5 Internal Resources to Mine for SEO Content
One of the key factors of any successful SEO campaign is quality content — content that is unique, compelling and useful. That quality content can come packaged in a variety of ways: blog posts, articles, text on landing pages, white papers, reports, infographics and more.
The first step toward any of this valuable content is coming up with an idea. If you're stumped for content ideas, sometimes the solution is closer than you think — namely, inside your own company.
If you're looking for ways to fill your editorial calendar with fresh ideas, consider your internal resources: the customer service department, in-house experts, company social media reports, site search statistics and the accounting department.
1. Chat Up Your Customer Service Reps
What questions have run across the customer service desk lately? Chances are that if one person is asking a question, there are others out there who have the same question. Providing answers to questions people are already asking is a great way to create useful, compelling content. Consider creating step-by-step guides, how-to articles or even an infographic that leaves your readers satisfied.
Furthermore, if you have an FAQ page, imagine being able to link to guides, articles and infographics? This type of content shows how invested you are in the user experience — you've already worked to provide answers.
A recent study on content found that "90 percent of consumers find custom content useful" and that "78 percent of people believe that organizations producing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them." Being able to answer your consumers' questions and anticipate their needs is definitely part of building those "good relationships."
2. Take Advantage of In-House Experts
Think of your savvy, in-the-know colleagues – they are an amazing content resource. They're in the trenches of your industry and have relevant anecdotes, insights, case study material and real-world examples that are the perfect fodder for blog posts or white papers. If possible, you can even set up a rotating blog schedule, where each participating colleague is responsible for one post each month or quarter, for example.
At BCI, we love when the SEO analysts write a post for our blog. Their hands-on experience and expertise lead to thoughtful blog posts that are great resources for our readers, like Matthew Young's recent post: "The Good, the Bad and the Mobile: SEO Tips for your Mobile Site Right Now."
3. Use Social Media Analytics to Determine What Your Audience Is Into
Peak behind your own curtain of social relationships by looking to data from Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights and Klout. This information will help you pinpoint social activity that has garnered significant engagement. What topics have led to strong numbers? Those topics represent what your audience is interested in. Based on analytics, you can strategize where to continue (or not continue) investing your content creation time.
With Klout, you can view your most "influential moments" on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Instagram. Klout renders a snapshot of the moment and shows who has interacted with you – and how.
Klout lets you look at your social media successes across all platforms concurrently. To the right are some of my recent influential moments on Klout. From this information, I can glean that my Twitter followers respond well when I tweet about LinkedIn, and my Facebook followers respond even more when I post about my ill-regard for Candy Crush.
With Facebook Insights, you can take a closer look at the reach, user engagement virality of your Facebook page activity. With Twitter Analytics, you can delve into your timeline activity and peruse your follows, unfollows, mentions and link clicks, noting which tweets/links correlated with increases.
4. Look to Your Visitors On-site Search Activities
On-site search allows users to search your site using Google's index. In addition to providing your users with helpful functionality, this also provides you with key insights into user interest.
Google's digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik expounds: "A search box is a goldmine of information for you the site owner, because each time visitors search your site, they tell you in their own words what they are looking for." Kaushik explains that having a search box on your site enables site owners to determine how different groups of visitors interact with a site and if visitors are satisfied with what they find."
As you examine what people have searched for on your site, take note of consistent search terms -- there in lies excellent material for you next piece of content.
Kaushik also recommends using the the Site Search Usage report within Google Analytics "to find out how many visits included search activity and how many didn't."
5. Dig Deep with the Accounting Department (or Any Other Department that Collects Data)
There are departments in your organization that push data around all day. Statistics from financials to demographics to most popular products being sold to regional differences to times of day or year of inquiries – it's up to you (and your company) to determine what is shareable and what will benefit your readers.
This type of data can lead to some eye-catching infographics. Need some inspiration? This infographic from UCLA showcases statistics concerning freshmen:
Rick Schober created this infographic for Arbor Networks to depict the company history: