It’s time for a major paradigm shift.
The writing is on the wall. It’s not enough to have “OK” content. Or even content that’s slightly better than your competitors.
Your safest bet is to create what I call “commanding SEO content.”
Why “commanding?” If you check the definition, the word means “superior” and “authoritative.” The question is no longer, “What does Google want to see,” but instead, “How do we create SEO content that truly establishes our site as the top resource for this query?”
The industry has been talking about this paradigm shift. I’ve referenced articles by Eric Enge who talks about “standout” content. Rand Fishkin discusses how to provide unique value. Experts interviewed for this Koozai post all discussed the importance of quality, customer-focused content.
So, how does this change the game for companies?
– It is no longer safe to think of content as a commodity. As Jonathan Coleman says, and I love this quote, “Generally, our content sucks because — even in an industry that proclaims “content is king!” — we only value it as a commodity to drive incremental traffic growth, not as an expression of our brand that helps our users and customers to meet their goals, solve their problems, succeed at their tasks.”
Good SEO content is more than “OK content with keyphrases sprinkled in.” It’s specifically tailored to your customer persona and meets your readers goals. Plus, content like this tends to maintain its positioning (and conversion) effectiveness through multiple Google updates. If your concern is “How can we source this for the lowest possible cost,” you’re in for a rude awakening.
– In-house marketing departments need to get with the program. Instead of whining about how “Google doesn’t like our site,” you need to get off your defensive high horse and take action. You can control the situation and create commanding SEO content. But that also means you need to work. Hard.
– You need to stay on top of the game – even if you work with an agency. I’ve untangled many SEO content messes that started because, “Our agency said it had to be this way for Google.”
If an agency creates content for you (and that includes an SEO firm,) ask them about their process, their recommendations and why they feel their content is commanding. If you get mushy answers, find another vendor for content creation. Just because they are a big, well known firm doesn’t mean they know anything about SEO content. Heck, I even talked to one agency that wanted me to create doorway pages for their client – and this happened a couple months ago.
Over the next few Thursday blog posts, I’ll be discussing how companies can create commanding SEO content in-house. Following these steps should help your team understand what your readers are looking for – and what Google wants to see.
Sharpen your pencils, friends. This will be a fun journey.
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