Rand Fishkin coined the term “10x” in one of his Whiteboard Friday videos, and soon, the already abuzz digital marketing world had a benchmark for what makes content stand out of the crowd. An exceptionally well-written piece of content recognized for the quality and service it provides is termed as a 10x content.
But what do we mean when we say content needs to have quality?
What are the elements that define quality content?
It can be a tricky question to answer. After all, quality is subjective, and everyone has a different way of viewing and analyzing a piece of content. But there are specific parameters, identifying and working on which will be beneficial in developing quality content. And with Smartinsights statistical data revealing the enormous quantity at which content is being produced in a minute, no content creator and marketer can afford to overlook them.
- Quality content should be based on proper research based on what the target audience is looking for, currently in the industry. It should address and resolve the concern of the prospective customers;
- There is no room for language, spelling, or grammar mistakes. A quality content follows a consistent style guide, has catchy yet concise heading and subheadings.
- A content that does not deter from its topic, no matter the length, would keep its readers engaged. Focused content is quality content.
- The content should encourage people to engage with the business, leading them to take the desired action.
- A content with facts, statistics, and data adds to the credibility by reassuring people into believing the effectiveness of your products or services.
- High-quality content is available in a format preferred by the audience, whether it is long-form posts, videos, or images. This will vary with the platform it is being published on.
- Talking about the platform, good quality content is optimized, not just for search engines but social media as well- attractive, recent, shareable.
While imbibing the characteristics mentioned above, you can produce quality content. The gravity of the impact it creates ultimately boils down to whether or not it is searchable on the prominent search engines like Google.
With 93% of online experiences starting with a search engine, it should not come as a shock to you that your prospective consumers rely heavily on the search engines to find the products and the services they need.
Do you want high organic traffic? For that, you need to have a good search engine ranking, which a quality content can assure you. But this is possible only when you understand how the particular search engines recognize quality content.
We are going to focus on what Google defines as high-quality content.
- a) Google sends you the most traffic;
- b) Google has been consistently dominating 90% of the search market.
With the latest Penguin and Panda update, it is clear that Google aims only to deliver high-quality content to the seekers. Google now has all it’s ranking algorithms focused on indexing, crawling, and ranking quality content from every possible rabbit hole on the internet.
With the goal to further enhance the quality of the search engine, this update’s foundation is a calculation or filter which determines whether the content is of high quality of low-quality. The low-quality content is then rearranged to be pushed further back to the SERP’s.
The formula or Panda Filter, as it is commonly called, look for signals to identify and differentiate between the varying degree of content quality.
So, what makes Google’s quality content?
For Google, EAT defines the quality of content.
What is EAT, you ask?
E-A-T stands for Expertise-Authority-Trust.
Let’s elaborate on them:
You know how, for any business-related trouble, there are certain leaders or digital gurus whose advice you trust for its results? You need to be that for the products and services your area offering and in that industry.
You are aiming at a high rank in the search engine results; you need to put out such content that establishes you as an expert in the particular field. What will define your online expertise? Your credentials, the author’s biography, time visitors spent on each page, shares, etc.
How does one establish their authority online? Your well-crafted content pieces should focus only on niche topics and have informational keywords. Backlinks from reputable websites, reviews, awards make for a benchmark that establish authoritativeness.
You need to be the first name that strikes their mind when they are looking for a reliable source of information. A well-researched and adequately quoted content will make it credible. Your content and the website should make people trust it and feel comfortable sharing their personal data, aka high grade of security. They should feel confident enough to invest in your products or services. Indicators of trustworthiness are testimonials, signs of community, social media presence, website security, etc.
While the aforementioned forms the foundation of high-quality content per Google standards, it’s webmaster guidelines clearly lays down the difference between low and high-quality content.
High-quality content would have:
- Authentic information backed by research and data- adding value for the readers;
- Images and videos in abundance- to enhance the presentation;
- No spelling, factual or stylistic errors;
- Search Intent- were they created for ranking or to resolve customer’s queries?
- Well-researched and engaging information- Making it shareable, or worth bookmarking;
- Comprehensive information- does it leave out anything of importance?;
- Sensitivity- can it enrage users for leaving negative comments?;
A low-quality content, on the other hand, would:
- Serve no purpose with their inadequate or no website information;
- Be stuffed with the keyword for the sake of SEO;
- Have deceptive designs or doorway pages with plagiarized or automatically generated content;
- Have inadequate website information and little to no sub-content;
- Have hidden texts or links
- Be a website that lacks maintenance and updates;
So, how to develop high-quality content?
- Know and understand your audience;
- Focus on search intent;
- Go for a new approach;
- Conduct thorough research;
- Answer the latest questions with abundant information
Your content needs validation, for which it needs to be shared, for which it needs to be read, for which it needs disability, which only quality content gets.
Your SEO-centered content lacking quality might be coming in the way of your goal of achieving higher search engine ranking. Enhance the value of your website by creating high-quality content, because while the SEO strategies keep evolving, high-quality content will always command the marketing world.