High-quality content is an essential part of your marketing and promotional efforts. Simply broken down, quality content is that which achieves its marketing goals, including:
- Ranking well on search engines
- Improving click-through rates
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating leads
- Getting social shares or engagement
Who determines the quality of your content?
What is deemed ‘quality’ ultimately comes down to the interactions of your users and website visitors. With such a broad definition, that means creating quality content can be quite a challenge! Every user is different in the way they behave and search online; they know what they want, but you may not! Don’t let that put you off though, with the easy steps below you can start creating quality content in no time.
So, how do you create quality content?
1. Nail down your goals by understanding your user’s search intent
Firstly, what is search intent? Search intent is the reason why someone conducts a specific search; it is the term used to describe their reason for searching online. Someone’s search intent makes a difference in how they will consider the quality of your content.
- Do they have a question they need to be answered?
- Do they want to buy something online?
It is important to consider your user’s search intent. If your content fits their needs at that moment, they will stay longer on your page. However, if they need an answer to a question and they land on a page that is trying to sell them products, they’ll leave pretty quickly.
Once you understand your user’s search intent, then you can set your goals for that page or article.
- Get more subscriptions to your newsletter
- Get your user to buy something
If you want your users to subscribe to your newsletter, it is important to put a button on the page that makes it easy for them. If you want your users to buy something from your site, then make sure they land on a product page, not a blog about that product. The more clicks a user has to make to achieve the goal, the less likely they are to complete a transaction.
2. Do your research
Researching relevant content will give you a strong start to creating your own. Here is how I do it! I follow some of the leading digital marketing blogs in the world (not just Australia) and when I read content on these blogs, I consider whether my community would find it helpful. I then mark them as topics that I can recreate with my own take and experience.
There are tools like Buzzsumo that can help you find content that is performing well, but these can be pricy. You can do your own research on known competitors and leaders in the industry with some simple online sleuthing.
If you do some research and find information that conflicts with what you believe or have been taught, that is ok. Remember, the internet is awash with different opinions and viewpoints! Use the information to help create a well-rounded view on the topic for your readers.
3. Make sure you create content for your readers, not for yourself
In some cases this could be the same thing, but not always. Make sure you a take into consideration what your users actually want to read. What interests do they have? What events or news do they follow that you can relate to your business? What ‘problems’ are they trying to fix that have led them to your site?
It may be tempting to write about your products and services or, if you are a blogger, you might want them to get to know you and the topics you are interested in. However, remember that these are things you want to write about, not necessarily topics your uses want to read about.
4. Be unique and use your voice
Recreating content from your research can sometimes be a trap, as you risk sounding exactly like the original blog.
Avoid doing this for a number of reasons, including:
- Re-purposing content directly is a copyright violation and you will be penalised by the search algorithms. Make sure you put the information or ideas into your own words
- It can be hard to rank if you are competing with leaders in your industry using the same topics
Let’s look at this article’s headline as an example, “How to create high-quality content”.
You can put this into your voice just by changing up your heading, for example:
- How not to create high-quality content
- A data-driven guide for creating high-quality content
- Why you shouldn’t create high-quality content
- Why creating high-quality content doesn’t work
5. Apply your own statistics, data and experience
If you have data that supports or disproves a popular opinion in your industry, go ahead and share it!
Why does this work? Statistics and data make people look, especially if they go against the grain or contradict a popular idea or opinion. This method of creating content can come from numerological data, or pulled from a series of experiences as anecdotal evidence that form a pattern.
6. Use different types of content
Most blogs are full of words, but you can complement your written content with other types of media such as:
Most readers are visual information gatherers, so a bunch of words on a page will bore them and they will lose interest pretty quickly. By adding other types of media, you can keep them engaged and appeal to a wider range of people.
7. Give yourself time to review, and make it readable and engaging
I know so many content writers that stress over last-minute writing and creating. I was one of them, but I found the content was second-rate and I wasn’t achieving my marketing goals. I now give myself much more time to write and review (for example, this post was written in March 2021, but it won’t be set to go live until the end of June). I also now send my content to a professional proofreader and content writer to ensure it’s written well and is easy for you to understand.
By giving myself time to review the blogs before they go live, I have the chance to fix things up as they come to me. My goal is to give you ‘bang for ya buck’, as in I want to offer you, as a reader, the most value for YOUR time.
8. Most importantly, be trustworthy
With a multitude of scams and fake news out in the internet world, it is VITAL to build trust on your pages. Having well-written content is a start, but there are a few other things you can do to build trust for users who have not visited your site before.
- Use genuine photos of your business wherever possible (don’t use stock images). This creates a personal feel, so when people visit your website they can see the faces of the people they are connecting with
- Add Google ratings and|or testimonials to your page where appropriate (in other blogs we have given you the facts and figures on why reviews are so important, so make them easily visible to people clicking through to your site)
- Set up HTTPS to let your users and Google know that your site is safe and secure
Taking the above steps lets your users know that the site belongs to an actual business and|or person, which will help them trust your site and leave them to browse happily and safely.
BONUS TIP: Keep your content up-to-date
Things change online at a speed that is hard to keep up with, but it pays to regularly revisit old content and check if it needs updating. If anything reads as out of date, then go ahead and fix it as soon as you can. By keeping your content up-to-date, you ensure you aren’t sharing old news and you keep the trust built with your readers as the go-to source of information in your niche.