It is a common misconception among small business professionals that the more content they have, the better they will rank in search results. Maybe I should say it’s a half-truth, because it’s true the more high-quality content you produce, the better you’re likely to rank. And search engines can tell the difference between quality content and poorly produced filler. So always, always, always choose quality over quantity.
What is quality content?
Simply updating your website frequently with visual content (like images or videos) and blog posts is not going to deem your content worthy by the search engines. Creating content similar to what can be found on other sites (copy/paste is a definite no-no) is not going to help your ranking. Your content needs to:
- Provide value (make ’em laugh, make ’em think, make ’em learn is my formula)
- Be unique and relatable
- Answer questions your target audience is searching for
- Be credible, easy-to-read, interesting and fresh
- Come across as being in your voice (and/or the voice of your small business)
- Contain the right keywords in the right density
How does the quality of your content affect SEO?
When your content is of a higher caliber, it results in a more valuable user experience. Search engines care about that. Carefully considered, relatable content that provides value generally leads to backlinks and sharing on social media, which in turn can lead to more website visits. Traffic to your website is an indication (just one among hundreds) to the search engines that the content on your site is of higher quality, and that can encourage them to display your site higher in the search rankings.
How can you produce quality content?
There’s no easy way around it; you’ll need to invest time or money (or both) into producing content that will be considered high quality by the search engines. At the same time, don’t forget that you’re also producing your content for real people. After all, they are the users in the user experience that search engines take into consideration as part of the algorithm used to determine how high your site ranks in results. As the quality of your content improves, you’ll come to be known as an expert in your field, a trustworthy resource. And that can contribute to higher search rankings for your website.
Some practical ways you can ensure your content is both valuable and shareable:
- Always use spell check. ALWAYS.
- Include images and/or video whenever possible and appropriate.
- Proofread before you publish. Better yet, have someone else proofread before you publish.
- Ensure the overall layout of your content is appealing (good use of white space, headings, etc).
Nothing will shut down a potential share faster than content rife with spelling and/or grammatical errors, or that doesn’t read easily. So in addition to your content being valuable and informative, it should also be polished.
Over to you: What challenges do you face or have you faced in producing quality content?
Award-winning web professional Bonny Clayton, aka Your Web Chick, is a web designer, social media mechanic and email marketing technician.
A Tech Geek with a Creative Streak℠, she helps small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere establish and maintain their online presence. She is committed to serving them according to their needs, whether that means “giving them a fish” or “teaching them to fish”.