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Content Is King: Defining the Characteristics of High-Quality Content for SEO

Category: UX & DESIGN
October 6th 2021
12:53:09 am

High-quality content is essential to educating customers and.

However, while this statement is accurate, it gives rise to a critical question:

What is high-quality content?

Funny enough, for as often as the term is thrown around, answering questions like “what is high-quality content” is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO to define.

In many cases, folks are focused on things like keyword density, word count, formatting and the like.

While these things aren’t entirely extraneous to answering “what is high-quality content,” they paint a wildly incomplete picture.

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of and what exactly constitutes high-quality content, today, we will cover why content is essential, what high-quality content is and how retailers can go about producing such pieces.

Let’s get started.

Why Content Is Important to SEO

In many ways, content is the bedrock of a seller’s online presence. Therefore, high-quality content is what is going to set a merchant’s site apart from the scores of other sellers competing for the same clicks and sales.

Moreover, high-quality content is not only what consumers want from a brand, but as well. At the same time, consistently producing and publishing high-quality content will help to position retailers as an authority in their niche.

The bottom line here is that people trust and are attracted to people and organizations that are reliable, trustworthy and capable of putting forth sound, valuable, educational information.

Therefore, if merchants commit themselves to generating high-quality content consistently, they will end up receiving greater visibility in the SERPs, more traffic to their website, more repeat visitors and all of the other benefits that typically spring forth from the aforementioned perks.

However, this still doesn’t answer our core question of what defines high-quality content.

What Is High-Quality Content?

The short answer to this question is that high-quality content is content that achieves its goals.

For instance, if merchants are seeking to and are seeing sales generated from readers of a piece created with that specific purpose in mind, that is clearly a piece of high-quality content.

The long answer is that high-quality content is actually determined by users and their desired aims when conducting a search. That said, some common features of high-quality content include:

  • Successfully addresses user intent
  • Is educational
  • Is helpful
  • Is accurate
  • Is comprehensive

While these elements are all well and good, many of them are rather difficult (or outright impossible) to measure in any empirical sense.

Therefore, some of the most common KPIs retailers will use to determine the effectiveness and quality of their content will include:

  • Ranking in the top three positions in Google for the targeted keyword
  • Boosts in website traffic
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Gains in customer loyalty
  • Elevated click-through rates
  • Lowered bounce rates
  • High number of social media shares
  • from authoritative sources
  • More leads, sales and revenue

If retailers see positive trends among these KPIs, these are excellent indications that their content is of high quality.

While this is certainly excellent information to have, answering “what is high-quality content” only addresses half of the equation.

Let’s go ahead and turn our attention to how to actually produce content that achieves the aims listed above.

How to Create High-Quality Content

Truth be told, a considerable amount of effort can be expended in producing high-quality content. No matter if retailers are utilizing or simply aiming to craft the best piece they can using their research and industry knowledge, putting forth excellent content is no small feat in today’s era.

That said, there are certain things that merchants will need to do to ensure that their content is good enough to compete and generate results. Those things include:

Write for the Readers

For eCommerce websites, it is necessary to write about the company’s products, the niche they inhabit, industry trends and the like.

Naturally, these topics will probably also intrigue merchants themselves, as this is the stuff that they are immersed in on the regular.

However, while this might be the stuff that sellers want to write about, and these topics will likely be covered somewhat frequently, it is more important for retailers to understand their audience’s reading interests and write about those topics.

For instance, if merchants sell running shoes, they might want to produce a piece on the latest shoe the store began to sell. However, the company’s consumers might be more interested in learning about over and under pronation, common training errors and similar topics.

Therefore, producing high-quality content means that retailers must be in tune with the problems, needs and interests of their audience.

To find out what information consumers are seeking, to figure out what potential buyers are searching, which terms and phrases searchers utilize, which industry pieces are performing well and similar types of information that will point sellers in the correct direction.

In time, this helps a site’s rankings as aligning with consumer searches and presenting relevant information will increase traffic and, thereby telling Google that the site is serving its users’ needs.

Focus on User Intent

For those who are not aware, is the reason as to why someone conducts a search or the user’s intended outcome for the search.

As it stands, there are three primary:

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Transactional

User intent undoubtedly has a massive impact on how the visitor perceives a site’s content. If a user judges the piece to be high-quality or not depends on if the content speaks to their precise needs at that moment.

If it does, they will likely stay and read.

If it does not, then they will leave and seek out a different site.

Therefore, it is critical for merchants to take user intent into consideration when drafting a piece of content. In order for sellers to match an article up with the user’s goal, they need to conduct keyword research as specific terms and phrases will line up with the three types of searches listed above.

For instance, if consumers are conducting an informational search, it is likely to include the following modifiers:

  • How to
  • Why
  • Best way to
  • What… means
  • History of

Alternatively, if a searcher is conducting a navigational search, that query is likely to contain brand names, as the consumer understands where they are trying to go.

Finally, transactional searches will typically include modifiers such as:

  • . . . Reviews
  • Best. . .
  • Top 10. . .
  • . . . vs . . .
  • Purchase. . .

Understanding this, when mapping out content ideas, it is vital to match up different concepts with their user intent, as doing this will help to deliver relevant content to consumers, thereby increasing the likelihood of them perceiving a piece as high-quality.

Ensure Content Is Readable and Engaging

While readability might not immediately seem like a component of high-quality content, the fact is that the visitors are going to do more than merely glance at a post so it needs to be readable.

Content that is readable will result in consumers spending more time on pages, returning to the site more frequently and potentially increased conversions.

Therefore, properly structuring content by utilizing elements — such as heading and subheadings, short paragraphs, bullet points and similar features — will help break up massive walls of text and make content more consumable.

At the same time, retailers should aim to make content engaging by switching up sentence structures and length, utilizing synonyms instead of repeatedly using the same words, employing alliteration and other writing devices.

However, when it comes to making content engaging, retailers should do two things above all else, which are to have fun and be personal.

When it comes to adding a personal flair, this is a topic that demands its own section.

Inject Unique Perspectives and Personal Experiences

The reality of the situation is that few blogs and other forms of content online are wholly unique as content is constantly being recycled by brands and others. In fact, this is an excellent way for sellers to for them.

That said, what can make a piece of content unique is by having merchants introduce their own perspectives and experiences into the piece. On the one hand, this could be a distinct writing style or sense of humor. On the other hand, retailers are likely experts in their field and can shine an immense amount of light on a topic that others simply cannot.

Sellers can also inject personal anecdotes or proprietary data. By integrating data into a piece, retailers have a massive opportunity as can be an SEO boon for a brand.

By leveraging the retailer’s personality, personal stories, unique perspectives and proprietary data, merchants can make their content much more engaging and unique, thereby helping to give it an edge in the SERPs.

Target Niche Subtopics

In fairness, most of the topics that we cover here at Visiture are subtopics. For instance, this piece that answers the question of “what is high-quality content” is a subtopic of content marketing.

That aside, when coming up with content ideas to serve an audience, digging down into niche subtopics of a category will ensure that there is less competition for publishers. Therefore, consumers are far more likely to click on the piece and perceive it as high-quality, as there isn’t much information on the topic.

Do be aware that this is not an argument for cornering an obscure topic and cranking out subpar pieces just because there is no other game in town.

On the contrary, if sellers target niche subtopics that have little competition, this is an opportunity to go deep and develop some authority on the subject.

When targeting such topics, retailers are far more likely to see their content land on Google’s first page. At the same time, these materials might generate less traffic than broader discussions, but the visits that the page yields will likely be more relevant and of higher quality.

In this way, niche content is similar to. In fact, there is an excellent chance that many long-tail terms will be woven into subtopic content as the piece is more targeted and specific.

Just do be aware that when digging down into niche subtopics, conducting keyword research is vital as this will help to determine how much interest there is in the topic and if it will resonate with the seller’s audience.

Keep Content Up-to-Date

Finally, another key element of high-quality content is to ensure that it is relevant and up-to-date. Even those who leverage (which doesn’t need to be updated as frequently as other types of posts) need to revisit these pieces and update them from time to time.

This is a critical step for producing and maintaining high-quality content because if a reader were to come across a seller’s site and consume a radically out-of-date post, they would potentially be inclined to believe that all of the site’s content is outdated and irrelevant to their needs.

Final Thoughts

So, what is high-quality content?

In a nutshell, high-quality content is content that meets the expectations of consumers, the goals of the publisher and the standards of Google, all at the same time.

Truth be told, this is a pretty high bar given the seemingly infinite (and still growing) amount of content that exists online. However, producing and publishing high-quality content is a critical task for sellers who are looking to increase SERP visibility, brand awareness, organic traffic and eCommerce revenue.

If your brand would like some assistance in creating a content marketing plan that consists of incredibly high-quality content that meets the definition listed above, reach out to.

Our team of search optimization specialists can help your company to identify and exploit opportunities for growth by optimizing the site’s pages for search performance and creating new content that serves the brand’s organizational goals.