Blogging used to provide brands with a competitive advantage. Today, you need a blog presence just to remain competitive in the larger marketplace. And the type and quality of content you produce will ultimately dictate the results you get.
The 7 Ingredients That Go Into High-Quality Content
An estimated 4.4 million blog posts are published on the internet every single day. It’s no longer enough to write content – you need to create high-quality content that’s compelling to your audience. This means focusing on key ingredients like:
With millions of blog posts published on a daily basis, it’s hard to find a totally unique topic to write about. Having said that, it’s wise to consider the saturation of a topic prior to developing a new piece of content. If nothing else, look for a slightly unique angle.
When it comes to writing content, there’s no “best” word count. (If your primary focus is on length, your quality is going to suffer.) However, longer content does tend to perform better. All else equal, a blog post that’s 2,000 words is going to have more credibility than a blog post that’s 500 words. This is due to the fact that it covers more ground and keeps readers engaged for a longer stretch of time.
The days of keyword stuffing are behind us. Google no longer appreciates this type of SEO and will actually penalize websites that implement spammy, manipulative tactics. With that being said, keywords still matter.
The goal is to focus on natural, long-form keywords. In other words, you should emphasize keywords as they’re naturally spoken. Perform keyword research and then filter out anything that doesn’t sound natural when you say it out loud. By stacking relevant, semantically pleasing keywords together, you can give your content a boost without coming across as unnatural or forceful.
Today’s internet users are more discerning than ever. So while they demand detailed, information-rich content, they also expect it to be digestible. In other words, dense and meaty paragraphs are out and quick, fiery copy is in.
Here are some specific ways you can make your content more reader-friendly and scannable:
- Use bullet points and numbered lists.
- Keep paragraphs limited to just two or three sentences (at most).
- Use bolded words, italices, and hyperlinks to draw attention to specific copy.
- Use images, graphs, and charts to support claims.
Not sure how to keep your content detailed yet digestible? Spend some time reading blog posts from other leaders in your industry. Study the techniques they use to keep your eyes moving down the page and replicate these tactics.
- Strong Headline
As copywriter John Caples once said, “If the headline is poor, the copy will not be read. And copy that is not read does not sell goods.”
It’s also been said that five-times as many people will read a headline as will read the actual piece of copy. And it’s for this reason that many of the world’s most talented copywriters are known to spend upwards of 50 percent of their time working on the headline.
A good headline is specific, attention-grabbing, and emotional. It should elicit some level of excitement, intrigue, curiosity, happiness, sadness, or jealousy. Ultimately, a good headline makes someone click.
- Multimedia Elements
It used to be that content could be divided up into neat categories and boxes. You had blog posts, videos, images, audio recordings, etc. But today, the lines between types of copy have been blurred. In fact, the highest quality content includes a variety of media elements.
Want to take your content to the next level? Infuse charts, graphs, videos, and original graphics into your blog posts. Not only will it make your copy more engaging, but it’ll encourage people to spend more time on the page. (This bolsters your SEO and enhances your ability to engage readers and convert them into customers.)
- Second-Person Voice
There’s a different style of writing for every situation, but second-person voice is widely considered to be the best for content marketing.
When you write in second person, you pull the reader into the action and make the copy more personal. It makes it feel like you’re writing to the individual reader – almost as if there’s a back and forth dialogue. Give it a try and you’ll notice a direct improvement with all of your content engagement metrics.
Take Your Content Quality to the Next Level
Good content is unique, but it also shares many of the same qualities. So as you look to improve your content strategy in 2021 and beyond, I’d encourage you to zero in on the ingredients outlined in this article. It’ll take time – and plenty of practice reps – but a commitment to these elements will ultimately produce a high-returning content strategy. Good luck!