In a world saturated with copious amounts of written content everywhere we turn, how can you make yours stand out? First things first: it needs to be high quality content! Otherwise, your words will get lost in the crowd and you won’t get the traffic, results, or business you’re hoping for. But what exactly is high quality content? Not to mention, how do you go about creating it? These are two big questions we’re going to answer today so don’t miss the rest of this post!
How Do You Define a High-Quality Content?
Do you ever click on a blog article with a really clear question or topic in the title, only to reach the end of the article to discover your question remains unanswered? This is just one sign the content quality isn’t great. Of course, things like grammatical errors and content gaps make for low quality content too. But what defines really high quality content?
Above all else, your content needs to be valuable to be high quality. Yes–these matters even more than grammatical accuracy! As for what value means, it tends to relate to satisfying the reader’s question or interest. The title of an article and the content of the article should go hand in hand. The body of the content should deliver the answers or information they’re looking for. Otherwise, your content is irrelevant and low-quality. And it’s not only readers who will note that. Search engines will too! It’s true, search engines look for a number of different factors that signal content quality. This includes the inbound and outbound links, shares and likes, as well as domain authority. Search engines and readers alike want to know they’re getting quality content from you. And there’s really no way to trick your readers OR search engines. Your content needs to BE high quality to get the kind of results really valuable content gets.
What are the Best Practices for Writing Quality Content?
Now we know that value above all else is what defines content quality. As for actually writing valuable, high-quality content? We’ve got six actionable steps to help you do just that.
Write for your readers, not for yourself
Chances are, if you’re writing about something, you know a great deal about it. Rather than assuming your reader knows just as much, keep this in mind: you should be writing for your reader…not for yourself! Just because there’s something you want to say, doesn’t mean that’s necessarily what your readers want to hear. A good way to make sure you’re providing what your readers actually want to read is to make sure you’re focusing on the title and topic of the content throughout the body. Does the content stick to that topic? Or do you find you’re going off on tangents based on your own interests? This is a good time to reel it in and keep your focus on what your readers really want/need to know.
Focus on readable and engaging content
Simply listing a bunch of facts isn’t likely to keep your readers around long. Instead, find a way to not only make your content informative, but readable and engaging as well. Many of us have our high school or university English teachers in our mind when we set out to write. We are focused on essay-style writing when instead, our focus should be on readable and engaging content! Adapting to this style can take time, and it might feel awkward at first. Start by re-reading your content and looking for any areas where you can make it more conversational. Pretend you’re talking to a friend, rather than writing for a professor.
Know about search intent and your goal
If your content matches up with search intent, this is another key indicator of content quality. Again, this goes back to keeping your headline and your content related. For example, you probably clicked on this blog post hoping to learn how to write quality content. But what if, instead, we told you all about our favorite books? Then you’re not likely to come away satisfied with the content–the quality would be considered low because it didn’t match your search intent!
Trustworthy and authority go hand in hand when it comes to content quality. There are a number of ways to signal both your trustworthiness and your authority. Here are a few.
- Don’t forget your evidence! Are you listing stats or facts that aren’t your own? Be sure to include links to the direct source! Don’t worry about these links taking readers away. Instead, the signal trustworthiness to both your readers AND to search engines.
- Make your content personable whenever possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean delving into ten-page anecdotes about your latest camping trip. Instead, it can mean including a line or two here and there with personal stories about your experience on that particular topic.
- A focus on active voice also goes a long way in demonstrating trustworthiness. Active writing tends to come across as more confident and friendly. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help make this easier, including Yoast’s built-in readability rating tool that tells you how much of your text is active vs. passive.
Keep your content up to date
When’s the last time you updated your best-performing content? At least once a year, return to your content to make sure everything it includes is still up to date. Do links still work? Have the stats changed? Are there new factors that should be included? Updating your content also signals to search engines that it’s time to re-crawl your content and this can help you a lot in search results. To demonstrate authority and trustworthiness, you can also include something in your content explaining when, why, and how it was updated.
Invest time in site structure
Your site structure can also go a long way in demonstrating content quality to readers and search engines. Yes–your writing needs to be relatable, readable, valuable, and up to date. But what about the rest of your site? There are a number of SEO strategies that can mean higher quality content. For example, how user-friendly is your web page? If your readers get a headache just trying to navigate your blog, chances are they won’t consider the content high quality, if they even make it there in the first place! Here are a few site structure components to consider that can help signal quality content:
- Remove old or irrelevant content
- Reexamine categories and tags
- Work on your internal linking structure
- Avoid clever menu item names (make them obvious to readers!)
- Double-check the links in your website footer
Bonus tip: get high-quality content done FOR you
Let’s face it: content creation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Many people aren’t natural born writers, nor do they have an interest in becoming a skilled writer. Instead, their skills are better focused elsewhere. The problem is, high quality content is a MUST. So if you can’t (or don’t want to) create it for yourself, what are your other options? Outsourcing your content creation! Marketing companies like Blue Water Marketing in Florida have professional writers on their team to create valuable, high-quality, SEO-rich content for their clients. Not only does this save their clients PLENTY of time, but it also translates to more website clicks, more dedicated readers and customers, and ultimately, more business. It’s 2021, and now more than ever, the importance of high-quality content can’t be overlooked. Whether you use these six tips to create the content for yourself or you consider outsourcing, it’s time to put your valuable content out in the world! If the outsourcing route seems like the right choice for you, we should talk. Give us a call today to discuss all of your content marketing needs! (And don’t miss these seven content marketing benefits for online customers either!) Our content marketing services include content strategy, research, developing, reporting, and more–no step is overlooked. Learn more about our process here.