Content Research Copy Writing For SEO Kinetic KnowledgeWhat Is Your Target Consumers’ Intent!?

Simply put, building content that meets the consumers’ intent when she is researching produces MUCH BETTER business results! But what is the consumers’ intent and how can we attempt to be there with the right answers when they have that intent?

Nobody wakes up in the morning with a credit card and says, “just let me buy something.” That’s not the way that it works today. Especially not for more serious purchases, where consumers want to develop confidence pre- purchase. Nowadays they use their phones, in short bursts ( = micro- moments), to explore and research what they want to buy. Many brands still make the mistake of waiting until the I-want-to-buy moment to make their pitch. And slugging it out with everyone solely at the I-want-to-buy part of the purchase funnel is the hardest place to compete!

A better strategy is to reach them before the competitor does, such as during the I-want-to-know moments, to establish confidence & brand affinity! Start at the top of the funnel, where the largest addressable audience is available and a pipeline of leads can be built! Establish position as the authority and consumers will have this in mind as they progress on their purchase path.

Consumer Search

Consumer searches are generally one of three things: they are navigational, informational or transactional in nature. Based on this, we marketers must strive to meet the intent of our target consumer with the right types of response in our content. And yes sure the content needs to get indexed in search engines, but this works for marketers because it works for the consumer! In a time where consumers believe they can research anything they want, we need to consider earning their trust with the answers they seek! Why? Because consumers are more loyal to an immediate need than they ever will be to a particular brand.

Brands Beware- It’s NOT About You, It Is About Them!

According to Google, when conducting a search on their smartphones, 65% of those surveyed say they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing it. 51% of those same smartphone users purchased from a company/ brand other than the one they know because the information it provided was useful. For the marketer, it means that investigating intent will help to focus in on more specific consumer information needs. Look into things like the top category searches, searches that are trending and all the search questions relevant to the product or service category.

Ask yourself if you are truly serving the questions you would ask personally when YOU search for your own product or service purchase!? Identifying what’s most important to them and prioritizing the creation of answers for those intent-rich moments, where decisions are being made and preferences are established, is the key! When you provide the helpful content in these moments, customers are more likely to keep you in mind as they progress on their purchase path.

What are the key ‘Intent’ questions we should anticipate and then work to answer?

  • What do they want to learn about your products or services?
  • Why or under what circumstances do they want to learn it?
  • What are they doing with your products or services (e.g., baking cookies, buying a home, recovering from an injury)?
  • Would education and/ or instruction, maybe even ‘how-to’ video content’ support them?

In terms of content, are the answers to their questions available on your website yet?

Understanding Google’s Definition of Micro- Moments

Google introduced the concept of micro-moments broken down into I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do and I-want-to-buy moments to help marketers think about consumer intent. Again, 51% of smartphone users surveyed purchased from a company/ brand other than the one they know because the information it provided was useful. Each of the different moments reflects different flavors of intent and calls for a specific content response, so the next step is to map out what keywords & questions (Keyword + Where, Which, Who, Why, What, How and Are) consumers will use in their path to conversion.

  • Example I-want-to-go question searches could ( in the moment ) be “What to Do in San Francisco” or “Where to Stay in Miami.” Or maybe people are looking local and are considering buying a product at a local store. Serving this moment means getting your physical business address in their consideration in that moment. ‘Near me’ searches have grown to the degree 82% of smartphone users say they use them to find a local business.
  • Example I-want-to-know moments are likely more exploring or researching than they are purchase moments. Useful information, maybe even inspiration is the answer; whereas this is not a moment for the hard sell. Google says 66% of smartphone users search on their smartphone to learn more about something they saw in a TV commercial.
  • Example I-want-to-buy moments are huge, of course. Someone is ready to make the buy and need help deciding what or which one. Don’t ever assume they will seek you out so much as they will the right information. Interesting, 82% of smartphone users have consulted their phone while in a store?! What do they want to know about your product? A poor example might be the fashion retailer who concentrates solely on I-want-to-buy moments — “I want to buy a blue dress” for example. With such a narrow focus on JUST checkout, they missed the chance to position their clothing for what-to-wear-in-an-interview or maybe what-to-wear-to-a-business-dinner moments, a potentially big segment for business wear and blue dresses.
  • Example I-want-to-do moments can come before or after the purchase. In either case, these are ‘how to’ moments for getting things done or trying something new. Serving the right content is, again, the key. In fact, ‘how to’ searches continue to grow 70% year-over-year on YouTube. These are the I-need-to-fix-my-lawn-mower moments … the need is for immediate help with getting something done or learning how in these I-want-to-do moments. Because YouTube is so heavily trafficked video content can play a big role because it allows someone to learn at their own pace. Google says that 48% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies whose sites provide instructional video content!

Identify and prioritize the moments where questions can be answered, preferences can be established and then where decisions are being made! Do it before they get to a checkout.

Your messaging and content choices should stem from consumer intent and MICRO MOMENTS!

 

The Yellow Pages
 
The days of people finding a business in the Yellow Pages are pretty much gone. Nowadays people search and if a business has ‘a good website full of the proper content’ consumers will likely find it before they do a local business listing in the Yellow Pages. What’s more, they will NOT only find that website for local, but for many different keyword searches.
 
Why Use A Directory?
 
Some directories generate search engine indexing & traffic, so if a business doesn’t have their website together then listing in the right directory may at least support for the most locally specific searches.  For instance, a specific keyword plus the town and state ( i.e. Veterinarian Manasquan NJ ). Even with ‘a good website’ some might argue every directory is one more chance for a business to be discovered. Some directories generate traffic; some offer a favorable environment for valuable consumer reviews and others for highly sought after ( = SEO friendly ) back links to a main website.
  So, based upon our experience, here’s some support with what directories to look into. 
 
Visitor Totals Related To Directories | Kinetic KnowledgeThe Top Local Business Directories 
 
  1. Google.com = It’s the place where people search everything, including local business. What’s more, Google generates directory listings in their SERPs when the search is local. While Google will likely index your website for its content they also offer their version of a directory in Google + Local Pages. Neat because they are integrated for maps, mobile, circles of friends traditional search and they include Zagat Reviews. Worth mentioning is that if you had a legacy ‘Google Places’ page and/ or a Google + page they are meant to be merged; however, our experience (and also many ‘unhappy others’ we have discovered in the forums) suggests all is not well. It seems that if you direct a client to your Google+ Local page ‘Review button’ their effort may be lost somewhere in the merge. A couple of ours ended up as comments to a blog post??, which is frustrating.
  2. Yahoo.com = It may not be the premiere place it once was for listings and a highly weighted back link to a website. In fact, Google Webmaster Guidelines no longer recommends “directory submission” to the Open Directory Project and Yahoo; however, Yahoo is ‘the original great directory’ …  many people still use it and it’s a good environment for consumer reviews.
  3. Yelp.com = Yelp is popular … to the tune of about 27 million unique visitors per month. They are especially popular with the smart phone crowd and may be the technology leader for their mobile and Facebook friendly features. Yelp is also a leader for consumer reviews.
  4. Manta.com = Our personal favorite right now: easy to register and it goes live quick, Manta is terrific! But they go further with a ton of space for information about your business, free image upload, neat daily marketing tips and weekly traffic metrics. The design is great and if it proves to drive even a little traffic to our site it’s certainly a consideration for a paid upgrade.
  5. AngiesList.com =  They want to be the leader for consumer reviews and they are spending big $ on prime time TV Ads’ to do it. Whereas Yelp may lead for a younger demographic, Angie’s List looks to be targeting the mature crowd. Registration is easy enough and while it takes a little time for a registered listing to surface live, there’s a generous offering for business information. 
  6. MerchantCircle.com = Very much like Manta, we like this one for its generous offering. A registered listing surfaces quick, you’re able to load up lots of good information and they follow through with supportive marketing tips. 
  7. SuperPages.com = This is SuperMedia, Verizon’s former yellow pages property. A good free listing, it generates some search indexing (likely for its’ time in the game) and it’s also a good environment for reviews. And let’s face it, having been a part of Verizon is nothing to sneeze at.
  8. DMOZ.org (The Open Directory project) = Again, Google Webmaster Guidelines no longer recommends “directory submission” the Open Directory Project and Yahoo … making DMOZ, at least, less the back link opportunity it once was; however, this directory is unique in that all listings must be carefully submitted and reviewed before acceptance is possible. Beware: we have submitted carefully a few times over the years and have yet to arrive, making this a big waste of our time to date.
  9. Foursquare.com = Like Yelp, Foursquare is very mobile friendly including a neat app’ that allows folks to share where they are ‘live’ … or were they were … with friends. The app’ also supports lots  of reviews and the site has big traffic; however, this directory is more ‘activity based’ than it is local service oriented. In other words, it’s more suited for restaurants, clubs & entertainment than it is for helping to find a plumber. 
  10. And Some Advice = Seek out local directories where a listing can be added, including a back link. Town, County, Chamber Of Commerce & other Government sites are often relevant sources of local business directory information … in the eyes of humans and search engine algorithms! Highly specific category based directories can be relevant too.
Concerns With Directories
  1. Some directories will already have the listing in their database while others may require a business to register one and then to go through some form of confirmation process;
  2. There are so many local business directories the value (in general) may be diluted with ‘people that search’;
  3. There are so many directories that search engines may not value the listing content or back links any longer;
  4. Many respected SEOs have held a generally dim view of directory back link building for quite awhile now;
  5. It is hard to know which directories generate any relevant traffic;
  6. The directory business model is typically to sell upgrades & advertising, potentially leaving a free registered listing in an obscure place;
  7. It is difficult to know which directory will value the listing content and which will abuse it as an opportunity to redirect visitors to other content;
  8. A listing registration can take a lot of valuable time AND 
  9. While it helps to qualify them, your clients will have to register personal accounts in order to give you a review … discouraging many. 

 

MailChimp For Sending Your Blog Posts Via EmailSomething we’ve been working on lately is our own email marketing, including email that stems from our blog.  While Feedburner has been a reliable (AND free) application for generating blog subscription via email, here are the 10 reasons we’ve decided to switch to MailChimp… and why maybe you should too.

 

 

10 Reasons To Use MailChimp For Email Marketing!

      1. MailChimp can be used for direct email campaigns, client newsletters AND it can be set up for blog posts via email;
      2. MailChimp is free (up to a fixed number of email sent per month), which (until you go over) affords you lots of time for the learning curve;  
      3. MailChimp allows you to control the message, never embedding distracting or competitive ads;
      4. MailChimp offers a series of easily customized email templates so that your message reflects only your brand;
      5. Mailchimp email templates allow you to embed your own ads, for instance to ride along with a blog post;  
      6. Mailchimp offers analytics including who’s opening your email, who’s clicking on what links… to clue you in on who may be interested in what AND on what drives the most interest for future efforts;
      7. Mailchimp offers a series of simple social network integration options;
      8. Mailchimp is mobile friendly;
      9. Feedburner just doesn’t seem to be in Google’s future plans, nor does it offer most of these options AND 
      10. Once you go over the MailChimp limit for free use it’s still very affordable for such a terrific email platform! 

 

If you feel MailChimp is a solution you might want to pursue, get in touch! We’d love to discuss what you’re trying to accomplish and how this might work for you. We can certainly help you set up MailChimp today!