We’ve mentioned it countless times in this video series and probably every time Greg has spoken at a conference for over 10 years – the most important element of any SEO strategy is the content on your site.

At a simple level, if you want to show up as a search result when someone in your local area types in a particular keyword phrase in Google, you’ve got to have a page of content about that concept on your website.

That’s where a lot of businesses and marketers miss the boat – you need one singular concept per page. You can’t list two or three different things you offer and hope that the page will show up in search results for all three.

But it’s not just about having a page about the concept. That page needs to be the best answer in the local area to the question that the searcher is asking. If you’re writing the best answer in the local area to the question the searcher is asking, that typically means you’re going to answer some of the subsequent questions that the searcher would ask after getting their initial answer.

That’s why most content sucks. It’s super generic and only a few hundred words. Sure, you might be the best at what you do, but if your content isn’t the best in the area, it won’t matter.

But the biggest problem by far is that most agencies and marketers have become lazy and complacent, churning out content for the sake of content. You can’t put content on your site without a purpose.

We’re not saying that every piece of content should result in sales. You want to maximize your visibility in searches to maximize your potential returns. If everything on your site and your blog is only about what you sell, then that’s all bottom of the funnel content. It’s a really narrow focus on the potential audience of local customers. You’ll only show as a search result for someone who’s looking to buy right now.

You should also be writing mid- to early- funnel content as well. Sure, this content won’t result in leads or sales – at least directly. But if you do it well, you’ll get exposure earlier in the buying process, which leads to conversions later on. Think of earlier-funnel content like a billboard. You don’t put up a billboard expecting that everyone who sees it will call you. You put up a billboard for brand building and brand awareness. That helpful, interesting, informative content helps get eyeballs on your site BEFORE people are ready to buy, which makes it more likely that you’ll be the one they buy from.

Most importantly, you need a plan. Most SEO agencies just churn out content for the sake of content, so you have no idea what you’re going to get until it shows up on your site. If you were writing your own content, you’d have a plan so that you could target all levels of the funnel and write those amazing pieces of content that are the best answers in the local area.

So your agency partner should have a plan as well. Make sure they share that plan with you, so you know what’s coming. It’s a point of transparency, so you know they’re doing what you’re paying them to do. It’s also a point of collaboration, since you can work with them on that plan and be more active in the direction of your marketing efforts – instead of being surprised at the super crappy post that randomly shows up on your blog.

That’s why having a content plan is important – it takes time and effort to write amazing content that will show up well in local searches.