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Customer-Driven SEO: 4 Actionable Steps for Higher Conversions

Are you writing loads of content but not getting the conversions you hoped for?

Picture this: countless hours crafting what seems like a great piece of content. The excitement builds, only to be met with the disheartening reality – your sales team's calendars are still empty, no trials got started, and no deals have been closed. The frustration is real, and we've all been there. 

But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll break down 4 actionable steps on how to conduct research on your content ideas and increase the likelihood of conversions. 

First, let’s take a quick look at the 4 steps from a bird's eye view. 

Key takeaways 

1. Define and understand your best customers on a granular level

2. Find keywords and topics with high buyer intent, so-called “money keywords”

3. Analyze the SERP and understand the search intent 

4. Create a clear and concise content brief 

Let’s dive into the actionable steps that will make your content convert like never before. So the question is; how can I produce the best circumstances for writing B2B content that speaks to my audience and converts?

Why research and strategy are the most important factors for ensuring ROI in SEO content

One of the most common things we hear from our clients before working with them is that their content isn’t driving any leads/ signups or conversions.

When discovering how they’ve worked previously, we found that there wasn’t any systematic, proven approach or strategy. Most companies list a ton of keywords on a spreadsheet, sort it by volume, and start from the top. 

Many times these companies would consider that their content is “working” because it generates traffic. Leaning on the assumption that “some percentage of the traffic obviously converts”. But they don’t know the exact percentage, or which content drives conversions, if any. 

After setting up the correct tracking and analytics to see what’s been working, the results were far worse than they ever thought.

According to the Content Marketing Insitute, 29% of B2B marketers say their company is successful with content marketing, 79% of these most often attribute their success to knowing their audience (customers), and 53% also attribute a part of their success to having a documented strategy. 

To make content that converts you need to dig deep into what your customers truly care about, and base your strategy around those insights.

Now we’re just scratching the surface, so let’s unpack how you conduct research, and create a strategy that leads to results.

1. Define and Understand Your Best Customers on a Granular Level

Hold on. I need your full attention for around 15 seconds to emphasize how important this part of the strategy is. If you skip this step or don't do it properly, the other three advice won't help you.

You need to define and understand your customers on a granular level. The secret sauce? Talk to them. Preferably through customer interviews. Focus on your best customers—the ones who pay the most, seem super happy with your offering, and maybe even tell others about it. 

Here are four criteria that we use to help our clients define their best customers:

  • Who are the customers that pay the most?

  • Who are the customers that stay with you the longest?

  • Who are the customers that you love working with?

  • Who are the customers that have a high need for the product or service?

Best customers (1)

After you’ve defined who your best customers are, you want to learn about their challenges and pain points.

When you're chatting with them, be specific. Ask questions that dig into what they need, their pain points, and why they picked your product over the competitors. Find out the steps that led them to choose you and what sealed the deal. Get an understanding of how your product fits into their daily operations. 

By nailing down these details, you not only get to know your best customers better but also gather the info you need to create content that grabs attention and gets results.

These are some of the questions we typically ask to understand as much as possible about their pain points:

  • Why did they choose to get your product or service?

  • What problem were they facing before deciding to buy?

  • What other choices did they consider before making a purchase?

  • Why did they decide on your product instead of the other options?

  • What specific thing about the product or service do your customers find most helpful?

  • What other decision-makers played a role in deciding to make the purchase?

On and on. The key is being curious. Your goal is to learn as much as possible about them until you feel like you know these customers inside and out.

It's equally valuable to interview customer-facing employees in the business, such as sales, support, and customer success. These are the people at the company who are talking with customers on a day-to-day basis. The sales team will have a perfect understanding of why a potential customer chooses your company over competitors, and which differentiators sway the decision. The support and customer success team will have a better picture of common pain points and challenges that customers face in their daily operations. 

By researching both customers and customer-facing employees, you now have a holistic view of what's important to your best customers. These insights should guide all of your SEO and content marketing efforts. 

Here is a Google doc with all the questions we ask to understand our client's best customers on a granular level. 

2. Find Keywords and Topics With High Buyer Intent - “Money Keywords”

In traditional marketing, a keyword fits into one of three categories; ToFu, MoFu or BoFu. Even though ToFu content can have a decent conversion rate, it’s more likely that your MoFu and BoFu content is driving conversions. 

Some examples of MoFu and BoFu content are:

  • “How to” posts 

    ex “How to improve cold email conversions”

  • Pain point-related posts

    ex “improve remote team meetings”

  • List posts

    ex “11 best email automation software: A detailed comparison”

  • Comparison posts

    ex “HubSpot vs Salesforce vs Salesloft”

Only after you’re done defining and understanding your best customers on a granular level you can come up with content ideas that will attract these people.

The next step is to look for keywords and topics that indicate that a potential customer wants to buy your product or service. We call these "money keywords". In other words, keywords that indicate that someone is looking to make a purchase.

Take the words you learned from talking to your customers, like questions they often ask, things they worry about when buying, or problems they have. Also, consider what other companies they mention. By paying attention to their language, you can find important keywords that might not show up in regular keyword research.

Forget just looking at the search volume for a keyword; instead, focus on understanding what people mean when they search. 

When you have this insight, you have all the right tools to create content that not only ranks high on Google but also speaks directly to what your best customers want.

For keyword analysis we use SEMrush, an industry-leading analytics tool. There's other options out there, such as Ahrefs and Moz among others. If you have an SEO analytics tool you can use that to understand whether the keywords you found during the research actually has volume.

If you don't have an analytics tool for keyword research, you can even try out the suggestions that Google gives when you search.

Start typing your keyword into Google search and see what suggestions come up in the autocomplete. 

Additionally, scroll to the bottom of the search results page to find related searches. This can give you an idea of other terms people are searching for that are related to your keyword.

This indicates which keywords and variations searchers are punching into Google regularly. 

3. Analyze the SERP and Understand the Search Intent

To create content that converts, you need to dig into the SERP for your chosen keyword. It's not just about who's on top, but understanding the search intent behind the keyword, meaning what people who search this query are looking for. 

Ask yourself this: what is our customer trying to learn when they google this keyword?

Your goal is to meet that intention. 

First, check out the titles, types of pages, and where the info is coming from on the first page of results. This gives you a peek into what's catching people's attention.

For example, are there a lot of list posts, “how to” articles, guides, landing pages, or something else?

In general, what is ranking in the top 10 tells you what Google already thinks is best for this keyword, so the safe option is to use one of those content types for your piece of content. But that’s not a hard and fast rule.

If you can better meet search intent with another type of content, it makes sense to try it.

Then take a closer look at the topics covered in those top-ranking pages. Find out what keeps popping up. This helps you know what your audience is into and where you can bring in some new and original perspectives/ points.

Look at individual pages to see what they're doing well and where they're falling short. It's not about copying them, but understanding what people like and using those ideas smartly in your content.

Lastly, figure out why people are searching for that keyword. Are they looking for information, solutions, or comparisons? Understanding this helps you tailor your content to exactly what your audience is looking for, making sure it doesn't just show up in searches but also speaks to your best customers and converts them. 

This is what we usually look for when analyzing the SERP for a specific keyword:

  • Page title

  • Type of content (list post, comparison post, landing page, etc)

  • Which subtopics are covered?

  • Amount of backlinks (and quality)

  • What are the top-ranking pages doing good?

  • How can the top-ranking pages improve?

When the analysis is completed, you should understand the search intent and what it takes to beat your competition.

The SERP analysis aims to understand what's required for you to provide a better search experience than what's currently out there.

Google is a search engine and its main purpose is to provide its users with the right type of information based on each query. So essentially, you'd want to play into Google's algorithms, and reverse engineer it by helping them provide their users with a great search experience, and that's why you'll rank higher than content that don't. 

One of Google's methods of measuring this is by determining whether your search results concluded the user's search journey. In other words, when a searcher clicks on your results, does their search journey end, or do they need to return to the results and continue searching for information?

If you can create content that concludes search journeys, it sends signals to Google that your content is highly informative and valuable. This gives you the best conditions for ranking high.

4. Create a Clear and Concise Content Brief

Have you come up with a great content idea, passed the idea onto a writer, and then received a piece of content that doesn't match the goals, speak to your audience, or deliver any value?

You’re not alone. 

However, a content brief is a tool that prevents this from happening.

A content brief is a document that outlines key information and instructs the writer on how to create a piece of content. See it as a roadmap that provides all the necessary information to create content that aligns with and meets the overall goals.

Essentially, the content brief should boil down all the insights gained from previous steps into a clear guideline for the writer.

Let the SERP analysis inspire the content brief. Because it’s not just about creating a good content piece, it’s about outcompeting the existing results in the top 10. 

The content brief is used to ensure that the final product ticks off certain criteria, such as: 

  • Meeting search intent

  • Matching the expertise level of the target audience

  • Providing original points 

  • Satisfy the purpose of the content (to inform, to influence, to convert)

Implementing content briefs in your content-making process will save you time and money, prevent rewrites, and ensure consistent quality.

So, what should be included in a content brief?

Providing too much information and guidelines can make it hard for the writer to digest the brief, that’s why you should stick to the most critical aspects. In our content briefs, we usually include:

  • Title

  • Topic description 

  • Search intent (based on SERP analysis)

  • Content goal

  • Tone of voice

  • Target audience (include link to customer research)

  • A link to the SERP analysis

  • Primary keyword

  • Secondary keywords

  • Internal link structure

  • Use of images/ illustrations

  • Blog outline

If you have any content writing SOPs that explain how to approach a specific type of content, it’s worth including in the brief. 


The goal of this article is to highlight the importance of research and strategy based on granular customer research.

This is where most marketers go wrong. They skip this step entirely and base their content ideas around what they think their customers want. Which usually isn't what the customer actually wants.

Research your best customers. Create a strategy for your best customers. Write for your best customers. Why? Because you want to attract your best customers.