What’s the purpose of content? The answer may depend on the type of content, but if we’re talking about marketing content, it exists to support relationships by establishing trust and providing valuable information.
Yet, not all content achieves its purpose. How many times have you visited a website or a landing page and noticed that the content appeared to be poorly written, uninteresting and generally not very trustworthy? What did you do? Did you stay to read more, or did you click away as soon as you lost interest?
If you’re like most people, you probably clicked away. Which is why low quality content is bad for SEO. Those click-aways (we call them bounces in SEO-land) increase your bounce rate, and a high bounce rate = low SEO ranking.
It also ends potential customer or business relationships before they even begin…but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In this article we’ll talk about how to create value added content for your website and why the value you bring through your content is the best way to improve search ranking and develop relationships online.
5 Simple Ways to Make Sure Your Content Adds Value
Here are five ways to tell if your content adds value and is helping you build relationships online, or if it’s potentially harming your online reputation and SEO ranking.
- Make sure the content responds to the reader’s search intent. Let’s say you are a gym owner. What are the topics that a reader would expect to find on your website? They’re coming to you looking for information about health and fitness, right? So, topics like how to build more muscle, stay motivated or prevent injury when working out would likely respond to your audience’s search intent. A review of running shoes also would be fairly likely to respond to the reader’s search intent, whereas a post about ladies dress shoes or politics likely would not. Value added content reflects the reader’s search intent: it’s all about knowing your audience and why they are coming to your website in the first place. You can arrive at this by considering your target audience’s interests as well as by analyzing your website’s search traffic, or a high quality SEO copywriter can do this for you.
- Make sure the content goes into enough detail. The goal of value added content is to engage readers and entice them to become a lead. Value added content is content so compelling that the reader is willing to give up their contact information to someone they haven’t met because they are convinced you are the most knowledgeable person they could ask about a given topic. This only happens when you have developed “authoritative” content that answers all the reader’s questions about the topic in the right amount of detail. The amount necessary will vary, depending on the complexity of the topic. But a good target to shoot for on a typical page of content or blog post is about 500 words. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes to read, which is considered in SEO circles to be the “optimal” amount of time to spend on page. More than that, readers may lose interest; less than that, it drops below most SEO benchmarks and may be penalized on search rankings. But it really comes down to how much detail is needed for the content you want to share. Some pages, such as a description of a pair of shoes, might require less content. Other pages with more complex technical information or detailed instructions, might require more content. If you’re unsure how much copy is too much or not enough, an expert copywriter will know how much detail is needed for your topic.
- Make sure the content is unique. Many low quality SEO copywriters simply regurgitate other people’s content in order to quickly and cheaply develop copy around a website’s desired search terms. This has two negative effects. One is that Google and other search engines penalize duplicate content, or content that is too similar to other websites. The other is that duplicate content also doesn’t demonstrate your knowledge or value, so human readers don’t like it either. They want to gather information from authoritative and trustworthy sources. That’s why value added content for your website should demonstrate your business’s unique value. Unique content conveys unique value.
- Ensure the content is well-researched and well-written. We all have certain things we hate to see on a website: keyword stuffing, grammatical errors, and poor research happen to be three of mine. As it turns out, Google doesn’t like them either, but unfortunately, they are rampant in the world of SEO copywriting – at least among low quality providers. The bad news is that Google penalizes these three content trust-busters, while it rewards value added content that is optimized for search, is free of grammatical errors and well-researched. Upshot: if you’re looking for better search engine ranking, it’s worth the time and money to invest in high quality SEO copywriting.
- Tell a great story. Ultimately, if you are looking for your web content to result in conversions and leads (which of course you are!) then connecting with your readers on a human level is important. That’s the difference between a story and a bunch of words on a page. A story connects with readers at an emotional level by:
- Tapping into the reader’s hopes, dreams and fears.
- Speaking directly to the reader, rather than at them, and
- Delivering insight into what sets your company apart.
A story also asks important questions, delves into good quality research or deep experience to answer them, and ultimately provides the answers that readers seek. These, combined with the first four items on this list, are the hallmarks of value added content.
These days, everyone says that good content tells stories. But at Seekbuzz, we think great content – content that works for your business – isn’t just about stories: it’s about providing value your audience can’t find elsewhere. Our goal is to add value to our clients’ businesses through great content.
If you’re looking for value added content that improves your search engine rankings and helps develop relationships with your audience, contact us!