Every SEO strategy should include content marketing. As a top-ranking factor, creating high-quality content helps you serve your customers while boosting your SEO performance. But how can you create high-quality content?
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves creating and sharing relevant, helpful, and appealing content to your audience. Content marketing can include many content types, including blog articles, videos, photos, social media, audio, etc.
Successful content marketing will attract and engage your audience with consistent and relevant content. Unlike advertising, which focuses on promoting a particular brand, product, or service, content marketing helps people solve their individual pain points.
Value in content marketing differs for everyone, depending on their needs and preferences. Creating unique, exclusive, or original content tailored to your audience can help deliver value (more on that later). Typically, content that fulfils a search intent can provide value.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is the foundation of any successful digital marketing or SEO strategy. Implementing a strategy focusing on delivering high-quality content can provide many benefits.
Here are the reasons why content marketing is important:
- Increases high-quality conversations and leads
- Customers engage more with your brand
- Stronger brand awareness and online presence
- Helps build trust with your customers
- Guide buyer’s through their buyer’s journey
- Improve your ranking potential in SERPs
- Cost is lower than traditional marketing with higher ROI
How can you create high-quality content?
Understand your customers
To create high-quality content, you first need to understand your customers. You cannot deliver value and address users’ search intent if you don’t know what your customers want. It’s also your audience who will determine whether your content is high-quality or not.
Creating high-quality content is made all the more difficult when everyone is different, with different search intents. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to overcome this. The first of these is using a customer journey map.
A customer journey map is a detailed graphical representation of the customer’s journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase. A good customer journey map puts you in your customers’ shoes by exploring the critical touch points, or interactions, between the customer and your brand.
While this will give you great insight into shaping content for each stage of the buyer journey, it doesn’t give you a full picture of your customer. A more robust way to better understand your customers and understand what appeals to them is to develop buyer personas.
A buyer persona uses research and data from various sources to create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. A well-designed buyer persona will include a wealth of information that makes it easier to develop high-quality content.
A buyer persona should seek to address the following points:
- Demographic info, such as age, location, gender, and income.
- Background info, such as job, education, lifestyle, and personality trait.
- Preferences, such as device, social media platform, or communication preference.
- Goals and challenges, such as the problems your customers experience, what goals they may have, or the setbacks they experience in achieving their goals.
- A name and a profile pic to make the persona more relatable.
Fortunately, there are plenty of places where you can find data and info to help shape your buyer personas:
- Conduct interviews with existing customers
- Interview prospects who have not purchased from you and didn’t consider your brand
- Make use of analytics and data, such as from Google Analytics
- Comments, feedback, or questions your customers have submitted
Both B2C and B2B content can benefit from crafting buyer personas. Typically, you should aim to create between 3 – 8 buyer personas, depending on the size of your business, resources available and variations in customer type. This will mean you’ll need to segment customers who share similar characteristics. The different types of customer segmentation include:
- Social media
Once you’ve crafted your buyer personas, you can start to create content that is tailored to them. By including the information they seek or providing answers to their problems, you are on the right path to creating valuable, high-quality content.
Another way you can create high-quality content is by improving the readability. Readability goes a long way in making your content easier to get your message across. No matter how well you address a customer’s pain points, it will make little difference if no one reads it.
While readability may be something you didn’t think of in terms of content creation or SEO, it can affect the quality of your content. The easier something is to read and understand, the more useful and valuable your customers will find it.
Improving content readability is something you should consider taking the time to do. Checking against the Flesch-Kincaid readability score can help. There are also plenty of ways you can get stuck in to make content easier to read, including:
- Use a mixture of short and long sentences
- Make use of headings and subheadings
- Find a balance between the active and passive voice
- Use transition words
- Avoid repetitive consecutive sentences
- Limit complex or difficult words
- Don’t keyword stuff
The strong foundation of any readable piece of content, though, is structure. Without structure, the whole content falls apart. Give your content flow and lead the reader from start to finish. Learn more about improving content readability in our guide.
Tailor to the buyer’s journey and search intent
Another point to consider when creating high-quality content is tailoring it to the search intent or the buyer’s journey stage. Different content will appeal to customers depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey or search intent.
You must create content that appeals to all stages of the buyer’s journey and search intent. That way, you have something of value to guide a customer right through to the point of conversion. This is something your buyer persona can help you with.
If you are unfamiliar with the buyer’s journey or search intent, here’s a quick recap. The buyer’s journey is the process a customer takes up to the point of purchase. The buyer’s journey has three stages (or four if you want to count post-purchase):
- Awareness – searches are focused on finding out information about a problem.
- Consideration – searches are focused on how to overcome their problem.
- Decision – searches focus on the best solution to overcome their problem.
Search intent is the user’s goal when performing a search and will determine the keyword or phrase used in a search query. The search intent also affects the content a user wants and how they will interact with it. The different search intents are:
- Informational – searching for a specific answer to a question.
- Navigational – searching for a specific site, page, or location.
- Commercial – searching for a specific brand, product, or service.
- Transactional – searching to complete an action or make a purchase.
Trustworthiness and Authority
Another way you can create high-quality content is by making your content reliable, trustworthy, and authoritative. While that may seem like a lot, there are a few ways you can make your content trustworthy and authoritative to improve customer trust:
- Use up-to-date data and research.
- Cite and link to the original sources where applicable.
- Support your content with links to external authoritative pages.
- Try to gain backlinks from authoritative sources.
- Consider the Google E-E-A-T guidelines.
Trustworthiness and authority are hugely important in high-quality content. The more trustworthy and authoritative your content is, the better for your customers and search rankings. Google wants to serve its users with high-quality, relevant content, and so do you.
It might be worth adding a note on using ChatGPT for content creation. One of the big problems with using such a tool for content creation is it can provide inaccurate data or information. That’s why it’s important to use it for support in content creation, not to take it over completely.
Choose the right format
One more tip for creating high-quality content is to choose the right format. With so many different content types, how do you know which will work best for your audience and topic? Some formats you can use include blogs, videos, social media, case studies, eBooks, audio, and newsletters.
One way to check the best format for your content is through your buyer persona. If done right, your buyer persona should tell you which content type works best for your audience. It will also tell you which platforms to publish it on. Reviewing and editing your content before publishing is also essential.
You can also do a competitive analysis to see what content your competitors are creating. Analysing the type of content and the topics your competitors cover can be an excellent way to see what content types work best. You may also discover a gap in your competitor’s content strategy.
Lastly, measuring performance is another great way to create high-quality content. How will you know whether a piece of content did well if you don’t look at the data? Depending on your content goals and type will determine which metrics you measure:
· Average ranking position
· Click-through rate
· Organic traffic
· Bounce rate
· Conversion rate
· Click-through rate
· Watch time
· Average view duration
· New followers
· Open rate
· Conversion rate
Creating high-quality content is highly beneficial to your business for improving conversion rates and trust. While perfecting your content marketing can take time and effort, putting your audience at the forefront will get you off to a great start.