How to match content to questions, NOT SEO

What's My Line quiz show panel
The search engines make good incomes out of finding information and providing answers. It may be as a by-product of their advertising business, but the key to keeping eyeballs on the engine is to fulfil as many information needs as possible. Which is what you need to do for them if you want to be found; match content to questions not SEO.

The big daddy of them all, Google, trawls and indexes billions of web pages in order to come up with the most relevant results to what? Questions. It answers billions of questions a day. It knows more about questions and answers than anything else on the planet. It wants information that answers questions, not SEO ranking tricks.

How do you raise your ranking?

Frame your content so that it answers questions - better than anyone else in your space on the Internet.

Here's an exercise.

Start with single key-word queries in the search engines that are in your website's knowledge space. How far down the rankings do you appear?

Frame the same query as a question with two key-words from your knowledge space. How far down this time?

Try three key-words. Start adding your location.

Try framing a specific niche question that comes up in your knowledge space.

Look at the results snippets that appear above yours. What are your competitors doing differently in framing their content for each search query.

How can you better frame your content to answer questions?

  • Post titles that reflect common questions
  • Appearance of keywords in context (remember, no key-word stuffing, you'll get demoted!)
  • Common questions answered in post titles - remember the good 'ole FAQ page?
  • Clear explanations, in plain English in direct response to common questions
  • Well-structured content with short paragraphs and relevant headings that reference key words and questions. The search engines like short and pithy.