Given Google’s daily algorithm updates, digital marketers should direct their focus toward creating great content for all of their buyer’s personas. From a search standpoint, we need to move from a keyword-centric approach to a content-centric approach that is based on searcher intent.
What does that mean exactly? It means we have to dig deeper to understand our customers and the customer journey from discovery to conversion, and create content that helps them at each stage of their journey.
From an actionable standpoint, that means aligning your content with buyer personas and a buyer’s journey. This can be done through “Content Mapping.” But before I get into the how-to, let me explain the benefits:
- Create content that better matches the searcher’s intent
- Increase leads and widen your funnel
- Move more people through the funnel to conversion
- Measure the effectiveness of your content
What is Content Mapping?
Content Mapping is likely the next revolution in search strategy . It’s about aligning digital marketing more closely with the consumer’s needs. Those who begin to create and execute better content strategies will win out over competitors who lag behind at the end of the day.
Content Mapping is likely the next revolution in search strategy… Those who begin to create and execute better content strategies will win out over competitors who lag behind at the end of the day.
How to Map Content to the Buyer Journey
I recently shared a three-step process to content mapping, which is a great resource for those looking to get started with content mapping. I even included some useful templates to get you started! Here’s an overview of the content mapping process:
- Identify and understand your customer personas.
- Audit your existing content, analyzing each page for SEO elements, useful content, appropriate calls-to-action and where it fits in the buyer journey.
- Identify holes in your content or areas where you are weak, and brainstorm new content ideas to fill those gaps.
Parsing through the data that helps plan, execute and measure a full-funnel content strategy has, so far, been difficult and disjointed. It’s been tricky to understand the search visibility and performance of those crucial content segments.
Where do you even start?
Conductor heard your pain. Auditing, content mapping, and ideating are not easy. So they made a feature in Conductor Searchlight that makes it simple to understand and execute content strategy: Content Mapping.
Content Mapping provides a clear, organized structure in which you can plan, create and measure the effectiveness of your content. Now you have a platform that helps you map content to your buyer personas and the buyer’s journey AND gives you the SEO and analytics data to understand how your content is performing.
See more details on Searchlight’s “Content Mapping” feature in the video below:
How to Use Conductor Searchlight’s Content Mapping
Fair warning to non-Searchlight users: I’m about to get tactical with these tips.
Tip #1: Create content segments that tie back to your personas and the buyer’s journey.
To effectively use the Content Mapping feature in Searchlight, start creating content segments that relate to your personas and the different stages of the decision process (awareness, consideration & decision). This is where that content audit I mentioned above comes in handy.
Tip #2: Use Custom Segments for maximum flexibility.
Using the funnel segments you assigned to the URLs in your audit, you can create content segments for the buyer’s journey. Right in Searchlight you can you to upload a list of URLs into a custom segment, so you don’t just have to base your content segments on rules anymore. The future of marketing is customizable. So Searchlight is as well.
Tip #3: Skip the manual effort by segmenting with URL rules.
If auditing many of the pages on your site is a challenge given your time and resources, you can approach the segments a little differently.
For example, blog content tends to fall into the awareness bucket and product pages usually align with the decision stage. You can use similar assumptions about sections of your site to create buyer journey segments in Searchlight based on URL rules.
With content segments set up around the buyer’s journey and even specific personas, you can see metrics like page rankings and organic traffic, and gauge the progress and success of your segments.
Are you writing content for all of your personas? Find out. And if you’ve integrated Searchlight with Analytics, you’ll also get a nice snapshot of bounce rate, goal completions and any other metrics you are tracking, by segment.
Mapping your content to personas and the buyer journey ensures that you don’t have any holes in your content strategy. Many businesses miss important top-funnel content, which can attract more traffic, widen your funnel, and even build brand affinity and trust.
Adding data to buyer funnel and persona segments will help you see where you are strong and where you are weak in terms of content effectiveness.