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Last week, we introduced the basic paradigm of SEO specialists that don’t really work to create content that matters to it’s readers. We started down a short list of things that, according to SEOMoz, make content have impact. Let’s keep looking at the elements that our top SEO content creators strive for in their every bit of content.
Distinguished: Are you saying something that no one else has said before — something that can be distinguished from the mass of voices already talking about the industry in question? (Obviously, since we’re riffing on SEOMoz here, we’re not, but hey — we’re not afraid to give credit where it’s due.) Even if you don’t have anything entirely new to say, can you say it in a unique way (like turning an oft-rehashed article into an infographic or a funny YouTube video (or vice versa))?
Significant: Does your content say something that your audience cares about? You won’t win any converts with a sales pitch, end of story. Instead, your content should be relevant and meaningful to your audience even if it is only tangentially related to your client’s product or service. Think of the most successful advertisements of all time. Did the Budweiser frogs have anything at all to do with beer? Did the Honda ‘Cog’ commercial actually have anything to do with buying or owning a Honda? No — the point is to associate your client’s brand with something cool and relevant, not to sell them on something. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a powerful call to action, though.)
Currency: Not like money, but as in “the quality of being current”. No one expects an SEO guy to break news, but talking about things that matter right now will increase the impact of your content (as well as automatically making it more significant and distinguished).
Masterful: Is your content showing your client’s mastery of their industry? Does it display an understanding of their vertical that few others are showing? Masterful content shows an understanding of not just complex ideas, but how those complex ideas affect your clients’ clients.
Actionable: Does your content actively solve your client’s clients’ problems? Either itself, or by pointing them toward the solution they need? Actionable content gives the reader a feeling that if they just follow your link and click the ‘Go’ button, they will have a better life.
Narrative: Does your content tell a story that people can understand and follow? Does it have rising action, a climax, and a denouement? Does the story make people want to do something? That’s engaging content, and it’s content that sells.