You’ve probably been hearing a lot about content marketing these days. “Content is King”, they say. Some people think it’s the future of SEO, others aren’t quite sure where it fits in at all. The truth is, you can’t have one without the other, and the two blend together to create the perfect recipe for high rankings.
Remember the days when stuffing a website with keywords was all it took to make it rank? Google saw the keywords and thought it must be relevant to a user. But those days are long gone. Google has caught on to our tricks and to rank well, a website needs to truly be useful to a reader.
Now there are a whole host of other elements that work together to create successful SEO and high rankings. One of them, arguably the most important, is content. And content can help you gain wins on other SEO elements too.
Here’s a breakdown of a few different kinds of content you can create on your website, and how they can help you achieve more authority and better SEO rankings.
Don’t just publish words for the sake of it. Invest some time in writing quality posts that are relevant and interesting to your target audience. Don’t be limited by the scope of your industry here, but look to shoulder niches and other topics that might interest your readers.
For example, if you sell air conditioners, don’t just post about air conditioners. Instead you could write about:
- Increasing the value of your home,
- Making renovations,
- Saving energy, and other topics that might interest your target audience.
Blogs are an opportunity to organically insert keywords into your content, adding SEO benefit, but again, don’t overdo this at all. If your content is relevant and valuable, then keywords should occur naturally within the text.
If we go back to the air conditioner company example, a post about increasing the value of your home could list a number of different upgrades and include installing an air conditioner unit as just one of them. This way, the content is relevant and useful to different audiences, and air conditioners pop up naturally within the text.
- Case studies
Case studies are a fantastic way to create unique and original content that is invariably useful to your target audience. If your company provides a service – for example advertising or construction – try and create detailed case studies that show off your hard work and the results you have made for others.
Case studies, especially when integrated with pictures and videos, are incredibly valuable in adding authority to your site. Not only that, but your service will look more compelling and convincing to your target audience, who can see the results before their eyes and will be more likely to take you on board. I’d definitely be more likely to take on the services of a company who has hard evidence of their success rather than one shrouded in mystery with too little information.
At the same time, don’t make your case studies all about marketing your company. This isn’t about you, it’s about the reader. Introduce a story, start off with a brief, include the complications, and then discuss the results. Make it a purely objective and informative piece of information.
- Link roundups
Take something you probably already do anyway and turn it into a useful piece of content. Link roundups can be anything from “Articles of the Week” to resource pages that link out to pages that are relevant and valuable to your target audience.
If you often read industry news and websites, you can easily create an “Articles of the Week” roundup. Here you can link to the most interesting or important articles within your industry for that week. Don’t just leave the links, however, post a little blurb, comment, or your opinion to provide some unique material for readers. You can then share your link roundups with others in the industry to create authority for your page and increase traffic to your website. People can come to rely on your link roundups for their weekly dose of industry news, and that will make your website appear more valuable.
Resource pages are another form of link roundups that can provide a tonne of value to your target audience. If your business is in mental health, for example, you could create a resource of mental health services in your city, state, or country. People will come to your page in order to search for other relevant services, increasing both traffic and authority. If you manage to get links from other authority sites, then even better.
Videos are only getting more and more popular, and they can provide incredible value to your readers that you won’t get by using just text alone. Videos can immediately be shared on YouTube and other sites, providing a link back to your website. YouTube even allows for integration of links within a video, so you can link from one to the other (if relevant and useful), encouraging more viewers.
Videos won’t work with every industry, but if there’s an opportunity to show your products or services at work, do so. If, for example, your business sells computer hardware, you could post videos showing users how to install the hardware into their computers. Accompany this with a detailed how-to post – along with images – and you’ll be creating incredibly useful content. This can be shared on other tech sites as it’s purely informative, increasing traffic to your site.
How to make content valuable
Of course there’s no use in creating all this content and not having it recognised by Google at all. There are a few things to consider when creating content if you want to make sure it ranks well:
- Make posts long and informative
Google will recognise longer blog posts as being more informative, but only if they actually are so. With longer posts there’s a higher chance of naturally adding keywords, internal links, and other SEO tips. Try to keep blog posts at a 500 word minimum, with 800-1,000 being the ideal length.
- Don’t use duplicate content
It can be tempting to post the same blog article twice on different domains, but Google recognises this as duplicate content and won’t recognise the value beyond one page. Duplicate content should be avoided at all costs, and plagiarised content is even worse. Make sure your content is unique, individual, and high quality.
- Use a great headline
A lot of the time people won’t read past the headline, so you want ot make it compelling and sound valuable to the reader. Keep headlines short and snappy, and if you’re writing a list include the number in the title – for example “6 Ways to Improve Site Speed” rather than “Ways to Improve Site Speed”.
- Break up your text for easy reading
Beyond the headline, a lot of users will scroll through an article reading just the subheadings. You want to make these informative and snappy for the same reason. Always break up your text; attention spans are short these days and most people want to skim read internet articles before dedicating the time to actually read them properly.
Break up your text with headings and subheadings, using bullet points and numbered lists where possible for content that is easy to digest and will keep people engaged.
Now you have some ideas for creating content, get out and create a content strategy for your business. Look at what competitors are doing, look to your own wealth of knowledge to see how you can take advantage of it, and look to industry experts for some ideas on what’s relevant and interesting to your target audience at the moment.
And don’t forget, content goes hand in hand with SEO, so make sure you’ve got some gurus on hand to make the most out of the content you produce so your website can benefit from it.