The ever-expanding world of content can sometimes feel bloated. After all, millions of pieces of new content are published every day! With so many brands vying to rank for highly competitive keywords within their industry, it can be a challenge to make your SEO content stand out and convert visitors into customers. Wondering how to cut through the noise and generate those valuable leads your business deserves? Here are a few tips for creating high-quality content that actually converts. 1. Have a conversion strategy. A good SEO strategy will attract visitors to your site via search engines, but if monitoring increases in search traffic is all you\u2019re focused on, you\u2019re missing the point. Search traffic is all fine and dandy, but if your SEO efforts aren\u2019t resulting in conversions (or if you just aren\u2019t sure), how do you know if it\u2019s worth the investment? Ask yourself the following questions: What do your visitors do when they arrive at your site?What actions are they encouraged to take?Do users tend to interact with one call-to-action more than another?Are you able to track user movements throughout your site?Is your search traffic actually resulting in product purchases, contact form submissions, phone calls, or other types of conversions? The answers to these questions lie in your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy \u2014 that is, if you have one! The bottom line is that if you\u2019re serious about tracking and improving upon your digital marketing strategy, you need a CRO strategy. 2. Know your niche. One of the biggest challenges of creating high-quality content is identifying your niche market. In the SEO world, a niche is a highly specific area of focus that is generally less competitive than broader focuses. For example, while competing in a very broad market like \u201cdog treats\u201d might be an uphill slog, you might have more success tapping into a niche market like \u201corganic gluten-free dog treats.\u201d Without defined niches, you\u2019re likely generating content without a clear direction or strategy. A great way to identify your niches and create unique content based on those niches is to implement a content cluster strategy. Content clusters leverage strategic internal linking to boost your search performance, but they also help you to identify the \u201ccontent gaps\u201d in your existing content. This means you\u2019re never running out of ideas for content that targets your niche. Just starting out with SEO content creation? You may not have enough content to really conceptualize those content gaps with content clusters. In that case, a good starting place for creating content based on your niche is to tackle questions that you hear most often from your customer base. One of our favorite tools is Answer the Public \u2014 simply type in a keyword related to your industry, and it will spit out a visual diagram of the most common question-based search engine queries for that keyword. 3. Know your audience. As you begin generating a list of content topics pertaining to your niche, you\u2019ll also need to consider that niche\u2019s audience. There are several questions that you need to ask yourself to determine whether a content topic is worth writing about: What makes this information relevant to your niche\u2019s audience?How will your audience benefit from the information you are offering?Would your audience share this on their personal or professional social media channels?Can your audience get this same information elsewhere? What insight can you provide that competitors cannot? 4. Aim for quality over quantity. You may have heard that Google rewards sites that publish content every day. Does this mean you should scale your content production to match that? The answer is \u201cprobably not.\u201d Unless you\u2019re an online publication or a major corporate brand with substantial resources allocated for content creation efforts, churning out vast quantities of content will likely require you to sacrifice quality. The end result is thin, sloppy content that is unhelpful to your audience. And because search engines have a vested interest in bringing high-quality search results to their users, that low-quality content can also damage your SEO efforts. That said, we still recommend publishing content on a regular basis, whether it be once a week, a couple of times a month, or even just once a month. The frequency will depend on your resources and budget, but what matters the most is that the content follows a \u201cquality over quantity\u201d approach. 5. Write content for humans first. To expand upon the \u201cquality over quantity\u201d point, it is critical that your content is, first and foremost, written with your niche\u2019s human audience in mind. We get it. When you\u2019re putting together an SEO strategy, it\u2019s tempting to do everything in your power to rank for your desired terms. You may be tempted to heavily gear your content to appeal to search algorithms, even if it\u2019s at the expense of your readers. However, it\u2019s critical to keep in mind that the purpose of your strategy should be to reach real people. After all, it\u2019s real people who will be using your products or services. If the only way you\u2019re able to reach people is with useless, poor quality content that is stuffed with keywords, you\u2019re not doing yourself any favors. Real people will see through you, and as we have discussed a million times over, so will search engines. As search engines become more intelligent, it is becoming significantly easier for them to penalize sites that employ nefarious SEO tactics to \u201cgame the system.\u201d This means that even if you manage to rank for the desired keyword using below-board tactics, you\u2019re unlikely to hold that position very long. 6. Be concise. Contrary to popular belief, writing concisely doesn\u2019t mean writing less. It means writing clearly. Content strategist Marli Mesibov sums up the distinction (concisely!) over a UX Planet: \u201cA concise sentence or paragraph has no unnecessary terms, but contains all the information required to be well understood and valuable.\u201d Why does concise writing matter for SEO content? Well, if your content is long-winded and unnecessarily wordy, there\u2019s a chance you might be boring your readers before they have a chance to convert. How do you ensure your writing is concise? Our number one recommendation is to hire an editor. Editors do so much more than catch typos \u2014 they make sure content is readable and concise, and for that, they are worth their weight in gold. Another way to make your content more concise and readable is to break up \u201cwalls of text.\u201d This is especially crucial for long-form content with 1,000 words or more. Longer content is valuable because it demonstrates authority and depth, but it can also be difficult for readers to digest without elements like header tags, bullet points, imagery, embeds, and \u201ctakeaway\u201d content (which we discuss in the point below). 7. Offer valuable takeaways. Your content should be more than just a strategic arrangement of keywords. First and foremost, it should offer value to your site visitors \u2014 whether that\u2019s an answer to a question or a solution to a problem. Some of the most tangible and powerful takeaways you can offer your reader include: Charts and diagrams to articulate complex conceptsStep-by-step instructional videos, gifs, and graphicsEmbedded social media posts to provide contextDownloadable assets, such as white papers, infographics, printables, and other \u201cfreebies\u201dLinks to resources and further reading Regardless of what form they take, these \u201ctakeaways\u201d are what separate mediocre content from truly excellent content. 8. Ensure success with on-page SEO and link building. No matter how comprehensive or helpful your content is, it means very little if it\u2019s not appropriately supported by an overarching SEO strategy. That means your on-page SEO \u2014 elements like title tags, meta descriptions, image alt text, URL structure, and page loading speed \u2014 should be flawless. For even better results, your content strategy should be closely intertwined with white hat link-building efforts. By keeping these tips in mind, you\u2019re better positioned to put together a content strategy that is both useful to your target audience and recognized by search engines as high-quality. Kickstart your content strategy today. At SiteCare, our dedicated SEO team takes the mystery out of a content strategy with one-on-one consultations and strategic planning. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services.