The phrase that’s been bandied about in recent years is that content is king. Most have us have heard that, but what does it mean and why is quality content even more important now than ever?
The fact of the matter is that websites such as Google are placing ever more importance on quality content. Poorly written articles, blog posts and content just won’t cut the mustard with Google. It’ll see your website as being inferior to those of your competitors and send users to them through the search results instead of to you. That’s the cold, hard truth.
So what is quality content and how do you create it? Google has published a whole raft of guidelines on quality content and how to avoid triggering bad content filters. Some of the worst things you can have on your website are:
- Auto-generated content
- Hidden text
- Content scraped or copied from other sites
- Pages with little or no content
- Doorway pages
- Pages loaded with irrelevant text or stuffed keywords
Unfortunately, a huge number of websites have at least one of these in place. Usually it’ll be little or no content or content that’s been used elsewhere online. If that’s the case, you need to revolutionise your content.
1. Make your content relevant and readable
Don’t use corporate speak — the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale is used by Google to ensure that easy-to-read sites are given a big boost over more complicated wording. Google is also starting to value longer articles and pages: in 2015 alone, the average text length of the top 30 ranking pages in Google searches has increased by 25% compared to 2014. You don’t need to be concise: make sure all of the information is there and readers will appreciate it if it’s done properly.
2. Write as an expert, but not as a dullard
This is more of a caveat on the previous point. Don’t write like a school kid, but don’t pretend you’re Professor Stephen Hawking either. You need to sound like an authority in your industry whilst still being accessible to the general reader or visitor. This is where a skilled copywriter really comes into his or her own.
3. Write for humans, not for Google
Don’t write your content with Google and SEO in mind. Write for human visitors. After all, Google’s main aim is to provide the best sites for human visitors. If you try to aim it at Google, that’s a very short-sighted approach and will likely backfire. Target human beings and Google will follow — and you won’t need to worry about algorithm changes tripping you up either.
Most importantly, you need to ensure you know your audience. How old are they? What’s their gender likely to be? What about their hobbies and interests? Educational background? Do they have children? Know your target market and ensure you’re creating your content around them. The tone of your writing should always be geared towards your target audience.
4. Focus on the user experience
This is tied into the point above, but you need to make sure that your whole site is structured towards the user experience. Make it easy for people to navigate through your content and allow them to spend more time on it.
Google knows how long people spend on your website — especially if they go back to Google straight after or use the Chrome browser or Google toolbar. If they leave your site seemingly unsatisfied, your rankings will suffer. If the majority of visits end in a phone call or form submission, you’re likely to see your rankings rise.
One of the areas in which people trip up is in telling everyone about the features of their products or services. Don’t do that. Instead, focus on the benefits those features can offer — especially over your competitors. So you can get out to my house inside 24 hours? OK, fine. What, that’s almost half the time any of the competitors can get there in? Great, you’ve got the job.
At the same time, you should know what objections potential customers might have (price, quality, safety) and address those before they even surface in their mind. Create trust and put them at ease.
5. Create naturally shareable, readable content
Simply writing articles and popping a few backlinks in doesn’t work as a lnikbuilding strategy any more. It’s all about content that people share on social networks, so create something cool that people will actually want to share and pass on. That way, you’re going to have SEO success. And we don’t mean things that you find cool as an industry insider; think of the general man on the street and what he’d want to share. Aim for that.
When all’s said and done, creating quality content is extremely difficult and the goalposts are moving all the time. Fortunately, professional copywriters and content writers are on hand to take the sting out of the tail and help you to create content that converts and will help boost your Google rankings.
For more information on how our professional copywriters and content writers can help revolutionise your website, call us today.