The marketing world is full of buzzwords that are strewn around with little real substance. Often, they get added into a conversation to make recycled ideas sound relevant or to impress superiors with vague jargon. One of these common terms is content relevancy.
Ultimately, you want your content to signal to both search engines (and your audience) that it has the information they are seeking. Typically, Google judges content relevancy by determining:
- The meaning of the body text
- The topic of the page title
- The message and information portrayed in images
- Keyword matches in the overall content
When a new Google Update happens, experts always say things like “Prioritize Relevancy” – it’s one of those tips that are always technically true, but what does it mean?
Unfortunately, the given definition for this term leaves more questions than answers. According to IGI Global, content relevancy is: “the degree of congruence between what the user wants or requires and what is provided by the information products and services.”
There’s more to SEO success than just great content – many websites have fantastic content, yet they rank quite low on the SERPs and have even lower traffic rates.
So, how can today’s marketers finally get to the bottom of the content relevancy conundrum and start to see real results with their SEO strategies?
Let’s talk about it!
Take Your Time to Understand Current Industry Pain Points
Google has become the go-to lifeline for just about all questions in the first world. “Google” and “Googling” have essentially become universally understood verbs! “Just Google it!”
People are (quite literally) searching for answers to their problems. So if your content is providing them with the information they want, the chances are that they will click on your link.
But how can you know what questions they need answering?
This is one of the main struggles that many marketers have when creating content that will resonate with their customers. But the truth is that it is much easier than you think to gauge your audience’s sentiment and predict the questions they are going to ask.
One way to get an idea of the types of questions your content should be answering is by looking for specific pain points of your audience. Look into your customer reviews (or those of your competitors) to get a feel for overlapping patterns on the types of issues that could be hurting experiences within your industry.
For instance, if you take a look at these Trustpilot reviews , you can see that multiple reviewers mention issues with integrating the software system with other programs.
This provided the team at Trustpilot with two things: inspiration for content creation, as well as platform improvement.
In response, these “relevancy” insights led them to create a how-to guide on proper integration to address this issue, and therefore, be highly relevant to their audience.
Another way to conduct research, while also discovering your community’s trending questions, is by searching forums and discussion boards. If a customer can’t find the information they’re looking for on a search engine, they will often pose the question to an industry forum, such as Reddit or Quora.
However, these answers can sometimes lack authority – since they can be posted by anyone. Therefore, if your team can answer those questions through credible content on an authoritative site, it has the potential for a high ranking on the Google SERPs.
Know When, Where, and How to Incorporate Visuals Wisely
When thinking of the term “content marketing,” many typically associate it with blog posts, on-page content, or even long-form posts like eBooks and whitepapers. But great imagery is part of content marketing, too – and it plays an important role in content relevancy.
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, customers don’t want to read a long article to get the answer they’re looking for, which is why images like infographics and charts are so important to include in your content.
Plus, imagery is far more engaging with audiences than just text in most cases, as these pictures can provide information in an instant.
At a recent ‘The Inbounder‘ conference, Rand Fishkin presented a model showing a breakdown of the diversity in web searches.
As you can see, a giant chunk of these searches represents images. To improve organic traction, content marketers need to be including imagery with proper tagging to help indicate its relevancy.
The imagery that you use should be directly related to the main point of your content, such as a graph chart that visualizes statistics. This is why incorporating generic stock images is a weak strategy. It’s not providing any relevant information to your audience, and chances are, it is not going to attract traffic during a visual search.
Be strategic in the actual placement of your image on a webpage. Google bots will search for context clues for your image on nearby text, so including a caption explaining the image or connecting it to a specific point is the pro move.
Keep Current Content Updated
One major component of content relevancy is how recently it was published. This is especially important for content that contains statistical information, specific research, or data that is time-sensitive.
For example, if you are looking for the best SEO practices, you are probably going to trust the information from a report that was published in 2018 far more than one that was published in 2015. Lots of things change in today’s fast-paced digital environment, and some of the information in the older post may not be very relevant or even accurate today.
The great news is that your old content doesn’t need to be scrapped just because it is a few years old. You can easily “recycle” it by updating it with more recent statistics or new research.
HubSpot will frequently do this on their blog and compilation reports. For instance, the article “45 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2019” was originally published back in 2018 – it has just been frequently updated.
Another way to refresh older content to improve relevancy is by updating it with currently trending keywords or more current examples that prove your point.
The basic foundation of this ambiguous term is more or less understandable and quite obvious. It is also one of the main pillars for successful SEO practices as Google searches and evaluates your content’s authority, trustworthiness, and relevancy when determining rank on the SERPs.
Of course, you want your content to provide people with the information and answers they are seeking. But the trickiest part about content relevancy is applying it to your content marketing and SEO approaches. It requires understanding what it means for your specific audience.
Start by identifying the burning questions that no one else has answered yet, and address your audience’s major pain points head-on. Then, look for ways to boost relevancy signals to Google by incorporating great imagery (with proper tagging), trending keywords, and current research to make sure that your information is both accurate and pertinent.