In this post I’m going to point you in the right direction on how to create valuable unique content – content which is going to actively engage users and increase shareability.
A few days ago, Rand from SEOmoz covered a very interesting WhiteBoard Friday topic. The question was, “How unique does content have to be to perform well in search engines?”.
I’d like to rephrase the title and rather sum it up to be, “How valuable does content have to be to perform well in search engines?”. Because technically, anyone can create unique content. But to write content of unique value, now this is something which is going to take some thought.
Valuable Unique Content Concepts
To start things off. Many think that by copying slabs of extracts from websites around the web, re-writing a paragraph or two and then having it scanned through Copyscape, automatically qualifies their content to be unique. This is a misconception and certainly isn’t what search engines are looking for.
Instead, to gain a good understanding of valuable content, you should first ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my article aiming to do? Am I writing to Inform or to Sell?
- Realistically, how many of my readers are going to share my article?
- Are my readers going to be captivated about what they’ve just read?
- What am I directly or indirectly providing my readers?
Inform or Sell?
Depending on the nature of your website, what is your article written to achieve?
Informative content is typically used by review sites, blog articles, tutorials, case studies and short reports. Effective informational content should be written with the focus of getting the message across in as few words as possible.
Below I’ve compiled a short list of the key points search engines and users are looking for in regards to informative content.
- Avoid having the same content with competing websites
- Use bullet or numbered listings to summarise points
- Use an appropriate tone which compliments your audience’s persona
- Use a logical content structure (sub-headings, paragraphs etc)
- Support content with images (pie graphs, bar graphs etc)
- Incorporate analogies and detailed examples
- Only include credible sources
Content created to sell, generate leads or lead to conversions are generally used by a majority of websites across the web. Websites including e-commerce stores, lead generation sites and affiliate sites are prime examples of this.
There are many things webmasters can do to feed search engines valuable “sell” content. Possible avenues to explore include:
- Include a FAQs section on service or product page answering the most frequently asked questions
- List key advantages your product has over competitors
- List all product specifications (dimensions, parental rating etc)
- Supply reviews if possible – what customers have had to say after using the product
- Include real life testimonials
- Include video testimonials (video mark-up – refer to schema.org)
The image below displays the different types of content avenues and how they position themselves in a marketing perspective.
The captivity rating is what I like to call, self-evaluation. In other words, how valuable you consider your own work.
To effectively access your work before publishing, have a quick scan across your content and ask yourself the question – “how much do I really value this content?”
By consistently under-going this self-assessment process, you will begin to work at a much higher standard of content creation. This will result in being able to continuously provide content of high value to readers and over time will gradually begin to be noticed and rewarded by search engines.
The amount of times an article is shared, directly relates to the content’s worth – in other words, its unique value. Listed below are potential techniques you may incorporate to achieve increased shareability and content value.
- Add visuals to support your content
- Include videos to support your content
- Ensure content is written with own tone of voice (unique perspective)
- Provide detailed examples – reference where needed
- Write engaging titles
- Include infographics
- Add social sharing icons
The Power To Give
The power to give is the most important concept in being able to create valuable content.
Really think about what you can offer to your market and don’t stop in your journey towards providing relevant and helpful content. Take the necessary steps in learning how to rectify simple or complex problems and leverage this understanding into being able to give back what you’ve just learnt. In a content creation sense, explore credible blogs and resources. Learn valuable new things and convey it to your readers in such a way which can only be done by you and you alone.
The power of giving is limitless. This is the mindset you’ll need to adapt if you truly wish to be able to create valuable unique content.
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