Why quality blog content is essential for your SEO

Back in the old days, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) used to be a game of shortcuts and illegal ‘black hat’ methods.

SEO ‘experts’ used every trick in the book to game the system, working tirelessly to pull cards out of their sleeves, doing whatever it takes to avoid Google’s penalties.

Today, Google has managed to wrangle back control of the internet from these black hat SEO experts.

With their advanced and intelligent algorithm that can pick out actual web content from the deceiving ones, quality content is now the king of SEO.

With their advanced and intelligent algorithm that can pick out actual web content from the deceiving ones, quality content is now the king of SEO.

Unfortunately, many business owners that I come across are still stuck in the old school of thought.

They think that if you place as many keywords as possible in your website, it’s going to reach number 1 on Google automatically.

Google’s ‘anti-SEO’ stance.

When Google rolled out the Hummingbird update to their search engine, they sent a clear signal to marketers everywhere.

Focus on content, not keywords.

Google has since solidified their stance by updating their quality guidelines, clearly stating what they want in your websites.

Here Google’s exact words:

Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.

Don’t deceive your users.

Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.

Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

This essentially means SEO is no longer a bag of parlour tricks that you can pull every time to rank at #1.

It also means that optimising your website in quality, content, and design is the key factor in determining whether your site is high quality or not.

Why all the fuss about high-quality content?

For SEO landscape, the shift in focus from keywords to quality is a significant game changer. Without traditional keyword research, it appears that there are no longer any rules set in stone to succeed in SEO.

It’s especially hard to understand for those of us who don’t “get” the importance of writing for an audience.

As a business, we want to produce useful, engaging content for our audience. But we also want to tell Google what we’re doing here so that it can rank us in its search results.

This means we cannot altogether abandon the use of keywords. We want to wrap our high-quality site content around specific keywords so our audience can find us through Google.

Remember, Google is a business, the search results are the product. (Among other things, such as Adwords, Gmail, Youtube, etc.)

The core of Google’s business is in answering people’s questions, and they want to do it as quickly, and effortlessly as possible, integrating with the way people now use technology.

Keywords used to help with that. But now, keywords are a hindrance.

Marketers then started abusing keywords by deceiving Google and Google users just to reach the top spot.

For example, if you would have typed ‘best camping spots in Scotland’ to find a good place for a camping trip. However, due to keyword stuff, you could have ended up with tons of irrelevant search results of websites selling ‘best camping tents’ or ‘best camping beds.

This whole keyword abuse created a terrible user experience for people who don’t use the right keywords to run their search.

And for this reason, Google started rolling out algorithm updates. Each update makes the Google search engine more intelligent, and much closer to understand the intent of the searcher.

Google can tell what you’re looking for, depending on things such as your location, the context of your past questions, your search behaviour, and other criteria.

Overall Google algorithm updates create a better user experience, which makes it the reigning search engine giant that it is today. Because Google understands what you are looking for.

What does this mean for SEO marketers

Since Google is a business that sees search results as a product, it’s only natural that they want to improve their product for the consumers so they will choose to use Google over other competitors like Bing and Yahoo.

And to keep up with Google, all search engines are continually refining their ability to deliver the best, most useful content online for their users.

That’s why quality content is your best strategy to rank high on search engines.

Search engines want to deliver web pages that provide the richest experience for the user. Hence the term “quality content.”

Low-quality, keyword-loaded web content isn’t going to help them achieve their goal in becoming the best search engine on the market.

So they’re fine-tuning their algorithms to weed out content that has little to no value to its users.

What is quality content?

Content just about blog posts or articles that you post on to your business website.

To break it down into simpler terms, it’s the information you feed to search engines, which search engines then give to search engine users.

So quality content is anything that Google chooses that is worth giving to the users.

Quality content is content that people want to consume, because it educates, entertains, teaches them how to do something or where to get something.

It’s information that answers people’s questions, and they talk about in their own blog posts or around the water cooler.

It’s the stories they share with friends and mention on their social media feeds.

When you start creating quality content well, you’ll be well rewarded by getting your website ranked well on Google and got more traffic than you know what to do.

1. Quality is subjective.

Quality can be such a hard thing to nail down. Is it a long read or a short paragraph? Does it need to have humour, or does it have to be written in a serious tone?

It could be all of the above or even none of them.

So an essential part of your content strategy involves defining what quality means about your business brand.

2. Quality implies trust.

Trust is the reason why Google shows search result that they see other people are finding useful. In Google’s eyes, quality is equivalent to a vote of confidence from the user to the website.

So while you’re building up the quality of your content, it’s important to put your energy into building trust with your audience too, such as having a clean and professional website design, and content that demonstrates your authority.

3. Quality content may appear to conflict with your profit goals.

Content marketing is not about selling or pushing your product or service. This means you can’t use content to promote your products.

And since content doesn’t generate sales directly, most business owners don’t want to pay for writers to produce content that isn’t related to sales or promotion.

In my opinion, this is one of the biggest challenges for marketers—providing profit-building content that can help grow the bottom line, and yet it is still readable, useful content for users.

4. Quality content requires a bigger investment.

Good quality content costs more money for your business – there’s no way around it.

To get quality content, you have to invest in better writers, artists or programmers. You may come across cheap writers or artists who are willing to work for pennies.

But chances are if you decide to higher cheap freelancers, it is likely you’ll end up with poor quality results. You’ll need to waste more time and money to hire a better writer to fix things.

You may not see the results immediately.

Just like everything else in SEO, It takes time to build a reputation as the authoritative resource for your niche.

This means you’ll have to sink a significant amount of time or money in the beginning (depending on your capabilities to produce content).

And since there won’t be any concrete way to tell if your content is working, you just have to trust that you’ll reap the rewards down the road.

For this reason, you’ll need to have a clearly thought out content strategy that defines “quality” for your business, This strategy has to outline the tactics you want to adopt and your expected achievements.

It’s high risk focusing on quality.

Quality content is usually different than anything else out there. You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone to stand out from the crowd.

That can mean going against popular opinion or exposing details in your personal life. Don’t just copy other brands’ strategies without injecting your brand’s voice or personality, or else you will just look like a copycat to your audience.

Find an angle or story that works for your brand that is unique and relatable to your audience.

How to consistently build higher value content

  1. Know your audience.

This is one of the golden rules of marketing, and content is no different.

All your blog posts, special reports, and other content aren’t just flyers for your company. They are outreach tools that use to attract and connect with your ideal prospects.

That’s why before you start thinking about what content to put our, you’ll need to first task as a get to know who your audience is.

This means you have to learn what excites them, what questions they’re asking, what keeps them up at night, what goals they want to achieve, and anything else in between that you can find out.

As far as Google is concerned, quality content equals to content that answers your readers’ questions.

So satisfy your readers’ intent and answer their questions.

  1. Speak in their language.

Because now keywords aren’t that important anymore, instead of thinking about what search terms people are using, start by listening to your customers.

Visit forums where people ask questions. Talk to them on Facebook or Twitter. Go through the comments on your blog or even the blogs of your industry competitors.

What words and terms are they using to talk about your brand or about your niche? These are the words you need to utilise when you produce content.

And by doing so, you are in fact optimising your content—because it’s going to match the queries they type into Google, and that will bring your content straight to the top of the search results.

  1. Keep the focus on customers, not selling.

Use your blog articles to answer questions and generate interest in your products, all without doing any sales pitch.

Instead, just link to sales pages in case readers wants to learn more.

Good quality content forges relationships with your audience. Your primary objective is to establish trust and credibility, not to sell.

Not in your content. Once you’ve earned their trust and loyalty, they will think of you when they are ready to buy.

  1. Create content for every stage of the buyer journey

Write down every question your customers are going to ask at every step of the buyer journey. Chances are these are the same search terms that they are typing into Google, so create content that targets those search terms.

But don’t just stop there. You should be producing additional content that provides only useful, actionable information.

This way you can remain present and on top of your prospects’ minds using your content.

  1. Create content on a regular basis.

Consistency builds trust. It demonstrates your reliability because your audience can expect new content from you consistently like clockwork.

Having a constant stream of content goes a long way to building your credibility.

There are a few more perks to having new content constantly on your site.

For one, it encourages your audience to check out your social media page or your website regularly. This helps to form a habit and build your follower base.

Also, when you produce more content, the more search queries your content can rank for on Google.

So set a content schedule that you can reasonably follow, and start producing your content.

  1. Go above and beyond

To create high-quality content, not only you have to be different, but you also have to be better.

The content that you are putting out has to be superior to your competitors. So you need to step up your game if you want to have the highest quality content online.

This is where a bit of lateral thinking can help. Get creative, then start producing. If you have no idea how to begin, check out what your competitors are doing. Or feel free to speak to a marketing consultant for some advice in your content marketing.

Quality Content is Hard But Doable

Google doesn’t make your life easier by constantly improving its algorithm and changing their rules and policies.

While it’s bad news for marketers, it is good news for Google users everywhere as their user experience becomes better with each passing revision.

Fortunately, if you have been playing by Google’s rules since the begin by only producing high-quality content, you got nothing to worry about.

There are a million reasons to put out high-quality content, which include building trust among your buyers, positioning yourself as an expert, and build a community of fans and followers around your business.

Don’t feel overwhelmed or bogged down A systematic approach is to start answering those burning questions your potential customers.

Plan blog content that will talk about their pain points. You’ll start seeing results sooner than you think.

Want to increase your website traffic?

Speak to a marketing consultant who can make a big difference to your business.

About Murray Dare

A digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur, Murray runs his marketing agency and several online startups.

Murray has helped startups and businesses achieve online success through a considered approach to marketing.

Build a Marketing Strategy that gets Results

Create a business marketing strategy to increase your traffic, leads and sales.