If you’re making this mistake when it comes to your SEO, then you’re pretty much wasting your time. Don’t even bother making SEO content because your content is simply not going to rank. In this article, I’m going to tell you about a founder that I recently worked with in terms of just helping him understand why his content that he’s been releasing on his blog isn’t ranking.
It really comes down to one simple thing, and you’re gonna know what to watch out for yourself.
Make sure you pay attention to this
So the biggest thing that you need to pay attention to and make sure that you’re not making the mistake of doing is not answering search intent. This means understanding exactly what it is that the search engine wants you to be writing content on.
It means creating content where you’re just kind of filling in fluff or writing a ton of words, but not actually answering the key thing that your post is supposed to be about. You’re gonna see this when I show you the example of the post that we work together on. But pretty much this is such a mistake that people make and it’s a large reason why even when they’ve created long form pieces of content, they still can’t manage to rank that content.
So let’s go ahead and dig into the computer and take a look at this post. In order to take a look at this post, we first have to build some quick context. So dealdrop.com is kind of like one of those coupon sites like RetailMeNot where you’ll see a lot of aggregators of different coupons.
The way they make money is that they typically, I believe, get a kickback in terms of people that use these coupon codes with the retailer. But something that they’ve been working on is what their, they call their research section. This is their blog, and pretty much on their blog, what they’ve been doing is they’ve been creating long form content in the hopes of starting to rank for some of this different high volume, low competition keywords, or potentially low competition keywords.
Digging into a post to see why they are not ranking
And one of the things that we worked on together is just taking a look at why is it that some of these posts aren’t ranking. So the post that we worked on together in looking at this sort of question is this post on 30+ of the latest Shopify statistics for businesses and entrepreneurs.
Let’s take a look at this post and then we’re gonna start to quickly see exactly what are some of the mistakes that they are making in terms of not answering search intent. All right, so the first thing I want you to do is to close your eyes and then imagine in your head, what sort of content would I see when it comes to Shopify statistics for businesses.
What I’d probably imagine this post is a variety of different perspectives in terms of cool stats or trends that are happening for Shopify folks that are related to businesses and entrepreneurs. Let’s go ahead and take a look at whether or not that search intent is fulfilled by Deal Drops team.
All right, so here’s the post, and the post opens up by saying Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform founded in Ottawa, Canada. The company was founded by Tobias Luca and Scott Lake in 2006. Today, the company is a trusted tool for businesses of all sizes and industries worldwide.
Now, think back to what you said or thought to yourself in your head before we dug into this post. Is that answering the search intent of Shopify statistics for businesses or entrepreneurs? And if not, what would be better here?
And that right there is the mistake that a lot of people make. They make this mistake in which what they’re often doing is they are just trying to pad their content. They’re trying to create invaluable content, but not intentionally. They literally are just trying to create long form content that’s longer than their competitors because they read somewhere that longer content does better than shorter content.
But the problem with this is that these four paragraphs really take the longest time to get to the point. In fact, if you were to go ahead and do a word count on this, you’re going to find that it’s taking several hundred words to get through the introduction. If you watch my recent video in terms of how to create SEO-friendly content, you saw how a great SEO like Brian Dean jumps right into his content.
He quickly sets the stage. He talks about what he’s going to cover throughout his article, and then he starts digging in. In this particular example, in many cases, the Deal Drop team is probably experiencing some bounce already because people are reading these first few paragraphs and they’re thinking to themselves, what the heck am I reading? Like, what does this have to do with Shopify statistics and trends related to businesses and entrepreneurs?
So they start to get into it in the third and fourth paragraph, and you can see how it’s a favorite with entrepreneurs and they’re talking about some of the data and some most interesting Shopify statistics, but the biggest piece of feedback here is that it’s taking way too long to get to the point in the introduction. So that’s strike number one in terms of this content and making it not so helpful, especially in this time of the helpful content update when Google is really emphasizing making sure that content is valuable, you have to be asking yourself these sorts of questions as you run through your content. All right, so we made this first strike.
The second strike is that the second section of this post is titled Shopify FAQs, and what you’ll see here is that Shopify FAQs is literally a frequently asked question section around Shopify. It’s answering questions like, How is Shopify different from Amazon? Is Shopify free to use, et cetera. So what’s the problem with this?
Well, think back to that exercise we did before we started reading this post. If you are somebody that is searching for Shopify statistics for businesses as well as entrepreneurs, is this fulfilling that search intent? Unlikely.
Here’s what the founder did in terms of making a mistake here. He read some sort of SEO advice that pretty much said, Hey, if you want to rank for SEO, go for the people also ask phrases, go for those boxes. And so what he did from there was his team probably searched Shopify, and then they went ahead and copy and pasted the questions that were coming up from people also ask.
Here’s why that’s not helpful. In this particular post, we’re not in a situation where our post is about Shopify FAQs. We’re not in a situation where any of these questions are related to the search intent of what we’re trying to create a post around. And so in this case, all of this content so far, pretty much 90% of it is not applicable to the search intent of this particular page, and that’s a problem because pretty much what it’s gonna signal to a crawler as well as a search engine like Google is that, “Hey, this honestly isn’t that helpful if you’re filling the search intent of Shopify statistics for businesses and entrepreneurs.”
So this is what’s strike number two here, is that we’re essentially going to these FAQs that make absolutely no sense in the broader scheme of things. But what about the third sort of mistakes that we might be making here?
Well, the third strike out here is probably gonna be that we have some potentially interesting data statistics, but we’re not really making those the center of attention in this post. So this is a great visual. I actually think this should have been brought up way earlier in the post, but what we’re doing here is we’re starting to just source a ton of different statistics and things like that when we have all this sort of rich data on our website, dealdrop.com that we could potentially introduce into this post to make it an integrated content marketing piece.
Remember, dealdrop.com is like retailmenot.com, in which it’s like a coupon aggregator site, so you can imagine there’s tons of data that they have on Shopify that they can potentially aggregate here and work in their own unique data. They can be the source for themselves. In this case instead, what they’re doing for this content post is they’re just sourcing a ton of different places and they’re aggregating that content. It’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world.
I’ve definitely seen statistics posts do this sort of approach, but I can’t help but think that this was a missed opportunity from a content lens in terms of making this content really valuable and fulfilling search intent, as well as increasing read time on the page. Because they have all these different statistics from different sources and they’re sourcing them, this just leads to more opportunities for people to bounce off this page when they land on this piece of content.
So I actually think they did a great job in terms of visually making compelling graphics, but they’re just not really stretching this as far as they possibly could. And so let’s go ahead and now take a look at how they wrap this up. They’ve got this conclusion section. They link back to their Shopify discount codes, but really they didn’t do that great of a job in terms of fulfilling search intent.
Other sites that are ranking
Let’s take a look at exactly what some of the others that are ranking better for this sort of content might be doing. So if I go ahead and open up a couple of these top posts, we can see how in this situation, you can see how they’re digging right into the content.
In this Shopify statistics overview, you’ll find all the key stats about some of the best known e-commerce solutions available, from user size, and market share to conversion rates and Shopify revenue figures. All the key stats are below, so this is all delivered within 50 words or less. And what we’re doing is we’re essentially answering some of the key numbers based questions or statistics based questions that somebody might have when they’re searching for Shopify statistics, and that’s why this post is ranking so well.
In this case, we are still doing things that probably will fall under the people also ask phrases, but notice how these questions are way more likely to be related to the actual topical authority and the overall post title of this post.
We’re talking about things like how many Shopify stores are there, what is the success rate for Shopify stores, et cetera. These are the sorts of questions that somebody might be looking for if they’re looking for a search like Shopify Statistics for businesses or entrepreneurs. And so, as we dig through this as well, you’re gonna notice how they still have a lot of citation, but they also have a ton more numbers, and they’re fulfilling the search intent by digging into how these numbers all connect back into that key question or key subsection of a question.
They still have these sorts of visuals, which is great to see, and essentially they’re taking the same approach throughout. They’re even visually breaking it down in terms of having table views to break up visual interest in the post. But overall, this post is just delivering way more clearly on the search intent of a person. You’ll see probably the same approach with some of these other ones, top Shopify statistics, we talk about usage stats, traffic stats, all these interesting things, and they’re even putting in some videos to potentially enhance their content a little bit further.
What are we learning from these sites?
We’re learning that at the end of the day, nothing matters in terms of content except for fulfilling search intent. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve jumped on paid coaching calls where they’re paying me hundreds of dollars to literally tell them that they need to write better content for search intent.
This is not rocket science. I’m giving you this advice for free for a reason. What you need to do is create valuable content, lead with value, and then your prospects will come. That’s pretty much the tried and true staple with literally the internet. Lead with value. Give a lot of content for free that is genuinely helpful. And then from there you’re gonna find that your SEO performs better.
Instead of obsessing about every little thing that is trending in the SEO world, just focus on providing the best possible answer for what it is that you’re writing about. There is something to be said about a good quality post, and it really boils down to how comprehensively did you answer this particular question that the searcher had in mind.
The best way to kind of work through this is to do a quick Google search. Look at some of the top results, and ask yourself, what is the search engine looking for in this case? For example, if you go ahead and go into your search engine right now and you search for Blue Nike shoes, you’re gonna see how the top search results are all e-Commerce related sort of results.
They are pictures of shoes because what’s most likely happening is people are going on Google and they’re searching for blue Nike shoes with the intent of buying shoes. So they want to see the visual shoes of the catalogs that are out there in different. Similarly, take this approach with your long form content as well as your broader content marketing efforts.
Ask yourself, if I were searching for this phrase, what exactly would I expect? Or what does Google expect me to create? And from there, create content that fulfills that need beats your competitors, and is the best piece of content on the internet. That’s how you start getting top three rankings, and that’s how you grow your traffic exponentially.
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