The internet is flooded by a plethora of content by various websites that want to rank on Google. But not each of them can achieve their desired result.
Do you know why? Because they fail to maintain the quality guideline that would help them to stand out, as well as to be on the top list of Google.
Creating high-quality content is a choice. You can spend a significant amount of time, do proper research, and create a top-notch piece of article, or you can just go for the easy path and re-write.
However, with the later one, you will end up with poor quality content that will ultimately get you nowhere.
As a content marketer, your aim is to gain huge traffic or leads that will boost your SEO ranking. So, you need to create the content in a way that will not only help you to avoid the penalty from Google but also help you get the reward for being a high-quality website.
Before you start to create content, first you need to know what are the qualities that make it a great one. The following guideline will help you to create a top-notch article for your website.
Determine Your Market
It’s crucial to define some goals before starting writing. And your first goal should be determining your target market. Find out who you want to create your content for and determine your niche.
Your content requires solid market research to become a good one. Without knowing your niche and your target customers, you won’t be able to do proper market research, which will eventually fail you as a content creator.
Next, you need to ask yourself why you’re creating those content and what benefits your audiences are going to get from them. It will help you to do proper research on your topic to get the right information.
And lastly, determine when and where this content is going to be published. Make a practical timeline and start creating your content.
Say Yes to Original Content
The first and foremost rule for being quality content is it has to be original. Some bloggers tend to copy the article from reputed websites and publish without adding any original content in it.
No matter how good an article is, a copied one will never add any value to your site. Google hates scraped content and will highly penalize you for doing so.
You might have done some modification by using synonyms or tweaking a few sentences, thinking that it will do the work. But you’re wrong. Your content is still a copied one and good for nothing.
So, how do you know the content you published on your website lacks originality?
- When the entire content is copied from another website and published without giving them a credit.
- When the content is slightly modified (ie, putting the synonyms, rewriting them using some automated tools, etc.)
- When you use any media file from other sites such as video, images, tables, without giving any credit to the original content provider.
No matter how you’re using someone else’s content, it’s an infringement of copyright law and highly punishable. Your site might get removed from the search result before it reaches its audience.
Creating original content from scratch might take some time, but it’s still worthy. Your readers will love to read your article and will come back later. And if you’re lucky, they might recommend your site to others, thus helping you to get more traffic and rank top of search engines.
Be Careful About Your Source of Information
The internet is an excellent source of information that can add great value to your article, thus helping you to create an incredible one. However, not everything you see in the world of the web is reliable.
Imagine you’ve created an article for your health blog and thousands of readers have already read it. At some point, it turns out one of your given information is inaccurate. Can you imagine what damages you and your readers can face because of it?
Using information from a reliable website is a must when it comes to creating content that aims to add value to your audiences’ lives.
Always check the authentication and originality of the site you’re taking information from. If possible, link the original source to your content to gain trust from your readers, as well as from Google.
Place Your Keywords Carefully
Your content might be a gorgeous creation of wordcraft, but when it comes to ranking on SERP, it may not help you much since it’s not visible to your readers. Why is that?
It’s because your article isn’t properly optimized for the keyword you wanted to rank it for.
People search with certain keywords in Google or other search engines when they want to learn about a particular topic. If your content doesn’t contain those keywords, it won’t be visible on the search page.
So what do you do now?
If you’re one of those unfortunate bloggers who have little or no knowledge about how to do keyword optimization, you may end up stuffing your content with keywords or including hiding texts, thinking that doing so will help you rank on Google.
You’re wrong! Instead of getting a huge amount of traffic, your site may be removed from Google indexing and you will receive an email from the search engine giant telling you why this happened.
Stuffing your content with irrelevant keywords, using hidden text behind white backgrounds, setting the font size to zero, etc., are considered as severe crimes. You will be punished by Google if you try any of these methods.
So, if you want to rank high while saving yourself from Google’s wrath, do your keyword research properly and include them in your content as naturally as possible. Your content should not look like it was generated automatically by a robot, rather than an original writer.
Don’t Make It Unnecessarily Long
As a beginner writer, I used to think that writing long and wordy content would help me to impress my audiences and eventually rank high on the search engine. As time passed, I began to realize that I was wrong.
One of the best lessons you can learn in your entire content marketing career is to avoid adding unnecessary information. Using irrelevant words, sentences for the sake of adding keywords will only make it lengthy.
Besides, your audiences visit your website to get the information they have been looking for so long. Content full of unnecessary words will only make them annoyed and eventually leave your site for good.
While writing content, stop looking at your word count. There’s nothing better than a short, to-the-point article with the right information. Your readers will love your creation.
Since Google loves what your readers love, it will elevate your position to the top of the search engine.
Any link that manipulates the website’s ranking in the search results is a big no. While it’s not illegal, it surely violates Google’s guidelines.
This behavior is a part of a link scheme that includes links to or from your site.
How do you know your content is a part of link scheming? Let’s find out.
- If you exchange money for including links that may change the ranking of your website. Or you may offer money or gifts to someone, telling them to include your link to their websites.
- Start doing link exchanging between partners, thinking that it will help both of you to rank on SERP.
- Using keyword-rich anchor text links for large scale marketing.
- Adding low-quality links to your site and linking yourself to a website that has a bad reputation or lower ranking.
- Including malicious links that will hurt the user experience.
Since you already know how harmful these links can be for you, as well as to your audiences, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. But, how are you going to do that?
If you have links that are coming to your site, it’s highly recommended that you use the Search Console and download the list of websites that have links to you. Find out which of them are violating the rule and request them to remove your link or use the Disavow Links tool to disavow them.
Now, go through all of your content and find out if you put any link from poor quality websites. Remove all those links once you find them.
However, links that don’t pass PageRank to the buyer, such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising links don’t violate the guideline.
Update Your Content Regularly
So, you have amazing articles on your website, but after a certain period, your site’s ranking starts going downwards.
You may become surprised since you don’t have any idea why this is happening. The answer is simple, your articles need an upgrade.
Since the information is getting updated, so thus the content of a website. You will be left in the last position, and eventually, be removed from the search results if your content remains outdated.
Google doesn’t only like refreshed content, it adores them. Updating your content with the latest information will make it crawl your site more often and eventually increase your visibility to the readers.
Just like Google, your audiences will also love updated information. They will lose interest on your site if they find your content is outdated and of no use. They will eventually leave your site and may not come back ever.
While it’s difficult and time-consuming to create new content every time there’s new information, you can update a relevant article and republish it to improve your ranking. While you’re doing it, you can also modify it a bit by making some correction of grammatical and spelling mistakes.
Create a Catchy Headline
As you start creating amazing content, you should also come up with some appealing titles.
Do you know why?
Because your headline is the first thing audiences are going to read before they even enter your website. In fact, the title tag is an HTML element, which allows Google and the users to know what your page is about.
A good title can spark interest and invite the audiences in. while almost everyone that goes through the search page will read your title, but how many people will actually click into it depends on the quality of your headline.
Now, you can easily understand why it’s essential to create a good title. And, don’t forget to optimize it for your target keyword.
Make A Good Impression With The Introduction
While reading someone else’s article, did you realize what makes you read the whole content instead of leaving the website? It’s the introduction, especially the first line.
Like the headline, it’s crucial to make an outstanding introduction that will make your audiences interested in the entire article.
While web writing is different from literary writing, you can still make your introduction interesting enough to attract users.
Start by adding statistical data, throwing a question to your audiences, or including a funny quote (which is relevant), etc. Give a brief idea about what they can expect through the entire content.
Write Short Paragraphs
You want your audiences to have a pleasant experience while they are on your site. So, don’t bother them with lengthy paragraphs.
Long paragraphs are a sign of poor readability. Your readers will lose track of the lines and will be annoyed if they can’t find where they were before.
So, if you already have such paragraphs, don’t worry! Read them again and see if there’s a way to split them into multiple paragraphs. You will be surprised to see how easy it becomes to read the same paragraph.
Make It Actionable
So, your content is ready and published. It has a number of readers who go through your entire content and forget about it just after they leave the site.
Is that what you want? Definitely not!
As I am writing this guideline, I want you to understand what you need to create great content and apply my suggestions in real life. Similarly, your content must be actionable enough so your readers can apply them right away.
So, how are you going to make your content actionable? You can start by giving practical examples of your ideas and concepts, explaining how to do something.
Besides, you can put some relevant links that align with your topic and suggestion. For example, if your content is about the health benefits of yoga, linking to an online page that sells yoga mats can be a good idea.
Don’t Go for Thin Affiliates
Imagine you’re an affiliate marketer and all you do is copy the entire product description from the merchant site and fill your page with affiliate links and that copied information. Do you think it’s going to help you get enough traffic to your website? Not at all.
Google hates thin affiliates, so do your audiences. It makes them question your authenticity and consider visiting the merchant’s site instead.
You must follow certain rules when you’re creating content and include an affiliate link to it. Think about how your content can add value to your readers’ life, keeping the affiliate program as a minor part of it.
As a blogger, you should be able to describe a product in a better way so that your audiences get interested in clicking that link and purchasing that product. Make your content so appealing that audiences come back to your site, which will automatically increase the sales.
Besides, it is also important to choose the right affiliate program that goes with your niche. Linking a product page that’s not appropriate to your audiences will make them leave your site and eventually drop your rank in the Google search results.
Engage Your Audiences With Bucket Brigades
Using only relevant and necessary information doesn’t mean your content has to be boring.
Even the dullest topic can be the most engaging if it’s written in that way.
You might be wondering what are those magic ingredients that make an article interesting.
They are called bucket brigades and I just used one of them. They are words and phrases that help get audiences’ attention and create a smooth transition between sentences.
Some of the popular and commonly used bucket brigades are Here’s the kicker, But wait- there’s more, you might be wondering…, Think about it, among others.
Eliminate Fluffy Words
This is a common mistake that most writers do, at least at the beginning of their content writing career. We often use some words that only make the sentences lengthy, instead of adding any value to it.
Very, actually, just, are some of those words. These are called fluffy words that have a bad impact on the readability of content.
You may think using those words can help you explain the sentences better, which is wrong. For example, “he is a very poor boy” can be written as “he is a poor boy,” which carries the same meaning, so you don’t need to use very.
Keep The Most Important Information At Top
Did you know most users only read the information on a content that remains top of a page? It means they expect their desired information at the beginning of the article and leave if they don’t get it.
Consequently, you need to arrange the content in a way so that the most important information stays above the fold.
In this way, the readers will get their desired information soon after they start reading the article. It will make a good impression in their mind about your website, which will inspire them to visit your website again in the future.
Create a Table of Contents
This is particularly important if you’re creating a long piece of content. Most bloggers don’t understand the value of a table of contents, thinking that this is just a waste of space.
However, this concept is wrong since an article can be created to answer the questions of many different readers. Your audiences might be interested in a specific part of your content, rather than the entire one.
Adding a table of contents at the beginning of the article will give them an overview of the content, as well as help them to find the section they are looking for.
Use Subheadings Where Needed
One of the worst things you can do to your content is not providing subheadings for each section. It’s not only inconvenient for your readers but also bad for SEO.
Adding subheadings to your content help separate it into easily digestible sections, making a lengthy and complicated piece more skimmable for the audiences. Since subheadings use larger and bold fonts, they are easily noticeable by the readers.
Apart from giving a bird’s eye view about a particular section, subheadings are also crucial for your SEO.
If you add keywords to your subheadings, they will tell Google what your content is about. While it’s not a huge ranking factor, it helps the search engine to understand your page’s structure.
Include A Comment Section
Do you know that the user-generated content, particularly comments have high impacts on your SEO ranking?
Adding a comment section at the end of your article doesn’t only help your audience to interact but also helps in SEO by increasing the number of related words into it.
However, there’s a risk.
While comments are a great way to build a community with your readers, it can also be a disaster if abused by the spammers.
Hackers, bots, etc. can provide irrelevant comments with malicious links. It can have a negative impact on the real users, as well as on your site. In that case, you can disable comments for that particular post, use anti-spam tools, “no-follow” attributes, or block new users from seeing your content.
Quality content isn’t just about adding a line of texts.
Multimedia files such as images, infographics, videos add a great value to your content, thus making them more interesting, comprehensible, and user-friendly.
Including a wide variety of multimedia can make your article visually pleasing while improving branding.
However, while adding a multimedia file to your content, make sure they are properly optimized for your target keyword. Optimizing the images and video files will make your site more visible in the search result.
Don’t Forget to Proofread
Once your writing is done, here comes the most important task – proofreading.
While writing content, it’s quite obvious to make some spelling or grammatical mistakes. But you shouldn’t publish your content like that.
Read your article again to catch any mistakes you’ve missed. You can do it by yourself or hire a proofreader who will find the typos and correct them.
Great articles aren’t built overnight. It takes a large amount of investment of both effort and time to create a high-quality and well-ranked SEO content.
However, don’t be intimidated. Writing articles can still be fun and easy if you’re writing on something you’re passionate about.
And the best part of web content is, it’s not permanent. You can still edit the content, improve its readability, make it SEO optimized, and republish it again and again until you get your desired result.