There is a huge amount of content on the internet – Google’s index contains billions of pages. Not all content is equal, however, as some can be current or dated, up-to-date or out-of-date, high-quality or low-quality, engaging or uninteresting. From an SEO perspective, there is clear evidence that high-quality content is important to your website’s rankings.
Why is this? Google has a tough job when you think about it. On every topic, niche, and keyword, hundreds if not thousands of web pages exist on the internet. How does Google determine which of those pages to display on page one of a search results page?
Relevance is important. After all, pages that are closely linked to the topic, niche, or keyword are the ones most likely to give Google’s users the information they need.
Even filtering by relevance, however, still leaves a large number of pages to rank. This is where quality becomes important. It is logical, after all. Imagine Google has two website pages on exactly the same topic. How should it order those two pages? Placing the higher quality page first is the logical answer.
High-Quality Content and SEO
Of course, there are many factors that Google looks at when ranking website pages. The quality of the content on the page is an over-arching term that covers several of those factors.
For example, we all know backlinks are important to SEO in Auckland. When content is high-quality, it is more likely to get backlinks. Keywords are important to SEO too, as is including variations of the main keyword on a page. This is much more likely to happen on a high-quality website page than one that is low-quality.
Google itself gives us good indications of the importance it places on quality. It stresses repeatedly, for example, that you should create content for users and not search engines. It also says your website should be “unique, valuable, or engaging”.
There is research to back this up too. Backlinko is one of the web’s leading authorities on SEO. It conducted research that included one million search results pages. In relation to content, it found that in-depth and long-form content generally gets higher rankings.
What Is High-Quality Content?
Your aim should be to make the content on your website pages better than your competition’s. You can even take this a stage further by striving to make the content you create the best there is on the internet.
How do you do that? Here are seven tips:
- Only publish original content
- Ensure the content is well-written or produced
- Make the content useful to visitors
- Ensure you support the content with references
- Include plenty of detail
- Make the content interesting and engaging
- Make it long but not repetitive
Let’s go a bit deeper into each of these seven tips.
Only Publish Original Content
You probably already know duplicate content (copying content from another page or website) is a big no-no in SEO, even if you own the content. In other words, all the content on your website must be unique.
Publishing original content goes further than this, however. After all, a good writer can rewrite an article from the internet to make it unique. It is not original, however, as it will still contain the same points and ideas as the source article. It may even have the same structure.
Publishing original content involves developing and presenting your own ideas. This applies to all types of content including written content as well as images, infographics, videos, and more. A good SEO agency in Auckland will help you achieve this.
Ensure the Content is Well-Written or Produced
According to Google, you should avoid publishing content that has spelling or grammatical errors and that is “awkward or poorly written”.
Google is getting much better at identifying content that is poorly written too. There used to be a time several years ago when you would click on a search result in Google to a page that contained text on the topic you were interested in, but where all the words and sentences were jumbled so made no sense. This doesn’t happen anymore as Google can now distinguish between well-written and poorly-written text.
Make the Content Useful to Visitors
We’ve already talked above about making your website better than your competitors’ websites. Achieving this usually involves ensuring the content on your website is genuinely useful to visitors.
Google recognises this is several ways. For example, visitors are more likely to bounce from a web page they don’t find useful. Bouncing means visiting a website and leaving in a short period of time (sometimes within just a few seconds) without visiting any other pages on the site.
In addition to the SEO benefits of useful content, making the content on your website useful will increase levels of engagement and will help improve your website’s conversion rate.
Ensure You Support the Content with References
Adding outbound links improves the quality of the content on your website, particularly if the outbound links are to authoritative sources.
There are several reasons for this, including the fact that outbound links help Google understand what your page is about. Outbound links are also helpful to users as they give enhanced context and detail on the topic.
Research indicates that authoritative outbound links help with SEO too.
Include Plenty of Detail
The Backlinko research mentioned above found that in-depth content on a topic often performs better in Google than lighter content. So, you should go into as much detail as possible when publishing content on your website.
Of course, you must ensure the content remains relevant and doesn’t drift or go off on tangents. The more information you give on the topic, however, the more likely it is to rank well on Google.
Make the Content Interesting and Engaging
It is possible to have content that follows all the tips above but that is boring and unengaging. Google will identify this by the reaction of users to your content. Bounce rate is something talked about above. Other indicators are shares on social media, how long the user stays on the page, whether they complete a form or make a purchase, etc.
Of course, this is another tip that not only helps with SEO, but also with improving your website overall, especially its conversion rate.
Make it Long but Not Repetitive
Another of the Backlinko findings mentioned above was that long-form content generally performs better than short posts or articles. How long should your content be, though?
This depends on the topic as it is important you don’t make the content long for the sake of being long. When you do this, your risk repeating information just to increase the word count.
On the flip side, don’t restrict the length of articles, i.e. they should be as long as they need to be to cover the topic in-depth and in as interesting a way as possible.
The Value of High-Quality Content
SEO is not just about producing high-quality content, of course. For example, a large website with an international footprint that produces high-quality content following the tips above will still probably rank better than a smaller website, even if the smaller website produces content that is better. This is because other factors like domain authority and website backlinks matter too.
That said, high-quality content is a crucial part of SEO, as well as being crucial to the success of your website overall.