Think about the last time you found exactly what you were looking for on the web. It was an AHA! moment, a time when the lightbulb turned on, and you were flooded with a combination of powerful feelings. Satisfaction, completion, and a sense of relief.

Here’s the cool thing. AHA! moments can be engineered.  The work of crafting brilliant content is the same as writing a mystery novel. Start at the end point and work your way backward.

Consider this – 91 percent of adult internet users do online research, according to The Pew Research Center. Eighty-four percent look for information on a hobby or interest, 80 percent look for health information, and 78 percent are doing research on products and services they’re thinking of buying. Those figures dwarf internet users who are posting comments, rating products, building websites and participating in live discussions.

And it isn’t just consumer products we’re talking about. A recent study showed that for Fortune 100 companies, 80 percent of the purchase cycle is completed before the buyer contacts potential vendors or partners. That means the buyer is in control – it’s the new era of preference marketing.

Don’t wait for your sales prospects to tell you what they want. Do your research and tell them what they want before they know they want it.After all, it’s not about your needs. It’s about your customers’ needs. Always.

Rewind the research narrative. When the vast majority of buyers have already made a purchasing decision before they get to your site, you need to figure out the path they’ve taken and match it, link for link.

It’s not the bottom feeders of the Internet, the link stuffers and content spinners, who create the AHA! moment. In fact, they’re the ones who disappoint, and their era is ending. Google recently confirmed that its 20th Panda algorithm update was released at the end of September and it’s estimated that 2.4 percent of English queries will be affected. Once again, SEO optimizers are running scared, desperate for new ways to get around Google’s insistence that top search results be quality results. It has never been less useful to throw popular keywords onto your website just to drive traffic; blatant keyword placement is sure to backfire.

Authorship and quality content is winning; lowest common denominator hackery is losing. If the goal is to deliver your prospects that AHA! Moment – and it is – quality content is the way to land at the top of SERPs and break through to new audiences.