Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What is 'Quality Content?'

Creating Quality Content With Terrapin Art & Design

Google is the Alpha search engine; your best play is to follow its lead. When stumped, I consult Google tutorial videos, often featuring search guru Matt Cutts. A cardinal rule preached by Cutts is populating your site with “quality content.” So just what is “quality content?”

This vague instruction is like your parents kicking you out when you’re 18; we’ve given you the basics, figure out the rest yourself. Challenge accepted, Papa Cutts. I packed my things and took to the web for answers.

Write for People not Google

Write for People, Not Google
Google has stated: “High quality content is content that you can send to your child to learn something.” “Your child” could be 7 or 40. One wouldn’t write a biting opinion piece for your first grader like they wouldn’t tailor elementary school learning content for your adult child.

What appears to be a non-answer provides some insight; write content for YOUR audience, not Google. Ask yourself; “What would I type if I were looking for my service?” Build out a list of words and phrases for your target audience from there. Distributed evenly throughout detailed written content, these keywords will bring relevant visitors to your site.

Scout Your Competition

Scout Your Competition
Your most successful online competitors are doing something right. Do a little online reconnaissance. Punch up top-ranking sites and skim for keywords or phrases that jump out at you. You know your business, and you’ll know what to look for.

Whether it’s content you’ve already considered or a new revelation, take notes and apply your findings to your own site.

Write It Like You Mean It

Write It Like You Mean It
Running a small business website, your primary goal is to sell your service. What emotion do you feel best sells what you’re offering? Urgency? Sentimentality? Humor? Whatever it is, convey it in your writing.

Visitors are being asked to make an investment in your company; it has to go both ways. Potential customers need to know you’re as committed as you’re asking them to be. Backing your service with enthusiastic content tells them you’re in.

Quality Content Needs Emotion

Don’t Play Fast & Loose with Content
Quality content needs emotion, but don’t let punchy writing turn to aimless haymakers. Stay structured and on point:

  • Is your content focused and informative?
  • Is your content tight and filler-free?
  • Is it applicable to your service and customer needs?
  • Do you present a consistent message and tone throughout the site?
  • Does it accurately describe your company and services?

Get Cracking on Quality
These principles are a starting point. There is no exact science behind producing quality content; there’s a lot you have to find out for yourself.

Every small business is different, as will be their content and websites. Build out your quality content like you did your quality small business, with patience and experience.