As the amount of content created and the number of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies increase, it is becoming harder and harder for SEOs to compete. Small businesses especially often feel like they will never be able to rank for their industry keywords, as these search result lists are typically dominated by international and national companies in their industry. Are you a small business that is struggling to compete in your market? Are you weary of constantly trying different SEO strategies and being disappointed with the results?
A New Strategy
Let me suggest a new strategy for you. I like to call it “SEO that fills in the gaps.” Believe it or not, even with the volume of information that is available online right now, some questions yield only incomplete answers, while others remain unanswered.
You may have experienced this odd phenomena yourself. Have you ever tried to look something up using a search engine and been unable to find information about it anywhere? This frustrating situation is caused by the gaps in the information available online that are just begging to be filled. SEO that fills in the gaps considers the industry information available, finds the gaps, and then uses content marketing, on-page SEO, and promotional resources (perhaps PPC ads or social media) to provide content that is easy for people to locate.
How to Implement it
So, how should one go about implementing gap-filling SEO? Here is the process I suggest following:
First of all, do some digging. Find out which industry questions have incomplete answers or none at all. Maybe you can already think of a couple gaps you can fill. If so, great! If not, brainstorm about where you can find unanswered industry questions. Where do customers and prospective leads of your industry hang out online? Do they post on forums? Are they active on social media? Both of these are great places to identify industry questions. You can look for trends in their questions and provide content to answer them. You could also gain insight through surveys that ask customers what kind of content they would like to see or what questions they have.
This Moz blog post talks about reaching your customers earlier in the buying process because most companies wait until later to do SEO. This is yet another gap your company can check for and fill.
After locating gaps, it is time to start writing. Create whitepapers, blog posts, infographics, videos, etc. Use whatever forms of content will best answer the question at hand. Make sure the content is high-quality and uses language your target market can understand. Ask a couple other people to proofread the content to prevent grammar or spelling errors. In general, the more eyes that see your content before it is published, the better.
Once your content is ready, it is time to let the world know it exists. Use on-page SEO to make sure it is easy for Google to crawl and index, and set your meta titles and descriptions to clarify your content for searchers. Talk about the content on social media, forums, or wherever your customers and prospective clients hang out and ask questions. Once people realize your content exists and answers the questions they could not find answers to before, they will share it with others.
Have you used SEO that fills the gaps in your marketing strategy? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!