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5 Content Marketing Strategies When Search Demand Drops

Low search demand impacts every brand at some point — but you can turn things around. Here are 5 content marketing strategies to try when search demand drops.

Every digital marketer has been there: traffic and conversions are up until suddenly search demand tanks. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Decreased search demand impacts every great brand from time to time — and you can turn it around. Here are five things you can do as a content marketer to drive inbound interest when search demand for your products or services drops.

1. Target Low or Zero Search Volume Keyphrases

Our team walked away from Content Marketing World 2022 with countless new nuggets of knowledge. One of the biggest things we learned? The power of RAQs (rarely asked questions) — or long-tail keyphrases with little to no search volume.

When performing keyphrase research, frequently asked questions and shorter keyphrases can be tempting. After all, they tend to have a higher search volume, they’re easy to research, and you may already know the answer. But FAQs and short keyphrases also come with some drawbacks. For starters, these keyphrases tend to have high keyphrase difficulty scores, which means you’d better have a stellar domain authority. In most cases, FAQs already have hundreds of answers. Unless you can offer a unique spin or insight, creating content around FAQs won’t provide value to readers — or the search engine.

RAQs, on the other hand, are untapped. And if you play your cards right, you may be able to target words with higher search volumes at the same time. A search like “2006 toyota sienna shaking while accelerating” might have zero volume, but it is still something a user who owns a 2006 Toyota Sienna may type into the search bar. This instance also contains a broader keyphrase, “shaking while accelerating”, which does have a higher search volume. Small wins for the hyper-focused keyphrase could lead to significant gains later due to the broad keyphrase nested within it.

2. Try to Capture Multiple Search Intents

If you hope to rank for your targeted keyphrases, you need to make sure you’re matching your reader’s search intent. There are four main search intents:

  • Informational: to learn more about a subject
  • Navigational: to reach a specific site
  • Commercial: to compare products or services
  • Transactional: to make a purchase or complete an action

Depending on your overarching topic, you may be able to encompass multiple search intents with just one blog. For example, a broad topic like “oil changes” can capture informational searches like “how often to get an oil change” and commercial searches like “best oil brand for honda”. Your broad topic blog can then serve as a pillar page that branches off into more specific topic clusters, such as “how to change your oil at home” and “signs you need an oil change”.

You can also try to rank twice for one search by creating evergreen and timely content for the same topic. With broad searches, it’s harder for Google to determine the exact intent, leaving you more opportunities to capture traffic. For example, you could target a search for “electric cars” with one general evergreen article about EVs and another timely article about the best electric cars coming out in 2023.

3. Find a Partner in (Content Marketing) Crime

You don’t have to go it alone. Consider working alongside other brands or individuals to craft a mutually beneficial marketing relationship — whether that takes form as partnership marketing, influencer marketing, or affiliate marketing.

The first step to joining forces: find the right brand or individual to pair up with. Seek out partners that directly relate to some aspect of your business, or whom currently engage with your product or service. Set your goals and KPIs. Then, work with your partner of choice to create a marketing plan that best fits your (and your partner’s) needs — whether it be backlinking, hosting a co-branded webinar, or guest blogging.

4. Gain Insights from Your Social Team

The world moves fast, but social media moves even faster. Your social media team constantly has their fingers on the pulse of yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s trends, making them a great source of inspiration. Reach out to your social team to discover which trends they’re following and posting about. You can use these insights to create timely articles that accrue traffic in real time. For example, if you own a furniture brand and your social team is seeing a lot of engagement on a Pinterest board about coastal interiors, you may want to craft a blog centered around tips for creating a coastal living room. You can cross-link to this blog in another, broader post about common design trends and themes.

Don’t forget: sometimes posts from Twitter, Pinterest, and other social sites appear on the first page of search results. Consider using this as an opportunity for cross-team collaboration by creating SEO-friendly social posts that can help boost your rankings and visibility.

5. Narrow Your Focus to Local Search Trends

When you’re a brand with tens or hundreds of locations across different cities and states, you naturally want to target as many potential customers as possible with each post. But if search demand drops, it could be time to take a more focused approach and get hyper-local.

You can do this in a few different ways:

  • Publish local content targeting keyphrases that include the cities and/or states you do business in. A jewelry brand with brick-and-mortar locations can draw more traffic (online and in person) by creating landing pages targeting searches like “engagement rings memphis tn” or “boston jewelers.”
  • Use geographic analytics to see what existing topics perform better in certain areas and create location-specific content around them. If you notice your blog on snow chains is killing it in Maine, you should create more winter driving content and sprinkle keyphrases containing Maine or its cities throughout.
  • Find relevant local events, data, regulations, or pieces of history you can write about and tie back to your products or services. A report on road incident statistics in Dallas might do well for an auto insurance company, while a breakdown of CBD regulations in Wyoming could increase traffic for a supplement brand.

Gaining traffic from a couple hundred people in one city might not seem like much, but once you multiply that across dozens of cities, it can make a huge difference. Plus, depending on your product or service, readers might be more likely to trust your content when it directly relates to their specific location.

Elevate Your Content Strategy with GPO

Facing search decreases and need help with your content strategy? Reach out to the GPO team. Our Content Solutions are designed to help you meet your goals by providing quality content that helps your readers while enhancing your online presence, driving traffic, and increasing conversions.

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