What does quality content mean exactly? Does it have to be written by a Pulitzer Prize winner? Is it a blog post with its own Ph.D. in marketing?
The answer isn’t as complicated as you might think. Even if you’re taking your first steps into content marketing, quality content isn’t too difficult to get your head around.
The 5 Components of Quality Content
Back in the youthful days of search engines, when Google was rocking Reebok Classics and pestering its parents to borrow the car, content was ranked on a simple set of criteria. Keyword stuffing was all the rage and websites that crammed as many keywords into their content as possible were rewarded with high rankings.
Those days are long gone. Search engines have matured, they now have a mortgage to pay and an unhealthy interest in real ale and cheese, and give ranking priority to quality content over…well… just run of the mill content.
So taking this into account, below are the five components that differentiate quality content from the ocean of mediocre content across the web.
1. It’s In-Depth and Informative
Rather than scratching the surface, quality content is comprehensive and tackles an issue head-on, offering clear and complete answers to questions. Instead of adding to the echo chamber online, it brings a fresh and detailed account of an issue, helping its readers gain a real understanding by providing the information they require to find a solution to their problem.
2. It’s Engaging and Entertaining
The best online content is relevant and delivered with passion. It engages the reader. There are two elements that contribute to making a post engaging: technical and emotional.
The technical element includes the use of language, format of the content (quiz content and listicles achieve high engagement on social media), and whether it’s easily shareable. For a more in-depth take on how to make your writing more engaging, check out my post 3 Rules to Engage Your Readers and Kill Your Dull Business Copy.
The emotional element is comprised of these factors:
- Shock and awe – is it unusual or shocking enough to be shared by the reader?
- Emotional engagement – does it inspire or entertain?
- Real value – is it so helpful the reader will have to show their friends/colleagues?
3. It’s Distinctive and Unique
Anybody with a keyboard and an internet connection can conduct a search and plagiarise content, parroting what’s already online. This isn’t going to help your search ranking or your credibility.
Aim to create unique content, written in your tone of voice, delivered from your point of view, and tailored to your audience. These are the building blocks for creating quality content that helps you stand out from your competition online.
4. It Really Offers Something of Value
Why would a search engine give a high ranking to content that doesn’t add to the knowledge base online? Quality content draws from your ideas and resources to provide something of real value to the reader.
The value your content provides to the reader depends on your industry. If you’re in the real estate business, you could provide content that helps potential buyers understand the home buying process. If you’re in the travel business, you could post content that helps readers compile a packing list for a specific popular destination.
When I produce content for a client I always keep these questions in mind:
- Who is the content for?
- What are the problems/issues they are facing?
- What information would help them?
5. It Isn't Afraid to Get Personal
There’s still a misconception around content and blogging for business that it’s best to avoid getting personal. Businesses want to sound professional and knowledgeable. The trouble is that they deliver robotic, dry, and jargon-filled content as a result.
Don’t be afraid to write in a personable tone and add some flavour to your writing. Not only does it make your copy more enjoyable to read, but it also helps you stand out from the junk that most businesses are posting online. Be authentic, be passionate, and make your content fun to read.
With so much content online, you can’t afford to be publishing ordinary, or just ‘okay’, content. You need to make sure what you’re posting is relevant, engaging, and providing something of value to your readers. However, those businesses that do publish quality content ensure they stand out from the competition. Posting content that gets to grips with your audiences wants, needs, and problems means that your blog will be a valuable resource to your customers both now and in the future.
Need some quality content for your website? Get in touch.