Search engine optimization guru Rand Fishkin of Moz.com recently pointed out that if your content is more comprehensive, Google will reward it. This supports the assertion we at MindTouch are putting forth, which is that using product documentation and help content in content marketing yields a multitude of benefits including better placement on SERPs (search engine result pages). Most important, it results in unique, informative, and helpful content that answers users’ questions up front.
The more questions your content can answer, the better you fare with Google. According to Moz, competitive advantage in terms of content is won by increasing the comprehensiveness of the content offering, defined as a mix of depth, trustworthiness, and value. Product documentation achieves all of these:
- Depth: Rather than packaging fluff, infusing useful and detailed information about your product into content marketing that you use to reach out to your customers gives the content substance and richness.
- Trustworthiness: Clickbait and listicles are tempting to use because they not only promise instant gratification that is hard for your audience to resist, they usually do result in clicks. The problem is, they often don’t deliver anything helpful to the customer, and are the quickest way to lose their trust.
- Value: The product information contained in documentation and help content gives the user an inside track to knowledge about the brand, aiding them in each stage of the customer journey—research, buy, and succeed.
Moz even mentions that this comprehensive format can take the form of guides that require extraordinary amounts of work, which is something most companies would rather avoid. The good news is, you are already producing this content along with your product, so the heavy lift is done.
If you give out information freely with no expectations, customers appreciate that and regard the brand as reliable, honest, and forthcoming. Customers crave information that answers their questions, and there is ubiquitous research to show they are certainly searching for it. By using product documentation in content marketing you can deliver for your customers, beat your competitors in content comprehensiveness, increase content quality, and boost your chances of garnering a top spot in Google search results.
Megan M. Hard is a Market Analyst at MindTouch, where she studies trends in the tech industry and how they tie together with consumer needs and behavior. After six years as a journalist and writer, she spent eight years as a Senior Editor at The Conference Board, a nonprofit business research think tank.