When it comes to content, quality is king. You may have a deep understanding of your ideal customers, a well-planned content calendar, and clear deadlines. But if your content itself falls flat, you’re wasting your time.
Why? Google and other search engines are constantly evolving their algorithms to better identify and rank high-quality content. As a result, today’s search engines are simply too sophisticated to be fooled by low-quality content.
If you want your content to be found by people, it needs to be well-written, informative, and engaging.
But how do you create content that checks all these boxes? Follow these six rules to make great content that engages your audience, ranks well in search engine results, and drives real tangible results for your business.
1. Create a content overview before you start writing
Quality content starts with careful planning. The number one reason content falls flat is because the writer failed to set themself up for success from the beginning.
Before diving into writing, create a content overview that outlines your goals and plan for the piece. This overview should include the topic, a detailed outline, related keywords, and other crucial aspects of your strategy. Conduct competitor research and use tools like SEMRush to estimate the ideal length and readability level. With a clear plan, you’ll stay on track and create content that connects with your intended audience.
2. Write with search intent in mind
As you write, keep the user journey in mind. Craft your outline to match the intent behind your reader’s search.
When someone searches for your target keyword or topic, what information are they looking for? How can you structure the content so it’s as easy as possible for them to find the answers they need?
Consider the different stages of the buyer’s journey and the questions your audience might have at each stage. Create content that meets your audience’s needs and provides valuable insights to resonate with them and satisfy their search intent.
3. Focus on making it digestible and engaging
While being informative is important, it’s equally crucial to make your content easy to read and engaging. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon that might confuse your readers.
- Structure your content in a logical and well-organized manner, breaking it down into sections with descriptive headings.
- Utilize bullet points, numbered lists, and subsections to make large blocks of information more digestible.
- Incorporate visuals like images, infographics, and videos to break up the text and make your content visually appealing.
By presenting complex information in a clear and engaging way, you’ll keep your readers hooked from start to finish.
4. Pay attention to SEO
Optimizing your content for search engines is just as important as it is for human readers.
Incorporate relevant keywords naturally throughout your content, ensuring they align with the search intent you identified in step two.
Use optimized section headings to help search engines understand the structure and relevance of your content.
Include hyperlinks to related pages and content to provide additional value to your readers and improve your search engine rankings. Ideally, you should include a mix of links to your own relevant content and external sources.
Lastly, to encourage users to click on your content in search engine results, remember to optimize your title tag and meta description. Use keywords and engaging language.
5. Get clear on what comes next
Every piece of content should guide your audience toward the next step in their journey. What action do you want your readers to take after engaging with your content? Is there a relevant offer or solution you want to promote? Do you have a valuable piece of related content you could share in exchange for their contact details?
Regardless of your specific goal, the most important part is to actually have one. Be clear on the next step you’re guiding your audience toward, and don’t be shy about inviting readers to take action.
Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, or contacting your business, a well-crafted call-to-action will help you convert readers into leads or customers.
6. Proofread using a checklist & content analysis tools
Before publishing, proofread your content carefully, checking for grammar, organization, clarity, and SEO. It’s a good idea to create a checklist for this step to help ensure you’ve covered all the bases. Your checklist can include helpful tools to simplify the process. Here at SBB, our go-to content analysis tools include Grammarly, MarketMuse, Hemingway App, and SEMRush Writing Assistant.
7. Iterate & optimize
Producing high-quality content requires constant improvement and refinement. Continuously monitor the performance of your content, tracking metrics like engagement, conversions, and search rankings. Analyze the data and feedback you receive to gain insights into what is resonating with your audience and what can be improved. Use these insights to refine your future content and optimize your content strategy accordingly.
Creating high-quality content to boost your business
Creating high-quality content is essential for any business that wants to succeed online, but it’s not easy. It requires careful planning, a deep understanding of your target audience, and a solid grasp of SEO best practices.
If you’re a business owner who is short on time, energy, or expertise, you may want to partner with an expert to drive your content marketing strategy. This can be a great way to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your content marketing without having to do all the work yourself.