When “SEO” first became a buzzword and every marketer was looking to take advantage of the search engine spiders to rocket their websites to the top of the rankings, the focus was much more on the technical side of things, like getting a thorough sitemap up and cramming as many keywords as possible into your HTML. Today, however, the focus has shifted much more toward content providing the SEO help a marketer needs. This shift is detailed in Marketing Sherpa’s 2011 Benchmark Survey of 1,530 marketers, who name content creation as the most effective SEO tactic they use.
But what makes for good SEO content? The truth is that there are many different tips and tricks and instructions you can follow to create content that will boost your SEO power, and what you need to do specifically will depend on the type of content you are pushing out at any given time, but there ARE certain things that ALL of your content MUST feature in order for it to do its job correctly, regardless of whether you’re working on a whitepaper or an infographic.
For SEO Help, Include These 3 Content Must-Haves
- Value – It’s necessary to provide value if you want to have any hope of your content being spread around and noticed, and when it comes to content, value is usually found in the actual information you’re providing to your readers. Good content will increase your authority in your chosen niche or industry – the more great information you can put out, the more people will realize that you’re an expert here. If you’re not providing solid, relevant, informational content that people can actually use in some way, then you need to take a step back and rethink your content marketing approach.
- Originality – Originality is important – all of your work must be your own. We know you’re not going to hop on the web and copy someone else’s blog post verbatim, but you also need to keep in mind that simply re-hashing information others have come up with and linking back to your source constantly is not going to make you an authority on anything but finding good stuff that other people do. Content curation certainly has its place, and sharing is indeed caring, but you also need to make sure that the content with your business’s name on it is original and unique as much as possible.
- Shareability – My spellchecker tells me that “shareability” isn’t really a word, but that’s okay – it fits. To get the SEO help you need from your content, you must make it easy for your readers to share it with other readers. For example, you could easily share this blog post you’re reading right now by just clicking on any of the handy social media buttons right there on the left. The search engine spiders are looking for content that people want to see, and if your content is being shared on social media, then people obviously want to see it! Make it easy to share, and you’ll see the results.
Let’s face it: every business website could use all the SEO help it can get. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a 20 page ebook or a 140 character tweet – when you create content to market your business, it needs to boast 3 things every time: value, originality, and shareability. Cover those bases the first time and every time after that, and the rankings will follow.