Pogo-sticking deserves more attention.
And the reason is simple.
Fail to solve “pogo-sticking,” and you’ll fail to capture organic search demand even if you rank highest on the SERPs. Rand Fishkin, the Founder & CEO of SparkToro, explained this in a post for Moz.
What’s ‘pogo-sticking’ exactly, you ask?
It’s when a Google user clicks through to your site. But before they even land, they bounce back (or ‘pogo-stick’) to the SERPs because your content didn’t solve their underlying problem:
As shown above, it’s not enough to rank high for a keyword, say, XYZ. Your target audience will ‘pogo-stick’ (and you won’t capture search demand) if your content:
Fails to solve the problem they had in mind when they typed the keyword, XYX, into Google.
Solves a problem related to XYZ, but not in a way that’s relevant to them.
Solves an XYZ-related problem, but not in a way specific to your target audience’s niche or use case.
You may be wondering: Does this mean content managers shouldn’t target keywords in trying to capture organic search demand?
It’s a reminder for you to know…
The Place of Keywords in Capturing Search Demand
Keywords are indicators.
They indicate the extent of demand for something. The more search volume a keyword has, the higher the indication of an opportunity to capture demand.
But here’s the catch.
If you jump blindly on keywords with high search volumes without first figuring out the ‘why’ behind them, you’ll optimize for the wrong metrics and set yourself up for failure.
Hear it from Anna Crowe, Editor at Search Engine Journal:
Let’s demonstrate with an example.
Say you’re marketing an AI tool. It’s tempting to target and try to rank highest for the broad, high-volume keyword, ‘ai tools:’
You may target this keyword and rank high, and that’s good.
But as Anna observed, if your AI tool is for recruiters, an optimal demand-capture path would be to first dig deeper into why and how recruiters query Google for AI tools.
Doing this follows a two-step process to know how to do keyword research with WriterZen:
Using Wildcard research, add an asterisk [i.e., ai tools*] to reveal hidden terms that show if your target audience is even searching for it. Here, we see recruiters are searching for this:
WriterZen’s Wildcard Research Tool
Switch to Keyword Explorer to find niche-specific keyword data and insights into why and how recruiters are querying Google for AI tools:
WriterZen’s Keyword Explorer tool
These steps (easily achieved with WriterZen’s Wildcard Research and Keyword Explorer tools) are crucial for one thing:
They take you Back to the Basics.
In other words, they help ensure you don’t forget the place of keywords in capturing demand. And that's to ditch the blind chase of high-volume keywords, focusing more on your audience’s needs.
In short, by leveraging a niche-specific keyword research workflow, content managers are using WriterZen to go beyond keywords to find rare demand-capture opportunities.
Take Natalie I:
How Google Ranks Organic Search Results Today
Google’s ranking factors have come a long way.
From 2003 to date, the search giant has updated its ranking algorithms a whopping 104 times:
If you zoom into these updates, especially with its most recent, Helpful Content Update, you’ll notice that the search giant is also going Back to the Basics.
You can see this in their official report:
This aligns with our conclusion on knowing the place of keywords in capturing demand.
But more importantly, it’s another way of saying:
Keywords Are Good. But Content Rules
So far, I’ve established two things.
Don’t obsess over keywords (or target them) just because they have high volumes. Keywords are mere signals. So go deeper to understand your audience’s why and how behind those signals.
Google (and other search engines) are always updating their ranking algorithms. But one thing remains constant: Those who create original content that solves people’s problems will be rewarded above those who bury their heads in SEO metrics.
Consider this article you’re reading.
No doubt, if we didn’t optimize it for a keyword, chances are, you wouldn’t have found it via a Google search. But if you didn’t like what you’ve read so far, would you still be here?
And that’s the point:
How to Create Content That Captures Organic Search Demand
Content that captures demand is like a bridge.
A bridge leveraged to connect real people to technology solutions. Yes, SEO still has a place for discovery purposes, but as we’ve seen, you shouldn’t focus on creating SEO articles.
SEO Consultant, Garit Boothe, stressed this point:
Garrit’s point brings us to step one.
Build Topic Clusters
Building topic clusters is the crucial first step in capturing organic search demand today. Why is this so, you ask?
Manick Bhan, Founder of LinkGraph, explains:
In other words, clustering content around topics, not targeting single keywords, proves to Google that you’re an authority on those topics. In turn, you’ll increase your chances of ranking.
Marketers struggled with building topic clusters in the past. You needed to export keyword data from multiple sources (i.e., Ahrefs or Semrush) into spreadsheets and sort them manually.
Thankfully, not anymore.
WriterZen makes the entire process a breeze. Enter a keyword or phrase in the Topic Discovery tool, and in no time, you’re fed with relevant and related topic clusters.
Here’s what we got for “team collaboration:”
Dig deeper into each clustered topic, and you’ll find:
Top headlines to consider for that topic,
Google Search Insights (questions, comparisons, etc),
And even Related Google Searches:
There are also filters to find topics based on search volumes and relevance to your seed keyword (or phrase.) In short, the ease of researching, finding, and building topic clusters is one reason why business owners love WriterZen.
But don’t take it from me:
Go Beyond Keywords
We’ve already established that to capture organic search demand, you must see keywords as mere signals and look beyond those signals. And you saw one way to do it with Wildcard research.
Here’s another way.
Imagine from the topical research above, we wanted to uncover relevant insights for the keyword, “team work plan.” First, using the various search filters under “Keyword Data,” you can:
Use the “Include’ or “Exclude” filter to find specific queries,
Filter related keywords with certain CPC ranges,
Use the Allintitle toggle to filter ranking headlines with certain phrases of your choice,
Toggle the Golden Filter tab to uncover low-competition related keywords with high search demand, or
Get more details for any query on the list:
And it doesn’t end there.
On the Insights tab, you’ll find:
Insights clustered into ‘how,’ ‘why,’ ‘what,’ etc., buckets.
Click on show ideas for each of these clusters for even more very specific insights:
All these help you uncover the underlying search intents behind keywords. So instead of obsessing over the keyword, you can focus on satisfying those intents when creating content.
Align Content Creation
When you query Google in need of information, are you looking for the highest-ranking content or the most helpful one?
We’ll bet on the latter.
Capturing organic search demand from your prospects works the same way: You must align all content creation efforts on addressing relevant underlying search intents related to a keyword.
Here’s how to do that with WriterZen.
Start a new project in the Content Creator tool. On the details page, add the search query the content is targeting. Toggle the NLP feature to automatically analyze and extract information about people and conversation sentiments relevant to the query.
You can also invite teammates or others to collaborate:
From there, the tool takes you to a 3-step content creation workflow where you can research, do a competitive analysis of Google’s top 20 ranking articles, and create briefs and outlines.
All in one place:
You can generate new ideas, expand texts, auto-write, etc.:
Publish Original Content to Capture Search Demand
A crucial box to tick if you want to capture search demand from your target audience is to ensure you’re publishing original content. Natalie Stezovsky, former VP at Influence&Co, a content marketing agency, corroborated this in a post.
In her words:
WriterZen also helps with this.
Click on the built-in Plagiarism Checker, and you’ll get a quick and shareable detailed report to remove duplicate content, optimize, and ensure you’re only publishing original content:
All these are why marketers (and CEOs) rely on our products as their all-in-one content creation workflow: