You are the author of your brand’s story. Whether your aim is to be the authoritative voice in your industry or the go-to place for opinions, you hold the power to shape your brand. The pen is firmly in your hand. However, just like all good stories, there’ll be a few bad guys on the way; your competitors. If you want to sit pretty at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), you’ll have to write your competitors out of the game. How? With content that goes above and beyond —here’s how you do it.
Tap into an interest
The first step to SERP success is to identify what your target audience is interested in. Rather than plucking an idea from nowhere because you think it will work or because you need to get something written, you should carefully consider your topic; using a variety of tools to identify what people want to read.
Google Keyword Planner can help you find out the average monthly search volume around phrases, indicating the potential audience for your piece, while AnswerThePublic.com returns popular questions your audience may be asking that your content could answer. Buzzsumo is another useful tool — simply drop in your topic to discover the social performance of similar pieces.
By identifying a demand before you start writing, you are boosting your content’s chances of success.
Okay, you’ve decided to write a womenswear style guide, that’s great, but so have thousands of other sites. That doesn’t mean you can’t write the guide though; it just means you’ll have to think outside of the box if your content is going to outdo your competitors.
Ask yourself how you can approach the topic from a new angle? Can you add a new perspective to approach the information in a different light? It may be hard, but finding something that’s different is the key to successful, engaging and well-ranking content.
Present it right
Once you’ve decided on a topic to take out the competition, you’ll face the next challenge: presenting your content in the right way. All too often, we consider the format of the content before we’ve decided on the topic. However, this can limit your creativity, as you’ll have to mould your ideas to fit a particular format.
You should remain open-minded when it comes to how you present your content. There is no ‘one size fits all’. For example, a complex explanation of how a machine works would be better suited as a diagram with accompanying text than a long written piece. Be critical of what your competitors are doing; their failures could help inform how your content should be presented.
Think of writing content like writing a film. Just like how you can’t predict a movie’s box office performance, you can’t always pre-empt the exact number of likes and shares your piece will receive. However, by following the above steps, you are maximising your piece’s potential for success, giving it the best possible chance in the digital domain.
Not everything you write will turn to gold. Creating engaging content that stands out from your competitors is not an easy process, so expect a few stumbles before you hit the jackpot.