Cornerstone Content Development For Conscious, Natural Hair Product Brand
Updated: Apr 12, 2020
What is Dr.UGro?
Dr. UGro is a line of hair care and styling products made completely with all natural ingredients, down to the preservatives. It's vegan, cruelty free and biodegradable formulation is made with plant extracts supported by research, which collectively nourish, repair and revitalize the hair inside out, from the follicle roots out to the hair strands.
As a truly consciously made product, even the packaging is made with recyclable plastic and recycled paper fibers.
The Rationale For Authoritative Content
With heightened competition in the beauty space, the cost of Google ad spend to reach the right buyers is becoming increasingly expensive. Alternatively, having a strong, organic search engine presence, would serve as a more cost effective approach. This was the strategy that Dr.U, the creator of the Dr.UGro line decided to adopt.
As a board certified medical professional, Dr.U intended to set himself apart from the vast array of hair products labeled with claims. He decided on having well-optimized authoritative content on each ingredients. While an organic search presence was one priority, his primary emphasis was on communicating the research in order to build cases for their effectiveness, while transparently discussing the limitations of these studies.
each cornerstone article discusses a specific ingredient
research studies must be cited instead of providing claims
search friendly keyword phrases must be included throughout the content, titles and subheadings.
article must about about 1500 words for ranking performance
on-page optimizations to include: standard practices plus the added requests of research citations and FAQ questions.
Content Designed With an Audience-First Approach
So what is the best way to present information about plant ingredients and scientific studies to satisfy online searchers? My role was to design each article to expand on the initial requirements and achieve the following:
tell the story of each ingredient, from past ancient times to the present
distill the science into understandable explanations
make the content interesting and relatable to modern readers
These days, many people turn to more natural approaches as gentler and healthier options for their hair. They seek solutions for issues like hair loss and thinning, dry, frizzy or lifeless hair and breakage. But the challenge is understanding which plant-based ingredients are worth considering. So they conduct searches on Google.
Many people have their own set of questions in mind. But there may still be areas of ambiguity that they can't quite articulate. Filling in these gaps for the reader's experience so that they can walk away with the clarity they need to form the right conclusions and make the best decisions possible.
Well developed content engages the reader's curiosity, emotions and interest. It should appeal to the right and left brain sides of how they process information.
To best meet the needs of search engine queries, the content should also provide thorough and clearly presented answers to common questions on the minds of human users.
Content Elements That Appeal to the "Emotional" Right Brain
The big picture, as well as stories appeal to the right brain. With respect to plant-based treatments, humans since the dawn of time have used botanicals to improve their health and well-being, in terms of the physical, as well as the emotional and spiritual. Today, we continue to gravitate towards natural forms of treatment. The part of us connected to our collective consciousness wants to explore the magical potential of nature to heal and restore. Whenever possible, I included research on culinary uses, history, stories and mythology to enhance the reading experience of each article,
Content Elements That Appeal to the "Logical" Left Brain
The left brain is analytic. It craves the presentation of facts in ways that make sense. For each of the Dr.UGro cornerstone articles, I structured the information into logical hierarchies attuned with the natural flow of questions that an average reader would have. The use of H2 and H3 subheadings was important for creating this organization. I also relied on them to make the content more skimmable, allowing the reader to quickly find the sections of greatest interest to them.
Since the academic science articles (i.e. scholar.google.com) are very complex, technical and dense, I worked to derive the information points that would be of most value for the reader's experience.
Also, to make better sense of this literature and experiments, it was essential to prime the reader's understanding by providing simplified contexts of important concepts. This included a beginner's level understanding of the pathways in the hair follicle cells which contribute to hair loss.
decline of derma papilla cells
upregulation and downregulation of DNA
When describing how experiments were done, the reader would then be able to see how each ingredient affected these pathways. Each article presents a simple summary of the experiments, the findings and how the researchers arrived at their conclusions.
In terms of understanding how hair softness and shininess could be improved, I described the basic structure of the hair strand and the factors that undermine its appearance
harsh chemicals in shampoos
At the end of each piece, I addressed the common likely questions that a reader would continue to have. Examples include:
whether or not it is possible to improve one's hair by consuming more of these plant-based ingredients in one's diet
whether or not the ingredients are effective by themselves, or need to work together with other factors
how topical applications differ from oral consumption of botanical ingredients
why the processing of ingredients matters for retaining their bioactive qualities and their effectiveness
why whole plant extracts may be safer and more beneficial for the body than their synthetic counterparts.
Since it was important for these content pieces to be recognized and found by search engines, I also applied the best recommended practices for optimizing each article.
unique SEO titles based on the focus/primary keyword
clear SEO description summaries to describe each content piece
internal links to evenly distribute page-weight authority across the site
outbound links to respected media sources and academic research articles
citations to studies and experiments mentioned
image meta tags
primary keyword frequency usage within acceptable ranges
secondary, longtail and LSI keyword phrases in headers
According to searchmetrics.com, on page optimization refers to "all measures that can be taken directly within the website to improve its position in the search rankings." Additionally these implementations also help to earn more relevant traffic.