Marketers are taught that good content tells a story, engages the reader, and solves a pain for a real person. We don’t disagree. The “10 SEO tips” style of blog posts are great if they provide actionable insight.
This type of content can be good for your brand, but if you rely on it to drive SEO as well, your inbound strategy will likely fail, and organic search will be weak. It’s a hamster wheel of running but staying in one place – creating tons of content that gets some page views from initial promotion, but then no one ever discovers it again.
To drive exponential leads, we need to broaden our content horizons a bit. What we call “good” content needs to change. We need to create specific pages that solve a user need, and also rank in search engine results.
Marketers who unlock this are heroes to their organizations. We’ve seen content marketing drive more revenue than demand generation teams. It’s done by creating a type of content called a “Demand Page.”
What is a Demand Page you ask?
A Demand Page is a page created to capture the demand for information users are expressing via search. Each Demand Page focuses on a single topic (concise for searchers), and a single “focus keyword.”
Demand Pages host a mix of long-form content and shorter, branded content. The long-form copy goes deep into the topic being covered (your focus keyword for the page), and therefore creates more context for search engines by using keywords that are highly related to your focus keyword. The branded content and links to other site resources gives additional information to the user that will answer related questions they might have about the focus keyword.
In this way, the page meets the needs of everyone. Some people will want to read every word, others will scan the branded content and convert above the fold, and search crawlers have enough information to index and classify the page correctly.
Here’s how we typically break them down for customers. You should customize the elements depending on what’s most relevant for page visitors.
- Benefit Statement: This answers “What’s in it for me?” and helps the user understand the value the page is providing.
- CTAs: Action based buttons! If the user is searching a bottom-of-funnel topic like “seo software,” you could have a demo request CTA, if it’s a top-of-funnel topic, a whitepaper might be more appropriate.
- Supporting Visuals: Photos, videos, infographics, charts, product screenshots, animations, etc.
- Snackable Content: Short but powerful bits of information (benefits, pain points, data points).
- Summarized Content: Longer than snackable content but easy to scan (bulleted lists, infographics).
- Trust Elements: Testimonials, client/partner logos, press clips, awards, certifications, etc.
- Detailed Long-Form Content: This is the content that provides a detailed description of the topic for the searcher, and ample content for the search engine.
What goes into the long-form content?
- Heading: Make sure your focus keyword is included in the H1 title, and that it’s the only H1 on your page. This signals to search engines that it’s an important element on the page.
- Subheadings: All of your subheadings (H2s) should include terms related to your focus keyword. There are many ways to find related terms. Semrush and Google Keyword Planner are both great ways to do this.
- Using these related terms to decide what each body section should be about is helpful to search engines and to page visitors. It contextualizes your primary topic for search engines by surrounding it with other things that web users are searching for. And it answers other questions that your readers likely have, since the data shows that people who search for your focus keyword are searching for those related terms also.
- Word count: 1,500 words. Anyone who’s written content before is probably freaking out right now, but we really suggest making your long-form content…long. Backlinko analyzed the #1 ranking pages for 11.8 million search terms, and the average page length was just under 1,500 words. It’s a bit painful, but it works.
- Internal Linking: Linking content can do two things. First, it contextualizes your other content for search engines. By linking out to a related page, you’re telling the search engine that that page is the expert on the topic you’ve linked. It also helps the search engine understand which pages on your website cover related topics, improving authority in broad categories. Third, it gives your readers an opportunity to learn more if they want to!
Demand Pages are a new type of content that serve a unique function – they target one keyword at a time, and provide the benefits of a customized landing page (calls to action, branded content, downloads), a blog post (long-form content diving deep into the topic), and SEO (contextualizing the keyword for search engines). Demand Pages don’t typically live in your site navigation, especially once you start creating a lot of them. It’s important to keep them internally linked and included in your sitemaps to allow for proper indexation.
They don’t necessarily engage the reader in the same way a traditional blog post might – no riveting ledes here – but they do provide answers to queries that users are asking search engines, and they are your best shot to source exponential leads and revenue for your business.