Search behavior has evolved since the advent of search engines. Google’s assertion that 15% of search queries are new underscores the dynamic nature of search.
This reveals a weakness in the traditional Keyword searchwhich relies heavily on a user feedback loop that limits discovery of emerging topics.
This article explores how to integrate customer insights into your business Search Engine Optimization Strategy can help you find success in the evolving search landscape.
Limitations on keyword research
Keyword research has always been considered a necessary component of content creation. However, the keyword focused approach lacks insight into future trends and fails to prioritize the customer.
Unfortunately, this approach is common in search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns. We may track monthly search volume (MSV) and rankings without evaluating whether such traffic is eligible to convert.
Relying solely on keyword analysis often misses untapped opportunities and prevents your business from staying ahead of the competition.
As searchers’ needs evolve, we must strive to achieve a deeper understanding of our clients and incorporate this knowledge into our SEO strategies.
Customer insights: a strategic approach
We gain a huge advantage when we go beyond traditional keyword research and prioritize customer understanding. Communicating with and engaging with customers can uncover content ideas that competitors may have missed.
This strategic approach enables you to become the first mover on search engine results pages (SERPs), which boosts your visibility and authority.
Constantly providing fresh content in line with customer needs can multiply this advantage, making your brand a true authority in your industry or field of specialization.
To create and increase topical authority, we strive to become an authoritative source that produces comprehensive, topic-focused content.
Identifying and addressing content gaps left by competitors allows you to showcase your expertise by creating a complete, high-quality portfolio of content, such as blog post, knowledge baseor other sources.
However, it is also important to go beyond this by constantly bringing new ideas and information to the web.
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How to expand your content mapping strategies
Content road planning should extend beyond the boundaries of keyword research. A more customer-focused approach allows your company to deliver exceptional value to your target audience.
Here are alternative ways to gain insights to shape future content strategies. You can use one or more of these methods depending on your business goals.
Method one: tasks to be done
JTBD helps you focus on desired customer outcomes by examining the tasks for which they use the product. This reveals valuable insights through:
- Evaluate the wants and needs of customers.
- Determine the key and related functions they are trying to accomplish.
- Understand the steps taken to complete each task.
Conducting a JTBD analysis enables you to craft targeted content that meets customer needs and fosters deeper communications.
Let’s consider Screaming Frog, a company looking to improve their SEO Spider tool and perform JTBD analysis. They may specify crawling sitemaps as a primary task while scraping sites with the extractor appears as a related task.
During analysis, they may reveal the pain point of using the browser’s XPath selector output in the extraction process, as it may not always yield the desired results.
This discovery prompted them to create a series of tutorials on XPath syntax, which simplifies the learning process for users.
Method 2: Product-led SEO
In this approach, you will Develop a product that drives your SEO strategy Instead of using SEO to market the product.
The key is to build a product that is new or better than the competition, programmatic and scalable while meeting the demand for untapped research.
By developing an offering that entice searchers to click from your SERP pages, you can build search demand and adoption for your product while bringing new resources to the web.
Do initial research with users to check the fit of the product in the market and learn from your customers’ needs and preferences.
A successful product that may have been part of a product driven SEO strategy is SmartAsset’s payroll calculators.
For a finance-focused website, the Pay Calculator provides value to customers who often manually calculate paychecks for budgeting and financial planning.
Regardless of whether SmartAsset was the first to develop the Salary Calculator or just created a better version of the competitors, the adoption of the tool has increased search demand over time.
SmartAsset has designed and optimized these calculators specifically for specific situations, resulting in 50 high quality pages. They have been successful in their product-led efforts by ensuring product-to-market fit.
It is only natural for customers to support the product when this is achieved since the offer is highly intended to help them.
Method 3: Do your initial research
Basic research helps you identify customers through:
Through this process, you can unlock valuable insights that can improve existing content and inspire new, yet-to-be-explored content ideas on the web.
Fresh and compelling content ideas come naturally when you collect and synthesize customer insights. Your team may be inspired to come up with innovative ideas that have not been considered before.
What’s more, the insights from primary research benefit marketing, support, and product teams. Incorporating these insights drives an overall strategy, enhancing customer experiences beyond SERPs throughout the buyer’s journey.
Offering research as a comprehensive customer experience solution for budget-conscious teams can secure leadership buy-in.
Take control of search through customer-focused SEO
Thriving in search requires customer-centric SEO. Besides keywords, embracing customer insights will give your SEO strategy a competitive edge.
Focusing on customers aligns with the goals of search engines: to provide diverse and useful results.
Companies that maintain the highest level of positional authority will become trusted sources, and will gain more authority in SERPs as a reward.
It’s time to move beyond keywords and embrace customer insights. By doing so, you will raise the bar for your SEO results and boost your strong connections with your customers.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.