Any self-respecting web marketer will tell you that content is king. However, it’s not as simple as that. Not all content is created equally.
Only high quality, well researched content is king.
In order for your site to stand out among the sea of poorly-written junk which fills a good portion of the internet, it needs to take this into account.
The first rule of creating great content is to place quality above quantity. Here are three tips to help you achieve exactly that.
1- Write for Your Audience, not for Google
Most visitors to a website ultimately start at Google, so webmasters are forgiven to want to optimize their websites for Google’s indexing rules to get to the top of the results.
The process of optimizing a website in this manner if called SEO, or search engine optimization. This is a major discipline in the realm of Web design and Internet marketing, but it is also one of the most commonly misunderstood disciplines.
Novices will tell you that SEO is all about keywords and scattering your content with them. While this is important, it’s often done erroneously, especially when it sacrifices content quality.
Things like keyword density are no longer as important as they once were.
Stuffing an article with keywords and phrases can make it look spammy, and many are still making this rookie mistake.
Worse, some internet marketers use resort to using incorrect grammar and irrelevant keywords for the purpose of bringing in more traffic to their sites without actually targeting the sort of traffic that they really need.
Google’s website crawlers are constantly being improved with the ultimate aim of having them read websites like human beings.
Therefore, the key to creating great content is creating content for your human readers.
Your content should be something that people will want to link to and share, not content intended solely for search spiders.
Write for your audience first and Google second.
2- Research Your Content and Your Market
It should go without saying that Web content should be properly written and researched. Grammar and spelling errors, inconsistent formatting and poorly researched content are an instant turnoff to most people.
Unfortunately, in spite of this, the Web is filled with junk content that is not only poorly written, but also factually incorrect due to lack of research by the writer.
When doing your research, try to use reputable resources. It may be tempting to use sites like Wikipedia for all of your research needs, but while these can be very useful for getting an overview of a subject matter, they can also be somewhat scattered with factual errors and other shortcomings.
Market research is also important. As your site grows and you receive more visitors, learn what your audience wants. This requires interaction with your visitors, reading their comments and promptly responding to them. You may also find it useful to place a poll on your website, allowing your visitors to vote on the type of content they want to see most.
Finally, study you analytics and log files for hints on the type of content that performs. Examine things like bounce rates and page views to get a better understanding of the type of content that works best.
3- Create Web-Friendly Content
This does not refer to optimizing your website for the search engines; it refers to writing content for the Web as opposed to writing content for print.
Online and printed media vary considerably in the way that they are presented and consumed.
The first and most important thing to realize is that most Web surfers do not read an entire article, they scan.
Regardless of how good and well researched your content is, your online visitors will skim through the article rather than read it thoroughly from start to finish.
To maintain the attention of your visitors, use Web-friendly formatting. Your visitors need to be able to scan your content quickly and comfortably to find the information they need. This means writing in short paragraphs, catchy headlines, sub-headings, bullet points, images and, preferably, some some video too.
The titles you use are also important. Titles should succinctly summarize what the content is about. They should tell a story. It’s also a good idea to have relevant key phrases in your articles, so long as they look completely natural. If you can engage your audience with titles, then you’re well on your way to success.
Over to you…
Do you produce great content? What further tips do you have? Share below…