In designing and building a new website, website creators tend to mistakenly think that the aesthetics of the site are what’s going to be their silver bullet. Having a pleasant color palette, slick menu options, ecommerce features, chatbots for customer support, and responsive design are all lovely, but none are nearly as effective in creating a popular website and winning the hearts and minds of your target audience as creating quality content.
Nothing is nearly as effective in winning the hearts and minds of your target audience as high-quality, brand-building content.
Some beginning bloggers assume that the ease of using drag-and-drop website builders or all-in-one solutions like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace outweigh the learning curve to implement WordPress. Our experience has shown that isn’t true; a free website builder does not perform as well as WordPress.
Consistent brand communication is one of the many facets of a marketing strategy that aids the growth and success of your business. That’s why larger organizations, oftentimes with an entire marketing team, make it their digital marketing mission to uniquely portray the best angles of their brand at every customer touchpoint.
This same tenacity needs to apply to your content strategy as well—your content needs to have an original yet consistent voice across all channels to make the greatest impact and persuade your customers to buy into your vision.
Content marketing is the process of planning, sharing, and communicating great content to your followers. You can simplify your content marketing process by using an editorial calendar to help you schedule your content production workflow. At BizBudding, we use Trello to do that—check out this nifty example editorial calendar from Trello.
Why is Quality Content Important?
Producing consistently great content will help build a loyal following for your brand while boosting your visibility on search engines.
Ensuring your website is filled with engaging and professionally produced content is what will set you apart from your competitors, both in the eyes of customers and search engines. Producing consistently high-quality content will let you establish yourself as an expert in your field right off the bat, while simultaneously persuading customers to purchase your products.
In the next video, we take quality content a step further and discuss the benefits of remarkable content.
Sarah: When I first started my website Paleomom.com nearly eight years ago, my whole mission was to communicate this message about health and wellness. And so my very first steps into blogging were content focused. That was pretty much what I thought was the be-all and end-all of blogging was to write an amazing article that helped inform the reader, that gave citations so that people could go get extra information. My entire focus was simply on creating high-quality content. And even though I’ve come to realize that creating a remarkable website involves so much more than just high-quality content, now, I still see that being the foundation of a successful blog is providing content that helps the reader, that helps build a community, that builds engagement around a message, that creates desire to join this audience and come back, and that high-quality content is the part of a blog that actually delivers the main message behind a brand so that people have something to recognize, engage with, communicate with, and feel like they belong to.
David: You’re a hundred percent right, and it’s a cornerstone to Google too. We understand the infrastructure part of blogs, and we built our blog for our business, and we never really focused on content in the early days. Most of our customers come to us through referrals. So as people would come to us they’d say, well, how do I use my website for marketing? How do I grow my business? So we started thinking, “Geez website as a marketing tool? We should write some content about that,” and we kind of went off and spent some time and wrote some really good high-quality content about how to use your website as a marketing tool and Google really rewarded us for that. Now it’s a combination of a couple of different things, but we had a very technical website but without remarkable high-quality content, you know, you’re still really missing the cornerstone of what you need. So as you’ve grown your blog over the years have you found that you’ve had to change how you structure your content?
Sarah: What I have found is that through my experience. I’ve become a better writer. I have embraced these very long blog posts. So when I first started blogging the standard recommendation was 500 to 800 words and I was terrible. I’ve always been terrible at being concise. I’ve always been very verbose. So right from the beginning, I would try to limit myself to 2,000 or 3,000 words, which now has become the standard but I’ve actually gone.. I still.. now I embrace the five to six thousand word blog post. I am very methodical about making sure that I have scientific references because I do sort of science writing. So what has happened is the principles that I kind of accidentally happened on in the beginning of my writing, because that was my experience going into blogging and sort of medical writing, that has become much more sort of high quality in general just through experience but also much more methodical in terms of how I create content. So I really try to tell a story. I don’t dumb down science. So it’s really like all the scientific evidence behind the actual information that I’m giving with citations. And one of the things that I’ve started doing is helping people absorb that information in a faster format. So every blog post is long and thorough and really provides a detailed message, but also by using subheadings, by using bullet point summaries also, getting people different ways of absorbing the content so somebody who just wants the take-home message can access that really quickly and then somebody who really wants that through education also has all of that in front of them.
David: And that’s the great part of what our members in this course are going to benefit from. We’re both kind of very robust in that way. We like to share what we’ve learned and such later on in the course. There’s a whole section on content management and so many wonderful tips in there about how to do exactly what Dr. Sarah Ballantyne was just talking about with what she does with the Paleo Mom and what we’ve done with Bizbudding with our websites. I think you’ll be really pleased and will be excited to get into that section.
It’s not just good first impressions—61% of consumers report they’re more loyal to companies who consistently produced custom content. This means that investing in quality and original content helps to ensure brand loyalty amongst visitors to your site.
This is not to mention the role content plays in boosting SEO. Search engines want to direct their users towards websites that satisfactorily answer their queries. To search engines, websites that are consistently updated with in-depth, optimized content signal this ability to adequately help users.
The case is easily made that producing consistently great content helps build a loyal following for your brand while boosting your visibility on search engines. The case is also made that low-quality, spammy content will erode your search engine rankings. Don’t forget that you can get lots of great content ideas from keyword research. Always focus on serving the best content you can.
Determine the Type of Content to Produce
The term content refers to anything that you create. Some content types are blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, case studies, white papers, webinars, newsletters, and ebooks. Producing high-quality content is how you create value for your audience so they come back to your website, engage with your message, and buy your products and those that you recommend.
Successful content marketers and influencers know how to create the right piece of content for their fans. Blogging may work for many types of content, such as how-to articles. But consider how powerful a video can be to provide instruction. Think about combining those two types of content into a solid article.
The kind of content you produce should be based upon your content marketing strategy, who your audience is, where they go for their information, and your time and financial budget for the content creation process.
What Makes Content “High-Quality”?
When we think of the best pieces of content we’ve come across online, they all share certain characteristics that make them so memorable.
- The content answered our queries completely, and without sounding like it was just parroting what we could have found somewhere else. Its unique style and presentation probably also made it highly entertaining and shareable.
- Furthermore, good content is often easily found due to the sheer amount of optimization it’s undergone for search engines to find it.
- Finally, content is considered to be truly high quality when it feels personal. We remember and engage with content where we believe the content creator to be a real person, and we can feel their passion behind the production.
What Makes Content Good for SEO?
Search engines have stepped up their game in determining what content to point users toward. Gone are the days where Google will throw you tons of users just because your website is crowded with keywords (although using keywords the right way is still extremely important too). Instead, you should focus on content that generates high CTR, is highly shareable and encourages backlinks, is long-form (thoroughly answers the search query), and elevates your entire site through strategic internal linking. Let’s look at each of these points a bit closer.
Content that Generates High CTRs
Search engines like Google prefer pieces of content that generate high click-through rates. Think of clicks like votes: the more clicks your content has, the better quality it’s considered to be by search engines. When people find your content, Google only displays two things of importance for CTR: the content’s title tag and its meta description tag. Use these tags to grab people’s attention with actionable words and emphasize the problem or questions the content resolves.
Social shares are another indicator of content quality. However, there isn’t a real correlation between social sharing and performance in search engine optimization. Many marketing experts do suggest that social shares create social proof, which has an important psychological effect of letting people know that others like your content.
Recommended Tool: Google Search Console is a free tool by Google for website owners to optimize their website and to check on indexing status. Make sure you set up Google Search Console for your website.
Use Google Search Console to review your keywords’ impressions and CTRs. Impressions are the total number of times your keyword showed up in a SERP (search engine results page). Clicks are the number of times someone clicked on your link on the SERP.
The average CTR is the number of clicks divided by impressions for all of the ranking keywords for your site. Google Search Console also provides your average keyword position. These metrics are important to monitor.
Content that Generates lots of Sharing and Backlinks
Search engines also tend to favor content that generates lots of sharing and backlinks—links to your content from other websites—with the two often going hand-in-hand. As social media’s relevance continues to rise, search engines have begun incorporating the degree to which people share a site’s content as a component of its ranking algorithm. What does this mean for you? If you’ve been largely ignoring your social channels, now is a better time than ever to leverage your followers (or begin curating one) and increase your content’s visibility.
Getting quality backlinks from other influencers, experts, or websites with high domain authority always is also considered a ranking factor, because Google wants to point users to the most authoritative sources of information on the internet for whatever they’re looking for.
There’s also the question of length. It used to be that any content you chose to populate your site with would be a substantial aid in your rankings, but not any longer. Google wants to see websites with detailed content that’s capable of providing insightful answers to users’ queries. It’s been found that the ideal word count for SEO is greater than or equal to 2,000 words.
Content that “Lifts” Your Site
Search engines also like content that lifts your site. To demonstrate what we mean, let’s use an example. Imagine you’ve been writing and publishing content for your website that hasn’t delivered an impressive ROI. To fix this, you read articles about how to write better content. Eventually, you start incorporating the lessons you’ve read about into new content. Assuming this is the case, it would benefit you to link to this newer and better content from your older, less optimized examples. Why? Because Google will begin to raise the ranking of your entire site for your targeted keywords as it begins detecting how the old and new content links together.
Quality Guidelines for Website Owners
Quality is so important that it extends beyond content to your entire site. Pay attention to these quality guidelines as they will help your ranking factors with Google’s algorithm. You will certainly enjoy better search rankings when you spend your time creating engaging content instead of trying to find loopholes to exploit.
- Focus on creating a great user experience.
- Deliver valuable content to your readers.
- Avoid keyword stuffing and irrelevant keywords.
- Create webpages for visitors and ease of readability. Not for search engines.
- Don’t create content to deceive your users.
- Use Google Search Console to monitor your site for hacking, and remove any injected content as soon as you can.
- Monitor your comments and remove any user-generated spam.
- Don’t use or scrape other people’s content.
- Don’t participate in affiliate programs without adding any other value.
- Don’t use email marketing to spam your content or site to people.