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The overlap between SEO and content strategy often ends up turning content creation into a marketing ploy, and little more. The blogs cite industry folks and data, and offer tips that are either glaringly obvious or recycled to the point of redundancy.

Guillaume Bouchard from Search Engine Watch has another idea for content creation. Think about what people want, not what “works” within the market. What works changes as fast as the industry can, while what people want stays relatively consistent. Long term success comes from reading what your visitors want.

For SEO professionals, you can follow the 70/20/10 model for a simple model for content creation.

The 70/20/10 model goes like this:

  • 70 percent of content should be low-risk
  • 20 percent should try to improve on what already works
  • 10 percent should be high-risk experimentation

The model comes from Coca-Cola, and can be transferred to SEO pretty easily. Link baiting is low-risk. Optimizing and trying to capitalize on some newer trends in the market covers trying to improve on what works, and that leaves 10 percent experimentation.

70 Percent: The Link Bait – Link baiting certainly has its pros and drawbacks, but for this model just think of it as content made with a purpose. It informs audiences, communicates complicated ideas, and establishes your reputation as an expert. This helps establish your brand in the industry. This acts as the mainstay of your content. Always available, but it can’t be all you have.

20 Percent: Optimize and Sharpen – For optimizing, look at what content is doing the best and what people are saying about your content. Try to improve upon what is doing best, and reinvigorating old debates with new information. Stay aware of trends and ideas in your industry, and react to them with content. This type of content creation helps keep you tuned to the changes in your industry, and keep you relevant, which will always translate to your audience.

10 Percent: Proactive and Reactive Experimentation – Time to have some fun. Experimentation requires really understanding your audience, and being confident enough to have an opinion. Think about fashion trendsetters. They see what is popular now, and act on their impulses in response. Content creation experimentation is all about seeing what is popular in the field, and making new content that people have never seen before.

This model isn’t something to keep set in stone, but it will help keep you relevant and interesting. Those are two things audiences always want.

 

Most people skim articles until they find something that catches them. You could use a gimmick to grab people’s attention, but the best way to get your readers to read your entire post is to create high quality content with proof to back it up. Case studies are one easy method to get into a topic while providing your readers with quality information. They are also one of the most favorable forms of content on the internet and wonderful “social link bait” or quality links.

Creating a case study should be easy if you can write high quality content. By adding reasearch and data, you can make a superb case study.

All case studies are unique. Your experience on a given topic and the amount of time you allocate for creating content make every study different. You will have to experiment, but the more time you put in will probably decide how good your content will be. You’ll need to do a lot of reasearch so that you can disect whatever the topic is well enough for your readers to understand. True quality content takes a lot of effort and time to make something the majority of a demographic will be interested in.

Case studies have a lot of benefits, including increased website traffic, brand recognition, social link bait, networking and overall site improvement.

Out of the many benefits of creating high level content, especially case studies, one of the best is the creation of social link bait. Social link bate is “any content of feature within a website designed specifically to gain attention or encourage others to link to the website.”

Social media has become ingrained in the lives of millions.  This has lead many away from Google and SEO over the past ten years. This is why link building is essential. “People will start caring less about links in future years because social popularity will become the new link popularity.” (Point Blank)  Google and Bing have even started including social media information in their searches. It also seems logical that Google will put in place a “social rank” system to compliment the “page rank” system many are unhappy with. With these changes, more professionals have seen the divide between research and data-driven results.

Social link bait is similar to regular link bait except it is shared by more websites. Social media is the most common platform for our demographics to share link bait.

To create social link bait, remember that it must be “socially sharable.” You can use sites like ThingLink for image optimization. It even includes a way to include links in your images.

Articles are simple and classic, but content can be made other ways. Why not try out a case study and try to make some social link bait? Money isn’t needed to make viral content and trying these methods might be a great start.

Gregory Smith writes for Search Engine Journal.