6 Tips for Content That Beats the Competition

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When is casual writing okay?

There are likely thousands of pages of content out there on the subject you plan to write about. So how can you make your content different — and more importantly, better?

I’ll share a few tips below. But first, let’s address why you should want to create better content.

  • Google notices. If users land on your page and bounce off right away (probably because the content isn’t meeting their needs or expectations), it tells Google that your page isn’t satisfying users’ query. It will respond by dropping your page in the search results.
  • It gets backlinks. Other websites are more likely to link to interesting or helpful content than they are thin, boring content. More importantly, authoritative websites don’t waste their time linking to bad content, and those quality links from authoritative websites are like gold. Backlinks send people directly to your content when they click on the link, but also send Google a signal that your content is trusted, helpful, and authoritative. Google responds by boosting your content in the search results.
  • It encourages social shares. Want others to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites? Create good content!
  • It impresses users. If a user lands on a thin, boring page that offers little information or is confusing and hard to read, they are less likely to see you as an authority, hire your services, or return to your website. Create content that meets their expectations, satisfies their needs, and then some. Good content is a boost to your brand, perceived authority, and expertise.

Tip #1: Make sure your title tag, h1, and meta-description are inviting.

You can write amazing content that will convert every single reader into a client or customer, but none of that will matter if readers won’t click on it in search results.

How do you create engaging titles? The first thing you should do is research keywords. Writing title tags and h1s in the form that people are searching for is inviting, in and of itself.

You can also create exciting titles around important key phrases. For example:

  • How long after an accident can you file a claim? (keyword phrase: How long after an accident can you file a claim)
  • 5 Social Security Mistakes to Avoid (keyword phrase: Social Security mistakes to avoid)
  • Phone Call Scams to Avoid — “Can you hear me?” (keyword phrase: phone call scams)
  • Tips for Dealing with the Insurance Company After an Accident (keyword phrase: dealing with insurance company after accident)

As far as meta-descriptions, get your readers interested; tease a little bit of the page, but don’t give the whole answer. If your content is about phone call scams to avoid, mention one or two but make sure they have to click on your page to get the rest.

  • “Can you hear me?” Whatever you do, don’t say yes. Read how criminals are using this scam and others to defraud unsuspecting people.
  • If you hear a voice on the other line asking if you can hear them, don’t say yes. Hang up immediately and report the call. Here’s why.

Consider this example for a page about things that might jeopardize your case:

  • Did you know agreeing to a recorded statement could jeopardize your case? Click here to learn what else might leave you with nothing in an accident claim.

Tip #2: Offer something new.

One of the best ways to create better content than what’s out there is to simply offer something new. This can be:

  • A new viewpoint
  • New information
  • A new way of thinking about something
  • A new data analysis
  • A new interview
  • Case studies or examples

Is everyone using the same statistics about how many car accidents happen at an intersection? Find better data or bring up something your readers might not have considered.

For example, if you see a page about who is at-fault for an accident that occurs when a driver with a solid green light turns left and hits a car (also with a solid green light) proceeding straight through the intersection, you might consider a section on what happens when one party is turning left and the other party is turning right. This will give you a leg up by including information that wasn’t already out there.

Pro-tip: Check what comes up in Google’s answer box. According to Greta Hartsell of Seer.com, Google looks for a page that answers the who, what, where, when, etc. to feature in its answer box. Make sure your page answers those questions but consider how you can go above and beyond. For example, does the answer box tell you how long the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Iowa is? Write a quick sentence about what the statute of limitations is and then add a bullet list of exceptions — the discovery rule, birth injuries, fraud and concealment, etc.

Tip #3: Deliver your information differently.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You could simply deliver the information in a different way. Text can be ineffective in presenting some information. How can you switch it up? Can you take your information and create any of the following?

  • Table
  • Bullet list
  • Infographic
  • List post
  • Interview with an industry expert
  • Guide or eBook (e.g., what to do after an accident)

Note: When considering how to deliver your content, remember your medium. Ensure your page will look great on a laptop screen and a cell phone.

Tip #4: Localize your content.

Make sure your content isn’t something that could on any website for any business in any part of the country. Are you a family law attorney in Los Angeles? Discuss how the city’s court system works and maybe list some local resources for child support.

Tip #5: Consider what your readers want.

You’re writing for them, so make sure you’ve considered what they want.

Are there any questions you receive frequently? Consider using those questions as subheaders to make your content more robust. If a question deserves its own page, direct readers to the full page for more information.

Is there any news that might affect them? If you’re a criminal defense attorney and your state just legalized marijuana, write about it. Discuss how exactly it might affect marijuana users or sellers. Is the legalization only medical? What are the stipulations?

Above all, make sure your content is helpful; it shouldn’t always be a sales pitch. Make sure you’ve identified your target reader, their intentions, and their expectations. And then ensure your content meets those expectations.

Tip #6: Write better than your competitors.

You can create content that beats your competitors by writing better. Pure and simple. Here are a few tips for better writing:

Be conversational.

This doesn’t mean you need to treat your readers like your best friend. Think of it as having a professional conversation with a potential client or customer sitting across from you. Make each user feel as though the content is directed toward them alone, not thousands of potential clients.

You might also consider a personal anecdote to make your reader more comfortable. Are you writing about what to do after a car accident? Share that story about the time you got into a nasty accident and had insurers trying to take advantage of you, but didn’t realize you were a lawyer and that you knew better. This can humanize you and show that you really know your stuff.

Make your writing accessible. 

For many, this is a hard line to walk. You want to appear credible and professional, but you also want readers to be able to read what you’ve written. If your writing is too technical or advanced, you may not connect with your audience. An easy way to make your writing accessible is to consider the words you use. Aim for an 8th grade reading level when writing to a general audience.

Check out our post on using the Fog Index, which helps you identify your content’s reading level.

Proofread.

This might seem obvious, but I visit dozens of sites a day, and not every site takes this step. This will automatically make your content more professional if you catch a typo before one of your readers does. Do the same with your infographics as well. And don’t stop there. Ask a friend or coworker to proofread it for you. That second pair of eyes can save you from a lot of embarrassment.

Have a content writing service handle it for you.

Not everyone is a writer. And that’s okay. We all have our strong suits. Hire someone whose strong suit is writing.

For more help making your content better than your competitors, check out our last post about writing the perfect blog post.

For help with content writing, give us a call: 888-521-3880.