With over 1.9 billion websites (and counting!) online right now, it sounds like an impossible task to write something that’s never been written before. But it can be done. And in this article, we’re going to tell you not only how to write unique content for SEO purposes, but also how to build your brand and reputation online with it.
Table of contents
- What is unique content?
- Why does unique content matter?
- The benefits of writing unique content
- How to write unique content for SEO
1. Be you!
2. Tell personal stories
3. Be authentic
4. Cover the SEO basics
What is unique content?
Unique content is content that doesn’t appear anywhere else on the internet except for your website, social media, or marketing copy. Well, when there are already so many websites in existence and so many businesses who do exactly what you do, how on earth do you manage that? Surely everything has been said already?
Well, yes. It probably has. You can find just about anything on the internet.
But it hasn’t been said by you! And you are unique.
Why does unique content matter?
Both searchers and the search engines want unique content, and businesses need and want to give it to them.
When you’re looking for something on the internet, you don’t want the first few pages of the search engines filled with 30 identical articles saying the same things over and over again. You want choice, different viewpoints, and a good experience.
If you’re shopping, you don’t want 20 retailers using the same description for your new television. You want features and benefits explained in different ways as the way one person puts it might not work for you, but someone else’s explanation will. You want to see different aspects highlighted and why one person thinks X benefit is the reason to buy and why another thinks Y benefit is the be all and end all.
You want a good experience that helps you find what you’re looking for.
For the search engines, their main priority is to give their users the most helpful, high-quality, and relevant results possible. Like you, they don’t want 30 identical articles taking up the listings. They want their users to easily be able to find what they’re looking for.
If you duplicate or plagiarise other people’s content (or even self-plagiarise by publishing the same copy on several pages), then you’re not giving the search engines what they want and they will penalise you for that. Not to mention you could find yourself with a lawsuit on your hands if you copy someone else’s content without approval!
The benefits of writing unique content
As a business, you want to be found in the search engines but you also want to please your readers and potential clients by offering high-quality content that they can’t find anywhere else. You want to become known for providing the kind of content readers love that will have them coming back for more.
With unique, top-quality, relevant content posted at a good frequency, that’s exactly what you can do.
The search engines love fresh, relevant content so posting regularly on highly relevant topics to your business and your customers will please them very much and get you rising in the rankings.
Your customers, and potential customers, will love you because you’re giving them exactly what they want in your own unique way so they aren’t seeing the same old copy written in the same old way when they visit you. This keeps people stimulated, establishes you as someone with authority and interesting things to say, and can turn strangers into clients who trust you over your competitors.
How to write unique content for SEO
So, understanding how to write unique content for SEO doesn’t just mean copying someone else’s content and rephrasing it word for word. Chances are, audiences – and Google – will smell a rat and it won’t be authentic to your brand.
The best bet? Creating your own copy, with your own take on the topic, in your own voice. Want to know how? Follow these steps:
1. Be you!
If every fiction author looked at what was already out there before they wrote a word, they’d probably give up. There’d only be one small town romance book, one thriller where the killer is someone the main character knows and the Lord of the Rings would be the only epic high fantasy tale in existence.
What makes every author unique is that only they can write the books they’re going to write. Give two authors, two hundred authors, or two thousand authors the same writing prompt, and I can guarantee you’ll have completely different stories.
How? Because just like you, they all have different preferences, different experiences, different ideas, and different phrasing and styles of writing.
The best start for writing unique content is simply to be you, because you are uncopyable. Write in your own style, find your writers’ voice and allow your personal quirks and how you look at the world to set you apart.
2. Tell personal stories
While you might be writing about how to create an attention-grabbing headline or how to set goals, both of which have been done so many times before, what sets you apart is the experiences you’ve had.
You could parrot what everyone else has ever said about setting goals, or you could include examples and stories from your own experiences that make your article completely different.
What if you told your audience how you set goals to lose 40 kilograms and succeeded? What if you shared the story of how you turned your business around at the eleventh hour with your own way of setting goals and getting things done?
Those are unique experiences that can’t be copied. They’re also practical, relatable, human, and engaging – all good things that you want in your writing when you’re aiming to build your reputation and get people to stick around.
3. Be authentic
This one again comes back to being uniquely you. You know what your own values and ideas are. You know how you feel about particular subjects, and I just know you’ve had many a conversation on how to set the world to rights.
Don’t be afraid to have a different opinion. Just because half the internet thinks that dress is white and gold doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. Have the courage of your convictions and write what you really think.
Jeff Goins has a fantastic article about writing authentically and effectively with more tips on this. We especially love one of his subheadings, which reads ‘Don’t write like an idiot’. Way to prove our point, Jeff!
People can tell when you aren’t being genuine and honest. They know when your heart’s not in something, but they do respond well to authenticity.
They want to know they can trust your business before they buy and being completely authentic on your blog will not only set you apart but will also attract the right people to you. You’ll become known for being honest and genuine and you can’t beat having that kind of reputation.
4. Cover the SEO basics
Of course, always remember that you’re writing for people first and the search engines second, and both will be equally delighted if you give them something that’s uniquely you.
But once you’ve got the draft of your content, it’s time to pay due diligence to the technical requirements of writing content for SEO. This means structuring and phrasing your content for optimum readability and including your target keyword(s)/phrases in the relevant places such as the H1 heading, the first paragraph of your copy, in your subheadings, the URL and at least once more in the body of the copy.
Once you’ve satisfied both your readers and the search engines who deliver them to you, you can’t go wrong.
✏️Crafted your content but want to know if it passes the uniqueness test? Find out how to check unique content online and acceptable use of other content
Header image: Anete Lūsiņa