Well-written, relevant content is incredibly important to any business’s digital presence. But in order to be truly effective, that content must be backed by solid search engine optimization (SEO). The good news is that both tactics ultimately have the same foundation.
Topic and keyword research
To understand what keywords to target, you must first know what your audience is interested in. The questions they ask, the things they want to learn, the things they enjoy. While social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can provide some excellent insight in this regard, there’s another resource that I frequently see people overlook.
It’s called Quora. A digital community first founded in 2009, Quora is designed with a single purpose in mind: to be a community where users can freely share knowledge with one another. How it works is simple.
If you have a question, create an account and publish it under one of Quora’s topic categories, known as Spaces. Other users on the site will then do their best to answer. Many businesses already use Quora as a marketing tool for this purpose, seeking out and answering questions that match their area of expertise.
Quora’s value goes beyond marketing alone, however. It’s also incredibly valuable as a tool for topic and keyword research. Leveraging Quora, you can learn several things.
- What people are asking about a particular topic. What specific details do they want to know, and why?
- How they’re phrasing their questions. Combined with another tool like Also Asked or Answer The Public, this can help you compile a shortlist of long-tail, conversational keywords to target. You can even enter questions into a tool like Moz or the AdWords Keyword Planner.
- Unique keywords associated with your topic. Reading some of the answers can even bring your attention to certain keywords and phrases otherwise might not have considered targeting.
- Which answers resonate best with your audience. Quora allows users to upvote answers that are helpful and downvote answers that aren’t. This can provide you with a foundational framework for your content, and give you some sense of what not to say.
- Potential thought leaders, influencers, and business partners. For each topic, you can check out the most-viewed writers, the people who frequently give high-quality answers. In some cases, this can give you insight into your competition, in others, it can call your attention to people who might be able to help you grow your brand.
SEO and content marketing are two sides of the same coin. Each informs and enriches the other, and both are drawn from the same foundation. That’s what makes websites like Quora such a valuable resource.
They offer everything you need to know in the brainstorming stage, and consequently allow you to write better-optimized, more valuable content.
About the Author
Terry Cane is the COO at SEOHost.net, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner. You can follow/tweet her @SEOhostnet.