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You are convinced that your brand is a leader in your industry. A great way to showcase this knowledge and expertise is to have an “ultimate guide”.

Internet users turn to these ultimate guides when they want simple, in-depth information in one place. The key for you is to present your know-how in the right format and with the right information.

In our Ultimate Guide to Ultimate Guides, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a guide for your business to showcase your thought leadership.

Take away food

  • A well-written ultimate guide can showcase your industry expertise.
  • Focus on hot topics that allow you to use your perspective and industry knowledge to fill information gaps.
  • Follow good optimization practices, such as using long tail keywords and incorporating images, videos, and infographics.

What is an ultimate guide?

An Ultimate Guide is a definitive source of information that provides a lot of detail about a topic. After completing your guide, readers should be happy to have learned everything there is to know about your chosen topic.

An ultimate guide to your site can be an effective way to drive traffic, shares, and links to your content. This guide is the perfect format to showcase your industry expertise.

It should also make your readers feel like they can trust you. If they trust your guide, they might want to trust you with your business.

In fact, I’ve put pretty much everything I know into this Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing and this Ultimate Guide to Employee Activation. It took me days to write them! (We create them for almost all of our clients. Contact me if you want to know more!)

An essential step in creating a high-quality ultimate guide is to stick with what you know and present it in an easy-to-understand format. Follow these steps to get started.

Show Your Thought Leadership With These 7 Steps

You want to create a guide that is more than just a list of articles. You want comprehensive content that will climb the search results and attract new readers and customers.

1. Choose your cutting edge topic

Before you start writing, you need to choose a topic that your business is familiar with. You want to create a guide that will hopefully fill a void and answer new questions. The best way to find your topic is to research your competition and focus on your audience’s questions.

Read other blogs related to your industry to learn more about hot topics. By seeing what the competition writes, you can create a guide that offers new information.

Even if you feel like a topic has been covered in depth, you may find that you have a new perspective on the matter. Focus on ideas that you think are missing from other content.

2. Create an outline with a simple format

A clean-lined guide will be easier to read and understand than something disorganized and messy. You want to keep your paragraphs short with about two to three sentences each.

Remember your high school English days and create a simple outline with your main points, or headings. Include captions where you can break down the information in more detail. Internet readers don’t like large blocks of text.

Many Ultimate Guides will be around 3,000 words long. However, some may be longer if you cover a more detailed topic. Avoid breaking with tangents that are unrelated to your subject.

If you have a longer ultimate guide, you can use a table of contents at the start with links that will take you to the section you want.

3. Do your keyword research

One of the most important ways to optimize your Ultimate Guide and other content for search engines is to incorporate keywords. These are words or phrases that people can search to find your content.

Remember to focus on these keyword principles:

  • Focus on keyword placement: You want your keywords to appear in the right places without feeling pressured. Headers and sub-headers are crucial places for keyword placement. You want to incorporate them into the text as well, but don’t fall for keyword stuffing. You want keywords to be natural and conversational.
  • Use your plan for ideas: Once your plan is complete, you can see which topics you cover the most. Think about what you would be looking for if you were looking for your guide. Use these ideas to start your keywords.
  • Consider long tail keywords: To get the greatest impact from your targeted keywords, use long tail keywords. They will be longer sentences instead of just one or two words. For example, if you are writing an ultimate guide to camping, you might choose keywords like « camping gear » or « how to camp ». While these can eventually lead someone to your guide, you will get better results with more specific words, such as “camping gear for first-time campers”.

4. Add visual media to break down the text

A long block of text can be tiring to read. Adding images, screenshots, or even videos can add some visual interest while providing more information to your readers.

A study says that about 65% of people are visual learners. This makes sense because the brain is much faster at processing visual information than text. It is 60,000 times faster at handling visual information.

An infographic with statistics on visual learning.

Source: Daily infographic

Here’s a graphic created by our design team to explain our client onboarding process for content marketing services:

5. Improve your credibility with relevant statistics

Sharing facts and statistics can easily increase your credibility. You probably use statistics every day without even thinking about it. You can check the risk of rain, see who is leading a political poll or how your actions are doing.

Using valuable statistics (as we did in the previous example) can give your readers real-world information and real-life examples.

To combine steps four and five, you can hire a graphic designer to create an infographic. Infographics are popular because they transform textual information into a visually appealing format. In fact, (here’s another statistic) adding an infographic to a site can increase their traffic by 12% on average. This infographic by Trick shares nine reasons why you should use infographics in your content.

An infographic showing nine reasons why brands should use infographics.

Source: Trick

6. Make sure your content is persistent

You spend a lot of time and effort on your ultimate guide. Make sure he can resist the changes by focusing on persistent content. You want your guide to be the industry and search leader for years, not just days.

Evergreen content, like the trees it is named after, stays fresh and relevant for years after it’s posted. The best way to keep your content up to date is to avoid pop culture references or mentions of current events. You should also use specific dates instead of general deadlines. For example, instead of writing « in the last five years », write « between 2016 and 2021 ».

Finally, you’ll want to go back and update your guide regularly. Once a year is an ideal time.

7. Use expert editing techniques

Once you feel like your ultimate guide is done, it’s time to start editing. This process may take longer than the actual writing.

Here are some tools expert writers and editors use:

  • Read your copy: An easy way to find simple mistakes is to read your copy aloud. It can help you find difficult transitions and other flow issues.
  • Use editing software: Word processing software can check your spelling and other grammar mistakes. You can also use an Internet plugin like Grammarly to help improve your word usage.
  • Acquire help: Have someone else read your copy. A new set of eyes can often signal problems you’ve missed. You can also consider hiring a professional for the best editing results.

By focusing on creating an expertly edited document, you will get the best results on your site.

Gather it all for your ultimate guide

By focusing on these steps, you can create content that will continually attract new readers, hopefully for years to come. With lasting information, reliable statistics and visual media, your leadership will be fully visible.

Ready to prove your expertise, but need help? Our Content creation services can be customized to meet your needs, including content like ultimate guides. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to see how we can create a custom package to help your business grow.

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