The foundation of any SEO strategy is great content. But how do you compete for better search engine rankings when larger and more authoritative brands hold the top spots?
It's no secret that the key to ranking well on search engines is to create high-quality content. Google has long stopped using keywords in page content as a way to determine if a website is a good result for a specific query.
It's essential to make informative content that's easy to read and meets the exact expectations of a user who's looking for specific information. As if it isn't hard enough to make great posts and articles, you also have to contend with massive competition.
You could write the most comprehensive article on a topic and chances are that someone else has done it too. What's more, websites with high domain authority and a large number of backlinks are viewed as more reliable. This means that newer businesses need to come up with compelling content and approaches to rank well for search engine results.
Doing so would mean free traffic and signals of trust as users often accept a top search result as proof of a business's legitimacy.
With so much competition and high standards to meet, you've got to do your best to create unique content. Let's look at ways you can make content that stands out in a sea of optimized posts.
No surprises that you need to do your research before you embark on creating awesome posts that make your readers happy. Here are some key reasons why:
- You need to identify the keywords your content can rank for.
- Look at competing pages, their backlinks and domain authority and understand if you can rank above them.
- Find related keywords and long-term phrases that your content can also target.
- Understand how you can make your content better by comparing existing posts and web pages.
These issues need thorough research with the right tools. Reputable SEO platforms like SEMrush, Moz and Ahrefs are all great tools that specialize in providing data that assist your SEO efforts.
These tools will help you understand what kind of web pages are ranking for specific content. You can generate content ideas or explore a specific keyword to find out what other keywords are related to it. Knowing more about your keyword and related terms will help you build your content around what people are looking for.
You'll get insights on the kind of questions people are asking and whether there's a "content gap." Content gaps provide you with the opportunity to help your own post rank higher. If a currently top-ranked post is not updated, misses details, or is not entirely user-friendly, you have a huge opportunity on your hands.
Doing research will bring these opportunities to the surface and help you build more unique content that also ranks well for SEO reasons.
Find a new angle.
We've already looked at how you can do research and find content gaps. Just providing more updated information with links in the content that works, or adding missing information can help you create fresher and stronger content.
Now, let's dig in and check out another way to make unique content.
By finding an angle.
Take an opposing viewpoint.
An interesting way to create unique content is to take the opposing viewpoint on a popular belief or opinion. If a completely opposite approach is not possible, then provide unusual applications for a specific technique.
Here’s an example by Tim Suolo who teaches the "Blogging for Business" course on Ahrefs. He posits that blogging to get traffic is a pretty useless goal on its own. This is quite in opposition to the popular belief that a major goal of blogging is to simply get more site visitors.
Tim suggests that blogging needs to create conversions or it doesn't really serve your business.
This is an interesting take on a popular notion which needs to be backed up by solid arguments. When you have an interesting position on a subject, you’re bound to get attention which can lead to better performance by your post.
Apply different contexts.
Another way to create unique content is to apply an idea to different contexts. For example, a post on how to create epic content marketing strategies for businesses can be made into more specific articles. "How to create blog posts that engage for nonprofit businesses" and "5 Ways to create a video for your online courses" are a few ideas.
It's clear that there are a number of variations that can be made from a single topic. As an added benefit, specific content means that you'll likely draw readers who actually care about your content. This means that you have a better chance of creating conversions.
Another way to make content unique is to give it a personal touch. You can do this by sharing your personal experience in relation to the topic and what you know.
Creating content from your personal experience can add anecdotal data. It also makes you relatable, which can trigger conversations and more engagement.
Another reason why making content personal is helpful is that it leverages the power of emotions. A study on the virality of content shows that emotion plays a key factor in what makes a post go viral. Positive and uplifting content is more viral than negatively charged material. Posts that have emotional complexity also do well in getting shares.
When making content, try to speak from a personal point of view. Feature your experiences and that of people close to you such as your partners and employees. In this way, you'll make unique content that has tangible value, i.e., more social media engagement.
A powerful way to make your content powerful and unique is to add data in the form of reports, case studies or interviews. Data makes your content trustworthy and it can offer compelling reasons why users should listen to you, buy a product or subscribe. Here are a few data content formats that will enrich your posts.
The content becomes more valuable and insightful when you use a case study to illuminate difficult topics. A look at statistics on digital marketing says that case studies and testimonials are the most effective content marketing tactics a business can use.
A case study often involves a customer success story, statistics and other hard data, as well as clear examples of your product's use. Using case studies can make your content educational and interesting. It makes your business and solutions appear real.
Since your case study will be unique, it also makes your content piece different from any other post around.
Adding transcripts of an interview with experts is a unique and powerful way to boost the effectiveness of your writing.
You're using different expert sources which means you'll get new and varied perspectives. You can also use this type of content to get more attention by sharing the post on social media and tagging the people interviewed. They can share the post with their followers and social groups to increase engagement.
Surveys and poll results
Another way to add data is if you share a survey or poll results. If you have a large follower-base or belong to a group where the members are interested in a specific topic, then you can create surveys to get ideas on a topic.
You can also create polls to get opinions on industry problems, trends, and more. This method of adding data may not be as methodical as a proper study, but it nevertheless offers interesting insights that may be the beginning of solid research.
Aside from the ideas given here, building white papers and reports in themselves are very unique. You could support or question current themes in your field with the help of these studies.
Repurpose your content.
Making content in different formats is another way to make unique content. Do research to find out if searching for a specific topic results in only text posts; here’s your chance to make a helpful video.
Making content in different formats makes it easier and more likely to get your material shown as a top search result. This is especially true if the subject needs visual and audio explanations.
Your audience will also have preferences for certain types of content. Some people prefer to watch a video rather than read. In many cases, the environment and situation will dictate the type of content they’ll consume.
If they're commuting, then a podcast will be easier to use. If they're using their smartphones, a video will be helpful since it's easier to see on a small screen.
When you repurpose content into different formats, you're providing people with options. You're also increasing the chances of getting pushed to the top of search rankings since search engines try to offer varied results.
It's challenging to create unique content when you’re competing with other great brands who also make quality posts, videos and podcasts.
However, there's always a way to create value and to stand out from the crowd. And we've just explored a few of these options.
The next time you’re wondering how to craft a great post or share something new, you'll know what to do. Now, over to you.