How can you increase your domain authority and relevancy through the power of great content? Which brands are making search work for them with strategic content? Here are some examples of great content resources that are both user-friendly and primed for SEO, as well as some tips on how you can marry content and SEO efforts to maximize digital marketing ROI.
How to create SEO content
Firstly, it’s important to highlight the key ingredients that all great SEO content contains. Although it can take different shapes and formats, all SEO content has, at its core, a commitment to improving search relevance, domain authority, and matching user intent to maximize conversions.
Here are the key pillars of successful SEO content:
- Content should be founded on in-depth keyword research that looks at broad and specific niche themes and topics (here’s how to perform keyword research)
- It needs to be user-friendly, shareable, and offer useful insights that aren’t readily discoverable on other websites
- Content must offer value by fulfilling the needs of its audience
- Link acquisition and promotion should be at the heart of content production. SEO content isn’t just created for creation’s sake. Targeted and effective social media management will be key to your outreach success,
Not sure if people will care what you think?
Need some expertise behind your content?
Go ahead — just ask.
Getting experts to weigh in on a topic is the perfect way to create content that’s likely to be shared and linked to. Why? People are much more likely to link back to content that they’ve been featured in themselves; at the very least, they’ll share your content with their engaged personal network. Loads of people have ‘featured in’ pages on their websites: it’s a good idea to target people who obviously care about features and mentions. (And remember, experts don’t need to be world renowned, they just need to have an opinion on something that matters ).
Find relevant people on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn are probably your best bet) and reach out to them with a concise and personalized email. The busier and more important the people, the harder it’s going to be. Don’t expect to get loads of answers straightaway, especially if you’re going in ‘cold’.
Mix it up
Sometimes you don’t even need experts. A demographic that your audience resonates with (millennials, veterans, nurses, young moms etc) can be enough.
You could even do like Everygirl and just ask your readers to name their favorite tips, influencers, or lifehacks. It’s a way to create great content, but it also increases audience engagement levels and gives back to the community with some free personal brand PR. Win-win.
People love curated lists, and they enjoy seeing what others like them are thinking, doing, saying, and feeling.
Low on time?
If you have no time to actually reach out to people, you could create a roundup post featuring people, brands, and businesses and then contact them later during the outreach process. Curating content from platforms like Quora and Twitter takes almost no time at all, and you will get expert views and answers to things people care about.
Ask something controversial
Bland questions and top tips can seem a bit ‘meh’…
Why not go deeper and ask a question no one else is daring to ask?
Content like this has the potential to go viral.
A big element of your roundup post is going to be promotion and outreach. Make sure that your piece does people justice. Read this Smartblogger guide for more roundup tips.
Got a great post that’s still driving traffic but needs a bit of an update? The great thing about content recycling is that you can maximize existing search traffic (just don’t change the URL), and provide an updated version of a post that your audience clearly enjoyed.
Some update ideas:
- Refresh the information and data to reflect recent changes
- Include more examples
- Make the post longer
- Break it up with more images
- Go deeper with your analysis
- Include more internal links and improve the calls to action
- Integrate audience feedback and comments into the post
Content recycling is a great way to focus your content creation around super valuable, evergreen topics.
Moz’s mega guide on “How to Do a Content Audit” was recently updated and features a table of contents, plenty of examples, and actionable advice. Just scrolling down to the comments section proves how valuable people are finding this content.
Video resource libraries
Video is not only a great way to quickly engage your audience, but it also improves metrics like dwell time and clicks. Much has been written about the emotive power of video, but it’s also a great medium for sharing practical advice. Video is a great way to educate your audience about your products and services, as well as share knowledge, how to tips, and general company stories.
How to Basic shows how great videos don’t need to be fancy: they simply need to serve a single, clear purpose. From ‘how to make a Greek salad’ to ‘how to change a car tire’, these videos stand a very good chance of ranking in the search snippet box. Search engines and users love clear, actionable advice, and video takes it to the next level in terms of engagement and shareability.
By embedding videos like these on your website with a detailed step-by-step guide to accompany them, you are creating a killer resource!
Infographics can seem a bit blah and spammy, but if done right, they are a supremely versatile form of content that transitions easily from website to social media, and back again.
- Focus on useful, insightful data, that is not information anyone could figure out for themselves
- Make your infographic actionable
- A lot of people find infographics ‘ugly’ and don’t want to to embed them into their own site: so spend time making yours look good
- Infographics are great on Pinterest: use this to your advantage when it comes to promotion
- Include content in and around your infographic: embellish the infographic and spell it out in words (search engines can’t crawl images that effectively yet)
This Hubspot social media cheat sheet adds loads of value to the user, including: a useful roundup post, a bulleted list of all the image sizes, downloadable templates, as well as the actual graphic. The post has elicited a ton of social media shares, and it’s a great evergreen resource for marketers that people can bookmark and return to.
Do like Hubspot and maximize infographic returns by creating a whole post around it.
When you outreach your infographic to other sites, always encourage them to include write-ups too. Don’t just spam people and ask them to embed your infographic. Reach out to smaller niche lists and spend more time personalizing. Publishing infographics saves busy webmasters time, so make sure you don’t waste their time with mismatch requests.
Landing page + resource
A popular SEO content strategy is to create targeted, user-oriented landing pages that sum up your core offering and focus around a key call-to-action. That call to action might take the form of an email sign-up, a downloadable content resource, or even signing up for a product. What’s the key to a good landing page?
- Effective keyword targeting: you don’t want to compete with other pages (like your homepage)
- No distractions for the user
- A clear value proposition: what am I getting out of this?
- A clear understanding of user intent
- A coherent user journey that ends with an action
Deploying a landing page too soon in the customer journey will seem pushy and jarring. Leaving it too late, however, can mean that you lose out.
For your business, try to map your landing pages against key customer decisions, questions, and hesitations that are going to send them to search engines.
Some things you may want to address:
- Competitor comparison: how well does your offering stack up?
- Pricing: what do people get for their money?
- Cases and testimonials
- Features and integrations
- Success stories
- Burning questions (is this worth the money etc)
Remember, your landing page calls to action will change depending on context. Above, Shopify’s online store creator page is all about funneling the user towards the offer of a free trial. And their call to action doesn’t change even when the user filters across the top menu options. For users and search engines, this means that seven unique pages and URLs all amount to the same action and purpose.
On the blog landing page, the call to action is much more subtle and comes in the form of a suggestive banner ad to join a free webinar that’s about to commence. Think about how you can deploy urgency in the same way: it’s one of the most effective motivators.
Package things up
Free things always appeal to people. Package up your landing page offers in an attractive format for users, even if your offering hasn’t substantially changed. Address people’s main objections and leave them no option but to sign up.