How and why to create high-quality and high-value content in 2019

Dec 6, 2019 by
How and why to create high-quality and high-value content in 2019

Content is a word that many of us use every day in one form or another and yet, in essence, it means very little. The very word conjures up visions of the kind of useless filler copy that makes up the average well-intentioned blog but content doesn’t need to mean “soulless”  and “derivative.” If anything, the blanket term should prove empowering to those willing to invest in readable, relevant and engaging content that speaks to and for its intended audience, not down and at them.

What is high-quality content?

Ever since Google started naming their algorithm updates after animals, the SEO game has continually been upped by the keepers of the kingdom. No longer does creating garbage filler content that nobody needs or wants to read and then stuffing it with keywords reap bountiful rewards; quite the opposite, in fact. The modern Google mantra appears to be a focus on quality, not keywords and that has affected SEO marketers in a fundamental way.

The guidelines for quality content in 2019 (according to Google themselves) include creating content built not specifically for search engines, but for actual users and content that doesn’t use tricks to deceive users or ‘artificially’ bolster rankings. Smart SEO today is all about taking what makes your site unique or engaging and creating content to match that purpose that stands out in its field.

What makes quality content?

If we could answer this question definitively then we’d be making a lot more money. However, several key components that tend to show up in all the very best content.

Relevance – If the content on your site aligns with the objectives of your business and the needs of its target audience then it is relevant content. Your SEO content could be beautifully crafted, grammatically perfect and presented like a dream, but if it doesn’t “give the readers what they want” or reflect the goals of the business behind it then it is not high-quality content.

Specificity – Generally speaking, the more specific a topic, the more likely your content is to rank highly. However, specific content is often put under an even more severe microscope than more general content. If you are tackling niche subjects then the subject in question needs to be covered from all angles not only comprehensively but verifiably (where possible). Aim for at least a couple of thousand words, as studies have proven that longer content ranks much higher when it comes to niche topics.

Useful – The best quality content offers actionable advice to specific problems. It needs to go beyond the “what” and “why” and reach well into the “how.” Step-by-step guidelines are always a welcome addition here as these easy-to-follow articles are more likely to be shared on social media.

Visuals – Words are great and words are powerful, but a single picture speaks much louder than a hundred words. According to MIT, 90% of the information transmitted by our brains is purely visual and as a result, visual content performs 323% better than text. This means that infographics and visuals matched to text will help information to ‘go down easier’ and the visuals don’t even have to be particularly elaborate. They do, however, need to be relevant. The same, of course, goes for videos.

Scannable – Any copywriter will tell you that the first thing they will ask a client when pitching a brief is the required tone of voice (TOV). This is obviously going to be drastically different for a beauty or entertainment blog then it would be for a financial or political blog, but regardless of the TOV, all text-based content should be easy to understand from a brief scan. A Neilsen study found that most users will only read around 20% of a page’s content. Turn this to your advantage and make your content more scannable by breaking it down into subheadings, breaking up the text with frequent images and videos and highlighting key parts of the text. The tone too should be conversational and approachable where possible and the formatting should be clear and concise.