Quality in general is a subjective idea that differs from person to person. A work of art, or a piece of writing, may be considered excellent by some and low-quality by others, as personal opinions tend to vary. Google, however, is consistent. It rates content for its quality and adjusts search rankings based on that.
Reports indicate that sites with more customer engagement get better rankings than the rest. The content that engages visitors and holds their attention for a longer duration on the site is considered to be of higher quality. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a high quality standard for your content to get superior rankings and greater web visibility.
Factors that make content great
There isn’t a specific, one-size-fits-all recipe for high-quality content. Some basic factors, however, must be kept in mind to make the piece of writing gain more in search rankings, like:
– Engagement: Content has to be engaging for the reader. Essentially, site visitors should want to read it.
– Rich with information: The content must provide useful, helpful and accurate information to site visitors in a clearly understandable way.
– Audience-driven: The piece of writing has to relate to the needs of the target audience.
– In-depth: Where necessary, it should contain technical details and specifications of products or services to answer any questions the audience may have.
– Error-free: Content has to be well-written, free from any visible spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.
– Well-formatted: A piece of writing should be long enough to do justice to the subject at hand, and neither too long nor too short. For most topics, a 600-word blog post with in-depth analysis does the trick.
What do search engines look for in content to assess quality?
Major search engines like Google analyze content for certain factors to assess its quality:
– More words: Make sure that the content is not too short, as search engines need to have plenty of text to crawl.
– Readability: The write-up should never use convoluted language and tricky terminology, which harms readability causes readers to click away.
– Easy to navigate: Visitors spend more time on well-structured websites that allow ease of navigation.
– A well targeted Title/H1: Users will be attracted towards a content piece if the title is well written, eye catching, creative and relevant. The title should be very clear, shouldn’t be too long, and if it works in a keyword, so much the better.
– Avoid keyword stuffing: A nicely crafted blog post with natural flow engages visitors for a longer duration that those where keywords have been stuffed to impress the search engines. SEO studies say that it’s never a good idea to stuff keywords unnecessarily, and in fact Google’s Panda algorithm penalizes pages that do so.
– Social media interactions: Content that creates more buzz on social sites, gets more “likes” and is shared a lot will get superior rankings. It’s important to ask yourself, is the content valuable to your audience? Would anyone want to share it on social channels? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track.
– Authorial credit: Google authorship is no longer used, but the author is still a ranking factor for Google. Having a small picture of the author with a short bio helps pages to rank well.
Quality may be subjective in many arenas, but not for search engines, and rankings depend on that. Don’t compromise on quality, and make sure that above all, you are writing for your users, not for search engines.