Want to get attention on the internet? You need quality content. There’s so much spam, fluff and repetition out there that wading through it can be frustrating for anyone looking for good information. However, if you put quality content out consistently, it will rise to the top where your audience will find it.
Whether you just want to get information out about an important topic, or you’re trying to sell a product or service, quality content is the key. Here are some important issues to consider when creating content that provides real quality to the reader.
1. Content length matters
If you want to get noticed in the search engines as fast as possible, don’t write a few short blurbs and put them up on sites. Strive for longer pieces – ideally more than 1000 words each. The more content you have, the more opportunity you have to provide value and information. Since you can’t really cover much in just a couple hundred words, you aren’t going to get ranked as highly that way. Plus, anyone looking for an in-depth piece on a particular topic isn’t going to spend much time on your content if it’s short. They know they won’t be getting all the knowledge they’re looking for that way.
2. Don’t forget the graphics
Providing good quality content isn’t just about the written word. It’s about the overall package the reader will see when finding the content on a web site. In a lot of cases, that includes graphics. You can have pictures, an infographic, a chart, or something else, but that visual stimulation can break up what would otherwise seem like a lot of text into something much more manageable. It’s also an excellent way to give some insight into your main points, in case a reader is trying to decide whether to bookmark your content for later.
3. Formatting is important
Even the best content can get passed over if it’s not well formatted. If you focus on the words but don’t pay any attention to things like text size, paragraphs, and spacing, you’re going to end up with content that really looks unattractive. People won’t want to read it, and you won’t get them interested in whatever it is you’re offering to them, because they can’t get past the messy way it looks. To avoid that, format everything for ease of reading on a computer, and also for mobile if you can.
4. Readability should be considered
The readability score of your content can and does matter. Write too simply and people will think you’re talking down to them. Write too highbrow, and people will think you’re pretentious. They also might not really understand what you’re trying to tell them, or may miss the point. You want to choose a level that’s easy to understand, but that’s not designed for a child – unless children are your audience. Knowing who the audience is can make a big difference when it comes to the readability level of your content. You wouldn’t write the same way for teenagers as you would for college professors.
5. Don’t overlook the importance of grammar and spelling
In the days of textspeak, slang, and abbreviations that make getting your message out faster, you can end up sacrificing too much quality and not be taken seriously. You should spell words out properly and use grammatically correct sentences when addressing your audience and providing content. While typing “lol,” using “u” when you mean “you,” and other ways to say things faster can be fine for texting or posting to social media, they really don’t have a place in the creation of quality content for a broader audience.
6. Is an expert writing it? What else have they written?
If the content is technical, or it’s about a subject that can be hard to understand, it’s best to have an expert write it. It needs to be accurate, and explained in a way that makes sense to laypeople. Another reason that it’s good to have an expert is that it brings a lot of credibility to the content. People put more trust in something that an expert wrote, and that can mean more readers and more sales. If the author has written a lot of online articles, ebooks, or anything else that carry their byline, the content will also get a higher search engine ranking because of that.
7. Make it social media shareable
Quality content is interesting, and it makes people want to share it with others. If you want your content to get noticed, make it shareable. It can be catchy, dramatic, funny, or any combination that gets people talking. A good headline will grab their attention, and then the content will keep them reading to the end. They’ll likely know someone else who will benefit from it, so they’ll pass it on. The more it’s shared on social media, the more chance it has to go viral and really get you noticed.
8. Good links can drive good search results
Both incoming and outgoing links matter. When you link out to another site from a piece of content, only link to high-quality sites. Don’t link to places you’ve never heard of, even if the information is good. With the right links, you’ll see your search engine rankings soar – and that can make a big difference in whether the right people find and read your content.
9. The domain can be just as important as the content
Quality content should be on a quality domain. By having good domain names and updating the sites with new content frequently, you’ll be more likely to have a higher search engine ranking and more loyal readers. Cheap domains, free options, and hosting sites that you aren’t familiar with can be poor choices. They aren’t well received by search engines in a lot of cases, and people who are looking for authoritative information may not take them seriously.
10. Be sure to enable comments
You want people to comment on your content. Whether what they have to say is complementary or negative, getting comments means people are reading. It also means they felt strongly enough about the content to take the time to leave a comment. That can be very important, and can also improve search ranking, sharing on social media, and the potential for viral status. Also, keep in mind that people want to be heard. If they feel like they can comment and someone will “hear” them, they can become more engaged with your content and your business.
11. Does the content really provide value to the reader?
The main thing to keep in mind, over and above anything else, is whether the content you’re putting onto the internet really offers quality and value. It should solve a problem, address a concern, teach the reader how to do something, or explain something to them. If it doesn’t do any of that, it isn’t really quality. Make changes to it, so your readers will actually get something out of reading it. That’s how you get people interested in what you have to say, and keep them coming back for more.