By Nate Dame
We’re all chasing “quality content” — but what does that actually look like? In an apparent effort to help publishers cope with Google’s intensified focus on “content quality” as a ranking factor, the search giant released a notoriously unhelpful list of questions that publishers should ask themselves when developing content.
Bing was a little more resourceful with their more recent guidelines for quality content. But there are still plenty of holes.
So, here’s my attempt to one-up Google and Bing — a list of twenty concrete, proven characteristics to help content creators hit the formerly-elusive Quality Content mark.
1. Help The User Complete A Specific Task
Create content geared toward a clearly defined keyword + user intent combination, rather than a list of arbitrary keywords. Understanding how to discover user intent, and organizing that data, will enable you to design content that leads the user quickly and efficiently to his/her next step.
2. Organize Thematic Subsections
Google’s fight against keyword stuffing has led to smart algorithm updates that recognize authoritative topical content by identifying keyword synonyms and related terms and phrases.
Help search engines decipher your page by identifying the most important related keywords, and structuring each into its own subsection.
3. Make Sure It’s “Made To Stick”
In Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck, authors Chip and Dan Heath outline a framework to identify if an idea is “sticky.”
The six concepts central to “sticky” content (central to “SUCCES”) ask if it is Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and/or uses Stories.
4. Write A Strong Title & H1
It can be tempting to get creative and/or clever with your titles, but readers don’t have time to decipher subtleties. Be clear and concise, and make sure to use a tool like Moz’s Title Tag Preview Tool or Portent’s SERP Preview …read more