Content is still very much king online, and it is becoming more important all the time as Google updates its algorithms to promote the type of content its users actually want to read.

But how can you create the type of content that attracts readers in the first place and keeps them engaged once they are on your site? Here’s a guide to creating stellar content.

Find Out What Your Customers Want to Know

The cornerstone of any good content is to create it around topics that your readers (who are usually your customers or prospects) want to find out more about. This means you need to know which questions they are asking and which topics interest them.

Read what they are saying on forums and social media, ask your sales department which questions your customers regularly ask, brainstorm the doubts they have and the problems that they want to solve, read your own customer reviews and reviews of similar products to those that you sell, and get a better overall idea of what your customers want.

Then create your content around this. When it comes to blog content, this is one of the most important factors to focus on.

Create a Share-Worthy Headline

It’s no use creating great content if people don’t get past the headline. Make it a golden rule to spend a lot of time on your headlines to get them right and make them stand out from the other content out there.

One thing you can do to get ideas is to use BuzzSumo. This is a great tool for finding out which content in your niche is trending and the headlines that are getting the most attention.

Then use this to help you come up with your own headlines. Brainstorm around these popular headlines and come up with something even better.

Part of getting your content read is ensuring it gets shared. You need people to share it with their friends and social networks to encourage more people to find and engage with your content, and a good headline makes all the difference.

Go into Greater Depth

Successful content means content that gets shared and generates more backlinks. That leads to more organic traffic to your website, and SEO is a big part of any content marketing strategy. Whether you do your SEO yourself or use the services of an agency (who might use an SEO reseller), it’s a big factor to consider.

And one of the best ways to make your content stand out is to go into greater depth on important topics than anyone else does. If there is a topic in your niche that has already been written on, find all the guides you can on the topic. Then read them all and create a guide that beats them.

This will normally involve creating long-form content, but don’t assume that a longer piece of content is automatically better. However, it’s the case that for content to provide genuine value, it normally does need to be longer to cover the topic adequately.

If you can create the go-to resource on a particular topic, you will stand a much better chance of attracting links and shares. This will help your content to rank higher in the search engines, generating even more views.

Take a Different Angle

Another option is to take a common topic that has been written about in detail and then take a different angle on it.

This uses the surprise factor to catch the attention of people who are used to seeing a particular argument being made. You could even be slightly controversial to make the content stand out even more.

Not everyone will agree with your stance, but it will get people talking and sharing your content more.

Use Images and Videos

Don’t stick to text when it comes to creating content. While text-based copy is the most common type, you can also use videos, infographics, podcasts, and images.

Use them to brighten up your content and make it easier to read. Even using a few good images can help to make your content more accessible by making it visually attractive and breaking up the text.

Always Focus on Providing Value

Whatever you do when creating content, make your primary focus on providing value. Great headlines and detailed guides are also important, but what you really need to be doing is ensuring your content provides value to the type of person you want to be reading it.

If you manage to get that right with every piece of content you write, you are well on your way to getting your content read and shared online, attracting more links and making your content more visible in the search engines.