If you don’t want to read the whole of this article, here’s the simple solution in one line – create content that answers the questions your ideal clients or customers ask most often.
Because the first place people your ideal clients or customers turn to when they want to find the answer to a specific question or hire somebody to perform a specific task is Google.
I do it every day. I’m sure you do it just as often.
By creating content that answers people’s questions, you stand a good chance of popping up on the first page of Google.
If the searcher likes the look of your headline, meta description and whatever else Google includes in the search results, and they click the link to your website, you have the chance to start a relationship with a person who could eventually become a client or customer.
If you haven’t created content that answers people’s questions, you won’t have the opportunity to show up in the search results. Instead, all those people searching on Google end up at your competitors’ websites.
On its own, this might sound like it’s not worth worrying about. But, get this, hundreds or even thousands of people might be searching for your product or service every single day. And if you can attract a decent portion of those people to your site, there’s a good chance they’ll connect with you, your website and your message.
They might not become a customer straight away. It might take a few visits and a few interactions, but the relationship has begun. They’re aware of you and your brand.
Proof content marketing works
Back in 2009, Marcus was running a swimming pool company with two friends. Sadly, it was on the brink of going bust due to the global economic downturn and a distinct lack of a meaningful web presence. Marcus turned to what we today call ‘content marketing’ and began creating the best content he possibly could and started publishing it on the company website.
Sadly, it was on the brink of going bust due to the global economic downturn and a distinct lack of a meaningful web presence. Marcus turned to what we today call ‘content marketing’ and began creating the best content he possibly could to publish on the company’s website.
For inspiration, he used every pre-sale question people asked before buying a new swimming pool. In the articles and videos he created, he answered every question in great detail and with honesty.
The content performed two tasks. First, it improved the company’s online presence.
Many of the articles started showing up on the first page of Google resulting in thousands of visitors every day.
The detailed answers and openness of the content enabled potential customers to build trust in Marcus and his company. Nobody else at that time was so honest about cost, features and perhaps most importantly, the potential problems that could arise from buying a swimming pool.
Instead of avoiding sensitive topics, Marcus openly wrote about them. Allowing customers to weigh up the pros and cons of their situation before making the best decision for them.
Because of his attention to detail and brutal honesty, anybody who called the company to book an appointment with a sales agent didn’t take much convincing to sign on the dotted line. Most of the time, they already knew they wanted to buy. It was just a matter of working out the right price and fine details.
Marcus’s hard work turned around the fortunes of the company and it’s still in business today.
All because of high-quality and honest content that answers people’s questions.
Let’s look at how you can transfer this approach to your business.
Brainstorming content ideas
If you’ve been in business for a decent amount of time, you’ll already have plenty of ideas tucked away in your head. You just have to get them out in the open.
Start by thinking of the most obvious questions your ideal customers ask.
Here are a few examples of articles I could, and do, create to generate traffic.
- How much does it cost to build a website?
- How much does it cost to buy a domain name?
- How much does it cost to rank a website in Google?
- How do I start a blog?
- How do I get more traffic from Google?
- How do I get more clients for my business?
- Which is the best website building software?
- Which is the best web hosting company for a small business website?
- How to I get started in freelance writing?
- How do I get started in web design?
- How do I start an online business?
- My website won’t show up in Google, what can I do?
- My website isn’t responsive, what can I do?
- What is WordPress?
- What is blogging?
- What is SEO?
As you can see, in a matter of a couple of minutes, I’ve easily noted down ideas for sixteen articles. And that’s just for starters. Once you start writing down ideas you’ll find more will follow. You’ll also find more ideas as you start writing the articles and blog posts.
I have a client who runs a fitness boot camp in Manchester.
We’ve brainstormed ideas for a content plan before, but he gets plenty of business from referrals, Facebook advertising and organic traffic so he’s never bothered to go down the content creation route purely because he doesn’t believe it will be a good return on his time or monetary investment.
If he ever does, we’d create articles that answer questions relating directly to his business and fitness in general.
Here are a few examples:
- What is a fitness boot camp?
- Which is the best fitness boot camp in Manchester?
- What should I wear to a fitness boot camp?
- What kind of exercises do you do at a boot camp?
- What happens at fitness boot camp?
How long should I exercise for?
- What should I eat before a fitness boot camp?
- What should I eat after working out?
- How do I stay energised after working out?
- What’s the best way to lose weight after 40?
- How do I lose weight after having a baby?
- I can’t lose weight, what should I do?
- How do I become a fitness trainer?
- How much water should I drink every day?
- What are the best foods for providing energy
- Simple recipes for healthy meals
I realise most of the people searching for these phrases might never become a client or attend one of Dom’s boot camps. A lot of the people reading the articles might actually live in other parts of the country (or world). But, by creating this content and attracting visitors who stick around and read the articles, Dom’s building up the authority of his website.
He’ll attract links, comments and shares on social media. In time, all of this attention will likely improve his rankings for the main phrases people use to find his classes: “fitness boot camp manchester”, for example.
All because he took the time to sit down and create content that answers people’s questions.
It might take a long time to do the initial work, but if done well, it will pay dividends over and over again, for many years to come, just like it’s done for Marcus Sheridan and his swimming pool company.
Could it work for you too? Of course, it could. However, it’s not on an overnight solution. You definitely have to look at this as an ongoing long-term solution.