Key Ingredients for Expert Content
Content is king. Every Google algorithm update trends in this direction. But why is that? It’s because human people are reading and viewing the content on your websites, not just the indexing robots that rank you in search engines. In our 2019 SEO philosophy article, I state that all SEO boils down to giving search engines what they want. Search engines want to get their own users from A to B, which means delivering the most relevant search results for any given query. Based on Google’s update trends, and some common sense, we can assume that high-quality, expert content is what’s most relevant to Google’s clients.
If Google woke up tomorrow and decided that garbage content was suddenly king, what would happen? We can only speculate, but I imagine that a better search engine would take its place and begin slicing up the traffic and ad revenue that Google carefully lords over. Until there’s some sort of major disruption in the structure of the internet, it’s safe to say that people will be searching for things online, as they always have. And, as it’s always been, the search results will be your chance to convert leads by presenting great content.
The key to conversions is expert content. When I say expert, I don’t just mean well written copy. You should consider:
- The medium of your content and content within content (video, graphics, text, audio)
- How your content is delivered on different platforms
- The specific market you’re targeting, the language they speak, and the surrounding ecosystem
- The ability for your content to juice the rest of your website and brand
- The shareability, style, uniqueness, and digestibility of your content
- The staying power or updatability of your content
- The ability to track the performance of your content over time
And, how to combine all of these elements into a slam dunk web presence that converts and compounds. Content creation becomes fairly technical when viewed through the lens of a keyword crazed SEO specialist. But it still boils down to a creator influencing a reader or viewer on an individual level with each impression.
Search engines also have the ability to create semantic relationships between topics and keywords. This means a market expert that makes great content is going to naturally fill the cracks in search engine results. However, it’s the SEO strategy the determines the amount of time and volume it’ll take before that expert’s content begins to bubble up in search engine results.
Owning the Medium
Conveying features and benefits can be taught. Writing with flare and breaking down concepts with style can also be taught. But, one takes more practice. Ladner Studios is lucky enough to be run by someone that’s been organizing information in writing every day for many years:
The most important thing about content is its structure. It’s the first thing that visitors notice. A glorious 10,000 word blog post might gather dust. If it were chunked out into concepts, it could do better while maintaining your volume. A 40 minute video over a quick 7 minuter might also be summarily dismissed. However, long form over short form is market dependent. Engaged audiences just want more. Knowing what they want is just as important as the actual content quality if not more so.
Over time, I’ve developed a writing process. The writing process has transformed into a content creation process for any medium, and it holds the same values for just about everything we do in our company. Simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness. We create with integrity and authenticity, avoiding pretentiousness. The first ingredient to expert content is a yearning to connect without being obsessed with perfection.
So how do you connect with content? First, actually make something and share it. If you contemplate instead of create, you’ll never be found. Second, compare. Compare your content with other creators that are targeting the same market and have the same goals. Combine constructive comparison with your own style, and let iteration carry you to unique value. There are winners connecting with audiences in every market on the internet. Cut up the pie by doing what works for them and for you. Third, keep creating. Winning online requires volume and time. Last, be patient. Content takes time to be indexed on the internet, and Google wants to give hockey-stick metrics to people who create consistent value.
Competitor analysis is critical to every aspect of digital strategy, especially content. You shouldn’t be doing something that doesn’t work or that people don’t want, and the internet is handing us curated lists of exactly what works and what people want every day. It’s important to balance this with unique offerings, but creators are so unique in themselves that it’s easy to add too much flare and go off the rails. With good competitor analysis, we’re able to have baseline standards, create content in any medium, and iterate from there.
We study the platform on which content is displayed, whether it’s video, audio, text, or static visual, and create perfectly balanced content that’s platform+medium specific. We might not even know your market or brand, but we know what qualified leads are expecting when they hit a landing page, blog, or YouTube video.
We don’t always create all the content in house, but when we outsource, our talented affiliates have their work scrutinized. Our gimlet eyes only accept great work, but we’re no tyrants when it comes to iteration. We know what it takes to make beautiful things because we do it every day.
Becoming an Expert
The second ingredient to great content is deep market research. Your market is online, and they’re talking. They’re telling us exactly what they want to hear. We already know that your competitors are out there conducting research for you, revealing to us what’s ranking and converting. We uncover it all with special research tools.
The information that actually needs to be conveyed is available to use through investigation. All that’s left to do is to take the raw materials and create something valuable.
- A response post to a popular question
- A stylish infographic that organizes or simplifies concepts
- An easy, free tool that helps calculated prices
- Series of videos that explain a process
- A huge guide that covers a topic deeply
Iterating and deploying valuable content is what positions brands as authorities on search engines. Content solves peoples problems, and when you solve problems, you convert customers. Our special sauce is developing an effective strategy that indicates exactly which problems need to be solved, and how often.
The implementation of the content depends on the competitor landscape. The more competitive, the better your content and promotion strategy have to be to rank. It’s both shocking and thrilling to find yourself on the top of Google, beating out every competitor in your area, just by writing 2000 words instead of 1000, or by creating a video that blows them all to smithereens.
The final ingredient is understanding the bigger picture of your content. Content is so bound to SEO it’s hard to separate the two. When it comes to digital strategy, everything is informed by everything. Your website is a form of content and your content is a form of SEO.
Like your website, the content you make has a goal. That goal is most likely to increase your digital authority and convert sales. It’s important to mention that creating new content and updating old content over a long period of time is key to a successful SEO strategy.
I discuss the details of content promotion of in the article Our SEO Philosophy (2019), and dive deeper into the vehicles that drive traffic to your content.
Ladner Studios is able to process all of your content needs in house or through talented affiliates. This includes copywriting, photography, videography, editing, graphic design, logo design, branding, audio production, aerial drone photography, in-website virtual reality tours and more. We have a lot of friends in Colorado, and if you’re not nearby, we can help you find great services.