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The short definition of great quality content is that which is written for readers and not search engines and it should be helpful, relevant and drive the business goals of your site. Classy content is material which encourages more visitors to your site, higher levels of conversions and lower bounce rates.
Not to misquote Oscar Wilde, but there are very few things as off-putting on a website as bad content! It makes you question whether the site is genuine and reliable. When you top that with the fact that according to statistics most people only stay on a webpage for an average of 15 seconds – and maybe even slightly less for some people! – then having excellent content that grabs the attention becomes even more essential than animations or other fancy features which can create stimulation overload.
BAM!! Now, I’ve got your attention? Let’s look at what makes GOOD quality content, why it’s so important and how to make sure you’re creating the best possible content for your site as well as the ‘hot topic’ of AI – to use ChatGPT or not.
So, let’s get stuck in!
So, ultimately whether content is of high quality, or not, is decided by users, Google and other SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) – meaning ideally you want both to please both. Whilst it can seem to be a slippery task to manage, like holding onto the soap in the shower, it is actually not as difficult as it may seem. If you write content for readers, considering what they’re looking for and want to read, you’ll also satisfy what Google is looking for to rank your pages higher. We’ll get into how to do just that shortly.
Essentially we’ve already answered this one, but it’s worth restating that good content keeps readers on your site longer, increasing the chances of conversions as well as Google rating your site as having ‘helpful content’ and pushing it up the rankings. Conversely, the opposite is also true – bad quality content results in bad SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – visitors bouncing off your site and Google rating your site as being fake or unhelpful.
Think of your website as your virtual shopfront, you’d want the products in the window to entice the shopper inside to explore further and (hopefully!) be impressed enough to browse and buy – and quality content can do just that. But make sure the quality of the content goes throughout the site – not just the home page, or you’ll end up with high bounce rates again. This means making sure it has strong backlinks, good spelling, punctuation and grammar and isn’t overly stuffed with keywords.
So, let’s get down to brass tacks on how to write great quality content.
This is the first cardinal rule of good quality content, which is to make sure your content is aimed and written specifically for the reader. You should begin to write your content by researching what readers are looking for by doing extensive keyword research. What ‘problems’ are they trying to fix? What interests do they have? Are there any news events or issues that might be of interest which can be linked to your site? When you’ve got a grasp of the sorts of things your readers are looking for – their ‘search intent’ then you can go about planning and writing your content to answer those questions and searches – and make sure you have enough of it as pages that are thin on content quantity are also ranked lower as much as poor quality will be – and don’t duplicate it from other pages on your site either.
Keep the structure simple with clear headings and short paragraphs and sentences. Vast blocks of text will deter all but the very keenest readers, and, as you’re probably wanting more than half a per cent of people to read your content, you need to help them by keeping sections short and preferably scannable. Avoid over-stuffing content with keywords. This used to be a strategy for ranking pages on SERPs but nowadays they’ve become wise to it, and it will tend to do the opposite of working in your favour. Using bullet points and sensible, short subheadings helps readers scan for the sections and information they’re looking for – hopefully leading to conversions and not bounces!
The type of content that builds the reader’s trust will be clear and user-oriented – helping them know someone isn’t trying to pull the wool over their eyes with techy jargon that confuses the issues and makes them feel unempowered. Other elements which can build the trustworthiness of the site are using genuine photos, rather than stock ones, and including ratings or testimonials from others who can verify your site, products or services and your company – there’s nothing so powerful as a personal recommendation.
Double-check your sources and links to make sure they’re genuine and relevant to your content and readers. Sometimes information or sites can go out of date and making certain of information when you first use it is vital as well as re-optimising it regularly if changes are made to regulations or services, to ensure your content is up to date. For example, it’s no good to have information about products or services concerning COVID-19 anymore as that’s now old news!
Whilst it’s not the final word on the subject, Google is looking for content that uses EEAT principles:
Google’s systems are designed now to rank content that demonstrates elements of the four above, but mostly trustworthiness, and gives special weight to topics that might significantly impact on health, financial stability, safety, welfare or wellbeing of society and Google offers guidance you can measure your content against to see if it aligns with the signals their systems use to rank content.
The biggest topic in the industry – and one that might have you waking up in a cold sweat with fears AI is taking away your job! What about AI? Won’t it take over our writing tasks? (and the world?) Well, be reassured ChatGPT, Jasper or any other AI will never become ‘Experienced’ or ‘Expert’ as it can only ever regurgitate information it has been fed or discovered on the web. Bottom line – AI is good, but it can’t write like you or me! Although Google won’t necessarily rate AI content as spam, it is highly unlikely to meet its EEAT standards and you have to watch it anyway as it can be incorrect. It also sounds highly robotic, so AI content isn’t that difficult to spot. Were I to still be in my previous teaching job, I’m sure students would be trying to pass off AI-written essays as their own work – students are often looking for shortcuts (I did myself once!) – but I’m confident I’d have been able to spot it a mile off. AI is a useful tool to aid with research, but nothing will beat your own words and creativity – and that’s what Google and other SERPs are looking to credit and rank. So, you can sleep easier tonight!
If you’re looking to find content for your website and are now thoroughly scared about how to write what will rank well on Google, you can always find someone to help at Sherbet Donkey Media. Our team of highly creative individuals who hang out in ‘Content Corner’ love writing interesting and innovative material for our clients to help them rank their sites.
Check out our content creators and get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help you with creating vibrant and exciting content for your web project.
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