How to Create Compelling Content for SEO Success and Sales

The advice you give your clients is spot on – focus on creating high-quality content and earning editorial links. But the truth is, creating compelling content that stands out takes time and resources. While the investment is definitely worth it for long-term success, how can you ensure you’re getting a good return on that investment?

Whether you’re in-house or with an agency, the pressure is on to prove results to clients. Early wins can go a long way toward building your authority and giving you more leeway to broaden your strategies and possibly even experiment a little. How do you show value sooner in an engagement when we know that focusing on an editorial strategy to earn high-value links can take several weeks to yield the desired results?

The answer is to create content that can help increase leads at the same time as it earns links, paving the way for future success. Here’s some inspiration to get you started.

1. Try Telling a Story.

Storytelling is the new sexy word in content marketing today and rightfully so. No matter how old we are, simple stories have the power to draw in the reader and hold their interest. Public relations specialists have been doing this well for decades, enchanting their target audience by weaving compelling backstories.

Take a simple Indian cookbook for example. A common topic, especially in the U.K. where the book is published and Indian food is very popular. How do you make it stand out and grab attention? The press promotions are extremely clever. Take this coverage in the Guardian, where the story revolves around the author’s mission to understand the history and heritage of her family across three continents and how they dealt with being exiled from Uganda.

The author shares the story about her grandparents, why they moved from India to Africa and then were forced to leave and head for the U.K. and how she is piecing this history together via food. She’s not just a cookbook author, she’s reclaiming her past, and you can share a piece of it, too. A compelling story makes the recipes that much more relatable and appealing.

TOMS is another company that does this exceptionally well. Not only do they have a stories section on their site, each story is well optimized to stand out on its own and earn shares and links.

These stories work to strike and cord and make an emotional connection with the reader, building that powerful and intangible goodwill for the brand. We’re not just buying shoes; we’re helping people like Farishta. From reading some of their stories, you’re more likely to consciously seek out TOMS shoes and want to buy a pair…and also share the stories with your network.

Apply it: Dig into your company’s mission to understand the big picture and the emotional story behind its raison d’être. Also look at what your target audience is passionate about, what would resonate with them and move them to want to share or link to you? Therein lie the stories that you need to infuse into your content efforts.

2. Show Them How their Dreams Are Possible via Powerful Testimonials

Your product or service is clearly fulfilling a need for your customers. What problem of theirs are you able to solve? Helping them visualize that final outcome is a very powerful tool and sales professionals have been using this tactic to help close deals. For SEO, we can also harness this tactic by making these testimonials share-worthy and interesting, to create compelling content.

The weight loss industry does this really well. Take celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson who has trained clients such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz. She’s also worked with Jennifer Lopez and by sharing a few of the same exercises she does with JLo she earned herself of a ton of links back to her site from the likes of InStyle and as well as thousands of views of her videos on YouTube.

She’s sharing the dream of how people can look like Jennifer Lopez and also giving them access into the personal details of a celeb’s custom workout. The underlying message being, if the results are so good, then she must know what she is doing and the chances of sales resulting from this will also be higher.

Neil Patel is someone else who does a fantastic job with his case studies as a lead gen tool. The way he writes and presents them on his site also make them very share-worthy and powerful pieces of content on their own.

Within his niche market, these pieces of content are fascinating reads, helping to educate and share his tips with visitors to his site. As a sales tool, they are genius, too.

Apply it: Look at the problems you have solved and understand the end-goals of your customer. Can you put together compelling stories that are beautifully presented and also serve to educate and help your target audience? Find ways to show them just how you can make achieving their dreams possible, while also sharing the how behind the what, to help make the content interesting and share-worthy.

3. Find the Related Angles

When people purchase a product or service, there are additional reasons tied to their main purchase motivation. Finding those and then creating content around that will not only help endear you to your customer base but also help promote thought leadership in your industry.

For example, Williams-Sonoma doesn’t just sell cookware and gourmet foods. They know how much their audience loves to cook and work to inspire them through content such as seasonal recipes and cooking guides, interviews with renowned chefs, and entertaining tips.

It’s beautifully crafted content, in direct relation to the interests of their customer and works well to earn strong links back to their site – while also subtly promoting their products.

Other companies that do this well are pet food brands such as Pedigree and Hill’s. They understand how much their audience love pets and serve up related content designed around how people can better care for their pets as well as help other animals in need.

Content like this strengthens the brand, increases retention and sales and also leads to editorial links earned naturally.

Apply it: Dig into the different audience personas to find strong interests and see where they intersect with closely related topics around your product or service. Create this content and present it beautifully on your site, to provide you with a strong foundation that will help earn you links and leads.

Have additional ideas or ways you’ve created content that has helped earn you more leads? Please do share them in the comments below.

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