I do emerging tech PR and communications and because I’m skilled at it, I get a fair amount of requests to discuss my process with new clients. My focus in initial emerging tech SEO discussions is to instruct potential clients to do my job without needing me at all. And the notebook method is one hack I’m always eager to pass along.
Where most emerging tech SEO folks go wrong.
First, it’s important to quickly understand where many folks go wrong in emerging tech SEO methodology. They quickly turn to their toolbox containing tools like SEM Rush, aHrefs, Google Trends, Keyword Planner, Screaming Frog, Moz, Yoast, Content.ly, and TapClicks. Are these tools helpful? Sure. But reliance on them for an emerging tech company is dangerous.
In the words of Aaron Johnson, VP of Marketing at Accumold and a client of mine, “a Steinway only sounds great in the hands of a concert pianist.” Understanding the tool of any trade is entry-level, at best. If you don’t understand the people you want to influence and connect to, you can’t make content that attracts new customers.
Before I get to the good stuff, consider one more thing: competing over terms is truly only helpful if you sell a commodity or widget your competitors also sell. If you are unique and have a unique solution, your company will require a unique approach. Human connection is the driver behind superb emerging tech SEO strategies.
The Notebook Method
The notebook method is the easiest way to win the SEO game and it’s amazingly simple. Although it doesn’t need bullet points, I’l l use them anyway.
- Bring your notebook to meetings with prospects.
- Write down their raw questions.
- Write blog posts that answer those questions.
I’d encourage you to use Yoast (it’s super cheap) to help you target phrases correctly. Here’s why this works.
The aforementioned tools can tell you what terms are already being searched, or which terms are controlled by influential brands, but they can’t tell you what people are searching right now or tomorrow. Emerging tech SEO strategies require precision: and that’s what the notebook method delivers.
Search engine queries are driven by real people asking real questions they don’t have the answer to. Therefore if someone is asking you a question, it’s a strong indication others likely have that same question. It’s important to write down their question, as asked, to properly target the nature and phrasing of the question.
Mining natural customer and prospect curiosity in the real world is an emerging tech SEO goldmine.