How to Rank for Important Keywords with an Interactive Assessment
Take a moment and think about how much content you consume each day. Whether you are doing research for work, scrolling through your Instagram feed or trying to buy something online, the content you interact with is essentially inescapable. And, it can be overwhelming.
But does it work?
Take another moment and think about the content that made an impression on you. Chances are, it’s only a fraction of all the content you saw today.
Content is sneaky, and most of the time you don’t even realize that it’s being served to you in the first place. The human brain plays a bit of defense and prevents you from going into overload from all the messages you see.
According to Psychology Today, the brain uses something called selective filtering, where one part of your brain literally tells the rest to quiet down so it can concentrate.
While this is great news for consumers, it does mean that businesses must compete with other content and that part of their target audience’s brain that ordinarily chooses to ignore them.
On top of that, the internet is a very competitive place, and it’s increasingly difficult to stand out.
But fear not. This is where interactive assessments come in to save the day.
What is an interactive assessment?
The term "assessment" is often replaced with words like quiz, test, questionnaire, form or calculator. In the remainder of this article, we will use the words assessment and quiz as synonyms.
But you could say that an assessment in marketing is simply a list of questions aimed at guiding a prospect to the next step in the sales funnel.
In the end, the respondent gets highly-personalized feedback based on their answers.
An effective assessment achieves the following objectives:
Respondents learn something about themselves. (What do I need?)
Respondents learn something about your business. (What you offer, your products, services, etc.)
You learn something about the respondent. (Preferences, what they’re looking for, etc.)
A modern assessment is basically a mix between a standard survey and a quiz: A survey collects useful data (point 3) and a quiz is built to teach you something (point 1 & 2).
Making the assessment interactive adds another set of benefits (according to Main Path Marketing):
Reaches many regions and bypasses the selective filtering of the brain.
Increases the rate at which your target audience learns and retains information.
Helps potential leads feel heard through a personalized experience.
When you combine these two sets of benefits you get a very strong marketing tool.
Why use assessments in your marketing?
The interactive experience of a well-built assessment will increase the engagement of your website visitors and lead to better conversions.
(image source: CMI)
A Content Marketing Institute study about interactive content revealed benefits such as a longer attention span among website visitors and better retention when working with assessments.
According to Adweek, quizzes are the most shared type of content on social media. And when we go check the top 10 of Facebook’s most shared posts of 2017, we find 2 quizzes!
How to make your assessment a hit
You’re probably hoping to harness the success of these 2 quizzes for 2018. So how do you go about it?
People only want content that is relatable to them.
It’s the simple truth, but it’s still an issue with so many lead-generation tactics. The audience doesn’t see what’s in it for them. They don’t understand how your business relates to them and how it can help their current situation.
This is why interactive assessments are so helpful. They show how your business can solve a problem without providing long, forgetful explanations. The quiz literally asks what’s important to them.
For example, Eneco Netherlands, a natural gas, electricity and heat producer and supplier, created a lead-generation assessment in the form of a calculator. Initially, they made it in order to inform their potential leads how much electric vehicle service equipment would cost.
The quiz questions were personalized and asked the potential leads about their actual experiences and situation. It resulted in Eneco collecting 1,000 leads in six weeks, thanks to some targeted promotion via Facebook and Google Ads. Especially via Facebook they noticed great results as people did not see the quiz as an ad.
Another way to personalize your quiz is by using skip logic. If the respondent answers a question one way, then the skip logic will show a relevant follow-up question and skip or hide other unnecessary questions.
Before you create your assessment, understand exactly who your audience is and take a deep dive into what issues they might be facing.
Focus on design & multimedia
Each survey maker features its own design tools, so make sure your survey is engaging and fun.
Why? Because according to Main Path Marketing, it takes about 1/10 of a second for someone to understand a visual scene and 250 milliseconds to not only process a symbol but also attach meaning to it.
For those who aren’t in the business of design, here are some simple landing page design tips. But in a nutshell:
Use one or two (brand) colors for the quiz
Provide enough white space so your quiz doesn’t appear crowded
Make sure everything is aligned both vertically and horizontally
If you use a background image, make sure it has minimal color variation
But remember: people might fall for great looks, but they stay for what’s inside. So don’t get too carried away with your design and multimedia choices that you make your lead-generation quiz too long or dull - Limit yourself to 10 questions.
What part does SEO play in all this?
You should create your interactive assessment for humans and optimize for search engines, otherwise there will be no humans who will find your assessment.
Interactive assessments, often in the shape of quizzes, perform really well in terms of shareability. But they are not all created equal. Bottom of funnel assessments such as Eneco will not be easily linked to – Top of funnel assessments such as Carecareers (see case study below) will get links more easily. But, in general, you will need a little SEO push to really make the most of your interactive assessment.
This can come in many forms.
Ideally, you start with some thorough keyword research to find the perfect topic.
Don’t be afraid of low search volume keywords, especially when you have a new website or young company. You won’t have the authority to rank for the big, high volume keywords in your market anyway. Since it’s easier to rank for long tail keywords, focus on those instead. It will rank a lot easier and you’ll get traffic from long tail variations.
To find these long tail keyword variations, you can use the same tools and methods as you do for regular keyword research.
Check for each keyword candidate if there are enough closely related keywords with some search volume.
Long tail variations are keywords related to your main keyword, they are often similar terms that people have used to google and find your content. And in some cases the combination of those long tail keywords will break even with the volume of a solitary high-volume term.
We’ve said it earlier, interactive content is highly shareable, but often struggles to score a lot of links, at least naturally. This is partly due to the passing nature of some quizzes, but when you can make your topic evergreen, it’s worth creating a link building campaign or content amplification campaign to support it.
Case study: The interactive assessment in action
Carecareers is an Australian not-for-profit initiative whose aim is to attract talented people from all backgrounds to work in the disability, community and aged care sector. They used an interactive quiz to create awareness around jobs in the care industry.
The results of the quiz show how meaningful these jobs can be and simultaneously direct potential job hunters to the right job opening. Try their quiz here.
The goal was simple: A lot of people start looking for more "meaningful" jobs in the middle of their careers and start considering jobs in care.
Very often though, they have no idea of where to get started or what such a job entails.
With the quiz, Carecareers wanted to make website visitors feel more at home and create awareness around the way a job in care can fit into their life."
To keep it short and simple they used nothing but pictures that people can choose from, which added to the personalization since people have different interpretations of images.
The results of the quiz make people feel understood and make an excellent conversation starter. It gives them a sense of direction of what they should be looking for and even points respondents towards actual job openings that they’d be well-suited for.
The results have been nothing short of amazing. In 7 years of use, it still works really well for them. In that timeframe, it’s been taken by over a million Australians as well as a lot of foreigners who find their way to the quiz.
That a lot of foreigners found it is no accident.
Early on, they decided to invest in international SEO. They translated the quiz in multiple languages and optimized it to target all Australians. With good reason, in Sydney alone, for example, there’s 40% of the population for whom English isn’t the native language.
SEO is a great tool to support all your marketing efforts but everything starts with great content. Creating an evergreen and personalized assessment could be that missing piece of content you’ve been looking for. Are your ready to give it a try?