The concept that content is king isn’t new. Digital marketing leaders and industry experts have been highlighting the importance of content marketing for years. While the idea that quality content is crucial is well-known by now, there’s a growing understanding of what quality content entails. It’s time to define the exact characteristics that make content high quality.
What Is Quality Content?
Quality content is best defined as content that is less advertorial and more editorial, while simultaneously meeting both the reader’s desire for a good read and the brand’s goal of elevating its place in the conversation. This means the definition of quality content varies among industries and individual brands. To one brand, quality content may educate the reader about a specific trend, service, or product. To another brand, quality content may be an article that generates interest and engagement around a product.
Why Is Quality Content Important?
Quality content increases customer engagement and satisfaction. If a customer finds the answer to a question in a specific brand’s content, they’re more likely to trust that brand when it comes time to make a sale. While this is an important reason to publish quality content, the importance of quality content goes much deeper than that.
Quality content also attracts search engine bots, which increases a brand’s ranking. The higher the ranking, the more visitors will visit a website. Google, Bing, and Yahoo bots are looking for specific criteria when determining the authority of a website and where they should place it in the search engine results.
According to Google, the definition of quality content goes beyond words. Quality content also encompasses all characteristics that contribute to user experience. This includes secondary clicks deeper into the site, optimized photos, page speed, formatting, and the overall organization of the content. As a general rule, the best content is written for humans but optimized for search engines.
Important Components of Quality Content
Although the concept of quality content may be slightly different based on a brand’s goals, a few components are the backbone. It’s important that quality content be:
- Relevant: Quality content is relevant to the reader. It’s written in a way that meets a reader’s needs by showing them that the brand understands them.
- Informative: Quality content is informative. It nurtures the customer, providing information that is most appropriate for the part of the buying cycle the customer is currently in.
- Readable: Content with clear and easy-to-follow formatting enables the reader to scan and find the information most relevant to them.
- Direct: Good content guides the reader on a journey. A strong call to action (CTA) tells the reader exactly what the author wants them to consider while providing them with information on what to expect.
- Grammatically correct: Content serves the purpose of establishing authority and trust. Content that’s free of grammatical errors and typos is crucial.
- Concise: Word count of content is less important than conciseness. Quality content answers the reader’s questions in the briefest, most direct way.
- Engaging: The internet is flooded with content. Quality content stands out from a brand’s competitors in an engaging way, helping the brand position itself as an industry leader.
- Measurable: Because the purpose of quality content is often to achieve goals, it should also be measurable. This may include tracking keywords, conversions, or website traffic.
Using these important components can help a brand evaluate the quality of its content. Brands can best review content by asking themselves if each piece serves its intended goal.
How to Create Quality Content
Creating quality content is crucial in today’s digital world. There is often a vague line between the concept of quality content and what quality content looks like on paper (or on a screen). It’s possible to create high-quality content with the following steps:
- Form a purpose: Before creating a content strategy, it can be beneficial to evaluate goals and set key performance indicators for tracking success.
- Choose a type of content: Quality content can include different forms of media, including blogs, service pages, FAQs, guides, white papers, podcast scripts, email newsletters, and infographics. The best type of content depends on a brand’s goals and the type of media its target audience is likely to interact with most.
- Create a strategy: A strategy can help brands map and guide customers from initial interest to conversion. Creating a strategy includes researching target customers, planning editorial content and assigning specific goals for each phase of content.
- Create: After defining goals and creating a content strategy, it’s time to get down to work. Creating content involves more than writing. You’ll also need to edit your work, optimize images, set proper formatting, and more.
- Review content: The the review process is another layer that ensures content meets the brand’s goals. In addition to the initial review, it’s also beneficial to return to older content periodically to make sure it’s still relevant.
Quality content involves much more than jotting words down on paper. Content marketing is similar to editorial content in that it first exists to educate and inform rather than to sell. If the content meets the buyer’s needs, the sales part naturally follows.