Want to know the greatest SEO “secret” to get business from Google’s organic listings?
The answer to this question might come as a disappointment to many readers, as it requires lots of hard work. The secret it is called authority (Image Source). And by authority, I mean becoming an expert, a leader in your industry, by creating laser-focused content that addresses your target market’s problems and questions.
I guess that’s not what you expected, but more than 10 years of providing SEO consulting services to clients across various industries has taught me that the ones who won the Google game fastest and with the highest ROI were those who really focused on becoming specialized experts in their industry. And they did that by identifying, creating and promoting the content their target market was looking for.
And this article will surprise you even more, if you read it entirely. I will only reveal what’s so surprising at the end of the article, so read further.
Don’t look for this best kept secret online, because this SEO “secret” is locked in your brain, and you have to unleash it to benefit from its powers. Once you understand that compelling content is still, and almost certainly always will be, king, you have to start working on creating it.
What kind of content is good for my business?
Anything that proves you’re the right person/business to be approached for the services you provide. Such content can be guides, blueprints (i.e. The Management Consulting Blueprint), white papers, case studies, webinars or blog posts for example. Now, keep in mind that the content you create has to awesome, not just good, content.
But more important than being epic, your content has to identify problems, and address them with the needed solutions. With case studies for example, you would describe your client’s specific problem; then briefly describe how you helped him or her overcome it, and finally outline what the bottom line outcomes were.
How do you create such content?
Here’s the plan outline:
- Define one persona (complete buyer’s profile)
- Develop content to attract this persona
- Choose relevant channels and methods for promotions
- Refine the above
First and most important of all, YOU have to have the knowledge and experience required to address problems faced by your target market. If you don’t have this knowledge, then you won’t be able to generate helpful content, and you will have to outsource this to someone else.
Create a Persona
To create valuable content for your audience, I always suggest creating at least one persona for your target market. (Below Image Source)
Simply put, a persona is a complete buyer’s profile that goes deeper than just demographics and socio-graphics profiling. The persona creation process uncovers – among other things – fears, education, job responsibilities and how this persona measures success.
I spent more than a month creating and researching just one persona for my market. And it was worth all that time, because I ended up being intimately aware of how I could attract more prospective clients.
During this persona creation process, you will have to answer questions such as:
- How is this persona’s success measured? By whom (what stakeholders)?
- What’s at risk for this individual in the purchasing process?
- How does this persona typically seek new information and keep up to date with the industry.
- What events do they attend? What do they read online and offline?
Now I know what my target market’s fears are, the websites they visit, the questions they ask, and what makes them happy. And knowing all this is important, because I can now prove my expertise by addressing their needs with tailored content.
Develop Authority Content
Once you know where your audience is going online to read specialty articles and to ask questions, you have to join those websites too. Pay attention to what they ask, comment, and tweet, and who they follow on Google+ and Twitter or on specialized social networks.
If you spend time analyzing interactions, you will identify what’s of concern to them. Once you’ve identified an issue, start writing about it, and try to promote it through the right channels.
Are there lots of people interested in a specific subject? Why not do a test/experiment/research/study and release it to the public? There’s nothing better than people in your industry linking to your content.
If you have already written something on a specific problem – a white paper let’s say – you can direct them to your pages. But do that in a manner that shows that you’re there to help, not just to sell.
Choose Relevant Channels for Promotions
Once you have the authoritative content that shows you’re the expert, you have to promote it. You can either publish it on your site, or on other sites. In some cases you can publish it on both, but that’s unusual.
Ideally, you will want to publish the content on sites that are frequented by your audience. But that’s not always possible, so don’t get stuck with just a few websites. Find non-competing websites in your industry, contact them and see if you can place your content on their sites. Reputable bloggers will publish your guest post if the content is compelling, but be ready to get rejected if your content is not addressing their audience, nor yours.
Once you start working on content marketing you will find ways to improve your process, and the procedure will become faster and faster. Results (clients) will come along, I guarantee.
That’s how you build content and authority around your consultant name.
In the beginning I mentioned that this article would surprise you even more. Why? Did you notice that I did not discuss anything SEO specific in the article? No specific SEO strategies, techniques or back linking stuff?
Guess what? That’s another “SEO secret” to be learned today:
Write for your audience and not for search engines.
See you at the top!
Traian is the Director of SEO and co-founder of Pitstop Media Inc, a Canadian company that provides top rated SEO services to businesses across North America. For more information on Traian and Pittstop Media visit www.pitstopmedia.com