BoxCrush BoxCrush

Why Should I Make How-To Guides?

by Celeste Caraker | Jul 9, 2024, 18:47 PM

As you sit down to draft your content calendar for the quarter, do you find yourself asking, “Well, what next?” The internet constantly demands a ream of relevant content, and it helps keep your brand at the top of search results. You need content that gives and keeps on giving. You need how-to guides!

Why Are How-to Guides Good Content?

A how-to guide is one of the most popular content types on the World Wide Web. Don’t believe it? Go to Google, type in “how to,” and see what comes up. You’ll see a list instantly populated with questions that all start with those two simple words. They’re everywhere, and there’s a reason they’re so popular. The searcher wants to accomplish a task, but they don’t know how to do it. They turn to the most accessible, logical place for an answer: the internet. 

The words “how to” are so popular that the keyword phrase “how to” pulls roughly 300,000 searches per month and has an extremely high keyword difficulty. A how-to guide will also be applicable across a huge swath of industries and is applicable in B2C and B2B markets. If you want to meet the needs of someone coming to your website, then you can start with how-to guides that revolve around your brand and what you do. 

What Makes a Good How-to Guide? 

It doesn’t matter if you write 100 how-to guides if they’re not useful to the reader. They’ll tank in search and ultimately hurt your brand. You need to approach your how-to guides with thoughtful planning. 

A good guide is: 

  1. Targeted: You’ll need to identify an audience to target. Different market segments are coming to you for different reasons and will appreciate a personalized approach. 

  2. Organized: The best way to start drafting a how-to guide is with an outline. The outline should be a quick, step-by-step approach to your topic.

  3. Concise: No one wants to read paragraph after paragraph of fluff. Get to the point, and get to it quickly. In this case, less is more.

  4. Clear: If your steps are muddled, you didn’t help the user, and they’re going to bounce. You want them to stay and engage as much as possible, so focus on action steps and minimize excessive detail. 

  5. Visual: Content has veered away from words and towards visuals for years. Just look at the ubiquity of TikTok and Instagram videos and reels. Integrate pictures, graphics, and videos wherever you can.

  6. Relevant: Whatever you do, don’t stray away from your topic. Every word, visual, video, and link you include has to relate clearly to your main topic or you’ll frustrate your audience. 

How Do I Choose a Topic for a How-to Guide? 

This one should be easy. How-to guides can serve any audience in any vertical, so there is an endless list of possible topics. Don’t know where to start? There are a few places to look before you have to do a deep dive. 

  • The FAQ page on your website 

  • Questions that come to your inbox or voicemail

  • Competitors' FAQs or guides

  • Common pain points for your customers/clients

  • YouTube how-to videos that relate to your industry

If that doesn’t quite get your creative juices flowing, do some old-fashioned brainstorming. Start with one of your services or products. Then do some word association. If your product is a yoyo, you might think of “string.” Well, what can go wrong with the string on a yoyo? You could teach a user how to wind up the string properly, how to untangle a yoyo string, how to wax a yoyo string, how to replace a yoyo string, and so on and so on. The best part? If you don’t want to do the word association yourself, let Google do it for you! 


You’ll instantly see ideas popping up, and you can complete your query and see what populates in the “People also ask” section. 

Why Do I Need How-to Guides? 

Okay, you don’t exactly need how-to guides, but they are an excellent and evergreen source of content for your brand. They also serve your audience with relevant information straight from you. It enhances your brand image to be seen as helpful and informative.  And let’s be honest. If you don’t put the content out there, someone else could. Wouldn’t you rather have that traffic come to your website? 

I Need Guides, But I Can’t Make Them…

If you know a comprehensive guide would serve your audience but can’t craft it alone, call on the content experts at BoxCrush. We have a full-service team that includes marketers, SEOs, designers, and developers. We work together to make everything on your guide look, function, and read the way you want it. Contact us to learn more. 

BoxCrush Digital Services

We want to help you learn more about navigating the digital world. Interested in how we can provide you with custom results for your business goals? Call on our full-service web design company.

Get started now!