Understanding What Your Audience Wants
High-quality content sounds like an elusive marketing buzzword, but it’s a real thing. As a business owner, you’ve probably been told high-quality content is a content marketing must, but how do you know if your content is high quality? If it isn’t, how do you go about creating high-quality content? And why does any of this even matter? Let me break things down for you.
Loosely defined, quality content provides value. How content provides value and what that exact value is will vary from one blog post to the next, but ultimately, quality equates to value. For example, quality content helps readers better understand your industry and your business, as well as the products and services you provide. This sort of high caliber content can help advance customers through the sales funnel and help retain existing clients.
High-quality content can also help your site rank with search engines. The main objective of Google, Bing and other search engines is to help their users find what they need. If you play by the search engines’ rules and take the time to craft useful content with which readers engage and respond, your site will come up in the results when users type relevant terms into the search field.
Selecting Your Audience
Before setting out to create high-quality content you need to figure out who you want to reach: existing readers or new readers. Depending on the needs of your business and your strategy, you may wish to focus your efforts just on one of these groups. You may also very well decide the best course of action is to divide your efforts and create multiple pieces of content geared towards different audiences.
Determining the ideal blog post length is tricky business. The post needs to be long enough, but not too long. Google has made it clear, they prefer long-form posts in the vicinity of 2,000 words or more. Lots of text provides plenty of space to explain useful info in depth, as well as lots of opportunities to feature keywords. However, readers tend to prefer short posts and will generally avoid reading behemoth blog posts.
What’s a blogger to do? Pick and choose your battle. If ranking on the results pages for search engines is the most important objective, then you need to commit to long-form blog posts. The higher you rank, the greater the odds of receiving organic traffic back to your site. If you see your blog posts as useful tools to help customers, then you need to tailor your content for that audience and keep it manageable for your readers’ busy schedules and short attention spans.
It turns out no one, not people and not search engine algorithms, like dense blocks of text. Most people tend to bail if they are presented with long and intense text and search engines have become adept at identifying dense blocks of text. Through the use of some clever formatting tricks, you can relay tons of info in a limited space to make the most of your posts.
Short paragraphs create the illusion of short and easy to manage text, which is enough to keep some readers on board. The use of headings and subheadings and even bullet points make it easy for readers to get through a post or skim the content to come away with the gist.
Quality content should also be completely free of errors and typos. Everyone makes mistakes, and it can be hard to know when to use a comma sometimes, but it’s important to take the time to write original content that makes sense and is grammatically correct. Grammarly is just one of many great and free online tools to help you clean up your act.
Mistake riddled text may be confusing and can turn readers away. Errors do not instill confidence, and even if your industry has nothing to do with content creation and writing, grammar mistakes can still leave a bad impression. Search engines also take into consideration the quality of the text. A few mistakes aren’t likely to be a big deal, but continually making grammatical errors could spell disaster and negatively impact your site’s ranking.
High-quality content is more than just well written and informative text. Images, graphics, video and any other type of visual aids all play a part in the creation of high-quality content. Reading through long text can be boring, even for people who like to read and even when utilizing bullet points and other hacks to rein in the length and improve the flow, so breaking things up with images and graphics can help make things interesting and engaging.
Breaking up the monotony is an important task, but elevate your content to the next level by providing useful imagery. Videos, photos, and charts need to support the information provided in the text. Here are a few pointers when creating visual content.
Files should also be high-resolution, so they display nice and make sure to use original content.
Snagging images and files created by someone else and using them on your site without their permission and without giving them credit is plagiarism.
You may also want to add a watermark or branding to any files you create to prevent any unethical bloggers from helping themselves to your files.
Visually stunning or just plain interesting imagery is also prime material for backlinks. A backlink, sometimes known as an inbound link, is when another site includes a link back to your site. For instance, if another blogger includes a link to one of your posts in one of their posts, that’s a backlink. Including links out to other sources helps your site earn a good reputation with readers and search engines alike, but backlinks really help improve your standing. A key part of creating quality-content is giving other bloggers and writers something worth linking back to, in order to share with their readers and improve your ranking.
Solving a Problem
The way content is presented in terms of formatting, grammar and the inclusion of imagery all contribute to the quality of the content. Perhaps the most important hallmark of high-quality content is the value provided. Does your post answer a question, solve a problem or explain a complicated or confusing process? In some instances, the entertainment value of the piece can be enough to earn the distinction of high quality. Ultimately, high-quality content must serve a purpose. The purpose will vary, depending on your brand and which segment of your audience you wish to reach.
Creating High-Quality Content
Quality content may provide value to your readers, or it may provide value to search engines, which will, in turn, direct more visitors to your site. Sometimes, these two things are the same, or at least very similar, other times these objectives may be very different. Understanding how to create and identify high-quality content can help you reach your goals and grow your business. Want to learn more or find out how I can help you create high-quality content? Get in touch!