The days of filling websites and blog posts with hundreds of keywords to drive traffic are gone. Instead, new search engine algorithms focus on quality, well-written content to rank websites. Search engines such as Google and Bing have realized that well-written content engages readers and promotes other sites to link to similar sites.
Defining Good Content
It is important to understand what it means to provide good content. Good content on websites is not only informative, entertaining and original, it must also be factual and grammatically correct. Writing is meant to deliver a message, drive home a point or make the reader think. Content on a website should reflect a direct measure of the knowledge of the site owner.
Aspects of Quality Content
Quality content shares several of the same aspects, regardless of the subject matter. The aspects of quality content include:
• Information – Content must provide information to the reader. Visitors will not remain on a website with text that is not informative. This does not mean the content must be extensive as significant information can be relayed even in short blurbs of text.
• Entertainment – Writing itself is not difficult, but it takes skill to make writing entertaining. Even simple, straightforward text can be made appealing to readers.
• Original and Factual – One area where search engines are starting to focus when it comes to website content is how original the information provided is for readers. For example, a retail store that cuts and pastes product descriptions provided by a manufacturer will find their page ranked lower than a competitor that writes their own unique descriptions. However, it is also important that the information be factual as well. Website copy should not include language that sounds nice but is untrue.
• Grammatically Correct – Anyone who has searched for information online has come across websites with copy that is misspelled, uses incorrect punctuation or sounds as if a small child wrote it. Content should be appropriate to the context in which it is used and the style of writing should be consistent throughout the website.
Dark content, which is what many industry experts call content with low quality, can cost companies a significant amount of business each year. However, many are either unaware of how important the content on their website is or they have no idea how to create content that is engaging, provides knowledge and keeps the reader entertained. There are programs available that can help business owners understand their content and shed light on what exists. The programs analyze the risks a company’s content presents as well as the costs it takes to store data that may not be providing the benefits expected.
As well-written content becomes even more critical to the success of a website in search engine rankings, the need to identify dark content will also grow even more important. Knowing areas where content can be improved will become increasingly important as quality content becomes the standard for search engines.