Marieke van de Rakt is the CEO of Yoast. Her main focus is on growing the company. She is really passionate about maintaining open and friendly company culture. Marieke is also heavily involved in the marketing of Yoast and with Yoast SEO Academy: the online courses platform.
There is lots and lots of content out there. Which makes it more difficult to grab and hold the attention of your audience. That’s why you need to make sure that the content on your pages and in your blog posts is new, fresh and above all: original! When you add content to your website, it needs to add value and stand out from everything that’s already out there on the internet. In this post, we’ll explain how you can create original content and give you some examples to draw inspiration from.
Google loves originality
In order to understand why original content is important for SEO, we’ll only need to take a look at Google’s mission. The first line of their mission reads ‘Our company mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’ In a nutshell, Google wants to offer its users the information that they’re looking for, information that’s valuable to them. If you want to dive deeper into how this works, make sure to read our article on what Google does.
So, if you want Google to rank your content, you need to write something that is accessible and useful for your audience. That means that your information should be easy to access and should add something to all the other information on the internet (about a certain topic). This means that you should write something original that is not yet offered in other blogs, articles or websites.
What is original content?
It’s important to mention that original content doesn’t necessarily have to be new content. Of course, if the story you’re telling is totally new, it will automatically be original. However, giving your (professional) opinion on a certain topic also counts as original content. Your angle to a story could be the thing that makes your content unique and original. Original content could even be an overview of (older) information. Maybe you are able to structure the existing information nicely if that hasn’t been done before.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to put valuable information out there. Whether it adds a new take on information that’s already out there or tells a new story. If your content is unique and shows your expertise on a subject, you’re on the right track. You need to make sure that you’re not ‘just writing’ content, but that you’re actually publishing resources for your audience.
Think about your audience
When creating original content, there’s an important factor to keep in mind: your audience. What do you want to tell them? What will be the main message of your article? And what is the purpose? What do you want your audience to do after they’ve read your article? Do you want them to engage, buy your stuff, to read more posts? Thinking about these questions and doing audience research will help give you direction and write original content that you’re audience will want to read.
Another factor to consider is the search intent that someone has when they land on your page or post. You may want them to buy your stuff (or register for a newsletter) right away, but this needs to fit with what they want. If someone is looking for information on a topic and they land on a page where you’re focused on pushing your product, you might lose them. Or when they’re ready to make their purchase and land on a page that doesn’t show any products, you might lose a sale. Think about search intent and you’ll be able to tailor your content to someone’s intent.
Although an original angle is a key element in writing awesome and SEO-friendly content, every SEO strategy should start with proper keyword research. If you want to rank and attract more traffic to your site, you should focus your SEO efforts on search terms that people are searching for. You might have an idea of what the needs of your audience are, but what words do they use when they search online? What questions do they have? There are a few keyword research tools you can use to get more insight into this.
If you execute your keyword research properly, you will end up with a long list of search terms that you want to be found for. This list can function as a guide for your content creation. By writing content on these keywords, you improve your chances of being shown when someone searches for them. Do keep in mind that a keyword is not always a topic, though. You should make sure to come up with an original idea for your blog post in which the desired focus keyword has a prominent place.
Be original to stand out
When you have an idea of the keywords that attract people to your website, it’s time to write something original around that specific keyword. It can be tempting, though, to write something that’s similar to what’s already been written by others. It might even happen without you realizing it.
Let’s say you’ve done your keyword research and want to rank for a specific keyword like ‘healthy breakfast’ or ‘where to get organic seeds’. You’ll probably have lots to tell about the topics surrounding your keywords. But before you put your digital pen to paper, it’s good to do some quick research into what content is already out there. You don’t want to run the risk of repeating the same story that’s already been told more than ten times.
What we do at Yoast before we create new content, is go to valentin.app and fill in the keyword that we’re focusing on at that moment. This website enables you to take a look at localized search results for that keyword. This gives you an idea of the content that’s already out there. Of course, you don’t have to read anything, but it can help you determine your own angle on the subject and whether your article idea seems like a good addition on this result page.
Staying original vs wanting those clicks
The risk with checking out the competition is that it gives you ideas of what to write about this topic. This isn’t all bad, but you do need to keep in mind that your content needs to be original. Why should Google show your page if there’s already something similar there? Getting inspired by what others are writing is totally fine, but make sure to write from your expertise and your own unique angle. You don’t want to be one of many and you definitely shouldn’t focus on just getting those clicks. A clickbait headline can be tempting, but stay true to the story that your content is telling and the information that people will find on that page.
Examples of great original content
Writing original blog posts is a great way to drive traffic to your website. When you focus on the right terms, original content can be a real boost for your rankings and business. Above that, it’s a great way to show your audience that you’re an expert in your specific niche and therefore can be trusted.
A great example of a blog with original content is Treehugger.com. A blog that in their own words ‘offers advice, clarity and inspiration for both the eco-savvy and the green-living novice. With over 100 writers, they are able to post lots(!) of original expert content that is true to their brand.
Homepage of Treehugger.com
Another great example of a blog with original content is Deliciouslyella.com. They describe their blog as a ‘plant-based food & wellness platform sharing delicious ways to feel better’. The founder of deliciously ella started this blog as a personal project to encourage herself to make healthy eating delicious. Her story gives this blog and the company she has built around it a personal and unique touch that seems to be very successful.
Homepage of Deliciouslyella.com
What to focus on next
Original content is the first thing you need to focus on when writing a high-quality SEO friendly blog post. When you’ve done your research and have created original content, you should focus on the readability of your post. Your idea could be totally original, but if your text is not easy to digest, your message will get lost.
Want to work on your SEO and the readability of your text? Our Yoast SEO plugin actually gives you feedback on how SEO-friendly your text is and it comes with a readability analysis!
Read more: Keep your content fresh and up-to-date »
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