How Google Ranks Quality Content

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Quality content is not a little island floating on your site, filled with carefully-crafted sentences. While you may indeed be creating quality content in the strictest sense of the word, Google cares just as much about the setting that lovely little gem sits in as the sparkling metaphorical stone itself. You'll need to be smart about the way you're presenting your content if you want that coveted Google stamp of approval, expressed as a lofty perch on the search engine's result pages. 

What Is Quality Content, Then?

Think of quality content as an enduring work of art. It's beautiful by itself, but to be truly appreciated it needs these 6 things:

  • It needs to be seen: easily accessible from multiple formats like traditional computers, mobile, tablets, and so on.
  • It needs to be evocative: your readers should resonate and engage with your tone. Ideally, they should also be inspired to share your art with others.
  • It needs to be relevant: updated often or supported with additional posts that refer back to it in order to keep it fresh.
  • It needs to be discussed: linked to from authoritative sources, or brought up via social media widgets or comment boxes on the page. 
  • It needs to be protected: defending your content against scraping or copying will keep your claim to your art - and its SEO juice -intact.
  • It should be original: your content should always be its own creation, never using templates or borrowing phrases or claims from competitors.

Essentially, the meaning of quality content is more than simply solid writing; it's treating your content like a valuable - even irreplaceable - cog in your business machine.

Write For Your Audience

As a business that's proud of its achievements, you might be tempted to make an eternal case to the public on just how amazing you are. Refrain from highlighting yourself and turn the conversation to your readers, instead. Just as story enthusiasts like to imagine themselves as a story's protagonist, inviting your reader in with common sensibilities will keep them around longer. Discuss their needs, give voice to their frustrations before subtly mentioning how you could alleviate them - without a lead-in, your content will feel suspiciously like a hard sell. For curious readers, nothing sounds the death knell on content consumption quite like the hard edge of aggressive salesmanship. Google will also notice if your content seems to be pushing a hard sale, which will cause you to slide down the rankings in favor of more informative sites.

Rein in Your "Insider Speak"

In a rush to demonstrate authority, some companies talk themselves right out of a sale. Barring some conscious searching around your site for specific guides, your customer-facing content should always appeal to the lowest common denominator, rather than your most experienced customer. Try to avoid unnecessary abbreviations, and don't assume your reader knows industry-specific information about your goods or services. Lightly explain the concepts and/or products you're capable of providing, and always give your clients an avenue to ask questions if they need to. 

Remember Who Is Reading

A business-to-business customer is very different than a business-to-consumer one; you'll need to write for the side you're targeting if you want to enjoy a healthy conversion rate. For B2B, think about the pain points they experience - what's the effect on their end consumer? What will be the effect after your goods and services make a positive change? When you frame your content around answers to these questions, Google will notice that you're proactively offering valuable information and consider your page rank accordingly. 

The future of quality content is unfolding right this moment, so make sure you're on the right side of Google. Use these tips going forward, and also take the time to do a full assessment - and potential overhaul - of your existing content library, as well. Chances are a little sprucing up of your existing content will go a very long way in Google's eyes.

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Sarah Hayes

Project Manager at 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. A self described life long learner that thrives on detail, I love bringing these skills to the table to help others succeed.

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