"The Knowledge Ecology: A Better Approach to Keyword Research for Content Marketing"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 26, 2023

4 min read


"The Knowledge Ecology: A Better Approach to Keyword Research for Content Marketing"

In today's digital age, information flows freely and abundantly. We are constantly surrounded by a vast network of interconnected objects and systems that shape our understanding of the world. This concept, known as the knowledge ecology, challenges us to shift our focus away from static objects and towards the dynamic flow of information between them.

Take, for example, the simple act of using a pencil. On its own, a pencil is just a tool for writing or drawing. However, when combined with the knowledge and creativity of a person, it becomes much more than that. The pencil and the person create a feedback loop, each influencing and enhancing the other. This extended-self system allows us to accomplish tasks and create works of art that neither the pencil nor the person could have done alone.

The same can be said for a piano and a person. When the two come together, they form another feedback loop, expanding the capabilities of both. This concept of the extended phenotype, as coined by Richard Dawkins, shifts our perspective from the individual organism to the collective system it is a part of. In this view, the boundaries between self and other become blurred, and one self-system can freely bleed into another.

This idea of the knowledge ecology has profound implications for content marketing and keyword research. Traditionally, keyword research has focused on finding the right words and phrases to optimize content for search engines. However, this approach often neglects the underlying problems and questions that users are seeking answers to.

To create truly valuable and standout content, we need to shift our focus from keywords to problems. Every question is a problem waiting to be solved, and good content should provide the solution. Instead of relying solely on SEO tools, we can turn to social networks like Quora, Twitter, and YouTube to find the topics that people really care about.

These platforms are built around discussions and opinions, making them a much better tool for understanding user intent. By starting our research with questions, we can uncover the underlying problems and bigger topics that our content should address. Quora, in particular, is a valuable resource for finding questions related to our topic, allowing us to add our answers and insights when we create our content.

It's important to utilize all platforms, not just a select few. Each platform offers a unique angle, question, or trail that can enhance our list of questions and queries. A comprehensive content marketing strategy considers not just topics and problems, but also the queries that users are searching for.

Google measures topical relevance, so it's smarter to create content for one topic at a time and then move on to the next. Each problem must also be targeting a specific query to form a cohesive SEO strategy. By starting with a few questions, identifying their queries, and exploring related queries, we can build a solid foundation for our content.

Understanding user intent is crucial in creating effective content. Google identifies six basic user intents, and analyzing SERP features like featured snippets or Google shopping ads can give us insight into what intents Google associates with a particular query. Mapping user intent to the buyer's funnel can help us understand the sequence of intents that lead to a conversion.

A framework that can be useful in this process is the "See-Think-Do-Care" framework, originally developed by Avinash Kaushik. By applying this framework to our content and keywords, we can identify gaps and create a more holistic and targeted approach.

In addition to user intent, we must also consider the situation connected to the problem. SEO strategies for large sites differ from those for small sites, both technically and from a content perspective. Large sites can leverage their product inventory or user-generated content for SEO, while small sites must rely more heavily on content marketing.

To summarize, the knowledge ecology challenges us to shift our focus from static objects to the flow of information between them. In the realm of content marketing and keyword research, this means prioritizing problems and questions over keywords. By starting with questions, exploring user intent, and considering the situation, we can create high-quality content that truly stands out.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Start your keyword research by focusing on questions and problems related to your topic. Use social networks like Quora, Twitter, and YouTube to uncover the topics that people care about.
  • 2. Utilize all platforms available to you, as each offers a unique perspective and insights that can enhance your understanding of user intent.
  • 3. Consider the situation connected to the problem you are addressing. Tailor your SEO strategy and content approach based on the size and capabilities of your website.

In conclusion, the knowledge ecology provides us with a new lens through which to view content marketing and keyword research. By shifting our focus to the flow of information and the problems users are seeking solutions to, we can create content that not only satisfies search engines but also exceeds user expectations. Embracing this approach will allow us to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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