Tag Archives: High Quality Content

How to write remarkable content for your website

Write remarkable content for your website

Do you know there is scarcity of good, remarkable content and therefore, there is a big opportunity for you if you can write and publish content on your website or blog?

The success of your website depends on your content.

You get search engine traffic because of your content. Your visitors turn into your paying customers and clients because of your content. People recognize you or your brand on other websites and social networking platforms because of your content.

You can read on this AdWeek link that 90% customers prefer tailored content before they decide to do business with a brand.

Your prospective customers and clients need information before they can decide to buy from you.

They want to familiarize themselves with your business and what you stand for, before they can make up their minds.

Your content allows you to have conversations with your customers and clients.

The more conversations they have with you, the better acquainted they get with you. The better acquainted they get with you, the more eager they are to do business with you in the hour of their need.

But the biggest challenge faced by online entrepreneurs is, creating and publishing good quality, remarkable content.

What is remarkable content?

Remarkable content makes your visitors happy about visiting your website.

Remarkable content should be conversational, to the point, easy-to-read, and helpful. People should be able to find it quickly on your website or blog.

Important attributes of remarkable content

The three attributes of remarkable content are:

  1. Purpose: What purpose does your content solve? Why does it exist? What will your customers and clients achieve after having consumed this particular piece of content? Is it meant to create awareness? Does it educate your visitors? Does it provide them valuable, useful information?
  2. Format: In what format does this particular piece of content exist? Is it a blog post? A web page? A landing page? A white paper? An ebook? A video? Remember that remarkable content exists in a format preferred by your target audience.
  3. Topic: Topic is a somewhat narrower version of the purpose. Whereas the purpose attribute can be applicable to multiple pieces of content on your website or blog, topic is narrower, and is confined to a single link. Does the topic deal with a sales related question? Does it explain something complex and technical? Will your customer be able to achieve a task after going through this particular link?

Whom are you writing for?

Remarkable content is persona-centric. It’s like, when you talk to someone, when you have a conversation with someone, your talk is more meaningful if you know the other person.

This is why creating a persona is very important for writing or creating remarkable content.

Defining a persona helps you write content for a well-defined personality.

How to write remarkable content for your website or blog

Listed below are few points that can help you write remarkable content or at least, keeping these points in mind, you can attempt writing remarkable content for your website or blog.

You don’t necessarily have to stick to these points and even if you pay attention to one or two of these points you will be able to write remarkable content.

Provide solutions to people’s problems

People will love you if you solve their problems.

Your every web page, your every blog post, your every email broadcast should solve some problem.

This is because when people search online, they are constantly looking for solutions to their problems. They always look for information that can help them achieve something. If your content helps them achieve something they like you and remember you and this is how your brand presence becomes stronger.

Present a unique perspective

If you write content that is more or less the same as the others are writing, how do people distinguish you from the others? You have to present a unique perspective. Tell them something that they haven’t yet come across on another website or another blog.

They are on your website because they want to know what’s your take on a particular subject or topic.

Back your claims with credible data

Though personally am not a big fan of throwing around big numbers just to impress people, if you can present some credible data when making claims, it definitely helps.

Telling you that B2B buyers prefer to go through expert content before making a purchase decision might be less convincing than telling you that 96% B2B buyers prefer to go through expert content before making a purchase decision, and then linking to the source of the data.

Write in a conversational manner

Great, well-written content is always conversational.

When you write in a conversational style it seems as if you are talking to people, you are interacting with them, instead of delivering a monologue that is totally uninspiring and emotionless.

Conversational writing makes greater impact. It also engages your audience and encourages people to respond to your content writing.

Publish in a format preferred by your target audience

There was a time when it was mostly text on websites and blogs. Gradually, images came up. Then GIFs. Then videos. Aside from these formats there are slides, presentations, infographics and all sort of other interactive content.

People have different preferences when accessing your content. Although what sort of format people prefer also depends on your niche – people in food and travel industry prefer videos and images and people on Twitter prefer shorter updates, but B2B buyers prefer longer, comprehensive blog posts and articles to get as much information as possible from you.

Some people also like slides and PDFs.

Worried how you would create so much content for different formats?

Normally, content marketers write a blog post and then out of that blog post they repurpose content into various formats. Want to know how you can repurpose your content? Read this: How to repurpose old content.

Make it easy to access and find your content

This is where content marketing plays an important role. Simply publishing high-quality content doesn’t help you much unless you make it easier for people to find your content.

Do the following to make it easier for people to find your content:

  • Search engine optimize your content so that it ranks well and consequently, it’s easier to find them for appropriate search terms.
  • Distribute your content using your social networking profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • Encourage other Webmasters and bloggers to link to your quality content.
  • Invest in PPC campaigns.
  • Build and use your mailing list to broadcast to your mailing list subscribers.

It should be your constant effort to write remarkable content for your website because mediocre content, although it’s easier to write or create it, doesn’t help you much. It does not make a positive impact. It doesn’t improve your search engine rankings. It doesn’t improve your conversion rate.

What is quality content and how does Google recognize it?

what-is-quality-content-and-how-does-Google-define-or-recognize-itIf you want to enjoy good search engine rankings you need to understand how Google defines or recognizes quality content.

Since the Penguin and Panda updates Google has been putting more and more stress on quality content. All its ranking algorithms are focused towards crawling, indexing and ranking as much quality content existing on the Internet as possible.

Read 20 Evergreen characteristics of quality content

In order to understand what is quality content and how Google defines or recognizes it, you first need to define for yourself what is quality content.

For me, the definition of quality content is quite straightforward:

  1. Well-written content
  2. Content that educates and informs
  3. Content that does not mislead
  4. Content that delivers on the promise of the page title or the headline
  5. And in terms of copywriting, contend that improves your conversion rate

These are the basic definitions of what is quality content and these definitions don’t change no matter what the format of your content is. Whether you are publishing text, images or videos, the underlying purpose is to provide quality content that delivers value, whatever that value is, to your particular audience.

Read Why quality content writing matters and how to maintain quality

Why should you bother how Google defines or recognizes quality content?

Although there are multiple search engines in the world Google sends you the most traffic. So, this is why it matters to you how Google defines or recognizes quality content and then ranks your content accordingly.

As you can see in the chart below, almost 90% of the search market is dominated by Google whereas other “major” search engines like Bing, Yahoo! and even Baidu, have more or less remained at the bottom.

Google-search-marketing-share-2016-2017

But carefully note the red line representing Google at the top. If you notice, there is a slight downward slant. Although it is still miles ahead of its competitors, it is losing market. Since most of its revenue comes from search advertising, even a small drop in the share of search traffic means a lot to Google.

for-google-search-is-equal-to-money

So there are two reasons why you should bother how Google defines quality content:

  1. Most of your search traffic comes from Google
  2. Google would tenaciously like to hold onto its market dominance by continuing to provide quality content through searches

If Google is unable to find quality content – no matter how it defines it – people will move on to other search engines.

Give Google quality content and Google will rank your website or blog higher

give quality content to googleThis is not completely true, but it is indisputable that Google will only rank you higher if you have quality content on your website or blog. I have personally experienced that quality content alone doesn’t help you much unless you have tons of it. There are many other factors that affect your ranks including:

  1. The quality of your content, of course
  2. The frequency with which you publish content (the greater the frequency, the better the rankings)
  3. The quantity of quality content that you already have
  4. The age of your domain
  5. The keywords and search terms that you use in the title tag and the headlines
  6. The number of authority websites linking to your content
  7. The social validation your content gets (how many people share your content on social networking websites)
  8. The popularity of your content

A cocktail of these reasons gives you better search engine rankings but all these reasons originate from the fact that you need to have quality content.

Read How to strike a balance between SEO and quality content writing

If you don’t have quality content nobody is going to bother about it and if they don’t bother about it, they won’t share it, they won’t link to it and your content won’t get validation. Without getting social validation, it is very difficult to enjoy good search engine rankings no matter how much quality content you have (although it does have some benefits).

In fact, Google wants quality content so much that it has even created a tutorial on how you can create quality, valuable content.

Googles-course-on-how-to-create-quality-content

How does Google define quality content and then ranks it accordingly?

quality-content-according-to-google

To understand how Google defines quality content, again, you need to understand why Google craves for quality content and not for every type of content irrespective of what its quality is.

Why do you use Google and not another search engine? There might be two reasons:

  1. You are not aware of the existence of any other search engine
  2. You believe that Google gives you the best results for your searches

It’s the second reason that keeps Google hungry for quality content. Whenever you do a search on Google, Google wants to find you the best results. If it doesn’t find you the best results, gradually some other search engine will, and you will move on to that search engine.

This is why among the most brilliant minds on earth working at Google are constantly creating algorithms to find quality content on the Internet.

Now that we know why you need to bother with how Google defines or recognizes quality content and why Google craves quality content, we can come to the topic of how Google defines quality content.

Listed below are the examples of inferior content, according to Google:

  • Scrapped content
  • Thin content (Read What is thin content according to Google? Does it harm your SEO?)
  • Doorway pages
  • Pages and blog posts senselessly stuffed with your keywords
  • Webpages and blog posts solely created to draw traffic with no value
  • Content containing hidden text or links
  • Cloaking
  • Automatically generated text strings
  • Content lifted as it is from other websites and blogs

The folks at Google dislike inferior content or low-quality content so much that they penalize your website by lowering its rankings or worse, completely removing your links from its index.

You may also like to read quality content guidelines straightaway from Google.

Listed below are a few factors that Google uses to define quality content:

  1. Write content for your users not merely for search engines.
  2. Provide information people are actually looking for – don’t mislead people by deceptive titles.
  3. If possible write expert-level content. According to this Search Engine Journal blog post, Google’s human raters as well as algorithms can distinguish between content written by an amateur and content written by a pro.
  4. Become a resource. Link to high quality content from other websites and blogs. Cite reputed publications like the New York Times and Time whenever possible. When you come across quality content on other websites, refer to it from your own website.
  5. Publish fresh content as much as possible. Google is ravenous about fresh content. It crawls your website or blog repeatedly, sometimes multiple times a day to check whether you have published something new. Though, publishing with great frequency doesn’t mean you compromise on quality content. Publish less, but definitely stick to quality.
  6. Abundantly use images and videos. It enhances your presentation and it has been observed that the top 10 ranked sites in Google search results normally have around 6-8 images.
  7. Deliver what you promise in your web page title. Misleading titles attract penalty from Google. Your page title and content should always match.
  8. Create lengthy posts and webpages. Since it is difficult to create long content, and if you are publishing lots of long content, the Google algorithm assumes that you are publishing quality content. Longer blog posts and articles also tend to have lots of information and useful images.

These are the factors using which Google defines quality content. These factors may not play a crucial role all the time at the same time, a majority of these factors are considered when Google tries to assess whether you are publishing quality content or not.

Often the problem is not with outsourcing

I was just going through a rant in an email newsletter about why businesses, especially small businesses, shouldn’t outsource and why it makes sense hiring people in-house.

On the surface there is nothing wrong in the argument because how you get your work done depends on your personal choice whether you want to hire someone full-time, part-time or outsource.

The problem is, when people have bad experience outsourcing their work, they start talking about how outsourcing sucks and why people shouldn’t indulge in it. They rarely try to observe the situation from the opposite angle, that is the person who is outsourcing the work rather than the one to whom the work is being outsourced.

There are innumerable, hard-working, sincere and efficient people on the Internet. Here I’m not going to talk about myself, but almost 3 years ago my client Steve decided to hire a programmer from the Philippines using an outsourcing company and we have had a great experience. He does such a great job that recently when Steve was contemplating terminating the contract (because he felt the job for which the programmer was hired is almost done) I convinced him into not letting the programmer go just because it is so difficult to get such people. You may say I’m contradicting myself (that it is very difficult to get good people to whom you can outsource your work and hence, they are an exception rather than a norm) but I will just come to another point.

The problem is people are either too lazy to look for good talent, or they are simply cheap. I have been writing content for the past 12 years and 70% of the queries seek “world-class content” at “cheap rates”. They actually expect me to create 1000-word “high-quality” blog posts for as little as $5. By offering $5, how much time do you expect me to spend on your blog post?

More than that, how much value do you attach to building your own business assets?

As a content writer living in a Third World country, I (I as any other person) may have my own compulsions for accepting such low-paying assignments and eventually screwing up everything because it is not humanly possible to create enough content to make a decent living with such a rate, what is your excuse? If you cannot afford to spend $35-50 on a decent blog post, why in the first place you are in this business? Either create your own content or hire someone who charges decently, and does good work. If you think that your blog post is worth just $5, if you think that your content writer can be so cheap, then feel fine about getting a cheap deal. Don’t crib.

Why you can’t ignore content marketing as an SEO expert

SEO and content marketing

The title of this blog post comes with a touch of irony. I address you as an SEO expert and then I try to explain why you cannot ignore content marketing. But it is not a complete irony – I still come across well-meaning SEO professionals who think that content is important, but it is optional and good search engine rankings don’t necessarily depend on good content. So this blog post is for them.

You may also like to read Why SEO companies are putting more stress on content writing?.

What exactly is SEO? Is it merely getting good search engine rankings? I remember once a client came to my office and requested me to set his website as my homepage so that every time I loaded my browser, it would increase his visitors count. I asked him what he was trying to achieve by that, and he said, it would instill confidence in his other visitors. When I asked him what effect a higher visitor count had made to his business, he flatly said, “None.” SEO hadn’t become a buzzword back then and nobody on this planet had heard of social media.

Why your SEO needs a healthy dose of content marketing?

I’m not an SEO expert but over the past 12 years that I have spent eking out a living on the Internet I have found out that there are 4 things that decide your search engine rankings

  • The quality of your content
  • General well-being of your website
  • The quality of your incoming links
  • The level of competition you face

The recent addition, the fifth thing that has an impact on your search engine rankings, is your author rank – how much social relevance your name enjoys on the Internet.

The relation between content marketing and SEO

What are people doing when they are using the search engines? They are looking for content in the form of information or entertainment. They seek information to keep them aware, to educate themselves, for researching, to find product or service they need, and to make good buying decisions.

Suppose you get good rankings for “garden sprinkling system” but when people come to your website they cannot make out what you are trying to do. The content is not convincing. Or it is full of errors. Maybe you haven’t highlighed the greatest benefits of the sprinkling system. Are you merely providing information or you want people to buy from you? And if they should buy from you then why? Just because you have got good search engine rankings or your sprinkling system is actually better than the others? People don’t do business because of your search engine rankings; they buy from you when your written content, your copywriting, is able to engage them and convince them.

This is just one aspect of content marketing. Once you have written credible and convincing content you also need to make it accessible to as many prospective visitors as possible.

The relationship between content marketing and quality incoming links

The days of paid links are gone, or going. Google heavily penalizes websites that aggregate incoming links by either paying for them or through link-exchange schemes. People should link to you for the value you provide, in terms of content or branding. Two legitimate ways of getting quality and reliable incoming links are:

  • Website owners, authors and bloggers voluntarily linking to you
  • You write for other websites and blogs and your link appears in the small bio or profile on the same link as credit

In both the cases you need high-quality content. If people voluntarily link to you then they must find something worth linking to. If you write for other blogs and websites then too, they won’t publish your blog posts and articles unless they are of a certain standard.

So you can see, whether you are focusing on onsite or off-site SEO, ultimately it’s the combination of the quality of your content and a well-coordinated content marketing strategy that decides what sort of search engine rankings you are going to experience.

Link building with content writing

Link building got quite a beating after the first Google Penguin update but it is still considered one of the most effective ways of improving your search engine rankings, especially when it is hinged upon quality content writing and well-meaning content marketing.

Why do you need link building?

In case you have been living inside a cave (nothing wrong or extraordinary about that) Google uses incoming links to your website in order to rank it. The more high-quality incoming links your website or blog has accumulated, the higher are going to be it’s search engine rankings. It’s kind of a validation and that’s why linking needs to take place only for the value you provide and no other purpose (for instance, paying websites and blogs to put your links on them).

Link building and content writing

So how does content writing help you in link building? As Google says, people should link to you based on the value you provide. How do you provide that value? By providing valuable and useful content. Why would people link to you if you publish high-quality content?

Writing comprehensive blog posts and articles isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, nonetheless, people want to maintain blogs and websites and they want to publish content on them for the sake of engagement, link building and better search engine rankings.

There are many content aggregation and curation websites and blogs. They don’t want to write content themselves; they want to link to external blog posts and articles, insert couple of paragraphs of their own, and then publish them on their websites and blogs. This way they don’t constantly have to scramble for new ideas. They don’t even have to hire content writers in order to create original content because instead of having to create content, they are aggregating good quality content from other websites and blogs. They want to become a resource, creating further link building opportunities for themselves.

This can work to your benefit. If you can write content they are looking for, they are definitely going to link to it, creating lots of back links in the process.

Of course regular content writing doesn’t just straightaway lead to back links. For example, you may feel discouraged after publishing 20-30 blog posts or articles without getting any back links. Link building doesn’t just happen; unless people find the content written and published by you, how can they link to it?

Herein comes content marketing. Write enough content and then make it easier for people to find it. One way of achieving this is keep on writing on your own blog and then letting the search engines index your content randomly and then presenting it to their users according to their own judgment. This works in many cases, but it may require lots of writing, even to the extent of creating 300-500 blog posts and articles before people begin to even notice you.

A better option is, aside from creating those 300-500 blog posts, disseminate what you have written and published through as many channels as possible. These days you have Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and various other platforms and channels where you can promote your links so that they begin to get noticed by people and some of them may start linking to them. Even search engines these days list content from social networking websites on their natural search engine result pages. So constant content writing and then sharing your links on social networking platforms can create lots of link building opportunities for you.

One of the most widely used link building methods through content writing is guest blog posting. When you write for other blogs, they include a small bio of yours in which they also include a link to your website, blog or one of the inner pages. Since you should only guest blog for reputed blogs, this can bring you great link building benefits.

In the beginning this may seem a bit difficult because it is upon the sole discretion of the owner of the blog whether he or she wants to publish your blog post or not. It will help you to first understand what sort of content is published on that blog, what sort of language is used and what is the general flow of the content appearing over there. You can also spend some time interacting with the stakeholders of that blog via Twitter or Google Plus because then they will be more eager to publish your blog posts.