Evaluating Content Like A Pro
We all know that content is king, but exactly do you make your content “kingly?” This is our focus in today’s blog post: to remove the confusion about what constitutes great content, so you can settle down and start creating more of the good stuff.
But first thing’s first…
There’s been plenty of talk about technical SEO vs. content in recent years and all we can say about this is that both are important, and you can’t do with either of these two missing.
Basically, you need good content, but the content (the pages i.e. https://www.seoexplode.com/long-island-seo/, text, and multimedia) need to be optimized so that they are indexed quickly by Google and the other search engines and they can be seen by the people who matter the most: your customers.
With this in mind, we don’t want you to over-focus on SEO, and then under-focus on content, and vice-versa. It is essential that you are able to focus on both. The two parts of the whole should harmonize with each other.
So the next time that you feel the need to go overboard with analytics to the detriment of your content, it’s more important to remember why you are publishing content on the Web in the first place: you want to establish better relations with your customers, and one way to do that is to give them relevant information that they need.
What Makes Content Great?
One blog post is barely enough to talk about all the things that makes great content great, but we can talk about the basics. The first thing that you need to ensure is that your content is accurate. Accuracy means your references can be trusted, and the information you are relying to your audience are all correct.
If you haven’t been double-checking your content this way, now would be a good time to do so. This applies most especially to businesses that rely on external producers of content (think white label partnerships). Hiring an editor can also help iron out kinks in the content before putting them online.
Second, the content has to be mobile friendly. Remember, we’re talking about not just textual content, but images, and the entire interface that holds together the content for the users.
If the framework supporting the content is far from perfect and doesn’t render well on mobile, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to make your website appealing to mobile users. Check out Google’s principles on material design and figure out how to make your website more mobile-friendly the soonest possible time.
The third trait of great content is that it reaches down and gets to the heart of why people are searching for a particular piece of information in the first place. For example, let’s say that someone searches for “parts of a BMX bike.” You have to think of all the major reasons why a user would use this information.
With the help of analytics and the existing search results for the long-tail keyword, you will be able to figure out if users are mostly after general information (meaning, they are not really interested in buying BMX parts) or if they are searching for parts because they want to acquire them.
Since there is so much variety in the way people phrase search queries, it will take some time before you will be able to find the perfect set of keywords that you can use again and again to gain the kind of traffic that is perfect for your website’s overall needs.
The fourth essential trait is that it is comprehensive, and in-depth. In the context of the Web, “comprehensive and in-depth” means more than just giving people a lot of textual length. People benefit from video and images, so these are considered part of the overall package of comprehensiveness. Ideally, your content should be structured with:
– Clearly laid out ideas
– Proper subheadings
– Images and videos where appropriate
– Questions and emphasis in the right places
The questions are particularly important because Google now surfaces strings of questions and answers that people don’t have to click through in order to read.
Google takes sentences and paragraphs from relevant search queries and these are reflected on Google’s top search results. Should the reader want more information, he can just click the link to the website for the fuller version of the answer.
Why is Google doing this? Google surfaces these lines and paragraphs precisely because they want to give users fast answers.
They want users to be able to locate what they need the soonest possible time, so what the search engine does is it locates content with questions and records the answers below the subheading questions.
While we’re on the topic of relevance, make sure that your content also provides answers or solutions to specific problems. People search for information mainly because they want to know something – they have questions or “problems.”
If you can structure your content in a way that provides direct answers to people’s queries, your content has a higher chance of being shared widely, and you will benefit from the organic backlinks effortlessly.
What does bad content look like?
Bad content usually has no target audience, so the information is often broad and meandering, to the point of confusing readers. The more specific you can get with your topics, the better off you will be.
Second, content can be evaluated as “bad” if the write-up has no particular purpose – meaning, it only exists to hold the target keywords that the website wants to rank for.
Even when you are dealing with a tough keyword, always remember that user intent and feedback is more important, which is why you should always focus on bringing better information to your audience. The exactness of the keywords you are using becomes less important compared to the needs of your users.
And let’s not forget that Google employs the EAT Principle. EAT means Expertise, Authoritative, and Trust. Expertise means the content is written with precise knowledge, and the intent to inform or educate the reader.
This means taking time to use the best references, and to really give users expert information. Authoritative refers to how recognizable the content becomes after publication. If people link to it and refer to it, then authority grows, and Google notices that. And finally, Trust. Trust refers to the endorsements of other websites and people on different platforms, like social media.
Google penalizes websites with bad content. The parameters of bad content includes the following: not having sufficient quality, the titling is bad or clickbait, there are too many intrusive ads interspersed with the main body of the content that brings into question the credibility of the content, and there isn’t enough information about the writer to merit giving the content a credible score.
So pay closer attention to the number of pageviews of your website and content, the volume of organic traffic that you are getting, the links that are coming in from referrals, the conversions you are getting with the content structure you are using, and of course, let’s not forget the overall engagement level your content is getting over a period of time.