We’ve previously written about How to Connect With High Value Customers. In that fashion, we want to show you how to write content answers for the questions your potential clients may have. Let’s break down what it will take to effectively answer your prospective customers by expertly answering the pressing questions they have about your good or service.
Why You Should Write Content for Answers to Specific Questions
We’re not discussing writing content for the snippets that appear on search engines. It is a great thing to have if you can get it. However, it is difficult to break in. Writing answers to questions has benefits because it can generate lasting results that can begin as soon as the post goes live until the question is no longer relevant. This strategy can range to anything from “install a faucet” all the way to “how to properly install a Moen Chateau Chrome faucet, Model XXX.”
1. Think of an Inverted Pyramid
You know what it takes to get a sale. You probably also know which questions customers and clients have before they take the plunge. The inverted pyramid method of content creation begins with thinking of the question, asking it for your customers, then answering it in the following paragraphs. Be as professional as you can, and don’t be afraid to show off your expertise. Yes, you are giving away your knowledge. For example, using the plumbing answer above. Yes, you may show your potential customer how to do the job themselves. However, it is likely they would have done so anyway using content from a different source. Others will see you as an authority on the subject and be more prone to contact you. This form of writing is great because it will have you creating rich, compelling content that helps you rank for this question and win more meaningful clicks.
2. Think Long Tail Content
Again, using the example above, it is better to write about a specific topic than a general one. First, the general topics are usually already taken, and the clicks are less likely to lead to sales. However, specific topics in your area of expertise have less competition and even less authoritative voices on the matter. Click here to learn more about what long-tail keywords are and how to use them. They are a string of words that go together to form a topic. As shown above, “install a faucet” would be considered a short query. The other query references the specific task, make, and model and thus is a long tail keyword query.
3. How to Search for Questions to Answer
We recommend searching for the potential questions yourself to read the answers if there are answers. You should pounce on anything with a lack of an effective answer, especially if it is specific to your local area. Begin with a simple Google Search. For example, when I search for “how to write effective content,” I get a few hundred-thousand answers, indicating that this might not be a good topic for me. However, there is a box below detailing what “people also ask.” The three queries I get are:
- How do you write content for beginners?
- How do you write unique content?
- How do you create quality content?
These would be better choices. You could even go further and put a twist on these topics. We could go with, “how do you write LEGAL or MEDICAL content for beginners?” Or “How do you write unique MANUFACTURING content?” Or even “how do you create quality content for senior citizens who game?” You know your audience best and can think up little tweaks like this of your own. Feel free to use other platforms as well. Are any questions in your industry trending on Twitter? Yahoo also has an official “Answers” section that has tons of tools to allow you to search for content. You may also try answer/content-focused sites like Reddit, BuzzFeed, and BuzzSumo – which has tons of ideas for content creation.
4. How to Answer Questions
Long-winded articles and blog posts in large paragraph blocks are a great way to turn off your readers instantly. Likewise, thin content is less likely to get picked up by search engines and make you seem like a novice on the topic. No lists either. Those are for fun or for experts like Consumer Reports that spend months ranking the items they list. However, if you know enough about a topic to speak intelligently about each item on the list, feel free to do so. And, always use subtitles to break up too many paragraphs. Doing so will help scanners (versus readers) find what most interests them in the article. Plus, if you understand SEO, subtitles provide a benefit as well.
The most important tip is not to be afraid to share “too much.” Your reader may take the information and use it without your help. However, that will pale in comparison to those who will go to your site, blog, etc. to learn more about what you do. Sooner or later, it will lead to results.
Content isn’t as important to the upper half of the pyramid as long as the question it answers is. Be sure to put equal parts of each into your next piece of content to make sure it is as relevant and knowledgeable as possible. Your audience’s perception of you as someone different, as an expert, and someone open to queries, will allow you out shine your competition and have authoritative content that will last and last.