How many of you get stuck in the “what should I write about” trap?
::raising my hand::
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to create highly useful content that’s great for your readers.
Plus, Google LOVES this kind of content, and it even gives it special billing in the search results.
What’s the secret?
Answer common questions your readers ask every day.
Why is answering questions such a powerful content play?
Easy. Because your readers have questions. Shouldn’t your company be the one that answers them?
Think about it. How many times have you signed up for a newsletter after reading a particularly helpful blog post? Or, downloaded a white paper for more information? You may have even made a purchase.
Strong, question-oriented content can cause conversions.
For instance, let’s say you were planning a trip to San Diego with your family.
You’d probably start typing in question-oriented queries like:
[best time to visit San Diego]
[average San Diego temperature January]
[things to do in San Diego with kids]
You may not know exactly when you’d visit, what you’d do or where you’d stay. You’d just type your questions and explore the opportunities.
Now, imagine finding a San Diego hotel website with a great, “Explore San Diego with your kids” guide.
After reading the guide, wouldn’t you examine that hotel property more closely — even if you’ve never heard of it before?
You bet. You may even book a stay, too.
Providing helpful content wins the game.
(And yes, this is the same for B2B companies. Writing content that answers your prospects’ common questions is a smart move — and your prospects will appreciate it!)
What about Google’s stance?
Remember my blog post on voice search? I gave folks a heads up that question-oriented queries written in a conversational tone is a smart move.
In fact, Google pulls out popular questions and features them at the top of the search results page. Clicking a question provides the “best” answer (as decided by Google) with a link to the source page.
For instance, like this:
What’s more, those featured snippet answers may turn into voice search responses, too.
How cool would it be if YOUR content was read back to you by Alexa, Google or Siri?
I don’t know about you, but I get gleeful goosebumps even thinking about it.
(Want to learn more about featured snippets? Check out this recent study by SEMrush. It even breaks down the average paragraph length for featured snippet content.)
How can you find question-oriented queries?
Check out KeywordTool.io and Answer the Public. Both tools offer great, free data (and the dude on the Answer the Public home page always make me laugh.)
Reddit, Quora and specialized forums are chock-full of questions.
Many paid tools have a “questions” feature.
And don’t forget to ask the folks in the trenches — the people who answer customer/prospect questions every day. These people may include:
– Receptionists and administrative assistants
– Customer service team members
– The company’s owner, especially if the owner is also handling sales
– The inbound and outbound sales team
Ready? Go forth and start answering questions — and please let me know how it goes!
Do you have questions about answering questions?
Or, is there something else on your mind? Post your reply in the comments!