We often hear it repeated that quality content is one of the keys to have good rankings and attract more visitors to your site.
But what is “quality content” really? Opinions on this subject vary and many will try to tell you to focus on a certain aspect of your campaign to get the desired ranking result.
In this article, we hope to tackle this question and give a good analysis of what is real quality content and how you can best define your own content marketing style to utilize on your own website.
Good Content is the lifeblood of any SEO or link building Campaign
The saying “Content is KING” still stands in this day and age. When Bill Gates uttered this, it influenced a lot of things in the tech world. From what goes in your device to what you search for online. The Microsoft founder and trailblazer’s vision of allowing people to make money on the internet was condensed into these three words and was primarily based on the publication of content.
Today, websites are still influenced by this and until now this is the guiding principle of many successful websites we have now. People will keep visiting your sites based on the content you publish. The quality of your content will help draw the visitors you wish to attract. Publishing content for the heck of it no longer works in this age. Many search engines like Google and Bing now have better means of looking up your content’s relevance than ever before. What used to be a practice of just copying and publishing one story from some website to be posted on another is no longer deemed acceptable.
Obvious poorly-written content no longer brings in the rankings. Search engine giant Google even had some websites penalized for adhering to shady content practices to boost their rankings. When they upgraded their search engine algorithm many websites, especially those with low quality content were totally eliminated. Google shows no signs of ever stopping this campaign though. This will continue to be implemented by Google to make sure that their service becomes relevant to the people utilizing their products.
It is therefore same to assume that other search engine giants like Bing, Yahoo, and others will soon follow Google’s steps. Bringing relevant content is the cornerstone of the Google business empire and development.
Therefore, it is stressed over and over again that high quality content is what we should all be aiming for. There is a general and broad consensus on its importance. Every website owner should be aware of and focus on.
What are the characteristics of high quality content?
We will try to give a thorough and detailed answer to this question in this post.
After reading this article you will have a good idea what kind of content you should be publishing. What is high-quality content all about and what to look out for when you are a website owner or content creator.
So as a website owner or content creator you should be able to know and look out for text that is going to boost your website’s rankings.
The age old question of “Whom to write for?” is posed at this stage. Should your write for yourself and get the things you want across your audience or should your content reflect what your readers actually want to read about.
Does it always mean that “quality content” that you should only write for one demographic or your reader?
I personally am convinced that there should always be a balance of the two. And sticking to one style will not be good for your site.
It is search engine optimization common sense that one’s website or blog should reach a certain part of the reader right away but the topic you write and how you write it would greatly determine how long your audience will stay. If you convince them of just one article that your website is indeed good you will gain a follower. Many of them will subscribe to your website or follow your future posts through their feed subscribers.
But we cannot deny that we still get many of our subscribers via search engine results from Google and other search engines. Thus we can consider Google and search engines as our “middleman” when it comes to marketing our content and opinions.
They get us our “clients” by being the ones pushing our product to them.
The good thing about having this “middleman” is that he is available in many areas. Areas you have not even thought about of reaching. He has established contacts and can reach more people than you can market to. Through this middleman you are able to reach not just the client but potential partners and even “investors” in your endeavors. They can open doors of opportunities. Therefore it is to our advantage if we can form a good relationship with this middleman and also have the ability to convince our potential client and partner with our product or website the moment they first lay their eyes on the content on the website we are pushing.
Unfortunately we cannot convince this middleman with our emotional arguments or appeal to his kind heart to give us a chance because this middleman is heartless. They operate on a set of rules that we should not violate. They rely on algorithms to give relevant results. Thus, it is to our advantage if we know how this ticks and works. Search engines are still very dependent on their programming to give good results.
Google’s latest release and update tries to make its search as closely human as possible. But they still can’t replicate how a person thinks. That is why in their programming they require you to follow a pattern. This is like a balancing act between Google. It needs to have a human intuition while delivering machine-like precision.
Feature high-quality content for link building by following a few simple rules. With awareness you will be able to target a good audience.
To make this easier. We suggest you divide your content into two areas.
1.) Hard Factors
These are the measures and criteria that you can easily track and measure thus control. The things in this factor are also the ones easily tracked by search engines.
This is one of the most interesting off page criteria when it comes to bringing in search engine results. This is something that an ordinary does not see on the site but depending on the linking you have implemented, Google will be able to attach a great degree of importance on your site depending on your backlinks. The more quality backlinks you have, the more it thinks your site is also of top quality.
Not every important content is current. That means one of your best articles may have been published a month or so ago. Old, timeless articles put up on your site still plays a vital role. When people do a search Google will also try to look at the most relevant topic it can present. This is why keywords are also important.
You need to pay attention to not just your spelling, grammar, and readability but overall content and the facts you present. Readability can be determined by specific algorithms and thus evaluated by search engines. Text quality is very important for the reader.
Structure and Scope
Paragraphs, highlighting, lists, subheadings, even images used for the content you upload also plays an important role. Search engines can better analyze and evaluate the content. Even images now can be searched via Google and other websites. Choosing the graphic or image to go with your article not only makes it more relevant but it will also be great for the reader too who will also rely on the pictures you put up on your content so they can form their opinion.Scope would mean the length of your article. If it is too short, then the search engines might not think it is relevant enough. If it is too long can be tricky. It can either be good or bad. Know your audience so you know how long your content should be.
2.) Soft Factors
These are the factors that we take into consideration when thinking about our readers. They are not measured by Google but this is going to impact your image and how your reader perceives you.
Interests of the target group
Your topic should be guided primarily by the interests of the target group your content is targeting. What does the visitor want to read? What interests them most? If the own content arouse the reader’s interest, that’s half the battle.
What does your audience expect? Are you able to meet up to their expectations with your articles? It is important to be gifted with literature. Research your topic beforehand. Avoid misinformation at all cost.
Does the reader benefit from what you write? Were you able to impart what you wanted in a concise manner? Will they gleam new information from what you post? These are the questions you need to consider when you want new content to be published on your site. Be informative and entertaining at the same time.
This is not mandatory but it can make a good impression and would make your product especially valuable in the eyes of the reader. If you deliver more than what the reader expected then this would be to your advantage.
Credibility helps you retain your audience. If they trust your word, chances are they will keep coming back to you as they will see you as an authority in your niche.Google uses backlinks to evaluate trust in a website. Readers themselves are of course indifferent most of the time but they will often research and look up information in various websites now and if you spread wrong information that will affect your credibility.
Having a good comfortable style and using words that your readers can plainly understand will help you retain them in your site.
Here is a video explaining what makes a good content in the eyes of Google.
To sum it up, these factors listed above lead to a perceived quality by the reader. This overall impression is very important for readers and often determines whether a reader would leave for good or whether they return.
Mano B is the founder and chief content editor for Social SEO Team. He has been involved in execution of marketing campaigns for Small Businesses as well as large enterprises for last 7 years. He founded Social SEO Team to help small businesses avail high quality SEO and Link Building Services for their businesses without having to worry about shedding thousands of dollars.