A generally accepted fact in the world of Content Marketing is that being useful is one of the main criteria for achieving results with a content campaign.
But how do you find out which questions your audience needs answers to?
At Koozai, one of our starting points tends to be Answer the Public.
Answer the Public is a clever consumer insight tool that combines the suggested searches from Bing and Google and visualises them in what could be called a search cloud. Organised in categories such as what, where and why, these search clouds provide an overview of the questions people are typing into search engines from their various devices.
Internet users asking existential questions in Google.
This type of insight is invaluable for content marketers like me for the following reasons:
As an agency, we work for a very wide range of clients, which means we get to immerse ourselves in many different industries. Before we start producing our content marketing proposals, we carry out elaborate research into a client’s existing content, competitors and audience as part of the onboarding process.
When it comes to getting to know an audience, we use tools like Google Analytics, but consumer insight tools like Answer the Public can provide a unique insight into what this audience is asking in relation to our client’s product. Sometimes, the questions asked online are of a rather personal nature. As content marketers, we can meet the needs of our audience by delivering valuable answers to their questions.
Some of the questions I found around the topic of prostate cancer recently.
Once you’ve established the questions people are asking in relation to your product or service and you’ve chosen the ones you’d like to answer, you can continue gathering more data with a keyword research tool like SEMrush. This will give you the number of monthly searches for specific related keywords, allowing you to choose the ones for which you’d like to optimise your answers.
Using generic and long-tail key phrases in the content you produce will further increase your relevancy for your target audience in the eyes of Google.
SEMrush keyword results around the topic of prostate cancer.
Knowing which questions your audience types into Google allows you to include these directly in your content – for example as subheadings in a user guide or a FAQ article. With the help of your keyword research, you can then proceed to optimise your answers for more long-tail key phrases that generally have less competition.
Some long-tail keywords with decent search volumes on the topic of prostate cancer.
Google’s featured snippets are excerpts of information pulled from various websites in order to present Google users with answers without having to click through to a website. Appearing in a featured snippet will give your brand amazing exposure and position you as an expert in your field in the minds of your audience.
How can you get your content into Google’s featured snippets? Giving concise or list-style answers to the questions your audience is asking is a very good start. By optimising these answers for generic and long-tail key phrases, you’re increasing your chances even further. On top of that, there are some technical considerations you’ll want to take into account – but you can leave that to your SEO experts. In the end, what matters is that you provide your audience with what they’re looking for in a glimpse – if they want to get into more detail, they can always click through to your site.
Example of a featured snippet that appeared for the query ‘prostate cancer symptoms’.