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Writing Good Content

WRITTEN by: Jerrod Swanton |
categories: Content Marketing

Jul 2012

ALL INSIGHTS

How to Write High-Quality Content that is Both User-Friendly and Search-Friendly

Google has made it clear that well-written, original content is crucial in helping your site perform well in organic search results.

So what does that really mean?

It means that Google’s algorithm, while still a computer program, is getting smarter and smarter and can tell the difference between content that is helpful and informative for users and a carelessly thrown together jumble of keyword-rich sentences.

The bottom line, for your site to rank well in organic search results, write quality content. Here’s how.

Format in a Grammatically-Correct Way

  • Proof, proof, proof. Multiple people should look over articles when they are published
  • Pay attention to detail. Take the time to check spelling, styling, grammar and any facts that are referenced
  • If your 7th grade English teacher would smack your hand with a ruler after reading the article, you should probably look over it one more time.

Summary: Google’s spider has graduated from high-school. It’s not to college yet, but your site will suffer if you can’t spell.

Write to be Actually Helpful and Beneficial for the User

  • Make sure the information in the article can be trusted
  • Have your team's experts/enthusiasts who know the topic write the content
  • Look at other sites that rank for your targeted keywords. Does your content provide information that is more valuable than other industry sites?
  • Describe both sides of a story. Opinionated rants don’t help your rankings
  • Keep content pages simple. Having an excessive amount of distracting ads can interfere with the primary content on the page

Summary: Think about the person who will be reading the content. If it’s not helpful to them, Google won’t value it either.

Write to Establish Your Site as an Industry Authority

  • Write content that contains interesting information and insightful analysis
  • Content should provide truly original information, reporting, research and analysis
  • Write each page as if it would be published in industry magazine or book
  • Content on your site should be bookmark-worthy: users should be eager to recommend your site’s information to a friend or co-worker

Summary: Would a visitor share your site with a friend because the content was helpful and informative? If your site is authoritative, Google will rank it well.

Don’t Write for Google

  • Articles should truly be driven by the genuine interests of your readers of the site
  • Directly copying content from another site is a huge no-no. Google knows what you’re up to
  • If your site has redundant articles about the same information, it appears that you are only generating content for search purposes (which you are), and Google won’t value your content
  • If you crank out content around topics or keywords that don’t relate to what your readers would be interested in, Google understands that you are really only focused on organic rankings
  • Site content should not be outsourced or mass-produced, because individual pages don’t get as much attention

Summary: If you try to imitate quality content strictly to game the search engines, Google can tell and ultimately might penalize your entire site.

(This post on the Google blog explains in more detail how the Google algorithm determines quality content.)

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