In a recent survey 86% of B2B businesses said they use content marketing to attract and retain an audience for their products and services. In every sector, marketeers are churning out articles, blog posts, newsletters, infographics, case studies and white papers.
That’s a lot of content.
How can you get your voice heard above the noise? How can you differentiate yourself from your competitors and keep your visitors coming back for more?
The importance of quality content for your website is ever increasing and will continue to do so.
Want to know why?
Quality content is what separates the winners from the losers in the arena of online marketing.
As Google’s algorithms grow ever more sophisticated, it’s getting better and better at finding quality content and rewarding it in the search engine rankings. Google has made its intentions clear in its leaked Quality Rating Guide.
So what do we mean by quality content?
Characteristics of quality content
Quality content doesn’t just mean that the information is beautifully written or delivered in an appealing design.
Quality content is primarily about being relevant and valuable to your target audience.
It’s content that shows people how to do something that benefits them, or explains how they can solve a problem that they’re facing.
It’s content that people will want to discuss in their own blog posts or over a cup of coffee.
It’s content that people will want to quote, link to and share.
Measuring the quality of your content
Quality content will increase the interactions between you and your audience. This interaction, or engagement can be measured. And although Google is cagey about the precise metrics used in its algorithms, SEO experts are in agreement that user engagement is a ranking factor in search engine results.
The key metrics for assessing quality content are:
- Time on site. How long do users stay on your page? Do they visit briefly but “bounce” back to the search results? This can be taken as a sign that your content is not engaging. Now if users are spending a relatively long time reading your content compared to that of your competitors, this is a strong signal to Google that your content is of superior quality.
- Social signals including shares, “tweets” and “likes” provide quantifiable data that can be measured by Google.
- Links to your content from other websites will position you as an authority and will be rewarded by Google.
How to produce quality content for your website
You want to produce quality? Well here’s the deal:
1. Address the needs of your audience.
Quality content should be customer-centred. It shouldn’t be about you. It’s all about your audience. Their needs, the problems they face, the questions they need answering.
To address your audience effectively, you need to know them. Find where they hang out, online and in real life. Listen to what they are saying. How can you join the conversation in a way that provides value?
Create content that benefits your audience. Help them to achieve their goals, inform and educate them, give them solutions to their problems.
When you can do this, your audience will see you as valuable resource and will return again and again.
2. Write in a language your audience understands
You may be experts in your field and fluent in the technical jargon and advanced concepts. However your audience may not.
To address the widest possible audience, your content should be clear, straightforward, and memorable. A good way to test this is to give your content to someone who’s not in your field and see if they can understand it.
What words are your audience using when they discuss topics that are related to your business? These are the words that your audience understand. These are the words that your audience are typing into google. If your content is delivered using these words, it will enhance your rankings in the search results.
3. Be specific
Don’t be make vague assertions or give broad generalisations. To convey your authority in your area of expertise, you must be specific. Give figures, data and case studies. Draw on your own experience and knowledge. Where appropriate reference other authoritative sources.
4. Be interesting
Don’t bore your audience with the same information that can be found on hundreds of other sites. Give your visitors a reason to spend time reading your content. Offer them something different that they can’t find elsewhere. Provide information that has not been covered before. Offer them your unique perspective or special insight. Use a professional writer who can make even the driest technical topics enjoyable and interesting.
Present your content in an appealing way. Break your text up into shorter paragraphs to make it more readable. Use catchy headings and subheadings. Add eye-catching images to draw your visitor’s eye into your content.
5. Be actionable
If your readers are not inspired to take action as a result of reading your content, it was not truly useful. Produce content that encourages your audience to do something that will benefit them. If can you do this, you will turn prospects into buyers and buyers into loyal customers.
Building authority to build relationships
By creating quality content for your website on a consistent basis, you’re building a reputation as the authority in your field. This isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s something that can be achieved with a defined plan executed consistently over a period of time.
Your rewards are the relationships you will build and the loyal customers you will nurture over time.
If you want to produce quality content, you need to put out stuff which is better than everybody else’s stuff.
Be innovative. Be inspired. Be memorable.
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