If you’re looking at how to increase page rank for a website, probably the strongest option available today is content marketing. The goal of content marketing is to provide valuable information to consumers without directly selling them your products, thus making them better informed and -- hopefully -- more likely to become customers. This is a great search engine optimization strategy because it accomplishes two goals at once, both making a website more attractive by the standards of search engine ranking algorithms and drawing readers in directly. In fact, research shows that about 71% of marketers are increasing their spending on content marketing.

But if you’ve noticed an increase in business-related content creation, you’ve probably also noticed an increase in low-quality content that might be doing businesses more harm than good.

Whether you’re looking to start writing yourself or hire a copywriting service, here are five signs of high-quality SEO copywriting you should learn to recognize:

1. The Content Tells People What They Want to Know

This actually ties into a concept that sounds technical but is really quite basic: keyword research. Using keyword research tools correctly isn’t just about finding out which keywords are generally the strongest ranking-wise, but rather figuring out what words and phrases your potential customers are searching for. Often, the strongest keywords for these purposes can be long-tail keywords such as “what makes a blog successful?” rather than single words like “blogging.” Finding these keywords can help to prompt more relevant content, since they tend to suggest very specific topics readers will find useful.

2. Density Is Used as a Guide, Rather Than a Rule

Keyword stuffing has more to do with an unnatural syntax than it does with keyword density. Many good SEO copywriters keep an eye on density. But the reason it’s impossible to come up with a specific percentage is that some types of keywords can be used dozens of times in copy without breaking any syntactical rules, whereas others can be used only a few times. If the keyword you’re focusing on is “content,” for example, you’re likely to have a very high keyword density, whereas the long-tail keyword “what is good SEO content?” would probably have a very low density unless used in awkward ways.

3. The Content Is Unique and In-Depth

As anyone who has done some basic Googling on spun SEO copywriting knows, just because content hasn’t been technically duplicated doesn’t mean it’s actually unique. Quality content does more than skim the surface of a topic that’s been covered many other times; instead, it strives to actually add to the conversation by responding to what’s already been written and drawing out new conclusions. And while not all posts need to be thousands of words long, that usually means doing <>more than banging out a 200-word blurb.

4. The Copy Is Written for Humans, Optimized for Bots

A good way of balancing SEO copywriting’s dual goals is to think about writing for humans but optimizing for bots. The content itself, including its topic, research and tone, should be compelling and persuasive for human readers. But the format should appeal to the search engine bots that index websites, and that’s where more technical concepts such as tags, anchor text and meta descriptions come in.

5. A Content Sharing Plan Is Integrated

Content marketing works as both on and off page SEO because as content is shared and linked to across the web, search engine algorithms assume that means your site is becoming more useful and important. But you can’t assume that even well-written content will go viral on its own; it’s vital that you and your marketing team have a sharing strategy in place. This should include the major social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as industry-specific venues.

Do you find it surprising that a full 83% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute? If you’ve kept up with the trend, use the comments to share what you think makes for a great SEO content plan.

By: Karleanne Matthews