Increasing your online visibility and developing trust with your target audience is the key to converting interested prospects into customers. There are many ways to achieve this goal, but one of the most effective routes is through SEO (search engine optimization). Search engines like Google are both widely used and widely trusted, but in order to get them to display your content in front of their massive audiences, your content needs to be useful and trustworthy. In this post we’ll go over the importance and characteristics of high quality content, so that you can leverage the power of search engine optimization to grow your business.
SEO and High Quality Content
Search engines like Google strive to provide the best user experience possible, with relevant, trustworthy, and valuable search results. However, Google isn’t able to determine the quality of content on its own. It can crawl a page for keywords and other indicators, but it relies heavily on its users’ behavior with a page in order to gauge its quality.
Therefore, if you want to rank higher on search engines, your online content must not only be easy for search engines to crawl and categorize, but also of high value to its users. Making your pages more “crawlable” is more of a structural task. Providing value is much more strategic, and is rooted in quality content. So what is high quality content? Read on to find out.
What is High Quality Content?
Below are some of the essential characteristics of high quality content, that can help to boost its value to readers and improve your SEO.
Unique and Original
There’s nothing wrong with using information from elsewhere on the web to produce your web content, as long as you properly cite it. However, the more unique and original your content is, the higher its quality. Make your content unique by expressing otherwise mundane or general terms in your brand voice. Make it original by using data and information from within your business.
Having inaccurate content may even be worse than having no content at all. No content might limit your online visibility, but inaccurate content will quickly cost you the trust of your audience members. High quality content is content that can be trusted, so make sure to do your research, fact check your work, and proofread for any misleading errors.
Not all high quality content is evergreen, but most evergreen content tends to be high quality. Writing about trending topics or news-related matters might earn you increased traffic, but not a sustained increase. Content that is of use over time, even if it requires a few updates here and there, is of higher quality when it comes to building your reputation and the trust of your audience.
Not every sentence in your content is going to be of the utmost value, but that’s not a characteristic of high quality content. All content will have a mix of information and words that are of varying value. What makes it quality content is that the most important information is prioritized so that the reader can get their immediate questions answered. To properly prioritize your content, try to include a large portion of your most important information in the beginning, and start each your paragraphs with strong sentences.
As mentioned above, search engines like Google can identify high quality content based on how many users are visiting that page, how long they’re staying on it, and other data. Make your content interesting to your target audience, and their resulting behavior with your page will indicate its quality to Google.
For some businesses, it might seem challenging to create interesting content related to your business. How do you make finances interesting? Plumbing? The fact of the matter is, “interesting” doesn’t refer to just the topic of the content, but also the way you convey it. Use language common to your target audience, and include examples and anecdotes they can relate to. You’d be surprised at how much familiarity and relatability can hold a person’s attention.
Easy to Read
High quality content doesn’t mean fancy vocabulary or industry jargon—unless of course that’s the language of your target audience. Users searching a topic online are doing so because they want to learn more about it. Make it easy for them to learn by providing information that they can understand and absorb quickly.
Using the language your audience uses and simplifying things isn’t the only characteristic of easy to read content. Without any organization, you’re likely to overwhelm your reader just as much as if you wrote it in complicated terms.
High quality content is structured in a way that provides an experience for the user. You want them to feel like they are progressing through your content, while also gathering information along the way. Be sure to use paragraphs, bullet points, headings, subheadings, and lists to present your information in a clean and engaging manner.
To produce high quality content for your target audience, stick to topics relevant to your business. You don’t have to cut out trending topics and newsworthy pieces altogether, but try to stay as relevant to your business as possible.
Keywords are core to both the search engine and user aspects of SEO practices. They help the search engine to properly identify and categorize your content, and they also help you to match your content with those who will be most interested in it.
However, using more keywords doesn’t equate to higher quality. Using too many different keywords in your content is likely to dilute it and make it harder to rank for any given keyword. On the other hand, using too many of the same keyword on one page can make it appear robotic, and you may even get penalized for keyword stuffing. Improve the quality of your content with relevant keywords, that are included in a natural way.
Search engines may still be using algorithms to rank web pages, but these algorithms are incorporating human behavior more and more. Use these tips to create high quality content for your business, so that search engines can put you in front of more of the right people.