5 Tips for Writing High-Quality Content
1 – Make Pages Primarily For Users, Not For Search Engines
This rule comes directly from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. It’s the very first thing they say under “Basic Principles.”
The search giant even suggests you ask yourself “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” when deciding on how your website operates. Those questions most assuredly apply when writing new content.
So foremost, determine an audience need based on a keyword search, and write to answer that need. The better able you are to satisfy someone’s search intent, the better behavior signals your site receives and the more likely you are to rank.
If you’re at a loss for how to connect a keyword to user needs, do a little research. Plug in the keywords and try to find questions related to it.
When we write for our clients, this is a procedure we follow. We look to find out what your customer or patient might be looking for and then create a post based on that topic.
Also look to see if the keyword is directly related to an “I want to purchase something or research a purchase” intent, take notes on the content that ranks highest. The chances are good that the page offers excellent examples of site organization, layout clarity and overall usability in addition to some solid text content.
2 – Edit Your Writing, and Push Yourself To Write High-Quality Content
Like a great tasting cookie, good writing is definitely in the eye of the beholder. But at the same time, you wouldn’t bank on your cookie getting top votes if all you did was use a boxed cookie mix.
In other words, if you want to write better, you’re going to have to learn from others. We suggest reading publisher sites related to your industry that gets high traffic and covers topics similar to what you want on your blog.
Some general guidelines for improving your writing include:
- Useless “being” and “linking” verbs in favor of strong action verbs. If you find yourself writing words like “is, was, are and be,” go back and see if you can identify the true subject of the sentence and what it’s doing.
- Structure your writing like you would an outline. Tell people what they’re going to learn from your post as soon as possible, and then delve into each smaller point one at a time until you’re finished.
- Write casually but not unprofessionally. Aim for a “friendly, conversational tone with a clear purpose—somewhere between the voice you use when talking to your buds and that you’d use if you were a robot,” suggests Search Engine Land’s paraphrasing of Google’s own Developer Documentation Style Guide.
- Edit your writing! Far too many people don’t go back and reread. When I write a blog post or when I’m writing a book I know I have to go back and reread what I wrote. My editor has said to me on several occasions that she knew what I meant to say, but I didn’t write it that way. For me, I tend to think faster than I write. Check what you’ve written. Watch out for sentence and paragraph transitions that could make people have trouble following your logic. Ask people for their opinion on how readable everything is. If they have a complaint, see if you can break the excerpt down into its most simple parts and reconstruct it.
3 – Read, Read, Read and Read Some More
Reading teaches you how words and sentences form ideas. We take a lot of this information for granted, but it’s quite complex. Fortunately, others have mastered it and can teach you techniques to add to your repertoire.
4 – Pay Attention To Your Audience’s Behavior Signals
What content pages get the most views? Which ones get the best responses or the most engagement in comments or on social media? Where do people tend to spend the most time?
Look to your own Google Analytics data, and try to identify patterns. People tell you what they like without ever saying a word. You just need to know what to look for.
5 – If You’re Struggling To Write Good Content, Go Back To The Basics
You might shy away from writing about simple topics, such as “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO” or something like “Why People Buy Things,” but these are great topics. Yes, they’ve been done to death, but they help people learn.
There have been times when I was researching a topic. Then I find someone who explains it differently and it, clicks!. That’s what you want to happen with the subject you are writing about. Try and take an extremely deep or complex subject and make it click for your audience.
Above all else, articles like these teach you the fundamentals of writing for your audience. You learn how to break big concepts down to their bare components and communicate complex ideas with clarity.
Next to reading, writing down the basics is the best way to teach yourself how to craft high-quality content.
Stop Obsessing Over Keywords and Start Writing High-Quality Content
The writings on the wall: Google and online audiences are sick of bad content, keyword stuffing and deceptive practices aimed to help websites rank, but that make readers miserable.
Put content quality factors like readability, grammar and topic organization as a higher priority than keyword use. People will know what you’re talking about, even if you don’t use an exact keyword match—and now search engines will too.
As you can see I’m not talking about not doing SEO. What I am saying is high-quality content has to be your top priority.
Delivering high-quality content will have people coming back to your website time and again.
High-quality content makes you stand out above all the others in your industry making you the trusted source.
When you can accomplish this, you’ve struck gold so to speak.
If you are having a hard time writing content for your website contact me. We’ll come up with a content strategy that works for you.
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