Marketers tell you that to truly engage your audience you must create high quality content. Your content has to be relevant and valuable for users to interact with your brand. Your content must also be optimised for search engines. You want your content to be deemed high quality by Google and rank in SERP to gain more website traffic. With users and SEO in mind, what is regarded as high quality content and how do you create it?
What determines quality?
Content can be seen as quality when it achieves its marketing goal. This goal doesn’t have to be a sales conversion. It can include reaching page one of SERP, generating signups or gaining a high clickthrough rate. The truth is, you never know whether your content is going to achieve the goals you want it to. You can’t predict success as it depends on many factors.
With all that being said, you can put steps into place to give your content the best chance of success with your audience. Content that is well researched, planned and executed with SEO and the user in mind puts you in the best position to gain the engagement needed to achieve your objective.
However, if your content is failing to achieve the goals you’re after despite doing the above, it doesn’t necessarily mean the content you’re creating is poor quality. You may need to reconsider the audience you’re targeting, the topics you’re choosing or the platforms you’re posting to ensure your content is put in front of those who will find it relevant.
How to create high quality content:
1. Think about your marketing goal
Creating content for the sake of it is a waste of your time and your audience won’t be interested. Typically, content that serves no purpose and is purely created to tick SEO boxes will do more harm than good for your engagement. Your content must have a clear goal that aligns with the searcher intent to get the best results for you and your users.
For example, after conversations with customers, you learn there is a need for more understanding of your industry. You create a newsletter to give your audience industry news and trends they will be interested in. You want to drive signups for this newsletter so you put a form on a landing page. This satisfies your audience’s need for more industry-related content and the form provides data you can use to provide even more relevant content and move them along the customer journey.
2. Conduct research and choose relevant topics
To have the best chance of success, your content must be underpinned with research. This means understanding your buyer personas, competitors and industry trends. Start by identifying a need your audience has that you can add your expertise to. Your topic should be one that you know you can add value to, rather than sounding like existing noise in the industry. Buyer personas will help you do this. They detail the needs and behaviours of your target customers so you can provide a value proposition.
Look at the content that already exists around your chosen topic areas and use it to guide your content. You will learn what’s already been done and the unique perspective you can provide. Use relevant industry sources to reference in your work to build trust and authority in your content.
3. Choose the right content forms and platform
Your audience will engage differently depending on the form of your content. Video is the most engaging type of content for today’s audiences. Video tells stories, shows personality and combines text, visuals and motion for a dynamic, shareable piece of content. Content types serve different purposes depending on your marketing goal. If you want to cover a topic in-depth and demonstrate your expertise, blog posts and ebooks allow you to go into more detail than a short video.
Infographics and social media graphics allow you to communicate snippets of the most valuable information. These content types are largely visual and will complement posts with more copy. You should also identify which platforms are the most popular with your target audience. This will ensure your content can be found and engaged with by your users.
4. Optimise for search engines
Content created for the user will be held in high regard by search engines. To make sure your content is fully optimised there are many things you can do so your content climbs the ranks. Doing thorough keyword research and implementing these in your titles, headings and meta tags will ensure your content shows up for your desired search terms. Identifying and tailoring your content to the searcher intent will make sure it achieves yours and your users’ goals.
Structuring and formatting your content is just as important. It improves the readability of your content and ensures the user can find the most relevant information. Your content should have clear calls to action so your users know what they must do next in the customer journey. You should include internal and external links within your content to provide even more useful information to the user.
5. Measure content performance
The only way to know if your content is successful with your audience is to measure its performance. Identifying the most important metrics and implementing tracking will ensure you gather relevant data. There are many key ways to measure your content marketing performance. This can include keyword rankings and website traffic. Look at page views and pages per session to learn where your users are spending time on your website.
View how many backlinks your content is receiving to see if it’s being linked by other relevant organisations. This helps to build trust and authority with the search engine and drive more traffic to your website. Understand your conversion rate to see if your content has been successful in achieving your marketing goals.
Creating content that’s high quality won’t happen straight away. It takes experience and understanding of your buyer personas. You have to know the challenges they face and the need they want to be fulfilled to provide content that supports them. The more you create content and measure its performance, the more you’ll understand what your audience does and doesn’t want to see.