Data-driven content upgrades are an SEO’s favorite. They are highly effective for both content sites and eCommerce sites.
In this blog post, we will study keyword intent and what kind of pages Google prefers, depending on the intent of a query.
This will allow for you to create better content that will receive higher rankings, higher engagement and higher conversion.
Data-driven content creation
It all starts with keyword research. Understanding the market, the search patterns in Google and the competitive landscape are still a must-do for every successful SEO update.
At the very minimum, you will want to research average monthly searches for each keyword, as well as keyword difficulty (a score that determines how hard it will be to rank for any given term).
But there is more to it. For a holistic SEO strategy, you will want to factor this in:
- What you want to communicate
- What people are searching for
- What Google favors
Content creators and editors sometimes can get stuck on creating content based on their intuition, experience and preferences — without ever achieving any relevant ranking success.
SEOs sometimes get stuck on what people are searching for — producing spammy content that neither visitors nor Google like.
And most people (content creators and SEOs alike) ignore the content type that Google actually would like to rank. So, let’s have a look at the search results before we start writing.
Keyword intent analysis beyond keyword research
There are three main query types. And they all satisfy a different user intent.
Basically, the need of the user changes as he/she goes through an internal thought process about making a buying decision. This process is usually called funnel.
When selecting target keywords, make sure to check the Google search results to figure out what content type is actually being featured.
Are they long-form articles? Short product pages or built-out category pages?
There is no one-size-fits-all. Not every query calls for a skyscraper, and some queries can never be ranked with a product page.
By giving Google the type of page that it wants to see, you will gain a massive competitive advantage.
They are the bread and butter for most SEOs, along with the measure of success for most business owners.
They can be anything like “buy brand supplement,” “acupuncture in Berlin Kreuzberg,” etc. The user knows what they want, and they have their credit card ready to go.
When checking the Google results, what you will find are category and product pages or local SEO pages. They are your money pages and sales pages. Your goal is to achieve a purchase/booking on them.
But it is hard to rank a website with only a few money pages. It lacks supporting content and therefore authority, so this is where other query types will support your overall ranking efforts.
A person searching for “how to fix back pain” already knows they have an issue, a pain point. In this case, quite literally, they are having physical pain from computer work, being in the same position at the desk and lack of exercise. I think we can all relate.
This person knows they want to fix their back pain, but they are in the state of gathering information. So, this is an “informational” query.
What they are looking for is general information:
- What is back pain
- Common causes for back pain
- Typical treatments for back pain
This is where you will find your guides, skyscraper articles and blog posts.
Informational queries are great for educational long-form content, and they make great supporting pieces for your main money pages.
If you check page 1 for this query, you will find all kinds of articles like:
Fixing Lower Back Pain: 6 Tips
7 Ways to Lessen Your Back Pain
14 Ways to Relieve Back Pain With Pictures
12 Back Pain Remedies: Posture, Core Exercise, Flexibility and More
All of them are content pages or blog posts, with hardly any eCommerce results.
Hence, if you want to be ranking for an informational query, that is the type of content Google favor — educational long-form pieces.
Do what is working. Check page 1 and improve upon what others are already doing right.
As this user with the hurting back learns about different treatment methods, he/she finds the one treatment that seems most promising to them.
Another user might already know how to solve their back issues. They don’t only understand their problem, but they also know the solution to their problem.
Both of them are searching for queries like:
- Acupuncture for back pain
- Painkiller for back pain
- Best supplements for back pain
- Back pain exercises
- Back pain yoga
These are navigational queries.
We know what we want: yoga over supplements for one person, painkillers over acupuncture for another.
But the users have not made their final purchasing decision yet.
These queries would often make your…
- Category pages (e.g. Supplements that Help Back Pain)
- Comparison/review/affiliate pages (e.g. Common Vitamins and Supplements to Treat low back pain)
- Blog articles (e.g. 12 Yoga Poses For Back Pain).
More specific long-tail queries are best. Modifiers make the keywords more specific.
- Review-focused words: best, review, compare, versus
- Modifiers: for women, gluten-free, vegan
- Expertise words: consultant, facilitator, teacher
In-depth Analysis for Page 1
At this point, you understand that different queries need different content types in order to be successful.
In my upcoming talk at InOrbit in March 2019, I will cover in great detail the tools that will allow you to automate your market research and understand page 1 even better. But don’t hesitate to start today!
I can promise you now that just taking a glance at page 1 will give you a massive competitive advantage. Most SEOs don’t bother to look and see what is working.
But in terms of tools: Softwares like Page Optimizer Pro, Cora, Website Auditor’s TF-IDF analysis or SEOSurfer allow you to understand the exact word count of page 1 and the keyword frequency, taking your content creation to the next level.
The insights those tools provide allow you to tailor your article exactly to Google’s needs.
Make sure to explore these new opportunities and gain a competitive advantage.