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The Power of Written Content

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Posted on 06/10/2020 at 10:00 AM

Understanding the Audience

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Copywriters are all too familiar with the power of understanding how different audiences will react to different forms of content. In this article, we'll break down the different types of written content, when to use them, and how to get the most SEO power from each. Understanding what your audience is looking for is the key to deciding which type of content to produce to meet their needs. Some people want answers, to learn a new skill, or to get a deeper understanding of a complex concept, while others seek simply to be entertained. Each form of content has SEO value but serves a different purpose.

SEO Value: Keywords, Tone, Originality

First and foremost, Google is an Answer Machine. The Google search engine (and any other for that matter) exists for one reason alone: to provide users with the most relevant answers to their query possible. When deciding what to recommend in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), the Google algorithm looks for recent, relevant, original information that matches the user's search intent. The algorithm tries to figure out if the person conducting the search is looking for directions, wants to buy something, or is looking for general information. It then provides what it believes to be the best possible answer.

Search Intent

Before drafting any form of written content it is always smart to consider it's purpose. Consider the following questions: 

  • What will your audience be looking for when they come across your content and what would you like your content to do for you?

  • Is the content you're creating ultimately being used to inform the reader and build your reputation as an industry expert?

  • Are you trying to get that coveted snippet in Google?

  • Are you looking for lead generation?

Understanding what you want your content to do for you is just as important as the content you're creating. The end goal can drive the tone of the content.

Once you understand the purpose of your content keyword research will help make sure your content has SEO value and will make it easier for it to get found on major search engines.

How to Perform Keyword Research

Start with a pen and paper to take notes. Jot down a few keywords that you think people might search for related to your topic, then go a bit further and put them into question form. Instead of "cheese sandwich," write down "How to Make a Cheese Sandwich". These long-tail keywords will help you in the next steps of your research.

Keyword research can be performed using Google in a couple of ways. You should consider what people would search for to find your article and start typing it into Google. The autofill will provide you with the most searched relevant terms and variations of the search. You can also use Google's Keyword Planner tool to help generate a list of ideas for similar searched words.

After you have your list of keywords, sprinkle them throughout your content for excellent keyword value. Make sure to include the strongest keywords (most relevant) in the Meta Description and Title Tag of your content.

There are three main types of written content, each defined by its length and purpose:

1. Long-Form Content

Long-form content is content that is roughly 3,000 words or more. This form of content is sometimes used for blogs, white papers, or major reports and is typically very informative. It's used to establish industry expertise or report various research findings and is seldom found on a website (other than an occasional blog) in any form other than .pdf.

The down-side to long-form content within a .pdf is that it offers very little actual Keyword SEO value. The keywords are all trapped within the document, and the Google crawlers will likely miss it completely. For this reason, it is always a good idea to include a relevant (keyword filled) description of what readers can expect to find within the document. 

2. Short-Form Content

Short-form content is content that is roughly 600-3000 words. It's important to know that in order for Google to index content as a blog it must be more than 600 words. Most blogs fit into this form of content and are seen as extremely valuable thanks to the ability to include a question and answer format (that Google often uses as snippets to answer questions) using headers, incorporate lists, and relevant images and videos. As we have mentioned in previous articles, all three forms of content can be used pillar content and sources of other content to share across various platforms.

3. Micro-Content

This micro but mighty content is anything 600 words or less. Often overlooked in terms of SEO value, micro-content is arguably the most valuable of the three forms of content thanks in large part to its versatility. Marketers often tend to only see videos, long posts, graphics, etc. as content. Any time that your company responds publicly to messages, comments, or creates social posts (including tweets), it is creating valuable micro-content with opportunities to link back (and drive traffic to) your website.

Another great form of micro-content is Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). This question and answer content is easy for Google crawlers to find to quickly provide answers to questions posed by users and is one of the easiest ways to organically grow your traffic as part of your keyword strategy.

Starting with the End in Mind

By understanding your ultimate goal, your audience's intention, and how they will use the information you wish to provide them, you can create a powerful content strategy that produces great SEO results. At Global Reach, we take time to understand our client's digital goals and work with them to create a unique strategy to fit their needs. For a free consultation, contact Global Reach today!

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