Quality Content Marketing: Why It’s Important

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Content is central to any marketing strategy. But the importance of quality content marketing can’t be overstated. Google, Yahoo, Apple and Bing have all enriched and reformed their search algorithms to focus on quality over quantity.

How could a computer determine quality, you ask? Great question.

Here’s a brief look at how search engines determine quality content marketing.

How do Search Engines Determine Quality?

Search engines crawl the web constantly. Giants, such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, are constantly scouring billions and billions of webpages to find new content and review old or previously existing content.

The search engines then decide which webpages to display for certain keywords. Google, for example, puts an emphasis on quality content and search intent. At the end of the day, Google wants to display the most relevant, helpful content to its users. Not just content that has been optimized to appear in an attempt to “game” the system.

Unfortunately, quality is subjective. Quality content marketing means different things to different people and businesses. According to the Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines, here’s what you need to do to ensure your content meets Google’s expectations:

  • Write for your audience, not for search engine optimization
  • Don’t be deceitful. Make sure the keywords you’re targeting are relevant to your business.
  • Avoid bad SEO, such as keyword stuffing. A good test is to ask yourself, “does this content help my customer? Would I still write this if there were no search engines?”
  • Make sure your content is unique to your site. Avoid duplicate content.

How to Avoid Poor Quality Content Marketing

In order to talk about quality content marketing, we have to talk about poor quality content marketing. Tricky SEO tactics and poor quality content are two easy ways to get dropped from search engines. When it launched its Panda update, Google outlined some of its signals of low-quality content. Google says to avoid these:

  1. Auto-generated content: Content created by a machine, specifically when it’s intended to fool search engines with irrelevant keywords. The same is true for auto-translated content, too.
  2. Too little content: While there is no hard-set rule, webpages should contain a minimum of 350 words. Google will mark pages with little or no original content as “shallow content” pages.
  3. Abusing structured data: Structured data is a great way to tell search engines which content on your page is the most important; however, too much is bad, too.
  4. Scraping content: If you’ve taken any of your website’s content from another website, this is a major no-no. Not only can it be considered plagiarism, but Google will also ding your site if proper attribution is not provided.
  5. Cloaking: While this sounds like something out of a Harry Potter book, cloaking is a serious content marketing don’t. Cloaking is when you show different content to search engines than you do to regular website visitors.

How to Create Quality Content Marketing

Now that you know how search engines determine quality and what to avoid, it’s time to start creating quality content that will rank.

We go have some insight into what Google and other search engines look for when they rank quality. Here’s what you can do to help ensure your content gets marked as high quality by Google and others:

  • Byline your blog posts with industry or topic experts
  • Avoid duplicate or overlapping topics and content
  • Avoid or fix grammar and spelling errors
  • Write on topics that relate to your industry or your customer
  • Make sure your content is 100 percent original
  • Make sure your content provides substantial value to your audience
  • Edit and proofread articles before publishing
  • Use authoritative, trustworthy sources
  • Make sure your insights and analysis go beyond the obvious
  • Be unique, don’t just copy your competitors

We can’t emphasize the importance of proper grammar and spelling. Google stresses the need for accurate spelling and grammar multiple times. Make sure the sites you link to for sourcing are also authorities on the topic at hand and use writers who are known influencers, if possible.

Ultimately, it comes down to purpose. If your page lacks purpose, chances are it won’t rank.

Columnist Patrick Stox has this to say about purpose:

 “… your page needs to have a purpose and be understood. I’ve seen many marketing pages that use so much lingo, jargon or marketing-speak that even people at the company can’t tell you what the page is about. What’s worse is when good content is stripped away to make more of these kinds of pages.”

A quick tool to help you remember how to produce quality content marketing is the acronym EAT – Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.

Tools to help produce quality content marketing

Here are some of our favorite free and paid tools to help ensure your content marketing is high quality:

  1. Screaming Frog: Software programs like Screaming Frog crawl your website for broken links so you can fix the issue quickly.
  2. Grammarly: This is like spell check on steroids. Grammarly is a free/paid service that goes above and beyond standard spell checking. The paid service is definitely worth the price.
  3. Hemmingway App: This tool assigns a readability grade to your content, helping ensure your target audience can understand the content. Copy and paste text and edit in real-time to watch your score improve.

These tools will vastly improve the content experience on your website and help ensure you don’t turn off prospective customers with sloppy content.

My Method for Producing Quality Content

Whenever I sit down to write a piece of content, I ask myself three simple but important questions:

  1. Has this piece been written before? If so, how can I make it better?
  2. What is my target keyword and what are my supporting keywords?
  3. Does my audience need this information?

Proper keyword research and planning is perhaps the most important aspect to making sure a specific piece of content ranks. I use these two tools to develop my keywords:

The keywords I come up with should be the main ideas I want to address in the article or blog post. I group these keywords by topic or idea and then create five to 10 sub keywords or keyphrases for each group.

Finally, I try to answer as many questions about the specific topic as I can. For this, I use another cool tool called Answer the Public. Simply enter your main keyword and the site will suggest questions searchers ask surrounding that keyword.

In Conclusion

Remember, search engine rankings all start with intent. Then it’s matching website content to the searcher’s keywords and intent. Relevancy, competency, and authority are all extremely important to producing quality content marketing pieces.

You probably have your own process, and, if you’re following the above guidelines, you’re on the right path. There’s no right or wrong way when you put quality first.

Tell us in the comments below what you look for in quality content and what tools you use to ensure your content matches your searchers intent.

    Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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