Defining original content can be difficult, so it’s best to focus on what we mean when we talk about creating “original” content. We mean that you are creating content that focuses on the needs of your niche and that genuinely helps the users that make up your market. Short version: be authentic and helpful.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines authenticity as “the quality of being real or true”. Applying this to content, you need to be creating content that provides tangible (real) and replicable data/evidence or industry knowledge (true) that is genuinely useful or helpful.
Original content in SEO aims to build trust with users and establish your business or brand as a leader in your industry – this is central to your content marketing and a successful SEO strategy.
Search engines love what users love, and users love high-quality SEO-friendly content that is well-researched and easy to read. If you need proof of this, look no further than any number of high domain authority sites and top-ranking competitors in your industry – the majority publish outstanding, relevant content that expresses their own ideas.
There are many benefits to great original content, but only if you are creating quality content as well. It’s not enough to just write something unique: high-quality content can make or break your presence online. So when we talk about original content published online, we don’t just mean unique content, but helpful and informative content.
Valuable information can come in many forms, from a company blog to a well-researched article, and will be the foundation of your long-term SEO strategy. Whatever the content form, it must be in-depth and relevant to your business, the services or products you provide, and the users you are targeting.
The benefits of writing original content include:
Original content is more than just custom content or solid SEO, it serves your audience and positions you as an authority within your industry or niche. This is important because authority breeds trust amongst users and is foundational to increasing your online visibility.
The more authoritative Google and other search engines perceive your business to be, the better you will rank for target/key search terms, and the more likely users are to find you in SERPs (search engine result pages). This, in turn will make you more appealing for backlink opportunities, which increases your authority again so that you can build more links and more authority – and so the cycle goes on and improves your position in the search engine results.
Key takeaway: Write what you know, write about it a lot and in-depth, and write to assist the user.
Trust is a currency in the online world.
At the core of online business, it is trust that users are exchanging with you. The purpose of creating quality content is to solve a problem, or, to satisfy a want or a need (marketing 101). As a result, you will develop trust with users as a valued source of information. In fact, 70% of users prefer obtaining information through hand-crafted original content as opposed to paid media. By writing your own content, you are already one step closer to gaining that all-important trust from your users.
When creating this content, keep in mind the user is in search of a specific answer and it is your job to make sure you give them that answer. MAKE IT CLEAR. Don’t hide the answer in line 17 or cover it with ad pop-ups. If you struggle to find it, your audience definitely will. If your users locate the answer they are searching for quickly and without hassle, you’ve got their attention. They are now engaged in your content, congrats!
Key takeaway: The key to building trust is content with accessible and useful information. If it’s not accessible and it’s not useful, then it is not providing any insights.
Now that you have the users’ attention, you need to keep it and make your content helpful enough that they would want to come back. Here’s a few tips that will help:
Key takeaway: Know your niche, know the demographic of users you want to connect with and create original content that will resonate with the users at that intersection.
Google is always trying to index and rank pages with original content that users have demonstrated they trust.
As we’ve explained above, great original content positions your business as a brand of authority, which can increase your online visibility and help build your backlink profile. This creates a foundation of trust with users and if those users find your content helpful and engaging they will stay on your site for longer. This means they are more likely to convert and they are more likely to return – all signals to search engines that your users love your content and they should make it available to more users by bumping your page up the rankings.
Key takeaway: Improved page rankings are a side effect of truly useful and informative content, building trust with users, and increasing the authority and visibility of your brand or business online.
The purpose of creating original content is to engage your audience and help them. In most cases, users turn to the internet to solve problems or learn something, so begin with the mindset of problem-solving or educating and leave room for discussion.
Having the right mindset is important, but how do you come up with ideas? And what’s the process for writing original content?
Content ideation is the most fun stage of the process and there’s plenty of places you can get ideas, but the best place is from your audience itself. Places to look for original content ideas from your audience:
Google Search Console – in the Performance tab, you can sort data by ‘Query’ which will show you all the search queries your pages showed for in the SERPs. This is a great way to find topics or questions users are already asking you.
Social media – follow relevant social media pages or profiles and watch for things your audience is frequently talking about.
Direct Feedback – engage your audience directly and ask them what they would like to know. This can be done in the form of direct contact or you could set up a poll.
It can be difficult to begin writing once you have your idea. The secret is: don’t start with a blank canvas. Instead:
Start with your central idea and brainstorm keywords or phrases that relate to that idea. You can do this as a list or in the form of a mind-map – the form itself isn’t important, as long as you’re making connections between keywords and ideas.
Next, become a user! Begin looking for key search terms and searched questions online that you can build your content around. This will give you the opportunity to do more than just create content, this is your opportunity to learn more about your audience and enter into the digital conversation they are having with brands, websites, platforms, and other users.
Create a page outline. A page outline is your opportunity to organise your thoughts into a logical flow and decide how you want to present your content.
Write from your own perspective. This is the hardest part, because it is a hard truth that you can’t avoid covering the same essential parts of topics as other brands. But always remember, original content needs to inform and create connection – the purpose is to offer your readers good content with a fresh perspective, original research, or valuable insights in a style that reflects your brand. Everyone has different experiences or a different view to offer, and your audience wants to hear YOUR perspective, not a reworded version of someone else’s views.
If you need a hand, you can check out this quick, no-fuss SEO writing process for creating original content.
There are a few content mistakes you need to avoid – not only will you lose user engagement, but you will also lose trust and relevance, as it can be noticeable when content has been extracted from another company’s website. Trying to cheat the system by using keyword stuffing tactics or copying your content from another site will lead to you losing your place as an authoritative resource in the mind of users and possibly even penalised by Google or other engines.
When you are writing original content for your next blog post and you are stuck for ideas, it can be tempting to just reword a few lines or paragraphs of another industry blog – and why not? They are a credible industry leader, their audience is similar… it just makes sense, right?
The problem is even if you manage to rank the content well at first, users often go to a variety of sources when looking for information and it’s likely they will see your duplicated content as unhelpful at best (because someone else is already providing them with the exact same answer) and at worst, as spam. Eventually, you will fall down the rankings.
Creating original content will help you to improve your page positions in the search results, but you need to be prepared for the task.
Creating valuable new content – whether it’s company videos, images for social shares, or articles – is often time-consuming, involving a lot of planning, extensive research into the topic and keywords, finding the right questions to answer, and creating the right content. However, you have to see the long-term benefits in gaining authority and trust from users and Google or other engines that will be displaying your articles.
Ranking high on Google is by no means an easy task. The engine algorithm changes frequently and it can prove challenging to adapt to all those changes. But with the right formula and the best tools under your belt, you’re well on your way to improving your organic traffic and conversions.
Want to turn all of these tools and strategies into rankings and search traffic that then turns into revenue? You’ll need an evidence-based campaign tailored to your goals. If you’re looking for an experienced SEO agency to partner with, contact Firewire Digital for a FREE consultation.
Firewire Digital is offering a FREE 10-minute video report of your website, including top SEO tips you can do yourself to improve your website or content – contact Firewire Digital to receive your FREE report.
Director and Founder at Firewire Digital. Brogan has over a decade of experience in eCommerce, SEO and Google Ads. Leading his team and clients to success on every project, Brogan is obsessed with achieving solid ROI and creating long-lasting client relationships.
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