Content is extremely critical to the SEO process because content allows you to rank for the searches you are targeting. Unlike a paid search, to show up for an organic search, a website must typically have a piece of content with the phrase you are targeting. For example, a brand may consider itself an auto insurance provider, and their site solely uses the term auto insurance. They task their team with ranking for car insurance or motorcycle insurance as well as their core term, auto insurance. To rank for car insurance or motorcycle insurance, the brand would have to build content on their site that specifically mentions and is optimized around those terms. For the best chance at ranking, a brand should build a dedicated web page for each search term they'd like to rank for. There are a few exceptions to this, and sometimes content will rank without specifically mentioning the term, but it's rare, usually a fluke, and does not last.

Creating the right content takes a lot of research and understanding of your audience, and that effort is worth it only if you have a sound, SEO-friendly technology environment to house it. If you follow the top-priority tech environment tips discussed earlier, you should be in good shape.

Identifying content ideas can come in many ways, but in general there is nothing like the insight search keyword data provides. I would argue that it's the best way to identify what content you should create. The process is fairly simple, and there are many keyword tools available on the market for purchase. Turn your small business into an SEO Agency. Google also provides keyword data in its AdWords Keyword Planner tool. Once you identify what phrase or category of phrases you'd like to rank for, you need to identify what kind of content you'd like to create.

If you are looking for your website to rank for a phrase, you need to create a long-form piece of content that speaks to that phrase in several key areas, including the URL, the title of the page, throughout the copy, and the link text on the page. Figure 1.3 shows an example of an actual page for diamond buying guide that ranked #1 for the term.

As time has gone on, it's even more important to have long-form content, especially for search terms that are extremely common and competitive and have a lot of content already ranking in search engines. The average Google first-page result contains 1,890 words.

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