6 Types of Content That Can Help You Out of an SEO Rut

Although search engine optimization (SEO) goes through transformation on a regular basis, the fundamental concepts have remained the same for years. You need to create high-quality content, regularly, if you want to grow or maintain your domain authority and out-compete other companies in your niche.

The problem tends to be that most firms remain focused on a narrow selection of keywords, or are active in a field that doesn’t advance quickly or in an exciting manner on its own. Once you’ve been at it for a few years, it’s easy to fall into an SEO rut: You write the same type of content with the same styles of headlines, over and over.

Even if you’re producing material that’s technically original, you’ve probably written pieces that sounded highly similar in the past. You can sense this whenever you start to compose “new” material.

Why Ruts Are Bad

But is this necessarily a bad thing? For starters, it’s not great for your mental health and your progress as a team. You and your colleagues will start to get bored, you’ll lose creative drive, and your heart won’t be in your work the way it was in the beginning.

That inevitably leads to lower quality and reduced job satisfaction. In addition, both search engines and social followers tend to overlook content that appears too similar to material they’ve seen before. People want novel experiences, and if it doesn’t look like that’s what you have to offer, your numbers are likely to plateau.

Types of Content to Break Out

So how do you break out of this rut? One relatively simple way is to experiment with new types of content that you don’t use on a regular basis. Here are some of your best bets:

  1. Templates. Try creating an archive of templates your readers can use for applications that relate to your niche. For example, you might go the literal route, like Hloom, and offer downloadable templates for resumes and cover letters; or you could go after more specific applications, like the editorial calendars provided by Curata. Templates are useful because they’re evergreen, permanent assets, but they aren’t “typical” forms of content. They also tend to be highly searched for — although this depends on your application, of course — and every time a reader uses the template in the future, he’s more apt to think of your brand.
  2. Calculators. You could also create an interactive piece of content, like a calculator that provides some meaningful information to your readers. A good example is at MoneyChimp, which offers a compound interest calculator that enables its readers to estimate retirement needs or project growth over time. You could also use a calculator to help your customers estimate the cost of your services, or predict the value of certain goods. Calculators are attractive because they’re interactive … which means they’re more likely to be shared and to attract engagement.
  3. Quizzes. Quizzes offer a different style of interactivity, but they belong to the same general category as calculators. Quizzes can be fun to create, but it’s a smart move to outline a flow chart on paper before you start to build one. You can use a quiz for something fun, like a Buzzfeed-style personality assessment, or something more serious, such as determining whether your roof needs to be replaced. Your readers could be either entertained or informed, and you’ll be more engaged with your work.
  4. Interviews. You could also consider arranging an interview with a person of interest in your niche. Interviews are valuable to both parties because you earn mutual exposure, and each of you will be likely to share the result with your respective target audiences, which effectively doubles your potential reach immediately. Interviews also don’t demand much up-front work, beyond sketching some questions to ask. Once it’s completed, you can syndicate your interview in video, audio, or transcript formats, each of which offers unique advantages.
  5. FAQ and help content. If you provide products or services that are difficult for the average person to understand, you could convert your efforts to more FAQ- and help-style content, which is valuable for retaining customers. SalesForce has used this strategy to its advantage for a while now, to introduce users to the complexities of its system.
  6. User-submitted material. Finally, you could focus your efforts on collecting user-submitted content. The idea is to let some of your readers and followers do some work for you by submitting content of their own. You could attract guest posters to your company blog, or sponsor a campaign, such as a photography contest, to encourage social media submissions. This approach enables you to stay somewhat hands-off but still collect new assets to use for your campaign.

Individually or together, the above content formats should help you breathe new life into your SEO campaign. You’ll stimulate new results, attract a wave of new followers, and feel more engaged in your job at the same time. Give these tactics a try and see how they improve your campaign.