I’m a big fan of the Lore podcast, and in a recent episode, the host discussed a book called the Malleus Maleficarum.
Two words starting with the “mal” prefix doesn’t sound super friendly, right?
Well, the book is essentially a guide on how to identify witches and conduct witch trials. It turned out to have quite the horrible impact on society — as we’ve learned in history classes — but the host notes that it’s also one of the first how-tos ever written.
And it was published in 1486, ore than 500 years ago.
How-to content isn’t new, and from what I can tell, it isn’t going anywhere. Look at how many search results come back when you narrow content down to titles including “how to.”
It’s not just that there’s a ton of this type of content, either. People want to read it.
You just got engaged! It’s time to start thinking about the wedding, but you’re not sure where to start. What is the first word or phrase you would search using Google or another search engine?
Thirteen percent of all the respondents’ hypothetical searches had “how to” in them, and the youngest respondents — millennials and Gen Zers — used it the most.
It serves as additional proof for what we already suspected: how-to content remains a staple in the content world.
And it makes sense, doesn’t it? How-tos not only lend themselves to the thrill of learning new information online (and the seemingly endless number of things that are available to learn); they also serve as a tool of empowerment. Even if you don’t know how to do something, you can figure it out just by going online and reading/watching/listening to content someone else put together for you.
If people continue to desire this type of content, how can you make sure you’re incorporating it into your content plans accordingly?
Finding how-to opportunities
In some cases, it’s obvious how more how-to content can help your brand. Perhaps you’re a B2B SaaS company with a product designed to help teams collaborate online. You could write how-to articles about improving communication, transitioning to a new chat client, and plenty of other topics.
It’s important to have these articles, because not only do they speak to a direct need of a certain audience, but they’re also directly related to your brand offering. They’re rife with more natural call-to-action opportunities, and they demonstrate your willingness to help solve a problem.
Earlier this month, Bing launched the Site Scan feature in Bing Webmaster tools. But there was an issue with it, where it thought pages with the Base HTML tag were pages that 404ed. Bing has resolved the issue and should now properly scan and audit those types of pages going […]