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Hot Off the Presses: How to Create the Right Kind of Content

October 28th, 2015

Content is one of the most important tools in your SEO toolkit. Great content is engaging, informative and uses keywords effectively. Not only that, but this type of content needs to be published on a regular basis. That’s how you do content right.

There are three major ways SEO pros do content wrong. They either:

·         emphasize quantity over quality

·         fail to understand what their target audience considers engaging and informative

·         use the wrong keywords

Need help creating that killer content? We’ve got you covered:

The Why

First, you need to ask yourself why you’re creating content.

If you said something like “to generate organic traffic,” well, you might be right. You’re also definitely an SEO pro. But many pros fall into the trap of thinking organic traffic is the only reason to create content. Here are a few others reasons:

·         Increases perceived authority for your brand

·         Increases social engagement

·         Encourages users to take an action

·         Copies a tactic from a competitor

The Who

Not all audiences respond to the same type of writing. You need to identify who your audience is and what they like. One of the best ways to do this is by analyzing existing content.

Study your analytics. Sort your Pageviews by age, gender, interests and whatever else is available. Don’t forget to also look at your review sections, landing pages and social media pages.

Look for bounce and exit rates across various demographics. What content begins the conversion funnel? What content do users dislike? By looking at site sections and mediums, you can assess the effectiveness of your existing content.

The What

So, we know generally what content performs well. We can use this info to figure out the real purpose of the content is. Here’s an example:

Say you run a site dedicated to lawn maintenance. Suppose some of your most popular existing pages are How to Guides about cleaning various yard tools. Your most popular page on the entire site is a guide entitled How to Clean a Toro Yardmaster 4000.

What is this really saying? Do customers want to know more about cleaning lawn mowers in general, and does that just happen to be the most common type of mower your readers own? Or do they want to know anything related to that mower in particular, and your How To guide just happens to be your most comprehensive article related to that mower?

We’ll have to spend a little time in analytics. What keywords are the most popular – ones related to the mower or ones related to the how-to guide? We can also look at social media. Are people posting specifics in their comments?

If you have an existing user list, you can send out a survey by email. You can also post a question on your social media platforms. You can even offer a variety of different potential subjects to write about and see which ones your users are most interested in.

The Where

Different types of content belongs in different places. Aside from your webpage, you’ll also want content for your social media accounts and elsewhere. Here’s a quick rundown:

·         Content on your landing pages should generally drive your users towards an action. This could be a purchase, an opt-in, a download or something similar.

·         Content on your social media should build positive brand awareness. Occasionally, this content should also drive users to your webpage.

·         Content on other media – such as instances of guest blogging – should work to establish your brand as an authority in your industry.

Creating New Content

If you have general topics you think will work well, now we want to narrow down some specific keyword phrases. You can search for keyword topics across several different domains for any type of industry. Look at how these keywords are presented. Do people want this keyword information presented in blog posts, videos, infographics or something else entirely? You’re looking for what works best. You’re also looking for any missed opportunities.

By analyzing properly, you’ll be able to narrow the topics down from keyword genre to keyword phrase. The keyword phrase should be used a few times per every thousand words. Simply repeating the phrase a few times isn’t enough, however. You also want to provide useful information. While using keywords to attract a high search engine ranking is important, connecting with your customer bases is always the main goal.

Testing New Content

Content is fairly easy to create and publish. If the content doesn’t draw in an audience, it’s also fairly easy to remove or change. You only want to test small pieces of content at one time. Don’t completely re-write everything associated with your site and then attempt to analyze later.

A blog is a great place to try out new pieces. So is social media. Don’t worry if your content is long. You can always link to the content from Twitter and Facebook. This can be a great way to use social media to drive users to your site.

The History of Content

Content has only become more refined with time. A few years ago, everybody was putting their content into blogs. But soon blogs became overused. They began to be associated with low effort and low quality.

So blogs went away for a while and were replaced by infographics. Soon enough, these also became overused. All throughout this time Google has introduced a variety of updates including Panda and Penguin.

Today, search engines reward informative content. This is good news. You no longer have to write (or pay someone to write) mindless, meaningless content. A regular, steady supply of quality blogs will always perform better than a mass of fluff content.

The Right Content is the Content Which Works

Time is on your side here. When content doesn’t work, simply try something else. Eventually you’ll begin to understand your audience. When you know who they are and what information they want, you can present that info to them in a way they’ll respond to. And that’s content done the “write” way.