Bill Gates has never been more correct.
Content really is king. Check this out:
More than 4 million new blog posts are published every single day.
That’s an immense number.
However, how many do you think would actually be worth reading?
Our guess is ‘not many’. Indeed, there’s a major difference between incredible content and bog-standard stuff. And with Google taking content so seriously, it’s vital to know what that difference is.
It’s key to the success of a website. For instance, quality content:
- Creates an awesome user experience (UX).
- Converts more leads.
- Increases time spent on-page.
- Generates higher click-through-rates (CTR).
- Leads to higher rankings on SERPs.
- Generates backlinks.
- Makes you an authority in your niche.
Clearly, you can’t afford to misfire on your content. But what goes into it exactly? How do you ensure that you create constitutes quality? Knowing the answers is the only way to make it happen.
Keep reading for 10 essential components of great content in Google’s eyes.
Creating original content is the first step to greatness.
If it isn’t original, then you don’t stand a chance. But what do we mean by that?
First, it absolutely, 100% cannot be plagiarized or duplicated from elsewhere on the web. Duplicate content gets punished by Google. It isn’t allowed. Your rankings will suffer and your website can even be taken down.
Secondly, it should be fresh. There’s no point taking the same idea and simply re-writing it. Add a new spin or a novel idea that’s somewhat different to what’s already out there.
Times have changed.
Thin content is poor content.
You can’t slap together a 300-word article and expect it to rank well nowadays. Less was once more. Now, in Google’s eye, more is more.
It’s all about providing value (more on this later). Google rewards articles that are longer and filled with detail.
Aim for 1,000 words as a solid starting point. 2,000 words? You’re winning.
The greatest content in the world is worthless if it’s irrelevant to your audience.
Let’s imagine you’ve done some keyword research and found an awesome, low-competition, high-traffic search term like ‘best cars ever’.
You go ahead and write a 1,000-word article on the best cars on the market. However, what you failed to realize is that all those people are searching for the Cars movies instead. Your article is totally irrelevant.
It’ll move steadily down the rankings as people realize as much.
Sure, that’s a basic and obvious example. But the truth holds. Great content is totally relevant to the interests and needs of your specific audience.
4. Headlined for Greatness
Focus on your headlines.
That’s where it all starts (well, after you’ve found your keywords).
It’s one of the most important features of SEO. A well-crafted headline with primary and LSI keywords stands a much better chance of ranking on SERPs.
Not only that, people are more likely to click on it. A great title stimulates clicks. The more people who click on it, and find an awesome (relevant) article on the other side, the higher you’ll move up the rankings.
Be sure to include internal and external links in all of your posts.
It’s an important ranking factor, for one. But they also mean Google stands a better chance of understanding it.
Internal links provide a roadmap between the pages on your site. You need them all to interlink. Google likes it that way.
External links provide a roadmap between your site and others on the internet. Imagine them as the connecting streets between parts of a city. Google uses them to understand where your site fits in with everything else.
6. Fully Optimized
We’ve already alluded to this one.
It’s worth re-stating though. Content must be fully optimized for SEO. It’s the only way for Google to ever show it to an audience (without paid ads).
Find your keywords and optimize your piece around them. Just don’t overstuff it as you can be punished. Now, good SEO is about more than just keywords. Indeed, great content comes first and foremost. But there’s reciprocity in play: great content is good for SEO; proper SEO makes for great content (in Google’s eyes).
New to the game? Here are some good SEO fundamentals to learn first.
Here’s a simple one: don’t make mistakes.
Be diligent. Write carefully and conscientiously to avoid errors.
If you’ve got an editor around, then use them! Don’t publish anything without proper editing. Remember, the UX is pivotal to success. Mistakes in spelling and grammar worsen the UX.
Likewise, fact-checking. Don’t give out erroneous information. Be sure to check and double check your facts and figures.
8. Provides Value
Providing mind-boggling value should be your priority.
You’re not writing for the sake of content creation. Get that idea out of your mind. Instead, you’re writing to provide value.
It just so happens that you provide it through content!
What counts as value? Well, think about why people use Google. We’re looking for answers. Tips, tricks, and insight that makes our life better or easier.
Do that in your content and you’re bound for success.
9. Engaging to Read
Don’t make it boring.
No-one will read dull, difficult content. Indeed, our attention spans are pathetic! You must do what you can to keep people on the page. Write with some flair, humor, and an individual style. Get some personality across.
Write in short, snappy sentences. Walls of text just don’t cut it anymore. Structure your pieces so they’re easily scannable and downright fun to scroll through.
10. Contains Different Media
A quick on to finish with.
Include more than just text in your articles. Remember: keep it engaging! People love visual content. Add photos, images, GIFs, videos, audio files…anything to break up the text and add another element to the piece.
Time to Create Great Content
There you have it: 10 tips for creating great content in line with Google’s expectations.
The internet is awash with content. Google will only prioritize the best of the best. It’s your job to make that happen. Do so, and your website stands to gain in a plethora of ways.
Hopefully, this article has given you all the tools to be successful! Good luck!
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