I read something powerful recently and I wish I could remember who wrote it.
It was one of those things that you read quickly, think “makes sense,” then realize later how strong it is.
Like a time-released medication.
Here it is:
“Be the end of the search.”
It was in reference to SEO content, but it feels like, metaphorically, it could extend so far beyond web search results.
But, let’s start there first.
We’ve all been there.
You Google a phrase looking for an answer to the current problem you need to solve.
Cue the top-ranked articles for that keyword.
You click one.
Note the advice.
Pick a new result.
Very similar advice.
Ok, so they’re all saying the same thing: Do X, Y, Z.
But, maybe, just maybe, there’s a standout result.
Worth adding to the swipe file.
Worth going ahead and executing on because the instructions are clear.
And you are also now aware of how the brand that published this actionable advice could further help you.
You didn’t go back to the search results.
Instead, you saw more content they created and recommended as helpful and thought, “Oh, yeah, I should look into that, too.”
Or you felt compelled to subscribe to receive more.
Or explore their case studies.
You might not convert on this blog article / video / whatever that was good enough to rank but different enough to end your search.
But now you have the most compelling version of the answer you were looking for and are aware the company that published it exists and sells a thing you might need.
Let’s think about the end of a search.
It’s the moment when you find what you are looking for.
The moment when you decide, “Yes. Let’s try this.”
Search happens in search engines, but it also happens in private networks, on social media networks (hello, TikTok is crazy popular for search now), in peer-to-peer conversations, and, basically, everywhere.
Think of it like the hiring process.
At some point, a hiring manager decides that a candidate is “the one.” The search is over. That person gets the offer. And the paycheck.
Your content, in whatever medium you distribute it—newsletter, blog, videos, paid media—should feel like the end of a search.
“I need a good resource for X.”
“Oh, brand Y creates trustworthy content about X. In fact, it’s so good, I’ll subscribe and stop looking for more.”
Your content goal: no “going back.”
If you posted about this concept recently, thank you. It stuck with me. Let me know who you are and I’ll give you the credit you deserve.
Marketing Tips From Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin (formerly Moz, now SparkToro) has been publishing pearls of wisdom lately:
“99% of content marketing fails.” In this LinkedIn video, Rand offered a tactic to help you become strategic before creating content: ask, “who will amplify this and why?”
Next, Rand shared a 90-second story he calls “The Parable of the Pizzaria” as a cautionary tale on wasting marketing dollars on channels that claim credit (think Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.). Not sure if a channel is taking credit or actually incremental? Try shutting it off for a while.
If you’re not following Rand on LinkedIn yet, you should, if only to learn and mimic how he’s using the channel to distribute insights and build thought leadership. Notice he’s taking articles SparkToro published in the past and putting together quick presentations that can be consumed right in the feed (aka zero click content). Way more strategic than simply dropping links to recently published blogs.
As a bonus I’m tossing in this 44-minute episode of the Marketing Revisited podcast with Liam Moroney, where Rand offered insights into ICP research, including how to “do audience research properly”.
Here are 2 SEO tips you can add to your strategy:
1. Don’t overlook low search volume keywords:
MJ Peters encourages marketers to take a chance creating SEO articles with low-volume terms that are relevant to your business. The payoff might be more than you expect (even if it’s a couple of months down the road).
2. Be patient: