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How-to: Reading minds for better content strategies

Emanuel Schmid, Junior Consultant

With over three billion search queries per day, Google is a treasure trove of information. From everyday questions ("How do I change a tire?") to private fears ("Is noise bad for your health?") to secret longings ("How do I become an influencer?"): People turn to Google and other search providers with questions they would not reveal even to their closest confidants. As a result, Google & Co. have an immense pool of unfiltered customer knowledge that we can draw on when creating content, products and services tailored to specific target groups.

The question is how to use such search data, so to speak, to read people's minds and consequently make better content decisions?

First, "think outside your box"

Analyzing the needs and behavior of the target audience is a key requirement. Put yourself in your target audience's shoes: what might my target audience be looking for? As far as possible, you should also explore what search queries current users are using to find their way to existing content?

Second, "make the box think for you"

Using tools like Google Suggest (suggestion search) can be a possible and insightful way to start the search process. For example, put a 'my...' in front of your product or service to identify other relevant search terms. In addition, placing a space or wildcard will give you more interesting search suggestions. Various tools can help generate a variety of related search queries.

Third, "unbox"

Search volume is not the be-all and end-all. In addition to quantitative keyword data, which is primarily used in search engine optimization (SEO) or paid media (e.g., for Google Ads), a qualitative analysis of search data provides particularly valuable clues. Use multiple tools in combination to better understand customers' true motivations, needs, and behaviors and target their content strategy accordingly.

Some examples of useful and common tools include Google Suggest (ideas), Google Trends (ideas and analysis), KWFinder (ideas and analysis), Answer The Public (long-tail keywords), and OpenThesaurus (synonyms).

Looking for the right content recipe in corporate communications and stakeholder engagement? A content audit or a topic analysis with the inclusion of search data quickly provides clarity.

Contact us! We love getting to know companies and their stakeholders.


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