Over the past two decades, digital content needs have transformed tremendously. With the switch around the turn of the century towards writing for search engines, the basic principles of writing got lost. People who have never constructed valuable content were suddenly loading their sites with garbage just to drive traffic, which hopefully led to sales.
Regardless of how sloppy they were, these content efforts actually worked – for a bit. But as search engine algorithms have become smarter, content creation strategies require a revised approach. Modern machine learning-based algorithms can quickly find thin and irrelevant content and immediately discredit content accordingly.
The answer to today’s content needs is twofold: First, content must be written well with not only proper spelling and grammar but syntax – a return to traditional form, if you may. Second, the content must fit this form while also abiding by the rules of SEO, which includes a few must-haves, such as keywords based on research, proper headlines containing main keywords and attention-grabbing meta descriptions.
At my company, our content division adheres to traditional writing standards that are tailored for search engines. With that said, here are five content creation tips that every digital market needs to abide by for true success.
Think People First, Optimization Second
When the writing process begins for any type of digital content – whether a blog post about the benefits of a product or the product/service pages themselves – don’t think about writing for search engines. Rather, think about writing for people.
With the billions of digital platforms available, people want quality first. Most can tell a fake immediately and will quickly move onto a competitor. For true quality, write content that solves problems, educates, entertains and above all, adds value.
One technique that my content team at LSEO utilizes when writing is based on the importance of social media. Write content that your target customers would want to share across their social media platforms. If it’s worth it for them, it’s likely worth it for their social media audience, which will naturally spread the word about your brand.
Keywords Are Everything
Creating a targeted keyword list is an absolute must before any writing happens. There are multiple strategies available online for targeted keyword generation, but one can easily generate keywords on a topic-by-topic basis. There are multiple tools available; we rely on SEMRush and Searchmetrics to create the most optimal keyword list.
For example, say you owned a digital marketing firm that offered content creation and you wanted to build a service page on “content creation.” You would use tools to research the term and see things like what kind of monthly volume it has and how competitive it would be to actually rank for that term. These tools also provide longer-tail keywords that relate to your business which may have less volume but would be easier to rank for, such as “digital marketing content” and “content marketing SEO.”
Keyword research also leads to additional ideas for content creation, whether it would be a blog post that supports a service page or an entirely new service itself.