SEO, or search engine optimization, has changed sooooooooooo much in the last couple years. In fact, it seems like it’s changed a lot in the last couple hours. One thing is for certain at this moment, the best tactic for a business to effectively market to the search engines while attracting quality leads, is content marketing.

Creating content online that provides true value to your prospects is a sure-fire way to prove to the search engines that you are worth adding to their list of great results. So what’s the most effective way to do it? Here are some 10 quick and dirty SEO tips:

1) Promote, Promote, Promote

After writing your content, you have to promote it. Half the strategy is in creating quaity research-backed content. The other half is in passing it around to the right audiences.

2) Create Cornerstone Content

Written content that ranks highest is 2000 words long or more. You don’t have to write a novel every single time you blog, but when you blog about a particular topic you’re extremely knowledgeable about, that you know your prospects are eager to learn about, go ahead and make it a cornerstone piece by going into real detail.

3) Share What’s Shareable

The search engines value highly the digital content that spreads so focus on writing remarkable content that people actually want to read and share with their friends, family, and colleagues.

4) Focus on the Long-Tail

We’d have a hard time trying to rank #1 for the keyword “marketing”. And you know what? Most people who Google “marketing” aren’t even looking for a marketing agency. By focusing on more specific, longer keyword phrases like “does my business need a new website,” we are not only more likely to rank in the search engines, but we’re also more likely to attract targeted traffic that’s actually looking for what we have to offer.

5) Be Consistent

If you get prospects interested in what you have to say, don’t leave them hanging. Let them get used to a regular schedule so they’re excited to look out for what you have in store.

6) Be Patient

The general rule of thumb is that you won’t see real, measurable results until you’ve put in about a year. Though most people do see some immediate results too. Don’t give up if you don’t. Think of SEO as a long-term strategy with high returns (however delayed the gratification).

7) Message to Your Ideal Client

When you’re writing a blog post or an online article, think about your current favorite client. The one who makes you excited for your upcoming meeting with them. The one who raves about your company because you’re just that great a fit for them. Now create content for them. Keep them in mind with everything you do and you will attract more people like them.

8) Go Evergreen

Put most of your focus into evergreen content. That’s the stuff that will still be relevant five years from now. The topical stuff is great for showing your human side. But the evergreen stuff will still get love from Google way down the line.

9) Write Headlines with the Search in Mind

For great headlines, consider both your target audience and the search engines by trying to imagine what your ideal client might type into Google when searching for your product or service.

10) Be Responsive

Google has made it perfectly clear that websites that are not responsive and adapt to whatever screen size are punished in the search rankings. They know that in time, we’ll all be on smartphones and tablets. Make sure your content is compatible so that you don’t exclude those folks who move on completely from computers. Even those of us who work on computers do much of our own consumer research on our phones.