Search engine optimization experts tell us that content is king.
But what if you’re writing and publishing a ton of content and getting no rankings, no traffic and no sales? Most likely, there’s a problem with your content quality. In fact, the phrase “content is king,” should be modified to read “quality content is king.” Your idea of quality might not be the same as your reader’s either. So here’s a five point checklist to ensure that your content is the highest quality possible for your readers.
Rule #1: Relevance Beats Density
Writing to meet a specific keyword density is a recipe for creating spam and poor rankings. Relevancy is a better goal. Instead of counting keywords, read your content and make sure it’s stays focused on the relevant topic. If you’re writing about SEO content writing, don’t wander off into other subjects. Stay on track by staying relevant and your keyword density will naturally take care of itself.
Rule #2: Quality Beats Quantity
This rule has two parts:
1.Never write to meet a word count
2.Never write to meet a content quota
Writing to meet a word count breeds repetitious writing and fluff that will bore your readers. If you run out of things to say on a subject, this means you need to do more research. Reading and research is just as much a part of the writing discipline as writing itself. Thin and repetitious writing is the result of poor research, but good thorough research lets to good writing.
Don’t write to meet an article quota either (i.e. an article every day etc). If you have a ton of great ideas, information and insights on a subject and you can’t help but to write every day, that’s great. But if you start to feel like you’re doing it just to meet a quota, this means you’re focusing too much on writing and not enough time on reading and researching.
Rule #3: Transparency Beats Anonymity
Author rank is the new buzzword for post Panda SEO. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. For years, spammers have littered the internet with poorly researched content; content based on speculation and opinion instead of on facts and expertise. Anonymity made this possible for a time, but now Google is forcing authors to be transparent about their expertise (or lack of).
Would you rather read content written by a self-proclaimed, anonymous “expert” or do you prefer an expert who is transparent and who was social proof behind them? This is why Google is making such a big deal out of author rank. So how easy is it for your readers to find out who you are and why they should trust you?
If this question raises doubts, you need to come up with a plan for establishing yourself, or someone else at your company, as the expert behind your content.
Rule #4: Consistency is the Key
A little bit of consistent publishing will create plenty of long term success. But a lot of inconsistent posting won’t add up to much. If you’re only creating and posting content in blasts or 5 to 10 or even 20 articles, only to have dry spells where no content is published, you’re not being consistent.
The sites that enjoy high rankings and consistent traffic published on a consistent basis, and you should do the same. If you don’t have a lot of time to write (or money to hire a writer), create smaller posts and schedule them to publish more frequently, but be consistent.
Rule #5: Remember the Golden Rule
Problems with content quality can usually be solved by following one rule:
“Treat others as you would have them treat you.”
Writing trustworthy content is easy when you honestly ask yourself what YOU look for when you search for content online. Do you want to read trustworthy content or fluff? Can you tell when you land on an article or blog that was obviously written by a non-English speaking writer? Can you tell when content was written by a genuine expert instead of a freelancer working for $5 an hour?
If so, you can bet your visitors can tell too. So don’t try to fool them with cheap content. Invest time into doing good research or invest some extra money into hiring a good writer who is an expert on your topic. If you treat your readers like you would want to be treated, they’ll keep coming back and you’ll bury the competitors who aren’t providing good content.
That’s your simple quality checklist. If you ruthlessly check all of your content against these five standards, your traffic and rakings will go up and stay up through all the future updates.