What is Intent-Based Content?
The Customer is Looking for What You Have
The way your customer searches for information has changed from entering one keyword. The change is big and effects how your business presents content. Mobile devices like phones and tablets allow consumers to be mobile. And, these devices allow them to ask question with their voice, without typing one word.
When people ask a question with their voice they use longer phrases and speak in natural language. A keyword may be hidden in there, but consumers think in phrases, not individual words.
The phrases consumers use express their intent. Intent implies purpose, and emotions drive purpose. Your content needs to address those emotions.
It’s Time to Give Up Persuasion
Today’s content needs to address the emotions behind the intent. Your business needs to talk to the individual creating the question (query). Content that speaks to an individual rather than telling that person about your business builds a connection. That connection is based on emotion.
The old advertising model was all about persuasion, but modern consumers are looking for a different answer. They want the answer to their question.
Jim Sterne, Board Chair at Digital Analytics Association, said in a presentation for SEMrush,
Brand-building occurs through emotional connections, not persuasion.
It’s time to give up persuasion and turn to emotional connection. Stop creating content designed to sell, and create content that develops emotional connection by answering questions, one by one.
Help Your Customer
Intent-based content helps a customer discover the answer to their question. Shift the emphasis from your product or service to helping your customer find a solution.
Address the content reader as a single individual
Format your answer so it is easy for search engines to find
Make your answer clear to the reader
Focus on one solution in each content piece
When your content appears as the solution it provides immediate relevance. And, because it has relevance, your customer has an immediate emotional response - answer found, solution provided. Your content is precisely targeted to the individual who needs what your business offers. The knowledge the customer has is specialized to address an immediate concern. Because your content is focused and mission-driven (provide the solution) your customer feels the impact of your solution.
The impact is the source of emotional connection that encourages your customer to look at your business as just the solution they need.
Topic Intent and Keywords
Keywords are still useful in your content, they are signposts for search engines that your content addresses the searcher’s (customer’s) intent. But your strategy with keywords shifts from the keywords themselves to how they augment your solution for the customer.
They are helpful if your business does pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in addition to structuring content for organic search results.
Your content creation strategy is based on the answer and the question. Now your focus is on keywords that bear a direct relationship to the natural language question your customer asks. You can use keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest and Yoast’s Google Suggest Expander. But, Answer The Public gives you all of that, based on questions real people ask on the internet.
If you are starting out with answering questions as a content strategy - and you should - Answer The Public will help you understand how your customers search for solutions. If you are used to finding keywords related to your business, you may be surprised at the words real people actually use when searching for your product or service. Those words may not match what you thought were the best keywords.
Customer Intent for Your Content
When you shift your content mindset from telling and selling to answering questions, you will boost the impact on your reader. You answer exactly the question they had in mind. By providing a solution you build your brand perception as a business that provides a solution.