As SEO moves more towards content marketing and further from raw linkbuilding, resource pages are becoming a very effective strategy for building brand awareness, scooping up keyword rankings, and ultimately driving revenue for businesses.
Resource pages are effective because, if done well, they answer key questions that your market is begging to know the answers to. There are many case studies of companies that have taken the “answer questions that customers are asking” strategy to the next level and experienced amazing results…will yours be the next?
This page is long, so I’ve gone ahead and created a little table of contents for you to refer to if you want to hop around the content quickly:
- What is a Resource Page?
- The Creation Process: RDCO
- Create Content
- Examples of Great Resource Pages
- Video Walkthrough
Before we get into the nuts and bolts behind creating awesome resource pages, we have to answer one important question…
What is a Resource Page?
It’s important to know what we’re trying to build before we set out to create. In contrast to the typical blog post, a resource page is designed to be a source of comprehensive information about a particular subject. While blog posts are typically in the 300-800 word range, a resource page tends to be longer because it needs to cover a subject in extreme detail.
The image below is a screenshot of the beginning of a resource page on hydroponic growing media. As you can see, it’s got a nice table of contents and a big, beefy amount of content on each type of growing media. This example is covered in full detail in the walk-through resource page video at the end of the article – check that out after you’ve read through this article!
The Creation Process: RDCO
Like most pieces of content, creating resource pages can be broken down into a series of steps. The big difference between the process behind a typical blog post and a resource page is that resource pages take a lot more effort.
The acronym I use to help me create resource pages is RDCO: Research, Design, Create, Optimize.
Pick a Topic
The first thing you need to do is decide what you’re going to be covering. It’s best to pick something that you have a good amount of expertise in, so you don’t have to rely too much on outside sources and your post reflects your company’s unique voice. The last thing you want your resource page to be is a bunch of regurgitated ideas – that’s not high value. You also want to make sure that you are covering a topic that your competitors have either neglected or not covered in enough detail. The idea is to go after either the “low hanging fruit” or simply deliver way more value on the same topic as your competitors.
A few examples:
- A phone accessories company covering the different types of screen protectors for your phone and case studying which do the best in a variety of real-world tests.
- An immigration lawyer covering the immigration process from start to finish for the H1B visa
As you can see, you need to get specific – going for “Best Smartphone Accessories” or “Immigration Process in USA” is probably a bit too broad and requires a lot more effort, so niche it down and watch your success rate skyrocket.
Research Your Topic
This is the most crucial step in the process. While you should know quite a bit about the topic , it’s a good idea to gather as much information as possible before you begin writing. You never know what little tidbits you’re going to pick up from elsewhere that will add massive value to your resource page.
Searching through social media, forums, industry blogs, and social bookmarking websites is a good first step – but you need to go deeper. If you want your resource page to be truly valuable, you need to root out the “hard to find” sources of information.
Look for research papers, white papers, and case studies. If you can’t find any of these, you may need to set up an experiment or case study of your own in order to add significant value to your resource page. I tend to prefer this option because it adds high quality, unique content instead of pulling from other sources.
Finally, write out everything you know about your topic. Don’t hold back – this phase is just a brain dump. We’ll get to the organization later.
Design the Page
If you’ve done your research properly, you should have a fairly large amount of content that you have created yourself and collected from various sources around the Internet. Now is the time to structure all this content in a way that makes sense.
I highly recommend sketching your resource page out on a piece of paper or using mind mapping software to get a visual hierarchy of the page itself. This will help you take all the information you collected and “plug it in” to the page. There will be redundancies in both your content and the content that you collected, so it’s important to make sure you’re not repeating yourself on the page and only picking out the highest-quality sources and content.
The picture above is the design outline of the hydroponic growing media resource page in the video walk-through at the bottom of this post. While there are many different types of growing media, all that needed to be done to design this resource page was to map out the different types of information that would be covered for one particular growing media – then that same structure would be replicated across all different types of growing media.
Create the Page
Once you’ve settled on a solid design for your page, it’s time to start plugging in the content.
If you’re going for the multimedia route, now is the time to upload all videos and images and plug them into the page.
Make sure you cite all of your sources and give them some love by dropping them a link. Don’t worry about sending people away from your site. Remember, you are creating THE resource page for this particular topic – so if you’ve done your job, they should be coming back over and over again.
Optimize Page for Search and Visitors
By their nature, resource pages tend to be a lot longer than a typical piece of web content. Because of this, you need to make sure that you put on your optimization hat on and structure the page with both search engines and visitors in mind.
For search engines:
The usual suspects need to be optimized:
- Title tag
- H1-H6 hierarchy and keywords
- Image filenames, title tags, alt tags
Because the resource page is longer than most articles, you have the unique opportunity to optimize for multiple keywords. The best strategy is to select a relatively high competition keyword as the main keyword for the page. Because you are going to do an amazing job and make this page the go to resource for your topic, you shouldn’t have a problem picking up search traffic for this keyword.
The subheadings in your resource page can target longer tail keywords that are getting very small amounts of traffic. This is okay because the overall authority of your resource page should help you snag some rankings for these as well.
Make it is as easy as possible for them to navigate the page. A great way to do this is to create jump links that send visitors to a particular section on the page. There’s no excuse for skipping this! Think about it: when browsing a 2,000-4,000 word page, how many of your visitors will want to scroll around aimlessly looking for the section that they’re interested in? Answer: not many. Create a table of contents for your content and make their lives easier!
Here’s a great example of a jump-linked table of contents at the top of a resource page.
Examples of Great Resource Pages
- Jon Cooper’s Linkbuilding Techniques List
- Epic Gardening Hydroponic Growing Media Guide
- Nick Eubanks’ Keyword Research Article
- MarksDailyApple.com Definitive Guide to Fermented Foods
Walkthrough of a Real-Life Resource Page
In the video below, I walk through a resource page that I created on a site that I’ve built. Check it out to see some more of the nitty gritty details on building great resource pages for your business.
Have anything to add about creating resource pages, or want to share some strategies I’ve missed? Drop me a line in the comments – I respond to every one.