How to use Jobs-to-be-Done in SEO to create 10x more useful content

Oct 5, 2022 11 min read
how JTBD can be used in SEO

Top SEOs use Jobs-to-be-Done to create the highest quality content for search engines. In this article, we look at the theory, practical steps, and examples from companies like Canva.


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In the early 2000s, Bob Moesta, an innovation consultant, was charged with boosting sales of new apartments built by a construction company in Detroit.

Like any great marketer, Moesta started his process with customer research. He interviewed people who had bought units already, asking them to “draw a timeline of how they got here.”

The first thing he discovered? There was no pattern in who was most likely to buy. No demographic or psychographic similarities appeared. Nor was there a particular set of features buyers valued enough to tip their decisions.

However, the conversation revealed something unusual. Whereas prospective buyers said they didn’t need a formal dining room, actual buyers talked about the dining table repeatedly.

“People kept saying, ‘As soon as I figured out what to do with my dining room table, then I was free to move,’” said Moesta.

He thought this was a little bizarre. But, as he sat at his own dining table with his family that night…it all clicked into place.

What was stopping downsizers from making the decision to move wasn’t features or demographics, but the fear of giving up memories and meaning.

Moesta recalls something powerful:

“I went in thinking we were in the business of new-home construction, but I realized we were in the business of moving lives.

The company changed its offering to create space for dining room tables and focused on reducing the anxiety of moving houses by providing things like moving services.

Of course, the results were wildly successful.

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The rest of the article explores how this mindset, which so many of the world's leading product management teams have adopted, can help content & SEO marketers think out of the box about the content they create.

I believe this is how you can stand out in the SERPs and develop winning SEO-focused experiences in an ever-competitive content world.

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