Due to the outrageous amount of content that exists online today, standing out from the crowd isn’t just hard; it’s near impossible.

For this reason, it’s no good saying that you want to be as good as the top 10 sites in the search results for a particular keyword. Instead, you need to take your content to the next level, leaving competitors trailing in your wake as you ride the waves of SEO success.

But how on earth are you meant to improve and amplify your content to such an extent? Here’s five essential steps.

  1. Gain deep insights

So, you’ve identified a topic you want to talk about and your content will address it in great detail. But before you start writing, take the time to gain as deep an insight as possible into why people will want to consume it.

For example, if someone searches “best movies on Netflix,” they basically want you to tell them what they should watch. Regardless of your approach towards the content, from talking about user ratings to award nominations, make sure you’re meeting user intent.

  1. Be unique

Standing out online is one thing, being different to everyone else is another. Even if you know what your searcher wants to consume and are prepared to put the hours in gaining insights into their core desires, your content will still need to be unique in order to resonate strongly.

This step won’t be quick or easy, as it means brainstorming ideas and eliminating those that already exist. But once you come across something truly new and novel, your creativity should automatically flow.

  1. Choose an answer method

Now that you understand what the user wants and have got a unique idea on how to address it, you’ll need to think of a hard-to-replicate, high-quality method of answering. Due to content saturation, a simple opinion piece or 90-second video won’t cut it.

For example, you could create a statistical analysis, something which doesn’t exist elsewhere yet pulls on a variety of sources for a definitive answer. Original research is great for backlinks too, as you’re the origin of the work.

  1. Choose a delivery method

Sites like FiveThirtyEight are the masters of content delivery. Along with putting in endless hours to research and analyse data, FiveThirtyEight also presents content in easy to consume yet aesthetically pleasing ways.

No matter how you decide to deliver your answer, a combination of mediums is best practice. That means in-depth copy that Google can index, engaging visuals that users will love and supplementary marketing campaigns on social media or via email.

  1. Keep going until you get a hit

Just because you follow these steps to the letter doesn’t mean to say you’ll create a viral piece of content straightaway. Similarly, don’t give up if your efforts fall short of initial expectations.

As Rand Fishkin, co-founder of Moz explains: “You start to develop a sixth sense for how you can uncover that unique element, how you can present it in a unique fashion, and how you can make it sing on the web.”