Did you know that, even though content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing, it still generates more than three times as many leads? If you’re looking to grow your business, you need to start prioritizing regular content creation and publication.
It’s important to note, though, that putting up content for content’s sake isn’t going to yield the kind of results you would hope for. You also need to make sure you’re publishing quality, search engine-friendly content.
Read on for some tips that will help you learn how to write high-quality, optimized content for your business.
Why Does Content Quality Matter?
Back in the old days of search engine optimization (or SEO), it was enough just to publish content on your site regularly. The powers that be (namely, search engines like Google) have gotten smarter over time, though, and have started to make content quality more of a priority.
If you’re publishing subpar content and are focusing more on quantity than quality or search engine optimization, you’re not going to see the kind of results you’re hoping for. Here are some specific business advantages that you’ll experience when you start prioritizing content quality:
Better Audience Retention
It’s not enough just to have people visit your site once. If you want to convert them into loyal, paying customers, you need to focus on audience retention.
Publishing interesting, valuable content regularly will increase the likelihood that people will develop a complimentary view of your brand and continue coming back to your site for more information or resources. This also increases the likelihood that they’ll eventually purchase your business.
Increased Social Media Traction
More than one-third of internet users use social media when they’re looking for more information on a specific brand or product. If you can boost your social media traction with quality content, you can increase the likelihood that someone will visit your website and develop an interest in what you’re selling.
The better your website content is, the more likely someone is to share it on their own social media platform. This, in turn, helps you to reach a wider audience and get your brand in front of more people. It’s free advertising at its finest!
The quality of your online content can paint either a positive or negative image of your brand and business. If people go to your blog or look at a webpage on your site and find that the content is poorly written or not well-optimized, they might be less interested in learning more about what you have to offer.
Good writing increases your credibility and helps you to establish yourself as an expert within your industry. It doesn’t matter how much you know. If you can’t articulate it and share valuable information with others, they’re not going to be as interested in purchasing from you. Instead, they’ll turn to one of your competitors (likely, the one that has better-written, more valuable content).
Quality content is one of the most important things to focus on if you’re hoping to improve your conversion rate.
If you’re having a hard time making sales, it could be because people don’t have a clear understanding of the products or services you have to offer. They might not know what benefits you can provide them, or they might not get why your products or services are better than those of another brand.
When you prioritize your content writing and make sure that it provides them with valuable information, it’ll be easier for you to show people what your brand has to offer and persuade them to make a purchase.
Improved Search Engine Ranking
Finally, when your content is well-written and well-optimized, it becomes easier for people to find your website when they’re searching online for products or services like yours. Your website will be more likely to show up near the top of the search engine results page (or SERP), which increases the likelihood that someone will click on it.
Remember, the first page of Google receives 71 percent of all search traffic clicks. The second page gets a mere 6 percent. If you want people to click on your site, you need to get on that first page. The right content can help you make that happen.
How to Write High-Quality, Optimized Content
Okay, you can see why you need to place more of an emphasis on quality, SEO-optimized content. How do you write this kind of content, though? What steps should you take to see the best results from the information published on your website?
Here are some practices you can implement today to improve the quality of your writing and ensure it’s well-optimized:
Start with a Great Headline
If you want to attract the right people to your website, make sure you’re taking the time to craft great headlines for your content.
According to the “Father of Advertising,” David Ogilvy, five times as many people read a post’s headline compared to the body copy. A dull or uninformative headline will reduce your click-through-rate in a significant way, even if the content itself is exciting and valuable.
There are certain types of headlines that are more likely to catch people’s attention than others. Here are some of the best-performing headline styles you might want to think about using for your content:
- Numbered headlines (10 Tips for X, 12 Reasons Why X, etc.)
- Reader addressing headlines (Why You Need to Do X, Why You Should Buy X, etc.)
- How-to headlines (How to Improve X, How to Get More X, etc.)
- Question headlines (Why Should You Do X, Why Do You Need X, etc.)
Get the Length Right
Part of improving the quality of your content and optimizing it for search engines is getting the length right. Once upon a time, pithy but frequent posts were enough to boost your site’s ranking. Now, though, search engines are giving priority to longer, more in-depth content.
In general, it’s best if your content is at least 1,000 words in length. Longer content can be better, especially if you have a lot to say about a particular topic. Keep in mind, though, that length isn’t the only thing that matters.
If your content is long but poorly written or poorly optimized, you’re not going to see the kind of results you’re hoping for. Increase the length when you can, but think about going deep rather than wide. Dig into the subject matter of your posts and provide as many details as you can.
Choose the Best Keywords
Keyword selection plays a significant role in boosting your search engine ranking and improving your content optimization. How do you know which keywords to use when crafting content for blog posts and webpages, though? The key (no pun intended) is keyword research.
Keyword research can seem a bit daunting at first, but it’s an essential part of optimizing your content for search engines. There are lots of tools, many of which are free, that you can use to learn about the keywords that are the most valuable for you.
Keyword research can also help you to come up with new topics for future content. It tells you more about the terms people are using in their searches and the questions they’re asking that you might be able to answer.
When choosing the right keywords for your content, keep in mind that shorter keywords and keyword phrases tend to work better. For example, a whopping 70.87 percent of keywords with more than 10,000 searches per month consisted of just one or two words. If you want to improve your search engine ranking, it’s a good idea to make shorter phrases and single keywords more of a priority.
Use Keywords Correctly
In addition to using the right keywords in your content, make sure you’re using them correctly.
This includes avoiding keyword stuffing (using a keyword an excessive number of times to try and boost your ranking). If you flood your content with a particular keyword in ways that don’t make sense, search engines will pick up on it and penalize your site. A general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t use a keyword more than once every 200 words.
In addition to avoiding keyword stuffing, make sure you’re putting keywords in the right place throughout your content as well. For example, your primary keyword ought to appear in the headline of your post or webpage. Use it in at least one heading, too.
Make Your Content Easy to Read
Speaking of headings, they play a significant role in making sure your content is easy to read.
The majority of people skim articles (only 16 percent read word for word). This doesn’t give you a free pass to skip out on content quality, but it does mean that you need to focus on structuring your content in a way that allows people to skim and still get a clear sense of what you’re saying.
Using clear headings is an excellent way to do this. Writing with short sentences and breaking your text up so that you don’t have long paragraphs are other useful tactics. This makes the content less daunting and increases the likelihood that people will pay closer attention and won’t just click away altogether.
Think About the Reader’s Needs
When you’re putting together content, always think back to what the reader needs. What are they looking for? How can your content help to solve their problem?
Whether you’re writing a headline for an article or trying to figure out which subheadings to use, a good rule is to always ask yourself what the reader needs or will be looking for. Put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll have an easier time staying on the right track.
If you’re having a hard time putting yourself in the reader’s shoes and figuring out what they want to learn, it might help to take a step back and create buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your target customers. Knowing whom you’re writing to will help you to set clear goals and ensure you’re writing content that will resonate with your audience.
Be sure to utilize both internal and external links in your content, too—internal links direct readers to other blog posts or pages on your website. External links direct them to relevant, credible posts or pages on other websites.
Internal and external links are good for optimizing your content and making it more search engine friendly.
The right external links can help to lend credibility to your posts and show where you’re getting your information. Internal links, on the other hand, help to keep people on your website for more extended periods. This reduces your bounce rate and shows search engines that yours is a site that’s worthy of a higher ranking.
No matter how busy you are, always proofread your content before you hit the “publish” button. Proofreading helps you make sure your content is free from typos, and it provides you with an extra opportunity to check for redundancies and ensure you’re following the outlined in this guide.
It only takes a few minutes to proofread a post, but it can increase your credibility and lead to better results and better returns further down the line. If you don’t trust yourself to catch potential errors, have someone else review your content for you. Whatever you do, though, you don’t want to skip this step.
Start Writing Quality Content Today
Now that you know more about how to write high-quality, optimized content, it’s time to get to work! Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have a much easier time putting together the kind of online content that appeals to your target audience and boosts your bottom line.
Do you want to learn more about leveling up your SEO game? If so, check out some of the other resources on our site today!