Creating Blog Topics Your Audience Will Want To Read
Coming up with content that your users will want to read isn’t always a simple process. If you post regularly to your blog, you likely already know that, at times, coming up with interesting titles can seem impossible. When you’ve hit that wall and are struggling to come up with original and interest titles that answer the right questions from your audience, there are thankfully a number of key ways to research precisely what your users want.
Create One Of ‘The Big 5’
According to Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask You Answer, there are five kinds of blogs that tend to perform better than others. These five are cost-related, ‘best of’ lists, problems, comparisons and reviews:
When we’re looking to make a purchase, most of us head online to find out as much as we can about a product to ensure its quality. Beyond that, however, we’re usually trying to find out how much we’re likely to pay. While standard e-commerce businesses typically list their prices right there on the website, for those with a more complicated pricing process, customers can often feel frustrated when they aren’t met with a simple answer.
For this reason, blogs and articles that outline the factors that influence costs can not only provide valuable information for clients but can lead them to make that final conversion. By doing this, you can discuss the value of your products before the cost by laying out the quoting process clearly for your customers. Capture attention with keywords such as cost, charges, price, warranty, expenses etc.
2. ‘Best Of’ Lists
These articles typically focus on the best and most-effective products, services and providers and can typically include keywords such as top, most, strongest, fastest and longest-lasting in the title. What may be somewhat surprising is that these kinds of articles are actually powerful tools. Any customer looking to make a big purchase is likely to be looking for the ‘best’ option for their wallet, both in price and in the quality of the product or service and so optimising your blog topics to suit this common search has the potential to prove hugely beneficial to your site.
A huge number of these articles come in the forms of actual lists, more commonly referred to as ‘listicles’. They follow a numbered format in most cases, taking the reader through a number of different options to give them exactly what they want in a clear, concise manner that just so happens to fit in with the average human’s attention span. Dropping from 12 seconds in 2000, the attention span was said to have dropped to 8 seconds in 2018, and it only set to drop further as the power of visual content.
When it comes to comparison blogs, there are two kinds of comparison that you can make, both of which will appeal to different audiences. With these blogs, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the different options your client may have and show the pros and cons of each potential one. Comparing different products or alternatives can be a beneficial way of building up trust and retention with your customers, but it’s important to make sure your customers know which products you offer, very early into the article so they can determine a bias earlier on, rather than facing buyer’s remorse in the future.
When putting together problem-related articles, there are two kinds of article that you can utilise dependant on what is needed at the time. These are their problems and your problems.
Their problems refer to articles that provide answers to issues your consumers may be facing. Generally, your products or service will be providing a solution to these problems but crafting a blog that directly tackles these issues and informs clients of the options available to them. In many cases, your potential customers may not know that your product exists, but when they come to enter search queries seeking solutions to a problem and your blog appears, this builds awareness which just so happens to be the first stage of the conversion funnel.
For your problems, you’ll need to work out the potential or ongoing problems with the solution you’re providing and offer alternatives or further solutions to these issues. In these kinds of blogs, it’s important to tackle and acknowledge times where your answer to the problem might not be the right one. These articles can blend well with comparisons and while they can turn visitors away, they can also ensure that both you and your customers understand precisely what is available and where it may fall short.
The power of honest reviews on your website is unrivalled and it’s for this reason that review-based blogs are some of the best performing in terms of return on investment and conversions. In fact, just a single review can help to boost your conversions by 10% and customers are reportedly likely to spend up to 31% more if there are good and reliable reviews for the business.
Posting reviews of your products or even of the final result after products or services have been used can offer your visitors an insight into the ‘real-life’ experience with your brand. For travel sites, this could mean posting reviews of a holiday spent at a particular location, while e-commerce businesses can write or post reviews made on particular products they’re looking to push at any one time.
Beyond the Big 5
Beyond these ‘big five’, there are a number of other topics you can choose that may capture your user’s attention dependant on the business you’re running and the content you typically produce. These include:
- Definitions and descriptions
- How To and Tutorials
- Types and Classifications
- Laws and Regulations
- Myths and Misconceptions
- Pros and Cons
- Correlation and Causation
- Ideas and Trends
- Persona Specific
Users search with intent. Every time they enter a query into Google, they do so with a goal to reach and understanding just what these goals are can help you to create the right topics. There are three main types of search intent that your customers could have:
- Transactional – to buy something
- Informational – to learn something
- Navigational – to get somewhere (e.g. Facebook, Amazon)
For those looking to sell a particular service, transactional search intent is typically an ideal focus, even despite the fact that informational queries make up the majority. This is because they are typically further down the sales funnel, and more likely to actually become a conversion.
If you’re unsure just what your typical customers are looking for, there are a number of tools you can use to get a better overview of different Google searches that take place every single day.
Google’s auto-fill feature is a valuable tool in terms of working out what people are looking for. When you type any query into the search engine, a drop down will appear with a number of suggested searches and it’s these suggested searches that can offer a wide range of potential topic ideas. However, going through each letter of the alphabet to secure all of the suggestions can take a very long time – this is where tools such as keywordtool.io come in.
This free tool will scrape all of the suggested auto-fills from not only Google, but from YouTube, Bing and other leading websites to provide you with a simple, easy to read list. While not every entry will be blog worthy and some may not even be relevant to your business, it can provide a sense of inspiration and a clear idea as to just what Google’s users are actually looking for.
Similarly, websites such as AnswerThePeople and QuestionDB.io offer a way to utilise your leading keywords to discover what questions are being asked online that you could potentially answer. Neither offers completely exhaustive lists, but they do offer some of the most commonly queried searches – a valuable tool when looking to put together a blog your visitors may actually read.
For those with Google Analytics and a search bar on your website, the process of discovering what your visitors want is simple. By heading to ‘Behaviour’ > Site Search > Search Terms, you can get a clear overview of what your users are searching on your website and their search volumes. By then adding a secondary dimension for the ‘exit page’, you can determine which searches were taken to a tangible result and which may not have provided quite as much value. Here, you can follow four steps:
- Search for phrases yourself. Is anything there?
- Is your page ranking? Optimise it if not!
- You don’t have the page at all? Create one.
- Adjust your navigation to help your audience find things faster.
One of the most valuable ways to keep on top of what your clients are interested in, is to speak to those that listen to your customers on a daily basis. Customer-facing employees spend much of their day faced with various questions about your business, your products and other related topics and it’s these questions that can be turned into topics for guides and blogs on your website that they are likely to go and read. Some of the most valuable sources of commonly asked questions are:
- Management and Leadership
- Customer Service
Bringing together members of the above teams in order to brainstorm some blog ideas is an efficient way of getting the information you need quickly. Host a meeting if convenient or send a group email asking for suggestions. Every team will have a different set of questions, even if they come from the same clients. For example, a member of sales may be asked more frequently about the intricacies of a product or service, while a member of accounts or billing can face regular questions about pricing. Technicians and Customer Service, on the other hand, could come in with questions about potential faults or concerns with a product that you can address in a blog.
Answering questions that your clients are asking is arguably the best way to ensure you’re putting together content that they will want to read. It’s important to ensure you’re providing all of the right information for your clients by exhausting any one topic and for this reason, every post you write should remain 80% informational and 20% promotional.
Repurposing Old Content
If you have blog content that has performed well in the past but may be hitting a plateau or losing visitors, you can repurpose/refresh this content in order to bring value to the page and to your website once again. Of course, one of the standard ways of doing this is to refresh and add more to the blog, particularly with recent information and evidence, but creating multi-media content can also help to capture parts of your audience you may have otherwise been missing. Turning high performing blogs into videos, infographics, podcasts and other forms can also help to spread your content further on the web.
Crafting content that is tailored to what your users want to read can provide you with better retention rates, reduced bounce rate and the opportunity to truly state your case in terms of your products in services. Regardless of whether you follow ‘the big 5’, or you simply take to Google to determine what your users are searching for in that regard, catering your content to users is undeniably important.
For more information regarding on-page content or user experience, feel free to get in touch with a member of our team on 0800 088 6000.