Content 101 – Things Every Piece of Content Must Have

It shouldn’t come as a shock to you that having high quality content on your website is important for your SEO. Google loves website’s that produce solid amounts of high quality content. It is one of their important ranking factors.

So if you want a good ranking on Google (like everyone does!) you will need to be creating new content on a regular basis that is quality. I know this is easier said than done! But because Google values high quality content so much, it means you need to value content as well.

content writing and seo

Quality content will have a positive impact on your SEO.

You will need to dedicate the time and put in the work to produce great content. I can tell you right now that writing poor quality content will get you nowhere. It is a complete waste of time, resources and your energy.

If you aren’t going to put in 100% then what is the point? I know that not a lot of people actually like writing new pieces of content, and they are unsure as to how. Well, I have talked about this quite a few times before, by creating a blog attached to your website it gives you the ability to update it with new content regularly.

Ideally, you should be looking to update your blog at least a couple of times a week. Obviously the blogs will be about your business and the industry you are in. Therefore, you will be highly knowledgeable and informed about relevant topics.

You are the expert and users may be counting on you to address a certain topic or answer a question they have. Also, you loved the industry enough to set up your own business in it, so writing a blog about the industry should be interesting for you.

When you write amazing content it will help boost your SEO ranking. Then in turn, this will help to improve your visibility, traffic and leads. It is then the job of the content and your website in general to turn that traffic or leads into actual customers.

content marketing for seo

You should be looking to update your blog a couple of times a week.

It goes without saying that your content needs to be original, if you are found copying other website’s content, you will be penalised by Google. And why wouldn’t you create original content? It will help you get more exposure for your brand!

Let me break it down:

  • Original Content = Google will reward.
  • Duplicate Content = Google will punish.

No matter the type of content you have on your website, it is important that you do a proper job. A half-arsed job will not be beneficial for you in any way. And unfortunately that means putting in the work and creating long pieces of content that are properly written.

I know this can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to. Writing quality blogs shouldn't take up too much of your time. If you are looking to save time but still produce a quality blog, have a read of another blog I wrote about how to write faster.

In this blog I will showcase the important components you must include in every piece of content to ensure quality. As we found out above, a blog quality can work wonders for your SEO. So make sure you take the time to go through every tip and ensure you implement them to your own content writing!

Listed below are the top 5 components that every piece of content must include:

1. Original Content

google loves original content

You content needs to be original.

 The first point is obvious; I talked about it in the introduction! And it is kind of a no brainer that you would always create original content. Think about your high school or university years, you wouldn’t simply copy and paste an essay and claim it to be your own. And if you did you were probably caught and disciplined.

This is the same for your content online. If Google finds that you have copied someone else’s content, your website will most likely be penalised. The penalty will be fairly brutal and will have a huge impact on your bottom line.

I know that creating a constant steam of original content is difficult. Trust me; I even struggle with it sometimes. Original content usually means you have to write about something new that no one else has talked about before.

However, creating a new issue or topic out of thin air is certainly difficult. Therefore, if you find yourself having real troubles to think of a compelling enough idea, then you should take a look around at what others in your industry are writing about. In other words; do your research.

research before you write

Make sure you do some research about the topic.

After you have done your research you will probably have a list full of topic ideas that you could write about. Where original content comes into play is where you take an idea from somewhere else, but you make the actual content your own. This could be by:

  • Addressing the topic from another angle
  • Adding further research
  • Using videos or infographics etc.
  • Just making the content better than others

If you find you do not have the resources necessary to dedicate towards quality content writing, then it may be in your best interest to hire a content writer. Or even an SEO firm that includes content management as one of their services.

HOWEVER – approach this strategy with care. Content needs to be quality and if you are hiring someone else to do it for you remember; you get what you pay for. If you want quality, be prepared to be spending a little more dough.

2. Value

quality and value are important for content

Quality and value go hand in hand.

Why should users read your blog? If your blog doesn’t provide users with a certain amount of value, there is simply no incentive to read it. Value comes in many different shapes and forms. But in order to keep readers interested and coming back, you probably will have to provide a plethora of value.

So how exactly can your create value in your content? Well, there are a couple of key areas:

  • Solve a problem or answer a question a lot of users have
  • Add videos and/ or custom images (i.e. infographics)
  • Include links to other sources (for example if you are talking about the best keyword tools make sure you link to the URL)

When you create content of value, user are more likely to share it with their friends and family. When your content is shared there is the opportunity for more people to read it. The more people visiting your site sends the message to Google that your website is popular and should receive a better ranking.

3. Headlines

work hard to produce headlines

Work hard to produce compelling headlines!

I know your headline doesn’t seem that important because it isn’t really a major part of your content. But I can tell you that your headline is probably one of the most important aspects of your content. Therefore it is vital that your headline is engaging and completely grabs the user.

Users will tend to judge a book but its cover. So if your headline doesn’t steal the show then users will not be interested in reading the actual part of your content. Take the time to develop a headline that you know will give users no other choice but to click on and continue reading.

Don’t believe me? Well Copyblogger did some research on the area and they found that 80% of users will read your headlines but only about 20% of those users will go on to read the rest of your content. That shows just how important your headline truly is.

What should you include in your headline to make it more engaging? Well, I previously wrote a blog about how to write headlines that will drive traffic to your website. I won’t go into the same level of detail, I’ll just give you the main points:

  • Lists – for example:  13 things to do on the weekend.
  • Magic word (“free” or your keyword) – for example: Best free tools to get your money situation under control.
  • Advice for improvement – for example: Want to be a better writer? Look at these tips.
  • Questions – for example: Why should you care about your mental health?
  • Short and sweet – for example: Where to holiday in 2017?
  • Competition or comparison – for example: iPhone vs. Galaxy: Who will come out on top?
  • Reveal a secret – for example: The number one secret banks are trying to hide from you.

When developing your headline, it is a good idea to come up with a few and then choose the one you like the best. Remember, your headline will be the first thing people read and they will judge whether or not they should continue reading the content based off the headline.

4. Research

statistics will support your content

Support your content with statistics and facts.

You cannot have a quality piece of content that doesn’t have a certain level of research to support your agreement or opinion. Yes, I understand that you are an expert in your field. However you cannot go making claims without research. Even if you were a farmer and owned a milk business and you said that the main source of milk is from cows, but unless you back that up with facts and statistics, readers may not be completely convinced.

It is also important that your content is accurate. In order to be more accurate you need to do your research. Everything you write in your content needs to be correct at the time of publish. What if thousands of people read an article where you made the claim that goat’s milk is the main source of milk and this turned out to be inaccurate.

Think about the damage that would do to your brand and personal reputation. You are supposed to be the expert, yet you made a completely incorrect claim. If you are writing a blog, you need to remember that it is a reflection of your business. Make sure you take the time to do thorough research.

When writing content it is a good idea to include facts and statistics. When doing this it is important to source where it came from. If you don’t source it, you could simply be making up anything you like. Another important thing to remember is that accuracy builds trust. If readers can see you referencing reputable sources and using relevant statistics they are more likely to believe what you are saying.

5. Audience

think about your target market for content

Who are you writing your content for?

Before you put pen to paper or start typing, you should have a solid idea on who will be reading your content. The type of audience reading your content will have a big impact on what you write about and the way you write.

Different target groups want different things out of reading content. So have a think about your own target market/ ideal customer and understand why they would want or need your product or service. Develop your content around this idea.

Write your content that will appeal to them in a way that your competitors don’t. Think about it this way; you wouldn’t be writing in the same style for both 13 year old girls and 50 year old men. They are in different stages of their life and they want purhase completely different set of products or services.

Final Thoughts

Content is very important. It is one of Google’s top ranking factors. You need to be able to create a high level of content at a frequent rate. The more engaging your content, the more people will read it. In order for your content to be successful there are a few key things you must include!

Firstly, your content needs to be original! Don’t go copying other people’s work, you will be penalised by Google if you do. You also need to create value for your readers. What is included in your content that makes people read it?

Your headlines may not seem that important, but they are the first thing that people will read. It is important for you to do your research. Don’t go making any claims without the proper support. Lastly, must sure you have a solid idea of who your audience is. Your writing style should change slightly depending on who you are writing to.

 

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