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A Wall of Text Doesn’t Do The Trick Anymore
For too long, the SEO industry has gotten away with walls of text, lack of design and keyword stuffing. These are the precise reasons why content marketers and thought leadership experts are afraid of SEO content.
But hey, you know better, and we know better.
And some SEOs are crafting truly creative types of content.
It is a time for a paradigm shift in the SEO industry where we value search intent and user experience as much as we value keywords and word count.
So, I have decided to ask my SEO best friends to put forward examples of creative SEO implementation. And boy, they came up with good suggestions.
This article is meant to inspire you for your next SEO project: Let’s end the wall of text once and for all!
1. Visually design your content with unique illustrations: Lead generation Guide 2020 by Hook Agency
My long-term SEO friend Matt Diggity from Diggity Marketing despises dull stock photos, and I agree. He says: “Unsplash, Pexels, blah, blah, blah.
Boring stock images are the bane of SEO content.
How many photos of a bunch of nameless people standing around a whiteboard does our industry need?
For the vast majority of SEO content, images are nothing more than an afterthought — and it shows. On the other hand, this blog post from the Hook Agency grabs your eye with engaging custom graphics right from the start.
The illustrations actually illustrate the points the post has to make.
Not only that, the content is structured like a fantasy novel — turning the crucial but easily snooze-worthy topic of lead generation into a hero’s journey. Telling a story is one of the best ways to make a post sticky, and this post from Hook Agency hooks you good — right from Chapter 1.“
2. Create meaningful content hubs: Discover Modern Web Development Tools and Trends by Bejamas
The Bejamas team built one of the most beautiful and well-structured content hubs that I have seen in a long time.
Nebojsa Radakovic explains: “This hub is a place where you can learn about the modern-day web development tools you need to build the web of tomorrow and it offers a cool way to compare those tools as well (a great deal of KWs covered).”
Great structure, great animations and great design make this hub an absolute go-to.
3. Tell stories with data: May 4th Google Core Update Analysis by SurferSEO
Michał Suski explains the strategy behind this data study: “A data study on Google algorithm updates with big data before and after analysis is not common.
All the blogs only put together articles that tell you when the update occurred. We had a different approach and compared over 30k pages crawled in April and May.
Instead of discussing the rollout date (May 4th, 2020), we focused on the common elements of winners, losers and pages which kept their positions. It is actionable and trustworthy, not based on gut feeling and opinions.”
4. Win featured snippets at scale: Tattoo Pain Chart: Which Body Parts Hurt the Most and the Least by Removery
My friend and agency mastermind partner Brennen Bliss from PixelCutLabs shares:
“Lately, we’ve been building power pages that target a long list of featured snippet opportunities by answering a long list of related questions in a digestible format.
Take this example: The page targets the keyword, ‘Tattoo Pain Chart,’ but only 191 of the 10,500 monthly visitors (Ahrefs) this page gets per month come through the target term.
The majority of the page’s traffic comes through featured snippets. This one page appears in featured snippets for over 1,035 searches.”
5. Finally, a listicle that makes sense: 106 Effective Content Marketing Examples by Growth Badger
Sofie Couwenbergh explains from Let Me Write That Down for You: “This list of great content marketing examples by GrowthBadger isn’t your regular listicle.
- Each example is presented using a clear format.
- Readers can filter the list of examples based on the type of content (audio, email, app, …) or the strategy (data-driven, how-to, viral…) by simply selecting one of the filter options at the top of the page.
- Screenshots break up the text and every breakdown of an example links to the original marketing material for readers to study.”
6. Rethink head keywords: “Difference Between Shallots and Onions” by Masterclass
As SEOs, we often want to avoid short, head keywords because they can be competitive — and distractive. They might get eyeballs but no conversion… or do they?
Andy Steven from HVSEO teaches us how Masterclass mastered their SEO: “Who would have thought Masterclass, who sell online courses, would target the word ‘Shallot’ (meaning a small onion) in their SEO strategy?
But, think a little harder. One of their biggest attractions is cooking classes by famous chefs. Who buys cooking classes? Amateur home cooks!
And who would be Googling ‘Shallot?’ Someone who’s reading a recipe ingredients list and is like, ‘what the hell is a Shallot?’. Bingo!
And while this page is a terrific resource to help someone learn about a shallot, more importantly, Masterclass now have their target audience on their site and are building rapport and increasing brand/product visibility.
But, most importantly, they have cookied this poor guy, and they are now in a Retargeting funnel for Masterclass cooking classes!“
7. Include real reviews and stories: 52 Experts Reveal Best SEO Reporting Tools (and Must-Have Features) by Robbie Richards
B2B SEO expert Konstantine Gegeshidze highlights the importance of standing out by leveraging real customer stories and insights. He says:
“A lot of SEO content tends to be very similar to one another. And in most cases, one ranking article isn’t much different from another. So, the question is, how can you make your article outstanding?
Here is an example from Robbie Richards to learn from. What did I like about it?
- He included other experts’ tools of choice and their unique use cases.
- He gave an overview of the top-rated tools at the beginning of the article. So the reader doesn’t have to scroll down to get an overview of the listed solutions.
- He educated readers on what to look at when evaluating options.
What can you do to include real reviews into your content? Include Capterra’s or G2’s rating. It’d give additional social proof.”
8. Leverage video content effectively: Agile SEO 101: Building a Continuous Improvement Machine for SEO by The Gray Dot Company
Check out this masterful integration of video and SEO content by Tory Gray: “One tactic we’ve seen work well is to spend more time on the formatting, readability, and visual impact of your strategic content — especially for mediums that are historically under-leveraged, such as video content.
Too often, “SEO for video content” means an automatically created transcript tacked to the bottom of the page. In other words: pretty lackluster.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way! If your video includes a story arc, a clear outline, or visually-appealing stills, you can leverage those to reformat your written content from a boring transcript to a dedicated long-form piece of content that both stands on its own, and improves the accessibility of the whole piece as a unit.
Check out this piece on Agile SEO as an example that includes: a table of content with jump links, embedded video stills as graphical ways to break up the content, and timestamps to easily locate information via text or video.“
9. Rich long-form content done right: Balance transfer credit cards by MoneySavingExpert
SEO expert Lukasz Zelezny from SEO.London explains: “I have lots of experience working for a price comparison website. Since I remember I was a fan of MoneySavingExpert pages.
These pages are super informative, and often rank #1 for very competitive keywords.
See ‘balance transfer credit cards’ as an example. You will see a lot of internal links pointing to FAQs, deals and even calculators.
Instead of slicing pages into smaller pages, MoneySavingExpert created a few super-rich pages with tables of content, tons of images and tables.“
10. Get real with screenshots: How to Use SERP Features to Inform Your Content Strategy by MOZ
Senior Performance Specialist (SEO) Francesca Del Rosario from Impressive talks about leveraging the simple art of screenshots more effectively:
“I’m a huge fan of using screenshots in SEO articles — it’s easy, simple, and always helps illustrate the point the copy is trying to make.
It also breaks up the text nicely, which helps a lot with readability. Supplementary images and screenshots help me retain information the best, especially when reading long-form, informational content!”
When crafting your next SEO content, please consider some of these ideas to improve user experience and conversion:
- Use custom illustrations (and leave out stock photos)
- Create well-structured content hubs
- Use data to tell your story (instead of your gut)
- Optimize for feature snippets
- Think out of the box when picking keywords
- Leverage real reviews, expert voices and customer stories
- Edit your video transcript for effective re-purposing
- Include all media elements: Lists, tools, screenshots, videos
By integrating these ideas into your SEO strategy, you are already one step ahead of your competition. Happy ranking!0