Quality content with evergreen characteristics isn’t just a phrase to be thrown around in order to sell content writing services, it should carry some substance and a sense of reality.
What are the main characteristics of quality content?
Quality content should be able to achieve the following for you:
- Improve your search engine rankings for the correct search intent.
- Help your prospective customers and clients make the right decision.
- Encourage people to visit your website more than once.
- Give people enough reason to stay on your website.
- Help people find the right information that can solve their problem.
In this blog post I will cover
- What are the chief characteristics of quality content?
- How do you define quality when writing content?
- What makes your quality content Evergreen?
I personally believe that when a client pays me to write content for him or her, he or she assumes (or at least I assume that he or she assumes) that I’m going to give my best shot.
What is this the best shot?
When my client publishes the content written by me on his or her website, it must achieve the following:
- Improve conversion rate.
- Give appropriate information to the visitors.
- Increase engagement levels.
- People stay on the website longer.
- Improve search engine rankings.
These are given. The client doesn’t even have to tell me that the above-mentioned need to be achieved.
I don’t need to remind myself that the above-mentioned need to be achieved.
There are no ifs and buts.
Content quality for SEO is as important as content quality for conversion rate.
For me, these traits, or these achievements, define quality content writing.
So, if you ask me, what are the characteristics of quality content or quality content writing, I’m going to point you to the above achievements.
Is there a quality content definition?
The definition may differ from person to person or content writer to content writer.
For some, the only thing that matters is the search engine rankings.
Some want to be famous on social media websites.
Some hard-core salespeople want to write a tightly-knit sales copy.
Quality content contains all of these characteristics.
A business needs all these things to use content as a highly productive business tool.
One of the main characteristics of quality content is also that it is evergreen.
Yes, technicalities may change but the fundamentals remain the same.
For example, for better search engine rankings, you must keep the needs of your visitors first.
This is the fundamental characteristic: people have a problem, and you present a solution to them.
No matter what algorithmic changes Google makes, the ultimate aim is to find the right information according to search intent.
As long as your content helps Google achieve that, you are publishing quality content that is timeless.
Evergreen characteristics of quality content never go out of fashion
Why I call these characteristics evergreen is because they never change, because inherent qualities in people, in behavior, even the nature of sub-atomic entities, remain the same throughout the ages.
There is a reason why philosophers like Aristotle, Socrates and Panini are still read and admired.
Their teachings never go out of fashion.
The same is true for the chief characteristics of quality content.
These are the fundamentals.
These fundamentals are not just applicable to writing content, they are applicable to every aspect of your life.
These are like the gospel truths.
The 20 of these characteristics of quality content are listed below.
1. Quality content is relevant to the target audience
Content written for a particular audience always performs better than content written for pretty much everybody.
For example, if on my website I write about all sorts of writing including poetry, fiction, sci-fi, eroticism, horror, and whatever, it will become a portal of sorts.
There will be no target audience.
For a business it doesn’t work that way.
Your content needs to be relevant to a specified audience and only then it can make an impact.
Hence, although I talk about writing on this blog, I’m primarily talking about content writing, especially writing quality content for those who have business websites.
Why quality content is important for a business website?
According to the characteristics mentioned above, quality content must improve your search engine rankings.
It must engage your audience in a manner that people want to do business with you.
2. The writing must be professional
Now what does professional mean?
- The language should be decent
- There should be no spelling mistakes
- There should be no grammar mistakes
- Industry-specific language must be used
- A consistent style guide must be followed
- The text must be arranged under appropriate headlines and sub-headlines
- Shorter facts must be arranged in bullets
3. Focus on a single topic
One of the most important evergreen characteristics of quality content is its level of focus.
Are you writing about a single topic or are you trying to handle multiple topics in a single article or blog post?
Try to keep your content as focused as possible.
4. It should be written in scannable format
Scannable format means your content should be readable without having to read the entire body text.
Even if someone quickly goes through the headlines, sub-headlines and bulleted points, he or she should be able to get the gist of what you’re trying to say.
This is not to discourage detailed writing, it just makes sense to make it convenient for those who don’t have enough time to go through the entire thing.
5. Highlight the benefits of the product or service being promoted
What are benefits people going to derive from your product or service?
If you want to hire my content writing services, how am I going to benefit you?
Very few people hire me for my writing style.
As mentioned above, the chief characteristics of quality content are:
- It should inform your visitors.
- It should reduce your bounce rate.
- It should improve your search engine rankings.
These are the benefits. How I achieve these, I can explain in various blog posts and webpages.
But these are the main characteristics when I say I provide quality content writing services.
Ultimately, your business must grow due to my content writing services.
A cool writing style is of no help if I’m not able to grow your business.
People are interested in knowing what they are going to get rather than how great your business offering is.
6. Encourage the desired action among your visitors
What should people do once they are on your website?
Should they fill up your query form?
Should they subscribe to your newsletter?
Should they download your e-book or catalog?
Should they buy one of the products listed in your online catalog?
Whatever you want them to do on your website, you should write your content accordingly.
7. Include valid data and statistics
People always find numbers reassuring.
How many people in the previous month have used your product or service?
What are the worldwide trends?
How are your competitors doing?
Among all your customers last month, how many of them saw a marked improvement in the concerned aspect of their lives (in whichever manner your product or service is meant to affect them)?
When you mention exact facts, people feel more reassured.
8. Whenever possible, write in the first person
You strike a personal chord when you write in the first person.
This is an evergreen characteristic of quality writing writers have been following through ages.
Personal accounts are always fascinating.
“I had this problem and this is how I solved it” always sounds better than “Peter had this problem and this is how he solved it”.
Also use “This is the problem that you have and this is how you’re going to solve it” rather than “This is the problem Peter has and this is how he is going to solve it.”
9. Quality content is available in preferred format
Although I’m a content writer and my sole focus is on writing, not everybody is crazy about the written word.
These days I post lots of small videos on Twitter and LinkedIn explaining various aspects of content writing and SEO copywriting.
My engagement levels have increased ever since I have started posting small videos accompanying my blog updates.
Maybe your target audience prefers videos?
Pinterest has proved that there is a great demand for images.
Some prefer slideshows and some prefer animations.
You should know which format of content your audience prefers and then create your content accordingly.
10. Quality content changes perceptions
When you convince people into believing in what you believe in, you are changing perceptions.
People come to your website with a certain set of ideas.
But when they access your content, when they read it, you change their way of thinking or at least you influence their way of thinking.
This is what quality content must achieve.
If it is not changing perceptions, people are not going to come to your website and buy your stuff.
11. Encourages people to engage with you and vice-versa
Engaging people in a constructive dialogue is the best way to make an imprint in their minds.
People will remember you more if you engage them, if you ask them questions, if you provide them answers and even when you seek answers from them.
The ability to engage people gives your content an evergreen characteristic of quality.
How is your content considered engaging?
- It encourages people to stay on your website or blog longer.
- People feel like reaching out to you.
- They are prompted to explore other parts of your website or blog.
- They share your content through their social media profiles and mobile apps.
- They leave comments.
- They “like” your social media updates.
12. It’s okay to have a mix of original, curated and aggregated content
Good characteristics of quality content don’t just involve original content.
Don’t have enough time to write?
You can always curate content.
You can routinely aggregate high-quality content from other websites or blogs.
But don’t simply copy/paste that content.
Even if it is just one paragraph, add your own take on it.
In fact there is no use regurgitating quality content that already exists on other websites and blogs.
13. Quality content involves a consistent publishing schedule
Although, frankly, this has less to do with writing and more to do with content marketing, still, the evergreen aspect of your content is more sustainable if you follow a consistent publishing schedule.
If for the next five months you are going to publish a blog post every day, then do so.
If you feel that on certain days you’re going to be busier compared to the other days, you can schedule publishing in advance, but make sure you publish every day.
Similarly, if you want to publish every Wednesday, then make sure that your blog post or article appears on Wednesday.
This is because after a while people begin to expect hearing from you, even unconsciously.
14. Write content around a persona
It is very important to know for whom you are writing.
It gives you a clear idea of what problems to solve in the present piece of content.
Once you know the persona of your reader, you will be able to decide whether
- You want to use formal or informal language
- You want to follow a personal or a professional approach
- You should use industry-specific terms or not
- You should focus on facts or rhetoric
For example, if you are writing content for a product that caters to teachers and academicians your writing must be flawless, appropriate and must adhere to the proper usage of words and expressions.
On the other hand, if you are writing for a product that caters to youngsters you can use the hip-hop expressions used by them, worrying less about the accuracy of language.
15. Storytelling is one of the most prevalent evergreen characteristics of quality writing
Storytelling creates a context.
It dramatizes that context so that you can visually imagine it and if possible, apply it to your own circumstances.
A story lays bare the problems, tribulations and challenges faced by a person and then how either he or she solves those problems or the problems are solved by your product or service.
Through storytelling, instead of directly telling people to buy your product or service, you present them with a reason.
16. Keep your content constantly refreshed
Outdated, stale content fails to attract people.
Just as it is important to constantly create new content, you also need to keep your existing content fresh.
Quality writing also involves rewriting your existing content to bring it at par with contemporary trends and developments.
17. Quality content is search engine optimized
Although quality content is by default search engine optimized, in case the thought hasn’t crossed your mind, don’t ignore this aspect.
When you are publish quality content, why do you publish it?
It is because you want people to benefit from it.
How do people benefit from it?
They benefit from it by accessing it.
A search engine like Google is a great way to find good content.
Even if people don’t actively look for great content, chief characteristics of quality content ensure that Google Discover can find your content.
You may like to read How to optimize your content for Google Discover.
Make sure your content is searchable and written according to Google’s guidelines.
It will make it easier for people to make use of your content and you will also get new customers and clients.
18. Quality content is social media optimized
Millions of content updates are shared on social media and social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Do social media users find your content attractive enough to share?
Is it possible to share your content on social media and social and networking websites easily?
Content that is optimized for social media websites should ideally be topical because people normally share content around a current topic.
Take care of the following in order to make your content social media optimized
- Keep shorter page or blog post titles so that they can be easily shared on Twitter that allows just 280 characters.
- When you are writing blog posts, articles and webpages use quality images. Images often accompany your update, attracting more eyeballs.
- Focus on different formats for different social media channels, for example, you can create attractive and interesting graphics for Pinterest, informative slides for Slideshare and captivating videos for YouTube.
19. Entertainment is an evergreen characteristic of quality content that never loses its value
People love to be entertained.
But what is entertainment?
An avid reader may find reading Nabokov or Camus entertaining.
Some find popular soap operas on television entertaining.
Kids love to hear stories from their elders.
Not only funny articles and essays are entertaining.
Try to find out what would be entertaining to your audience and create your content accordingly.
You don’t always have to entertain, but whenever you can, do that.
20. Show your love and consideration for causes
Your business doesn’t exist in isolation.
It will always function within the circumstantial parameters of the world around you or even across the globe since we are all connected these days.
When you associate your content with a cause whether it is about saving the environment or the polar bears or fighting for the education and health of the underprivileged, people will appreciate it.
Get involved with the causes and then write about them. Or simply create content to raise awareness about your favorite causes.
Please keep in mind that what I have listed above are the “evergreen characteristics” of quality content, I haven’t written about creating evergreen quality content, that would be a totally different topic.
If someone wants to know what the characteristics of quality content are or what are the chief characteristics of quality content, this blog post will help.