2. Search Volume vs Relevancy
Search engines have a big role to play in how people find content online, but they aren’t the only ones. People also have a say in what they spend their time reading. That’s why writers need to keep in mind that readers are also doing their research and will be looking for answers to their questions.
- I want my article to rank – write on a topic with a high-search volume to entice search engine algorithms.
- I want to educate my audience – write on a topic that your target audience will find relevant to their needs.
How do you find the balance?
The best way to stay out of this cognitive dissonance is to regard both sides of the equation when writing your next piece of content, otherwise, you’ll end up with something that doesn’t resonate with either the audience or search engines.
1. Research the search intent
It isn’t a bad thing to know the search volume around certain topics, but it is good to know why people (your audience, assuming you know them) will be searching for them.
- Is it to learn about a general topic?
- Answer a specific question?
- Find out how to use a product?
Knowing what you want your content to accomplish will inform why and how you write. Try Googling the term you’re creating content around and you’ll see what specific answers Google is surfacing – this is usually a good place to start.
If you’re still unsure about the relevancy of a particular topic, run it through Google Trends or Buzzsumo. Both tools show how often a topic has been searched for over time and how many times it’s been shared on social media networks.
2. Consider the brand
As a writer, it is important for you to consider the brand you’re writing for and where its relevance starts and ends. Let the topics you pick, regardless of search volume, be relevant to the brand and its audience – what does the brand want to have topical authority on? What topics do their audience consider them a credible source on?
For example, a restaurant selling vegan foods shouldn’t be writing about ‘Top 5 non-vegan foods you should try’ regardless of high search volume – alternatively, consider that you can create cognitive dissonance in readers who are looking at your content and finding inconsistencies with what they know about the brand.