10x Content: What is it, Why you need it, examples
August 31, 2016
Interested in 10x content? So are we. Here's what 10x content is, why it's important, and how we helped one of our clients create 10x content (including the data to back it up!)
by Eric Sharp
10x content. Um, what?
I know what you’re thinking.
“Those content marketers, always coming up with a new phrase or acronym.”
I feel ya, but you need to pay attention to this on because every day:
- 1 billion websites produce 92,000 pieces of content [source: Chartbeat]
- 3.5 billion Google searches happen [source: Internet Live Stats]
You can understand why everyone is drinking the content kool-aid. “You’d be a fool to ignore”, scream Content Marketing experts.
But, is all that content actually working? Are people reading it? Is everyone’s content being ranked on the first page of Google? Is it producing quality traffic and conversions?I’ll save you the research — No, No, No, & No.
75% of content never gets shared, earns no links, & gets very little traffic.
Rise above crappy Content
Why not? If you create it, they will come. Right? Not really.
There’s an economic case for “Content Shock” (inability to sustain this rapid growth) and there’s certainly sound reasoning behind “Content Clutter” (aka “Content Glut”).
But, I believe — to put it frankly — there’s just too much crappy content out there and it’s related to:
- thinking quantity (“Let’s blog every day!”) is better than quality
- not formatting content well for the Web
- not understanding how modern day SEO works
- producing thin content (under 200 words, too vague, poor grammar, etc.) which the Google Panda update targeted
This is good news for companies wanting to rise above the sea of content drudge.
So, how do you create unique and compelling content? How do you avoid crappy content? How do you look at this as an opportunity? (rather than a reason to bail on content marketing)
Cue 10x content.
What is 10x content?
The short answer:
Content that is 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.
To learn more, I’d highly recommend:
- Reading What is 10x Content and Why Does it Matter from Thoughtworks
- Watching Rand from Moz explain How to Create “10x” Content
10x content example: Cactus Tech
Now, let me show you how we helped one of our clients produce 10x content and reveal some results.
If you want to jump straight to this content, visit Cactus’ Solid State Drives 101: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know.
As the blog title suggests, it’s a comprehensive resource that explains how Solid State Drives (SSDs) work. It’s excellent top of the funnel content for Cactus since they manufacture and sell industrial grade flash storage devices. It’ll increase brand awareness and show they’re experts in their industry.
But, let’s take a step back.
10x content goals
You don’t just start writing 10x content on a whim. It requires planning, including goals. Here are the goals we set for this piece:
- Shoot for 1,500+ words
- Include lots of diagrams & illustrations to ensure it’s highly educational
- Target a handful of keywords with decent volume (20 to 500 queries a month)
- Internally link to other blogs in an “Educational Series” to help with SEO
- Provide a strong call to action to download more related content (Free EBook – top of the funnel content)
After some goal setting, we turned to defining the guts of the content.
Remember, 10x content must be “10 times better for a given keyword.” To obtain 10x level of quality we needed to do keyword research around relevant topics. Our research found search volume around things like:
- “solid state drive technology”
- “what does a solid state drive do”
- “how do solid state drives work”
We targeted under 10 different keywords knowing the content would rank for more long-tail keywords over the next 6-12 months and beyond. This SEO strategy really applies to any type of content — but absolutely critical for 10x content.
We then helped Cactus craft well optimized, well-formatted content. They provided all the detailed illustrations which helped it obtain its goal of being “highly educational.”
Here’s a bird’s eye view of this content from top to bottom.
“Clickable” Headlines: Focusing on click-through rate
What good is 10x content if no one is reading it?
After wrestling with a few titles and abstracts, here’s how the content will look in the SERP (below). A strong headline and overview are the secret sauce to click-through — in Google, Social Media or wherever your content promotion is happening.
10x content needs to nail its headline.
To respect all the hard work we put into this 10x content, I won’t reveal all our strategies. But, I certainly think this case study wouldn’t be a case study without numbers.
Since launching in December 2015, here’s how this 10x blog stacks up against Cactus’ average blog for the last 8 months.
Other milestones worth mentioning:
- Social traffic is double that of regular blogs (a great sign that the content is shareable)
- Now in the website’s Top 5 landing pages
- Already received 1 quality comment
I believe all these numbers above will continue to grow, creating a greater disparity between “10x” content and “regular” content. It’ll be fun to continue measuring its effectiveness with Cactus.
Still not impressed with 10x content?
I know it can be easy to ignore new buzzwords and trends. If I haven’t done a great job making a case for 10x content, maybe Mr. Twain will inspire:
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.Mark Twain
Hey, thanks for being here!
There's gobs of information out there, so I'm honored you found this article interesting enough to make it this far. My hope is it helps you to a better performing website!
About the Author
Eric Sharp is the founder of ProtoFuse and has been in the website trenches since 1999 — right before the dot-com boom redefined websites forever. Since then, he's accumulated two decades of digital marketing experience and prides himself on creating websites "Loved by people and Google". He has 2 awesome kids, loves Da Bears, and is into that whole CrossFit thing.
Need website help?
We're all about websites — especially websites that are loved by people and Google.
Since 2001, we've been helping clients nationwide turnaround their outdated and under-performing websites.
"Our website is generating quality leads every week thanks to their website consulting."