The Secret to Success
Conventional wisdom suggests that creating high-quality, unique content for your website is key to SEO success. In practice, it’s rarely that simple. You need to present your content in a format that is useful and engaging, which serves the needs of your customers and company.
First, you need to determine what impact you want the content to have, like immediate conversions, brand awareness, or lead generation. Then, consider the solutions. Remember, blog entries aren’t the only answer!
Creating Strong Content for the Web
When we look at successful content online, certain trends become apparent. Great content does four things well:
Responds to a need
- You should aim to provide customers with resources they can use. Consider calculators, informational charts, product care tips, etc. Make sure to answer their questions and concerns.
- Content that doesn’t respond to a need will struggle to generate social traffic/attention.
Engages visitors by being impactful, humorous, or one-of-a-kind
- A unique voice or perspective can make your offering stand out from the competition. Has your topic been covered before? You need to approach it differently.
- Craft a compelling headline, then deliver on your promise.
- According to Moz, 80% of people only read headlines. Encourage them to engage.
Is written or published by an authority
- Exploit your existing advantages; develop content that focuses on where you excel. Are you an appliance repair shop that has been in business for 15 years? Consider creating appliance-repair videos rather than writing blog posts about great Labor Day recipes.
- When people are unsure about something, they rely on relevant authorities to guide their decision making.
- Work to bring your real-world authority to the online space. Interact with customers via comments, social networks, etc.
- Once you have a positive relationship with the consumer, they are more likely to buy from you.
Offers a reason to return/share
- The most valuable resources enjoy repeat visits.
- When visitors are excited enough to share your content, it spreads through social circles and leads to higher visibility.
If your content lacks these qualities, you might be in trouble. There’s a lot of competition out there, so sub-par blog entries or useless infographics will fall by the wayside.
Content Strategy: Questions to Ask Yourself
Having a strategy for each piece of content allows you to get in front of these concerns. You first need to determine your goals and how you can accomplish them. Some good questions to ask are:
What do my customers need?
How can we respond to this need in a compelling way?
Who should deliver the message?
What is the expected lifetime of the content?
How will it be promoted?
Be creative! Different audiences may require different approaches. You can slice-and-dice your research into several deliverables depending on your target and distribution method. A 50-year-old human resources professional may be more receptive to a white paper than an interactive quiz. You’re spending time and money on this exercise, so it deserves some extra consideration.