Ah Google, we love you. Up there with the likes of Starbucks, Primark and Apple, it’s taking over the world.
OK so we might not love them all (and my recent battle with Android caused me much rage), but we do respect it. And if your business wants any kind of web presence, you need to keep Google happy because they’ll know all about you.
That might sound like something from Orwell’s 1984 but trust me, you want to stay on the right side of Google. So when you’re creating content it needs to abide by the rules and regulations that Google has helpfully put in place.
Now of course ‘quality’ is subjective, but as we have to keep Google happy, it’s what Google defines as quality content that we’re looking at.
Make sure it’s relevant
This might sound like common sense, but any content you produce must be relevant to your audience. If you’re an optician, don’t waste your time talking about the latest TOWIE wedding because it’s trending on Twitter. Your customers might be interested, but Google won’t be impressed unless glasses were a key part of the ceremony!
Relevance also takes into consideration the length of your content – longer copy is now being valued over short copy, because the piece is likely to be more thorough and therefore of a higher quality.
Think about your presentation
It doesn’t matter how interesting your content is – if it’s a block of text then it looks unappealing and nobody will read it. Google may also see it as potential spam, because the readability is poor and therefore low quality.
Keep your content formatted nicely using headings, bullet points, block quotes and images to make it look more appealing. This also helps to break up the content and make it easier to digest. Keep it clear, engaging and vary your paragraph lengths to keep readers interested.
Focus on your audience
Whenever you write something, it’s best to forget about SEO, Google and various other internet tricks. You should always think about the audience – your content is for people, not bots. Don’t spend hours meticulously placing keywords in copy – if you write naturally and knowledgeably about your subject, it will contain all of the most important keywords anyway… or at least it should!
You should also make sure that you stay away from industry jargon so that those reading it understand it. Keep it simple, but informative and interesting so that people are engaged. You should also make sure that the content is easy to find and links to further reading for the user.
Don’t completely ignore links
While link building is not something to be encouraged if a relevant, authoritative site links to your content, Google is impressed and will reward you as well. However, keep an eye on the sites that link to your website and monitor comments as these are notorious for spam links.
You should also try to link to your own related content when it is relevant. This not only helps the user journey, by sharing other information they might be interested in, but shows you are an authority on a certain subject because you have lots of fabulous content about it.
Share it on social
You should always share your content on social media, as this is a platform for your audience to interact with your updates and share it themselves. The more people who share your content, the more authority you are seen to have, because your content is of a high enough quality that people are willing to condone and endorse it themselves.
Plus, if people are sharing your content it means that you’re doing something right and by monitoring which posts are the most popular, you can plan more content in this style or genre.