1. Start with relevant keywords, and search for the low-hanging fruit.
You need a firm grasp of what people in your industry or niche are searching for in order to create successful content. A few ways you can do this:
- Use Google’s keyword planner or a tool like Ubersuggest.
- Search keywords on Quora, and look for what questions people are asking.
- Do a few web searches with those related keywords to see who is currently dominating the first two pages of the search.
Once you have a sense of what people are searching for surrounding your area of expertise or interest, you can start to cater your content toward the keywords that are not as competitive. For example, ranking on the first page for “social media” is going to be much harder than if you were to try rank for something more targeted like “real estate social media strategy.”
Related: Why You Should Republish Old Blog Content
2. Create long-form content for better searchability.
Marketers often talk about how today’s online readers have short attention spans, but I don’t buy this for a minute. Readers don’t hate long form content, they hate bad content. They hate bad content, even more, when it’s long. If the content is great content, then they want even more of it.
A study by Buzzsumo found that long-form content between 3,000 and 10,000 words ended up performing the best online. In fact, according to the study, “There are 16 times more content with less than 1,000 words than there were content with 2,000+ words.”
What this means is that trying to stand out with short-form content in a world of saturated short-form content is extremely difficult. However, if you come in wielding long-form, keyword-specific, valuable content, you are far more likely to rise to the top of the rankings and accumulate more organic search traffic. Just make sure it’s great content people actually want to read.
3. Establish a network of backlinks from other websites.
If understanding the landscape is step one, and creating valuable content is step two, then step three is expanding your reach and having other blogs and websites point to your website via backlinks. According to Hubspot, “Companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links.”
Here are a few ways you can get websites and content publishers to link back to your content:
- Reach out via email to relevant content publishers in your space or market, and let them know about your content piece. Ask them if it’s a good fit for their audience and if so, feel free to share it.
- Create a similar piece of content for another website, and link back to your own content as an added resource or reference.
- Quote or otherwise include relevant content creators in your space in your content, and when you publish it, tag them in your social media posts with the article. Do you think they’ll share it? Of course, they will!
The key is to get what you’ve created in front of the right people, whether that’s through email outreach, social media, or even good old-fashioned networking.
With SEO there’s bad news, and there’s good news. The bad news is that SEO is a long-term strategy, which means you’ll need to do a lot of work for a long time to get consistently great results. The good news is that because it’s a long-term strategy, most of your competitors won’t focus on it, and then you win.