Behind all successful content is effective research.
With the help of search engines, you can find topics and data that will help unveil the tangle of information about your competition and industry too.
The key is understanding how to search for the information you need, confirm its accuracy, and use it appropriately in content. Do it improperly and the quality of your content will suffer and, in turn, your content marketing campaigns.
This isn’t a one-and-done deal either. The world of search is constantly changing and so should your searching and writing skills. Follow the following tips to keep your content writing skills in tip-top shape.
Learning how to search is critical when it comes to marketing. First, marketers must fully understand a subject before they can share it with their target audience. That means you have to be in the habit of learning and dare we say like it.
Engaging in research enables you to develop a learning mindset that helps you continue to convey topics to your audience well and elevate your content marketing.
Fortunately, you have access to a huge library of the most accurate and relevant data from search engines when you know how to conduct effective searches. You can use this information to inform your content marketing strategy and create content that stands out.
Finally, as you grow your search skills, your queries become more refined, getting you to the information you need faster.
The following practices can help you continually develop your search skills.
Keywords and phrases help your content to pop up on search engine results pages (SERPs) for particular queries.
For example, if you’re a furniture company in Washington State, you want to pop on SERPs when people type in “furniture companies in Washington,” or “Washington State furniture companies.” If you use these key phrases in your content appropriately and often enough, you’ll eventually move up in the rankings for them.
A tool like Google Keyword Planner makes it easy for you by generating keyword and phrase ideas for you once you type in a certain query.
You could also take the manual route to keyword search. Type in a phrase or question into a search engine related to what you want your content to rank for. Then, read the top pieces of content and make notes about the keywords and phrases that you identify.
Scribbr defines boolean operators as “words and symbols, such as AND or NOT, that let you expand or narrow your search parameters when using a database or search engine.” You can use these terms any time you use search, but they can be especially helpful when you’re examining other topics that exist in your industry or when you’re evaluating the content of your competitors and finding ways to improve. Here’s more on what happens when you use common boolean operators:
These are just a couple of examples of how to use Boolean operators to find content online similar to what you want to cover. Continue to experiment with your use of Boolean operators until you’re comfortable with the results you get.
Once you search for something on a search engine, there’s usually an option to filter your results based on certain criteria. Let’s use Google as an example.
After your results populate, you’ll see filters just below the search bar. If none of those are what you’re looking for, you can click on “all filters” to the right of the search bar and see more.
By using these filters, you’ll learn how to quickly uncover data that relates to what you’re searching for, rather than sifting through results blindly.
Content in SERPs comes from individuals and organizations. Some reputable, many not. It’s up to you to vet sources and authors of content to ensure they’re accurate and relevant.
Start with their online presence when vetting authors of content. Check their social media and read through any publications they’re featured in. Confirm their associations and certifications as well.
When it comes to evaluating sources, take a look at the domain extension first. For example, .gov sites are owned/operated by government agencies, and .edu sites are always associated with an educational institution. So, these are sources you can count on.
You can also count on sources you find in reputable online databases. But always dig into the background of the author or the organization publishing the source when you aren’t sure if you can trust the content.
With the help of search, you can consistently create easily digestible content that provides immense value to your audience.