Rand Fishkin, an SEO expert at Moz, coined the term “10x content” in a video titled “Why Good Unique Content Needs to Die.” The point he was making in this presentation is that good content is no longer good enough to get noticed; he posits that “content needs to be 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.”
By Fishkin’s definition, this type of content is better than merely “good” and “unique.” It’s extraordinary, remarkable. It’s beyond what already exists; it stands above the rest.
“10 times better” is definitely a subjective descriptor and difficult to pin down. However, qualitative criteria you can use to identify the features of 10x content do exist. You don’t have to meet each of these, but the more you include, the closer to 10x your content will get.
To expound upon and go beyond the criteria listed above, we’ve assembled 13 factors that go into building 10x content, factors that will differentiate your articles from others vying for attention in the crowded online world.
Who you are competing against for audience attention online is not necessarily your market competitors. To determine who your online competitors really are, do a search for the topic you want to write about and see who appears in the SERPs (search engine result pages). This will tell you where to focus your competitive analysis.
As you look through the top results specific to your topic, evaluate each one by asking:
10x content does everything better, especially in terms of the value it provides. One of the big parts of building 10x content is finding a different way to present information that creates value, and this includes finding new ways to answer questions and solve problems.
Determine what readers want to know and the types of content they appreciate so you can figure out where to direct your content creation efforts. Enter some search queries into Google and look at the search results. We like Answer The Public – also a helpful resource. And Buzzsumo is an excellent tool that helps with research concerning what content might be hot to your audience or trending in your industry.
Chances are, you’ll get a good sense of what is being asked by readers and answered by writers. Using this info, you can better prepare yourself to write content that answers user questions in a unique and engaging way.
Probably the first time your readers come across your content will be on a mobile device. This is where it should show at its best and be optimized for easy viewing.
Your content must seamlessly integrate with social media, making it easy for your readers to go from browser or app-based content over to social apps when it comes time to comment on or share your article.
Content that is 10x better has, by definition, a lot to say. Don’t let the fear of short attention spans keep you from creating 10x content. If there’s real value in the content, your readers will spend the time it takes to read it.
Trying to “go viral” is not a good use of your time. If you create content that satisfies your readers’ curiosities, and if you stay true to your brand’s voice, tone and personality, your content will get shared.
By answering readers’ questions in a unique way, supplying them with more information than they expected and entertaining them, you can get them to believe your content is special, and you’ll earn a lot of social shares.
When you create the outstanding content people are looking for, readers will naturally link to it over time. With a strategy focused on providing more value than what readers expect, people are more likely to link back.
Remember, no one links to content that is “just ok.”
What separates the best digital marketers from all the others?
Not every one of their blog posts is 10x, but by putting out solid content consistently, time after time, they have developed a reputation as a value creator. And they continue to back this up with extraordinary pieces that get remembered by readers, shared thousands of times and linked to from all over the internet. Neil Patel is a great example of a value creator.
By studying these value creators’ methods and taking lessons from how they do what they do and applying those lessons to your own work, your content will improve, and you’ll start producing 10x content.
From an SEO perspective, creating 10x content can lead to organic traffic from Google if your piece is established as an authority on the topic being covered.
Google continues its focus on user intent, which means that if you answer the searcher’s questions better than other websites, you’ll have a chance to rank.
The ultimate point of your website is to generate revenue.
10x content helps to bring the “right” people to your website by creating content that aligns with the type of visitors you are trying to attract and who you want to sell to.
It’s your 10x content that will make up the majority of your web traffic, earn you credibility and help you convert readers into customers.
To be deemed 10x content, your article needs to be high quality, trustworthy, useful and interesting. These qualities must be substantiated by insightful research, links from high-ranking sites, an easily readable voice, visuals that illustrate concepts being presented – and even a touch of humor.
A 10x content piece needs to create an emotional response in the reader. This response can vary from joy to surprise, but it must be real and spontaneous.
Readers are overloaded with content daily, and chances are they won’t remember your article if they didn’t relate to it on an emotional level.
Visuals can take your content to the 10x level. In fact, 10x content relies on visuals done right, and you should be using infographics, videos, photos, and screenshots that illuminate the points you are making in your content, to provide better understanding and add to a great user experience.
Every article should include some sort of image, and instead of selecting from the same old tired stock photos every time, create or purchase visuals that give your readers something to really look at.
Using links in your writing isn’t good enough if the sites you’re linking to are low quality. To create 10x content, you want to source your data from high quality sites from value creators.
BuzzSumo to the rescue again for researching where to get your high-quality citational information.
The online world is a competitive, crowded space. For businesses trying to stand out with content marketing, it’s difficult to build website traffic, generate leads and get noticed on Google.
Creating content ten times better than everyone else’s content may seem impossible; however, if you pay attention to the details of 10x content creation outlined in this article, your content will ultimately be set apart from your competition.
10x content creation is an experience: writing that is intelligent and optimized, thoughtful and unique, helpful and easily navigable will position your content to rise to the top of news feeds and the SERPs over time.
For additional information on 10x content, try these sources: