With so much content available online, what separates the good from the bad?
There are two clear characteristics that all successful blogs share.
The first is quality.
A blog should be memorable, shareworthy, and even quotable. The hallmark of a well-written blog is the ability to engage, inform and educate; with the ability to convey a complex subject in simple, easy to digest terms.
The second is visibility.
The most well-crafted blog in the world will be considered a failure if it doesn’t cut through the noise of mediocre blogs and get noticed. With SEO becoming less of a mystery and more accessible for blog writers around the world, the ability to optimise your content and help drive it to the top of major search engines is critical.
So how do you do that?
Enter Answer the Public.
What is Answer the Public?
Answer the Public is a keyword research tool that creates simple visualisations out of the suggested search terms provided by Google and Bing.
Rather than manually enter your keywords into Google and collect the suggested autocompletes yourself, Answer the Public automates the process and provides potential topics for your keywords based on what people are actively searching for.
In doing so, business owners and marketers have access to search clouds that are categorised into:
If you enter the keyword ‘Blog Writing’ into Answer the Public you’ll get a breakdown of potential questions to answer. For example…
- How to outsource blog writing?
- Why blog writing is important?
- What is SEO blog writing?
- Where to start blog writing?
- Can blog writing make money?
These variations on the questions people are typing into search engines can be used to create content that is highly targeted and direct. When you know what your audience is asking, it becomes easier to answer their questions and give them exactly what they wanted.
As a free and easy to use keyword research tool, this is how Answer the Public can help you to create unmissable blog posts that are directly answering the actual questions people are asking.
How can I use Answer the Public?
Successful content starts with a plan. Once you know what problems your audience is facing you’ll be best placed to address them and provide clear solutions.
As a result the benefits of Answer the Public include:
✔ Insight into your audience’s questions
✔ Target your keyword research to match audience questions
✔ Identify and optimise for long-tail keywords based on audience questions
✔ Identify and answer questions that can help you appear in Google feature snippets
According to Search It Local content marketer Clarinda Cheon, “You can maximise your chance of catching a valuable featured snippet answer by writing short paragraphs with 40 to 60 words. Once you’ve got your question from Answer the Public, see what currently appears as the featured snippet for that result. Model your answer on this but add value, clarity and facts to give yourself the best chance of taking top spot.”
Still, writing blog content after years on the job can become a challenge. So if you want to conduct free keyword research and create blog posts that rank at the top of Google, here’s what you need to do.
Step One – Select a topic
Start off by selecting a topic that is relevant to your business, and to what people are searching for.
For example, if people are searching for terms related to ‘Content Marketing’ you should have some expertise in the field and be able to appropriately address people’s concerns.
This will also fit naturally on your blog if you post about content marketing. In contrast, if you consistently write about home loans then this topic will have less value for you.
Remember, Answer the Public will yield the most successful results after you’ve conducted some preliminary keyword research. This will help you narrow down your focus and begin to write for a niche audience.
Once you have your list of keywords, enter them into Answer the Public and you’ll be able to choose to answer one of the broad questions that people are searching for.
Step Two – Find out if you can rank for your chosen keywords
Your next step is to select a question to answer.
Let’s say your keyword research produced the search term ‘Content Marketing’.
By entering ‘Content Marketing’ into Answer the Public you’ll have clear visual data of all the ways people search for information related to that broad topic.
Once you’ve done this and selected a question to answer you’ll need to make sure you can rank for that question. The easiest way to check this is to enter your chosen question into Google.
The main questions you’ll be trying to find answers to include:
- Are the top results covering your chosen question thoroughly and in-depth?
- Are the top results ranking on the strength of their content?
- Are the top results ranking due to a lack of competition?
To show you the difference between broad keyword research and the niche approach provided by Answer the Public, let’s imagine you went with your core keyword ‘Content Marketing’ and didn’t feed it through Answer the Public.
Let’s have a look at the results on Google for the search query ‘Content Marketing’.
The results show a number of high quality websites covering this topic already. You can gauge the strength of these websites using the Moz Bar tool.
This tool will show you the Domain Authority, or DA, of each website. Though not a hard and fast rule, it is typically accurate to say that the higher the DA, the more challenging it will be for you to rank above these websites.
Instead of trying to go up against high-quality websites with well established content, you would take the keyword ‘Content Marketing’ and head back to Answer the Public to keep researching.
This shows the strength of Answer the Public as both a content generator and keyword research tool. Instead of wasting time and resources on creating content that will have a low chance of ranking, you can refine your search and find keywords with less competition.
Let’s see what questions show when we enter ‘Content Marketing’ into Answer the Public.
Going back to Answer the Public you might choose ‘Why Content Marketing is Important for B2B’.
Now it’s time to go back to Google and see if you’ve successfully identified a niche where your blog can rank.
Step Three – Write for your niche
Looking at the search results on Google for the longtail keyword ‘Why Content Marketing is Important for B2B’ it’s clear there is an opportunity to rank.
Not only do the top ranked sites have considerably lower DA figures than the websites ranking for ‘Content Marketing’, but the lower ranked sites are more than a year old, giving your content the edge.
This combination of a weaker DA and older publication dates provide you with the chance to include up-to-date statistics and quotes from experts to demonstrate your relevance in answering the search query. This will give you a better chance of ranking at the top.
People searching for information about B2B content marketing will naturally be drawn to more recent content to ensure the information they receive is as accurate as possible – particularly in a field like content marketing where changes are often occurring.
By seeing what your competition has done you can tailor your content to answer the search query in a way no one else has.
According to Head of Copy at Paperclip Digital, Alexander Porter, your content should look to use user signals to boost your rankings, saying “pay extra attention to your page title and meta description. While these should contain your keywords and answer the question you have picked, they are also your chance to drive traffic to your site. Try using numbers, power words, or questions to help get people to click on your result. These are all classic conversion optimisation tactics to give you an edge over your competition.”
What is the takeaway here?
Using Answer the Public you’ve found:
a). The real search terms potential customers are using
b). The low competition opportunities for you to rank your blog content
This allows you to create content that is most likely to rank, more likely to be read, and generate organic traffic – all beneficial to SEO efforts.
Using Answer the Public you’ll be able to tap into the actual questions people are asking. And the business with the solutions to these questions will be the one most likely to benefit.
From choosing your topic to identifying low competition long-tail keywords that have a higher chance of ranking, Answer the Public is the secret SEO tool agencies and marketers have been using for years.
And now you know how to use it to create unmissable blog posts too.
Alexander Porter is Head of Copy and an experienced digital marketer working for Paperclip Digital – Sydney’s boutique agency with bold visions.
He is passionate about SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media and the power of language to strike consumers like lightning.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyAWdVLHZVkuKlTt4dlBAJQ