Aside from static pages, such as landing pages, most people prioritise their content to engage users. Blog posts, for example, are designed to not just be something people want to read – they also need to be something that people want to share.
It’s this shareable content that often generates lots of backlinks and organic traffic, vastly increasing its SEO potential. Many SEO agencies understand the high value of this content. While it’s not getting users directly to your high-profile pages, such as product pages, it gets people familiar with your brand, generates exposure and nonetheless pushes users further down the sales funnel.
So, what kind of content should you be creating?
Debunk Or Challenge Current Knowledge
One of the more popular articles that never seem to go out of fashion is debunking. My proving popular assumptions wrong, your content can reach a wide audience. Better yet, it’s a great way to generate links through other users and third party websites that want to share this.
There are many examples of this. Business Insider’s article on debunking 101 scientific myths got over 5 million views and a lot of exposure.
So, why is this shareable? Because it challenges what people currently know. The headlines make it clear that the content within is going to change a reader’s current assumptions. This is enticing and, if the copy lives up to the expectations, it’s no wonder that people will share it.
From an SEO point of view, this also establishes your website as an authoritative source, especially if the content is still related to your own specific niche.
A strong visual element always counts for a lot. This is why infographics continue to be popular.
However, just having an infographic available doesn’t mean it will succeed. A good example should have as many of the following as possible:
- Unique content and data
- Clear design with a strong visual impact
- An update on existing information, preferably about a currently-trending topic
Like all content, this might not always work. Sam at Advanced Web Ranking gives two examples of infographics: one which went on to get 10 links at high-quality websites and another that only gained 3. These high quality sites are perfect for boosting SEO rankings, but you should be prepared that various platforms might ultimately pass on your content.
One downside to infographics, however is that the image is easy to share and many website’s may not attribute your website via a link. You could spend a lot of time chasing up various webmasters to get the all important backlinks.
Targeting Shared Interests Of Your Audience
Your website always has a specific niche, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing your audience is interested in.
Naturally, keyword research plays an important role here. By understanding what people are searching for, you can find topics that you can help with. Often, this will represent people that are not directly searching for what your website offers, but are very likely to be interested.
As an example, Infosolutions Geo discusses increasing year-on-year traffic for a beach resort website by 2148%. This was done by offering guides and information about the local area, local-flavoured recipes and guides to local events and facilities.
The Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper technique is something that most SEO experts are familiar with by now. It’s also something that can easily be applied to the methods mentioned above.
Take something that already exists and offer a better version. This can be updated for modern times, for example, or simply has more to offer.
In many cases, this works because you’re taking something that has proven successful in the past and given a new updated version. When it works, it works well. Brian Dean at Backlinko talks about using this technique to increase search traffic by 110% in 2 weeks. This is certainly a case of everything going right. This also increased the number of backlinks, boosting the website’s visibility on organic search results:
Yet, in another example, Nick Eubanks raised a brand new domain’s traffic up to 100,000, but it took around 9 months to do. Writing for Ahrefs, Dale Cudmore takes this one step further and shows examples of when this method doesn’t work.
Clearly, there’s a sliding scale of success. Part of the problem, arguably, is that a big part of this approach requires replacing old links, linking to the source you’re wishing to replace, with yours. It is this outreach that adds further problems. For example:
- If the previous content is old, few webmasters will concern themselves with updating an older link
- If your outreach doesn’t offer these external sites any extra value, there’s no motivation for them to change the link
- Even if you do manage to ‘steal’ some of these links, there’s always the possibility that someone will replace your content in the future.
Mix and Match
Different websites and SEO cases will always have different rates of success with each method, but it’s important to have a good mix of methods. Pushing one kind of content for too long can cause problems. Both your existing audience and third party platforms may get bored – or irritated – if you push infographics on constant basis.
Likewise, other methods, such as the skyscraper technique and researching relevant content and guides, are time intensive and can’t be done on a fast basis. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and try different methods. In time, you’ll create the right balance.