I watched a recent Whiteboard Friday from Rand Fishkin over at Moz this week that spurred a lot of reflection and self-evaluation.
In the video, Rand spells out what you need to do to rank well in search for any given topic in. I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, the why.
Fishkin goes through several factors that have led to where we are now, but the gist of the matter can be boiled down to just two words: content saturation.
In Marcus's words, "The more content an industry/niche has written about it, the harder it is for a blog to make headway and find success in that field."
No joke. For many marketers, the struggle is real.
Rand states that in order to truly compete, you have to create content that is 10x better then the current best. That’s right, TEN TIMES BETTER. How do you do that?
Well, you can watch the video for some specific tactics, but I'll boil it down to just a few elements and expand on it here with my own thoughts.
You'll need the following qualities.
You have to have a practical knowledge of the topic at hand, and you have to be perceptive of industry shifts and their effect on the landscape of your topic.
You also need to be skilled at researching the current landscape of content in your field. To be ten times better than everyone else, you have to know where the bar is currently set.
You have to turn that knowledge and horizon-level gaze into kickass content. These pieces need to be spectacular. It can’t be just a 500 word blog post. It should be planned and executed carefully, and will likely take more than a weeks time to build.
A search driven visitor should not only find the answer to their query when they arrive on your page; they should be taken aback by the level of excellence compared to everything else in the search results.
(This next one wasn’t touched on in the video.)
It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Like Seth Godin said, "ship it”! You can improve on it over time. The goal here is not to make every blog post or tweet “epic”. The goal is to build a few pieces of cornerstone content that do their job better than anyone else. Some companies might only need one of these to make a dramatic impact on their business.
So get your version 0.1 out there now. Take an hour every week and make it better. Have more time to put into it? Sweet! Make it even better!
It may start out just as a 500 word post, but over time, you will add visuals, video, audio, diagrams, transcriptions and more. You will make a list of other resources and link to related pages on your site that help folks deep dive into specific topics.
Think about putting in an hour every week to making this one piece of content better. In a year, you will have put in over a full work week’s worth of time. My guess is that you will be rewarded. and not just with Google placement. If you are handling the lead-gen portion well, you should see a dramatic shift in revenue as well.
Be honest with yourself, there. How many pieces of cornerstone content do you have on your site right now? If the answer is none, you are in the majority. But it's not too late to get your version 0.1 out there.