Much has been said about creating “quality content” on the web these days. While most are true, it can be quite ambiguous, too. Quality content can mean different things to different business owners with different areas of expertise. SEO specialists have their own take on what quality content should be. Google also has its own rulebook on this, too.
So what exactly does it mean? What makes content quality?
The matter of whether or not your content is a good one is really decided upon by two authorities: search engines and your audience.
Google’s Quality Guidelines
Before we can create high-quality content, we need to understand what Google wants, how it is evolving and how these changes can affect business owners and marketers in general. Here are Google’s quality guidelines:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
Google’s Hummingbird update has added ‘conversational search’ (where it focuses on better understanding a query, such as “where is the best place to have coffee in Paris”), and the Panda and Penguin update are all emphasising quality content as an important ranking factor. With all these algorithm updates, we think it’s pretty obvious it’s telling us to focus all our attention on content rather than keywords.
What should we do?
The new algorithms are not designed to make life harder for website owners like us; it wants to make life easy for everyone by delivering web pages that provide the best experience for users. This is what quality content is.
So we’ve reached the understanding that quality content is content that 1) Google thinks is worth sharing and 2) answers real questions and contains information valuable enough to be passed along. Here are five qualities that, in our opinion, will help you define what quality content is.
Your blog posts should not, in any way, hardsell. They should answer your customers’ questions and generate interest in whatever you’re selling. You can link them to sales pages if they want to learn more about your product or service. Focus first on building a relationship with your customer and establishing trust and credibility.
Original and Credible
We know it’s difficult to start original content from the ground up, but copying content is a big no-no. Check out our blog about duplicate content to find out why.
Original content should also contain original ideas. We know it can be pretty challenging but people love content that stands out and adds new insight rather than just rehashing what’s already been said.
Also, show your authority in your content by mentioning original research or testimonials from clients. You can also include anything about yourself and your business so people can relate to you well.
Ranks well in Google
Did you know that there are 2 million blog posts being published every day? So this puts undue pressure on us creating content that will stand out and get read. We want to rank high in search results, so it is more important to know how to write content that Google will love—check out our blog to know more about it.
Lots of social media engagement
Social media sites are the best places to hang out in if you want to turn your content viral. Social media is all about engagement, which is summed up into likes, comments, clicks, views, and shares. If you want to keep audiences engaged, your content should have an emotional appeal (make people cry, make them laugh, inspire them, etc.)
Lastly, quality content has high conversion rates. Whether it’s to get them to sign up for your newsletter, request for a free quote or contact you, if you’re getting people to click on it, then you’ve got a good one there.
Are you ready?
Now that you have a clear idea of what quality content is, it’s going to be less scary and intimidating to create one (or maybe a dozen and more!) But if you don’t have time (and patience) to build an awesome blog, we’re happy to help you!