“How do I rank on Google?” It’s the question nearly everyone asks while deciding whether to invest in a new website.
If we had to give a one-word answer? Content.
Of course, you have to have the right fundamentals in place. Those include:
But, you also need domain authority. And to build domain authority, you need a competitive blog and a competitive blog means good content.
But, putting together a good content strategy can be daunting for a lot of people.
It takes time and effort but knowing how diverse content can be is the first step in choosing the content that’s right for your site. Knowing just how many different types of content you can choose from can help you find the kind of content that works best for you.
That should reduce content anxiety and relieve writer’s block.
Here are ten(ish) types of content that will help you build domain authority and build an effective content strategy.
1. A “What” Post
This is a generic explainer post that shares information or communicates a point. It’s the most general type of post and will likely be the bulk of what you publish.
Some examples of these types of posts are general blog posts, updates, or press releases.
These posts could present a problem and then share the solution. They could be a guide or just address the statement, “Why you should use _____ instead of _____.”
This is also a great time to be authentic (audiences love that!) and share a “how we got started” or “where we’re going” post. Tell your story.
These posts are great because:
- They’re not hard to put together
- They’re really helpful to your general audience
- They’ll be the bulk of your SEO
- They can be boring if not done right
- They take a lot of time to rank
- They’re not likely to go viral
- They won’t get shared beyond your general audience
- They’re not super sexy
2. “How To” Posts
“How To” posts are great.
These are posts that show someone how to do something. Examples of this content are things like tutorials, resources, guides–anything where you’re showing someone how to do something.
These usually aren’t too hard to put together either and they’re really, really helpful for your audience.
These will also be part of your SEO staples and they’re really great for what are called “schema snippets,” and ranking in position zero on Google.
Here’s what could happen in Google if you do a“How To” post:
You create a post called, “When and How To Wash Your Hands.” When someone searches for that, Google will pull from posts that talk about it to create a list above the first organic search result. It pulls from posts that do a good job at solving a problem a lot of people are looking to solve and that is properly optimized.
One thing these posts do is highlight the fact that the problem your reader is trying to solve is often more complicated than they originally thought. They’ll start thinking, “Man, this is harder than I thought, can you just help me instead?”
They go from a reader trying to solve their problem, to a prospect seeking help.
- Hint: Add a lead magnet to your post to make it even more valuable.
“How to” posts are great because:
- They show expertise
- Can be lead magnets
- Build authority
On the other hand:
- Can be boring
- Can give obvious information
ProTip: If you’re going to teach someone how to do something, in many cases a visual like an infographic or even a video might be better than just the text itself.
(In this case, Google shared a video before any organic search results)
3. Curated Posts
You can think of this as “a post of posts” as it’s designed to share information aggregated from other places or other parties.
Example 1: Take interviews you’ve done with experts, thought leaders, or customers and then put them together into one large post.
Example 2: Maybe you’ve done a lot of blog posts on a particular topic—create a roundup post where you take a bunch of content, either from your blog or someone else’s blogs and round them up into one, convenient location.
Example 3: An aggregated list of resources or links.
These posts are often pretty quick to write, and they’re easy to share, especially if they’re interesting.
But…there’s a but. Because they’re so easy to create and quick to write they’re not typically going to be super high value. You also might start to experience something of an arms race with other people putting out similar content. If have the ten most inspirational business quotes, someone else trying to rank for the same keywords might create the twenty most inspirational business quotes.
It can get pretty competitive pretty quick.
4. Transactional Post
These are posts that help someone make a decision or facilitate a transaction. Common examples of these are review posts or comparison posts.
These posts can be pretty easy to rank for. Have you noticed when you start to type something in Google and it autofills after the thing you’re searching for with “reviews?” People want to see reviews. So, give the people want they want and rank.
Because people want to see them, they are shareable for people with high purchase intent. If someone is looking for reviews on a particular topic, or for a particular product, there’s a good chance they’re in the market for that product.
That said, these posts can take some time, energy and resources to put together, especially if you’re doing product reviews because you might actually have to buy products to do the reviews.
And, of course, you have to be honest in the review or the comparison–meaning that if you have a very clear bias because your business stands to benefit people will catch on to that and they’ll resent it.
So, be honest. It’s the best policy, anyway.
5. Listicle Post
For these posts, each list item could stand on its own or they could be mega lists of atomic or unrelated items.
Examples of listicles include:
- Aggregated micro posts
- Tweet posts (Like, 50 Interesting Celebrity Tweets from the Academy Awards)
These posts are really easy to create and not a whole lot of originality is required. They’re quick to write and are shared often. But, be careful, you could run into that arms race again.
6. Newsjacking Post
Newsjacking is when you write posts that are tied to something going on in the zeitgeist. For example, if the NCAA tournament is going on there might be angle where you can write about this and relate it back to your business.
Fodder for newsjacking could include:
- Industry news
- Culture news
- Profiles of interesting or popular people in your industry
- Event news
- Conference updates (if you’re attending, you could outline your day or write about lessons learned)
But, be careful about being insensitive or tacky.
There’s a line you can cross and it’s easy to cross it when you’re writing these posts especially if the news is unpleasant like, for example, the death of a celebrity. When Kobe Bryant died, BuzzFeed put together a post about the most moving or heartbreaking celebrity tweets about his death. We see this as tacky even though it was probably pretty great clickbait that led readers to their site therefore getting them in front of all the ads Buzzfeed offers throughout their site.
We’re not going to tell you what to write, just be careful.
You should also be careful when you create timely posts because they probably won’t be timely for long. They don’t last long and they may not be recyclable which means that the content can very easily become throwaway content. This is probably better to do if you produce content consistently.
7. Thought Leadership
If you’ve been to a conference and learned something new or you’ve given a presentation and offered new insights on a subject, or you’ve done original research no one else has done, you can create a Thought Leadership post.
These are blog posts where you offer new insight, case studies, or even some lessons learned from mistakes you’ve made. They’re really, really great posts because they’re generally evergreen and they actually add knowledge to the internet—like this guide from MOZ about SEO.
TED Talks are another great example of this kind of content.
They can be pretty easy to rank for because they’re typically going to be new information and new content. People also tend to share these because they want to know the information being shared and they know others do too.
That said, they take a long time to create and they require you to be original so they’re very very hard to put together, but the rewards can be incredible as well.
8. Probing Questions
If you ever wonder why all content on the web sounds the same it’s because people ask the same kinds of questions over and over.
Not you, though, you ask probing questions.
Probing questions are questions that ask deep questions and then give answers. The “X Reasons Why….” posts are great examples of these posts and infographics can come in really handy here.
These posts are awesome and can be quality clickbait (is that a thing?). Usually, if you have a question, others want to know the answer. So these posts are great for keeping people engaged, especially if you answer the question after the reader has to read some stuff to get to it.
These are easier than doing a full Thought Leadership post while still amplifying your expertise because if you ask a good question, and you provide a reasonable answer, people are like, “that’s a pretty smart guy or a pretty smart business.”
BUT, if it’s just clickbait, people get annoyed.
If you’re asking a really provocative question but you’re giving an answer that’s not particularly interesting, or is particularly vapid, people are going to leave and you’ll see your bounce rates increase pretty quickly and people won’t share or think of you as thought leader.
9. Fun Posts
Because, why not? We should have a little fun every once in a while, right?
Some examples of fun posts you can do are:
- Behind the scenes posts
- Inspirational Stories
- Inspirational Quotes
These posts are great and fun to put together but they have low search and purchase intent. But, if they match your brand persona, they’re great to throw out every once in a while.
10. More Types of Content
Yes, that’s a lot of content. And yes, there are even more types of content you can try.
Here are some more posts that can help put your business blog on the SEO map:
- Controversial posts: Take some conventional wisdom and turn it on its head
- A Series: If you have a lot of different posts with the same theme, release them as a series
All of these posts are content that, if you have the time, energy and ability, can really add some color to your blog and help you get shared and get ranked.
But the list doesn’t end here. The internet is a big place and you’ve probably seen lots of crazy things in your day. They sky’s the limit when it comes to the type of content you can create.
That said, remember that creating the content is the first step, but it’s never going to be enough.
You still need to share posts.
You still need to go out and get backlinks.
And you still need to sit down and actually put together the content strategy by brainstorming the different kinds of posts that you want to create.
If all of that seems a little too overwhelming, just give us a call. We can help.