Zach and Beth discuss three vital content pieces that can help capture online leads regardless of your target audience.
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The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insight on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.
In this episode, Zach and Beth share three easy content strategies for your brand’s online presence to improve your search rankings and connect with the right audience.
Some aspects of digital marketing can seem complex, but creating valuable content is a quick and easy way you can start driving traffic to your website. With the right online content, you can improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and drive the right kind of awareness in your category.
SEO is important because people are accustomed to going to Google to search for things. It’s no longer about the right keywords for product pages, but instead about answering the questions that people have online.
A Google statistic from a few years ago revealed that 97% of all transactions start on the Internet, but only 6% of retail transactions happen online. This is extremely applicable to anyone in the building materials space.
Whoever your audience is, they’re most likely starting their research online by Googling things around your category. If they can’t find you, then you’re not in the conversation. That’s why it’s crucial to provide these prospects with the best possible information with three core types of quality online content.
#1: FAQs and How-Tos
People use Google to ask questions, so making FAQs a great way to answer these questions and explain complicated products or parts of the installation process. If your topic is lengthier than answering a frequently asked question, you can create a whole how-to article. These are important even if you don’t target DIYers because they’ll still perform well in SEO thanks to long-tail keywords.
These types of keywords are often full sentences. There’s not a lot of competition for them, and you’ll be able to reach very targeted audiences looking for that information. It’s a great way to start building relationships and getting people to trust your brand.
FAQs and how-tos also help with voice search questions. If you’re not sure what to write about, talk to your sales team and ask them the top five questions they receive from both potential customers and existing customers. These are the easiest topics to start with and chances are that if customers are asking your sales team these questions, then people are asking Google as well.
#2: Guides and Inspiration Posts
Guides and inspiration posts are among the easiest and quickest ranking methods for Google. Create a guide to solve a common problem for your ideal customer or make a list post for inspiration. Here are some example ideas:
- 29 Open Office Plans
- 29 Open Office Lighting Examples
- 14 Farmhouse Window Treatments
- Barn Door Inspiration Guide
Google wants to supply user intent and people like numbers, which work well in headlines and copy. Guides are especially sought after and you can make them authoritative by ensuring they include lots of additional resources, downloadable PDFs or spec sheet links.
Basco Shower Door is a manufacturer doing this really well right now. They have a Shower Doors 101 article on their website that may feel consumer-focused but it also applies to builders and contractors. They include everything you could possibly think of, like what to know before you buy, how to measure and where to go to buy.
Our first-hand data shows that longer pieces rank better on Google. Aim for at least 1,500 words for each post. However, we also have done 10,000-word guides that rank extremely well. If you’re not sure where to start, check out a website called AnswerthePublic.com. You can enter a product category and see questions people have related to that search. Download the list of results and place them right into your content calendar.
#3: Comparison Content
People also like comparison content, which is extremely effective to incorporate into your content strategy. To get inspired, go to Google and put in your brand name, then “versus” to see what comes up. Google’s smart search recommendations will show you cataloged alternatives so you know popular topics people search for. You can then create content targeted directly to these search phrases.
You may hesitate to mention your competition on your website, but understand that if you’re not mentioning them, someone else is. Creating your own content allows you to own the conversation.
After all, there are already websites dedicated solely to doing these comparisons. Rather than leaving it to third parties, your own content helps you honestly state when you are and aren’t the best fit for a specific type of customer.
Alternatively, you can get a third-party website to write a comparison with a competitor, which will likely skew in your favor since it’s similar to a sponsored post.
Also, consider creating content surrounding category vs. category topics. For example, wood decking vs. composite decking or granite countertops vs. quartz countertops. This applies to commercial products as well, like building facade comparisons or glass type comparisons.
In episode 32, we talked with Phil Scardigno, who mentioned that he will recommend a competitor’s product and people still end up buying his product instead. Comparison content helps build trust and authority with your brand as the industry expert.
Bonus Tip: A Super Ninja Hack
One content piece that everyone needs to rank well isn’t very exciting but can hurt you if you don’t have it. They include:
- Warranty information
- Return policy
- About us page and company information
These topics may feel like a non-starter, but one thing we see is that these pages are necessary to prove the validity of your brand to Google and for your advertising efforts. Without them, you can hurt your ability to rank well for things you should be ranking for. Be sure to include these so you can truly optimize the rest of your digital content.
If you have any questions about creating content that will help with your SEO efforts and drive brand awareness, we want to help. Just give us a shout at [email protected].