page to evaluate your success. You can also set user-selected conversion goals based on visited pages or events. If your content comes short, it’s never too late to change your content strategy at this stage of the consumer journey.
Once people have got some degree of free value from you, it’s time to turn them into potential leads. The evaluation stage is considered as the most important stage of the buyer’s journey because this is where customers compare enticing offerings and go ahead to take a key action. In this stage, you also need to build trust and rapport with your potential consumers.
Content goal: Increase your brand affinity and show your customers that you’re the best choice for them.
Keyword intent: According to this survey report, customers check out three to five pieces of content before interacting with a brand. That’s why you shouldn’t neglect investigational keywords. Customers with investigational intent are between informational and transactional intent. They search online to learn more about a brand, product, or service versus its competitors. Optimize your content for these types of keywords, such as brand or product keywords, best, alternative, review, and comparison.
Content strategy: If you don’t want to look overly promotional, make sure to create the content, such as webinars, downloads, case studies, buying guides, and emails. The primary goal of this content is to prove the value of your offering to the bone. You can also present an attractive offer in return for a customer’s email or permission to contact them. To increase this strategy, you can include effective calls to action after each piece of content.
Tip: Good content helps you lead prospects towards a sale. Make sure that one piece doesn’t do all of the heavy liftings. It is crucial to mix up the types of content you use and create a solid content marketing strategy in place. It’s also a good idea to focus on email lead capture as the way to complete this stage.
The decision stage convinces potential customers to buy your product or service. So, once customers get interested in your product, you need to convert them into actual customers. To do that, you should give them clear reasons why purchasing from your brand is the right choice. By making side-by-side comparisons of similar products or services and emphasizing why your product is excellent, you can easily influence consumer purchasing decisions.
Content goal: Close the deal!
Keyword intent: Using transactional keywords signal that customers are ready to make a purchase. Once they consider all the pros and cons of each offering in the previous stage, you can use action phrases along with your brand name or products, such as clearance sale, buy now, download, discount, price, free, or book now.
According to Wordstream, many businesses are losing 97% of their leads on leaky multi-step landing pages. Optimizing content for transactional keywords, make sure that your landing pages are appropriate.
Content strategy: Creating content with transactional intent, it’s crucial to build landing pages that lead customers to perform a particular action. Some content marketing examples include using testimonials from customers, creating reviews and establishing pricing pages to show them superiority over your competitors.
Comparing your content marketing results to your competitors is also a good alternative to improve your marketing strategy. You can use the SE Ranking’s SEO/PPC Competitor Research module to get a comprehensive chart showing which keywords and content each website has, how they rank for some keywords, and how well they are doing.
The use of branded keywords is also important to convey direct intent for your solution. Make the most of the traffic you’re getting in those search results and keep competitors from leaching.
Tip: Giving a free trial of your service is a good way to figure out whether it’s worth buying, and even make customers want more since the primary goal is to lead them to purchase.
Once customers have purchased from you, don’t forget about the additional step to delight your customers. Your goal is not only to sell your company’s products and solutions but also to build a loyal audience and make them engaged. It is important to get current customers to repeat a purchase. According to this research, repeat customers spend 67% more than new ones.
Content goal: Grow your repeat customer base!
Content strategy: Once customers have purchased from you, you need to create content that will keep your brand top of customers’ minds. For instance, you can write a guide on how to use your service or product, or offer a discount to purchase related products. Consistency is the key to a successful customer journey.
Tip: Try to continually develop content to keep customers engaged with your brand. Your audience is responsible for your success in some measure. That’s why it is important to reward them with exclusive content, special offers, regular discounts, or a sneak preview of new products.
Conclusion on Creating Search Engine Friendly Content
Having a solid content strategy is a part of the overall content marketing funnel. Another main focus is to better understand your audience and how your pieces of content are influencing on them and performing using particular metrics. It’s important to regularly monitor your content performance on each stage of the customer journey, and improve your strategy, if applicable.
Creating an effective content marketing funnel while at the same time creating search engine friendly content takes a lot of efforts, discipline and time to do alright. But if you get it right, new customers will continue to read your free content, share it with other people, and become your loyal customers. Armed with this information, you get the chance to build a system that will be highly effective for your business.