Content marketing facts vs myths (2020)

Why Focus On High-Quality Content Is Our Only Option In 2019 And Beyond

Published Under: Content Marketing | SEO
Last Updated: December 12, 2019
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Content creation is mainly about adding value to your site, spread the word about your company, products and services. But underline aim always is to attract traffic and ultimately about conversion. As of 2019, “Quality Content Is The King” of digital marketing. Let’s discuss how we can do this right by focusing on high-quality content and achieve more by writing less.

Asad Butt

Content Marketing

It started in the early 2000s when a good website or blog would mean huge traffic and income for those in the writing business or even writing as a side thing to share their passion.

Over time, Google didn’t catch up with how content writing, content creators and SEO practices evolved.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) became a tricky game but Google picked up soon. It learned, improved and evolved and now with the development of more and smarter algorithms.

It is clear than ever that “good content” is the “IN THING”. Link building, SEO, SMM are very relevant but “good content” is back on the driving seat.

For those websites where Google sends good organic traffic, it means money. A lot of money in fact, when you look into the cost of advertising online these days.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and publishing of content which can indirectly stimulate interest in products or services, as opposed to direct advertising.

Good content is the one that is good for the market, like any other product. The old saying goes: the Market is always right.

What is the market here? Our buyers are the billions of Google users out there looking for some information. Google is a marketplace for a content writer. You need to have the right product at the right time, to get a better price.

Same old market principles: demand and supply.

And the price for your product(content) is the traffic you get which is the most precious thing if you see the skyrocketing cost of online advertising these days. So now we have the Market and price but what about the product?

The Product

Content which is original, different and unique. Content which engages visitors and adds value. Content that is evergreen.

To beat those already in the top search rankings (SERPs), one has to come up with high-quality content which is more valuable and more relevant to the times.

A combination of high-quality content with a clear purpose and to the point information and or knowledge stands out. If the content you are writing is just like some other, Google is smart enough to understand that.

It’s not easy to trick Google with lengthy and keyword-stuffed content. These days. As a content creator, you need to put your heart and soul into it. If you will not do it someone else will.

You have to work for the content first, for your content to work for you. If you want Google to help you, you have to help Google first by providing what it’s customers want.

The value of High-Quality content

High-Quality content creation, on the other hand, is very competitive these days. Not in terms of quantity but quality. To beat those already in the top search rankings (SERPs), one has to come up with high-quality content which is more valuable and more relevant to the times.

That's all it takes but it takes all to win.

A combination of high-quality content with a clear purpose and to the point information and or knowledge stands out. If the content you are writing is just like some other, Google is smart enough to understand that.

It's not easy to trick Google with lengthy and keyword-stuffed content. These days, as a content creator, you need to put your heart and soul into it. If you will not do it someone else will.

You have to work for the content first, for your content to work for you.

If you want Google to help you, you have to help Google first by providing what it's customers want.

Rules for High-Quality content creation?

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8s6Y4mx9Vw

Your content strategy should be to create content that performs well

Your content strategy should be to create content that performs well. As it says in the video from Google, good content in the eyes of Google has three main qualities:

  1. It’s original Content.
  2. It’s well crafted.
  3. It’s unique.

You should set your content strategy around these rules. These are the only three rules really, you will need to focus on and you should always follow. And if you do, your content will rule.

But why these rules

These rules are few but evergreen and easy to follow. Focus on writing content which is unique, better and different from others and is original. By following these rules you can create a destination for Google visitors.

Your website may cover different topics in the same niche but as a whole, it needs to become the go-to place when someone asks Google for a suggestion.

Step by step, you should add content that is relevant to your niche and update your existing content to match the times.

These rules are few but evergreen and easy to follow.

Focus on writing content which is unique, better and different from others and is original.

Role of High-Quality content in digital marketing

High-quality content is the bedrock of effective digital marketing. Original, High-Quality content follows a constructive and productive approach. Digital marketing should always revolve around creating meaningful and useful content which could earn links on merit.

If you create high quality, evergreen content, you can use that across multiple channels. For eg., many of the papular brands, take an approach of creating good content once and use it forever. Many of the social media posts on their accounts come from the content they create for their websites.

The biggest advantage of using high quality as an approach for digital marketing is that it could earn links on merit. I am talking about backlinks. You do not have to work for backlinks if your content is of high quality and relevant to the times. It attracts readers and they are key to share and mention your work. Over time it means traffic and ultimately conversion.

Of course, it appears to be a lengthy strategy but if you look at the bigger picture, It is far less time-consuming in the long run. High-quality content improves the reputation of a webpage and helps it rank with search engines. Most import of all. It gives you peace of mind. Natural links are safe and evergreen.

At quoracreative, we offer creative content writing service which follows strict Google guidelines and rules.

Rules for content marketing mtrategy?

The best strategy is to keep your content marketing strategy simple. Over time, we should strive to become:

  • an authority on a subject matter/niche we want to write about.
  • a go-to place for online visitors on a subject matter.
  • the top recommendation by Google for a niche.

Every time you create content, have a simple aim in mind. Strive to create a resource that adds value to the visitor’s experience.

What should we write about?

If you search on Google for this question, you will get thousands of suggestions.

  • You can write about this.
  • You can write about that.
  • Or you can write about both this and that

No one tells you why should you write about this or that. There are millions of novice aspiring writers who have already taken that advice and actually have written about this and that.

Now, what will you do about the rules we just discussed?

Different and Unique content?

Write about something you do for a living

To start with, only write about something you know about or more precisely, take, for instance, write about what you do for a living.

If you are making a living doing what you do, it’s pretty much a chance that you know well what you do. That’s the reason you are being paid for it. You will be more creative with ideas and have more insight into the subject. All you need to do is translate that knowledge into content. (Write about it even if you hate your job to bits or it just pays the bills) Even if you are flicking burgers for a living, you can write something informative about it than anyone else.

And the truth is you will find readers for your content because they will know you have authority about what you are talking about.

Authority is crucial. It is one of the three most important factors for assessing the Quality of the content by Search Engines. In Search Engine Optimization terms, E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.”

[What is E-A-T in SEO and why is it important?][1]

Write about something you are in an education for.

Yes, you can also write about something you are in education for. In fact, writing about what you are learning has several other benefits as well. Writing about what you learn is one of the best ways to master your skills. When you write about what you learn, you already would have done research which can make your content very informative. Another benefit, in the long run, is that you can provide citations in your content. Citations or links to other content is very valuable.

Basically, you are pointing your visitors to other, well-tested resources, which are going to help them. If you are careful about providing good quality citations in your content, it will help your content rank better before Google Algorithms because you are adding value. A citation is something Search Engines love and something your references would love as well.

When you provide a link to some resource in your content, at some point they will learn about it. They might review your content and link back to other valuable pieces of content on your website, another of the building blocks for Search Engine Optimization.

If you persistently write about what you learn, chances are, when you are about to step into the work environment after completion, you already will have built a reference for the knowledge you acquired overtime to present to your prospective employer.

On the other hand, It’s probably better not to write about something you don’t have authority over. This will produce low-quality content. Low-quality content is even worse than no content.

Think yourself: Is the user going to be more satisfied if they end up on a low-quality website but relevant to their query, or a website with high-quality content but less related to the search query they put in Google? Google used to do a query-match-keyword thing, but these days, Google Algorithms are much smarter and Google is much less forgiving. Keywords game is over.

Low-Quality content can affect rankings negatively

Your content has to be of high quality across the board. Can I ask you to think you for a moment:

You visit a good webpage via Google Search recommendation and then you end up on a page with rubbish content, on the same website via an internal link. You waste many minutes on that page without gaining anything.

How will you rate your user experience? Definitely no positive.

Google has this in mind. User experience is what Google has shifted towards. Google has set these standards for a reason. You are entertaining Google’s customers. It has to be a great customer experience from start to finish.

For example: If you don’t like the contrast in a standard of services offered at your place of stay when you book on Airbnb, similarly, online visitors don’t expect sub-standards when Google points them to a website for their query.

Focus on creating less but High-Quality content

"Theoretically, that’s possible. I mean it’s kind of like we look at your web site overall. And if there’s this big chunk of content here or this big chunk kind of important wise of your content, there that looks really iffy, then that kind of reflects across the overall picture of your website. But I don’t know in your case if it’s really a situation that your blog is really terrible.”

JOHN MUELLER (GOOGLE)

Google here has attempted to advise about the risk of playing the game of publishing lots of lower-quality content with the aim of using keywords stuffing and playing with Google rankings.

If big players, with deep pockets, won't fear, they can play this game by producing a lot of content but it doesn’t serve the purpose, for what Google aims for.

If you have a big website and hopefully you will have one day, remember Google ranks parts of your sites differently.

If you already have a big site, It makes sense to revisit content which is not very much useful and try to improve it, or remove it, If it’s completely dead in rankings.

If you are beginning from scratch, try to produce only High-Quality content when you grow. Remember: Quality is now better than Quantity.

What are quality and rating standards for the content set by Google?

To find an answer to this question, we have to understand, what is Google asking from the content creators. Google puts full effort to decode and understand the true purpose of the page, of course by using “machine learning”.

To start with, any websites or pages without any beneficial purpose are marked red. All pages that:

  • are created with no attempt to help users
  • potentially spread hate
  • can cause harm of any kind
  • misinform users
  • deceive users

Straight away receive the lowest rating without any further assessment. Full stop!

If the above is not the case, the rating is based on how well the content achieves its purpose, by using the criteria outlined by Google.

Google standardizes pages and content into following

  • Lowest
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High and
  • Highest quality pages

For the sake of the length of this post, we will discuss High, Low and Medium standards only and in the order described.

How do you define High-Quality content?

QUOTE: “The quality of the MC is one of the most important criteria in Page Quality rating, and informs the E-A-T of the page. For all types of web pages, creating high-quality MC takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill.”

[Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines, 2017][2]

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3-obcXkyA4

High-quality content provides information that your visitors find relevant and interesting. Your expertise in the topic matters the most. When someone reads your content, they are looking for something which adds up to the knowledge they already have.

The rule for high-quality content is making sure it adds value to the visitor's knowledge and experience.

High-Quality content is readable.

High-Quality Content Is Readable. Your content should be easy to read, understand and digest. Using jargon and posh words doesn’t help. Keep it simple. It’s not a dissertation, it’s an article. It is very important to make it easy to understand.

Readability of the content also depends on other factors like the use of terminology, spellings and grammar, and even how your content is structured. Add interest to your content by using being on a personal level. Using, pronouns and names is better than “company” or “brand”. Try connecting with readers by using personal sentences. Quoted dialogues, spoken sentences, questions, and answers, etc. Your content should exhibit, you have invested time in curating it.

  • It should have a smooth tone.
  • It should clear and concise
  • All subparts should revolve around the purpose of the content
  • It should never confuse readers

Good writing anticipates reader questions. Good writing serves the reader, not the writer"

9 QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING - Ann Handley

“The reader doesn’t turn the page because of a hunger to applaud,”

Don Murray.

"A writer always tries… to be part of the solution, to understand a little about life and to pass this on,"

Anne Lamott

High-Quality content is engaging

To make your content engaging, you have to speak to the visitor at a personal level.

Your readers are human beings, at least for the foreseeable future. There is nothing more engaging than the feel of personal connection.

If you want to create content, at least make sure that you’re not writing something only you, your girlfriend and your mother would read.

I am giving Tips on writing so I would keep it brief:

  • Work on your headlines, try a few before finalizing
  • Try to tell a story not a technical presentation
  • Only write Original. Original is engaging
  • Go in Depth, In-Depth is interesting

Jessica Mehring: What I Learned About “Engaging Content”

High-Quality content is to the point

We understand, best practice for High-quality content is to divide it into subparts. It often happens that subtopics feel irrelevant or unnecessary. Divide and Rule is the basis of high-quality content creation but drifting off-topic can cost a writer dearly.

When selecting subtopics, always pay attention to the relevancy, consistency, and importance of the subtopic to the main topic. Inconsistencies are inevitable but a focus on visitors rather than search results(SERPs) could help reduce issues. Irrelevant subtopics confuse readers and can also affect your standing in the eyes of Google.

You have to aim to be “the Go to place” for a particular niche when a query comes to Google. If Google is confused about what your actual niche is, You are highly unlikely to be considered as an authority over the subject matter.

High-Quality content solves a problem

Before everyone started to write content due to Web 2.0, the content was limited and was created as an answer to someone’s quest.

Things changed.

Everyone could write. Before Web 2.0, people would consume content from only the sources they accepted as an authority, like known authors, magazines or even TV channels. Then came webpages and along with it, Google and the keywords / SEO Game.

Google struggled a lot (to quantify better content) for a few years but it has improved a lot recently. Machine learning can distinguish well if your content is worth presenting in return for a query or it’s just a “mixed bag” of “everything and keywords.”

Google has a lot of factors to rate your content, over 200. “Bounce Rate” and “Average Time” on Page ar to name a few. One might be able to trick Google initially by using a combination of a lot of content and keywords but how will they keep visitors hooked if they have no “added value” to offer? Google will quickly learn from the user behavior and it will take the content down from the search results or even mark it down.

Characteristics of Quality Content by Google

  • Has copyright information
  • Good content layout and design
  • Authority of the author
  • Reputation or expertise of the author
  • supplementary content (subtopics)
  • The trustworthiness of both the website and the author
  • Details about the author available in the content
  • Information accuracy
  • Ads placement on the page
  • Contact information
  • Citations and links to research
  • Internal links to relevant information on the website

What are the high-quality characteristics of a web page | HOBO-WEB

How do you define Low-Quality content?

Quote: Low-quality pages do not achieve their purpose well because they are lacking in an important dimension, such as having an unsatisfying amount of Main Content (MC), or because the creator of the MC lacks expertise for the purpose of the page.

[Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines, 2017][2]

Characteristics of Low-Quality content by Google

  • An inadequate level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
  • Your content lacks any purpose
  • The quality of the main content (MC) is low.
  • No Added Value for users
  • Auto-generated content. This is a complete NO
  • Contains Fakery or inaccurate information
  • Has a lot of Keyword stuffing
  • The amount of main content (MC) doesn’t match the purpose of the page.
  • The title is exaggerated or shocking. (Yes you read it right)
  • The Advertisements or Supplementary content distracting from the main content (MC)
  • If there is a mildly negative reputation for a website or creator of the main content (MC), based on extensive reputation research by Google itself
  • Poor page design and architecture
  • Lots of spammy comments
  • Malicious harmful or deceptive practices detected
  • Unsatisfying amount of website information or information about the author of the main content (MC) for the purpose of the page (what’s the point of being anonymous?).

What is Medium-Quality content?

“Medium pages achieve their purpose and have neither high nor low expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. However, Medium pages lack the characteristics that would support a higher-quality rating. Occasionally, you will find a page with a mix of high and low-quality characteristics. In those cases, the best page quality rating may be Medium.”

Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines, 2017

Google describes Medium Quality pages like the ones having a beneficial purpose and achieving their purpose of creation as well but lacking in other metrics.

There are two types of Medium quality pages:

Pages which have Nothing wrong, but having nothing special either

These pages achieve their purpose, however, they do not merit a High-quality rating, nor is there anything to indicate that a Low-quality rating is appropriate.

Pages which are Mixed with characteristics of both High and Low-quality rating

These are pages or websites with strong High-quality rating characteristics but have mild Low-quality characteristics as well. It’s just that the presence of High-quality aspects makes it difficult to rate the pages Low.

What is ideal keyword density?

What is Keyword Density?

QUOTE: “Keyword density tells you how often a search term appears in a text in relation to the total number of words it contains." Searchmetrics.com - Keyword Density

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk4qgQdp2UA

Keyword Density Myth

The simple answer is, there isn't a thing as "good keyword density". If John Mueller says there isn't then you should take his word for it.

Ideal keyword density is something you shouldn't worry about or focus on anyway. On the other hand, two thing needs attention.

You need to make the keyword phrase relevant to the content, for the purpose of which you are creating it. You need to know which keyword phrase is most valuable to describe your content.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm not asking you to create content first and then label it.

You should be clear about the purpose of your content before you even start writing.

It is about using the right words which people are using in Google to search for something you have to offer.

You might think the phrase you use is right but all human minds are different in translating their query into the language. Do some research and figure out what phrases people are searching for that best relates to your content.

Two of the tools I use heavily are;

You still need to do keyword research to identify what to write about and what type of content to create.

Is linking external content a good practice?

Is this a good thing? It is “the right thing” to do. Many many content creators make this mistake of linking internally only to their own content. This is wrong because this is not a helping attitude. If you know about any resource you can point a user to, you should do it. It follows the same principle as of daily life experience.

From everyday life example:

In real life, how will you rate your experience with a helping individual when you get directed to the right destination or a product? Or even if you are looking for information? The person who directs you will not lose anything, but while being helpful, they will have created a positive experience for you for sure.

This replicates online as well. When your content points to some other content, outside of your domain, something which could be helpful, you add value to the user experience.

This is how Google sees your external links. If the links are of Good quality, you are positively ticking a box for one of over 200 factors Google uses to mark your content. What else, you link gets discovered as an inbound link by the host website.

Your generosity can build goodwill with that resource owners. You have the potential to develop a connection both in terms of linkbacks and business coming your way.

I have knowledge and love of writing, should I create content.

You certainly should write. And you should certainly write only about the knowledge you hold. Good content is the king of this age. It lost it’s charm a bit, a few years back but the good content is back on the driving seat. Good content is the best path to develop a successful website. If you think you have a purpose to build a great resource and have what it takes then you should certainly do it.

But before you get carried away, remember, it’s an incremental process. Step by step, build your resources while researching and writing about what is most relevant to the current times and being sought for. It won’t take years. You will start to see results in a few week's time.

Final words

Google top rankings are reserved for the content which is 'remarkable', reputable' and proves that the creator holds expertise and trust.

Along with, content which proves that the time and effort has been put into it gets a go-ahead.

Yes, the bar is set very high but it is set for a reason. It is clear that there is so much work involved.

Asad Butt

Asad Likes anything creative, but mainly, developing web-applications, optmizing websites for search engine algorithms and writing about all stuff creative.

He could be reached at LinkedIn or Twitter. He is also an active contributor at stackovrflow.com

Learn more about Asad Butt

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