Indiegraf’s Shelby Blackley shares her SEO expertise.
Imagine this for a moment: you’re laying on the couch with your spouse, and they ask you if your toe, which is looking a little weird these days, is alright. You say, “yeah, babe, it’s fine.” But secretly, you’re consulting Dr. Google, wondering if you should maybe call the clinic tomorrow.
Everybody lies. It’s natural — we find ways to tell white lies every day. It’s called social desirability bias, a social science theory that says we tend to answer questions based on the chance they will be viewed favourably by others. We overreport “good behaviour” and underreport seemingly bad or undesirable behaviour — how many sexual partners, how much money we make or how long it took our kids to use the potty.
But why would we lie to Google? Search engines can help us answer the questions we’re asking, but don’t want the world to know.
Google can tell us a lot more about what people really want to know than most crowdsourcing avenues.
Read more: Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a *must* read on this topic. Strongly recommend it.
Using search for research
When beginning your research, start with an idea. Is there a topic you want to explore a little more? Did an editor ask you to check if there’s any interest in a topic? Basic income was trending on Twitter — is there a broader interest in search? We can take that topic (basic income in Canada) and perform keyword research.
In marketing, keyword research is usually one of the first steps in a strategy — you want to find out:
In a newsroom, keyword research answers a lot of these questions, but with a different lens:
In order to effectively use search to help our content, we must first understand why people search.
Regardless of where they end up, people search based on a particular intent.
These intents, while useful to know, are not so relevant to journalism. The informational intent is the need most journalism falls into.
Now that we know about search intent, we can use this to perform research that will inform our content strategy.
Read the rest of WTF is SEO? here.
And one more thing…
You can register now for RISE, the inaugural Canadian conference for racialized journalists.