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Is Your Content Just ‘Good Enough’? How About Making it Really Stand Out?

by Shari Finnell

Around here at Slingshot SEO, we’re never just satisfied with “good enough.”

That attitude would sort of be the modern-day equivalent of the famous Babe phrase, “That’ll do pig. That’ll do.” Yes, it’s heartwarming when the farmer delivers that unforgettable phrase to our favorite heroine of the swine variety … just after she wins the sheep herding competition. It’s sort of an indicator she had nothing else to prove.

But in the Slingshot SEO-sphere, no matter how much we win in the ranking business, you’ll never hear anyone utter the words, “That’ll do.” Never.

Yes, we like winning. We like celebrating big wins, whether we’re getting our deserving clients on Page One for their keywords or getting recognition or praises for our content.

But we’re sort of addicted to asking, “What’s next?” “How can we make it even better?” “Who has the next strategy for success?”

In Slingshot SEO’s content production department, that quest for “doing it even better” has led to a constant evolution in the way we produce blogs, on-page content, press releases and other types of editorial material.

We realize we can always put out content “that’ll do,” but there’s plenty of that. Our goal is to produce content daily that emerges above the billions of other pieces of content already out there in the blogosphere.

Developing Content that Stands Out

So, what’s our strategy for outstanding … truly outstanding … content?

Here at Slingshot SEO, we’ve constantly raised the bar on the quality of our content by using the following measures:

How relevant is our content?

This is a big one. Relevancy is at the core of everything we do in the content division. We’re constantly posing the question “Is it relevant?” Don’t underestimate this one. It’s important and it can be tricky. The reason it’s so important to nail relevancy on the head is that it matters both from a user perspective and an SEO perspective. If you get it right on the user side, chances are you’ll get it right from an SEO perspective. When search engine bots are trying to find the best results for ranking purposes, they’re in search of the most relevant material for the user. To make sure we’re staying on target—ensuring that the content is highly relevant to the client’s keyword as well as to the selected site, we make use of topography maps as well as checks for co-occurrence terms (those that would naturally be found in an article about the topic). At times, when we felt we were veering off target on the relevancy scale, we scheduled training to ensure everyone was on board. (I’ll revisit this topic in another blog. It deserves its own 500 to 700 words of content).

Has it already been said before?

Our authors and networkers are constantly thinking about this one. And it requires some thinking outside of the box. One of our authors told me today about how she tackled an article about medical ID bracelets. Sure, she could have written an informative article about the importance of wearing them in the event of a medical emergency. It would have been quick and easy. She wasn’t satisfied with that approach. Instead, she tackled the social stigmas attached with people, whether adults or children, and how some manufacturers could be potentially saving more lives by making them stylish. She also looked at the future of medical alert bracelets, including technology to make them invisible. What could have been a potentially boring article evolved into something much more interesting with the employee taking the initiative to shake it up.

Are we demonstrating thought leadership?

While not every keyword topic we put out there needs to be analyzed or debated, we’re definitely in the business of producing content that will be thought-provoking if the topic warrants it. When writing about education, for example, one of our specialty teams will constantly pursue the latest developments in the field — expertly inviting users to consider a different perspective in addressing issues or challenges.

How well are we targeting our client’s audience?

Just as a sports magazine wouldn’t haphazardly put together content that doesn’t meet the needs or interests of its targeted audience, Slingshot SEO is extremely conscientious about making sure that our content is appropriately placed and written to a specific market segment … that of each client. We recently started making use of personas in addition to our topography maps to strategically create content with the end user in mind. This comprehensive approach allows us to be a lot more efficient and focused when developing a content campaign for a client.

Is it authoritative?

Around here at Slingshot SEO, we’re big fans of Wikipedia. What’s not to like? It regularly and consistently dominates as the authoritative online source for thousands upon thousands of keywords. We take cues from Wikipedia by making sure we cover a number of angles when writing about a particular topic. That’s why our content consistently exceeds 500 to 600 words, and quite often approaches 800 to 1,000 words.

These are among the key indicators of whether or not we’re developing quality content on behalf of our clients. There are plenty more. And we can guarantee there will be more to come. As we continue to strive to reach that elusive mark of perfection, we’ll never reach the point of saying “That’ll do.” What do you do to ensure your team produces quality content? Feel free to share in the comment section below.

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