Online shoppers have one goal. To find what they want. Sure, they want a good price and good shipping terms, and a company with a solid reputation and the right range of services—but what they really want most is enough information to make an informed decision…you know, to find what they want.
The Google Gods understand this and that's why they create algorithms designed to defeat terrible content and drive it off the top of search engine results pages (or SERPs).
As a business, your armor against the scourge of Google updates is high quality content.
Because high quality content is what users want, it's what Google wants to show them...and if you're smart enough to provide it, your website will never suffer the Google smackdown. (And, hey, it's not just about Google—all search engines run algorithms written to deliver the best quality results.)
Is Your Content Killer?
There's no single definition for quality content. The definition changes by industry, niche, target audience, type of product, etc. Nevertheless, you can follow these basic guidelines to ensure your content is solid each and every time.
Killer content comes in the following forms:
- Stable, evergreen content that includes popular draws like instructional how-tos and in-depth information about your product or service, industry, and related topics.
- Fresh and relevant content like industry buzz, breaking news, and new ways to think about your product or service.
- Copy—your top-level sales pages that tell customers about your products and services, and about your company.
With a mixture of in-depth information and a constant stream of new angles and fresh information, you can cover a lot of bases.
The length of your content should correspond to the topic, but a good rule of thumb for average blog posts and articles is 550-850 words. You can also benefit from longer content in the form of eBooks, white papers, and newsletters. Length is a controversial subject, especially if your audience is largely mobile.
One way to address mobile users is to put a lot of information at the top. Make that headline count. In journalism classes, they call that impactful title and the first sentence “the hook.” The success of your written content (whether people care enough to continue to read) often depends on the quality of your hook. In a web search, users often only see a title and the first sentence. Don't waste that space.
Fierce Fightin’ Tips for Wicked Content
- Add Visual Appeal: Content is not limited to words. Graphics and videos add appeal and drive traffic. Visuals can be in any or all formats—videos and vines (micro-videos), slide presentations, infographics, product or user photos, and branded graphics. Visual content is popular and more likely to be shared than anything else. But more importantly, companies using visual content have 7x higher conversion rates.
- Go Pro: Be sure to take your content seriously—every piece should be free of grammar and spelling errors.
- Document Your Content Strategy: The Content Marketing Institute found that only 35% of B2B marketers have a documented strategy...and that those who do have a documented strategy are twice as successful.
Before you can start any successful marketing effort, you have to have a complete strategic plan working for you throughout the Growth Cycle Marketing process, from attracting the attention of potential customers to inviting repeat customers back with new offerings. That's what creating quality content is all about. You can't fake it or cheap out by hiring terrible writers to churn out terrible writing in volume. When it comes to content, quality is always better than quantity if you want to slay the fearsome beast that is your competition.