Good quality content is now more vital than ever before. Not only does it make your business or brand look professional, but also enables you to gain more traffic through search, not to mention, the opportunity to be featured in Google’s rich snippets which give you a higher CTR than any of the other listings.
Follow these seven principles and you can always make sure your content has the best chance of being given the green light by Google.
1. Run a spell check
Don’t be ashamed to use it. It’s a simple and useful tool to use, however, be aware that it doesn’t always pick every mistake out. Don’t think Google does not have the capability to detect poor grammar or simple spelling mistakes. They have embedded this into their real-time panda algorithm and it is no doubt one of their core factors when looking a the quality of content.
2. Invest in smart software
About two months ago we began reluctantly testing Grammarly – A piece of software that highlights mistakes in your written work. We had steered clear of it, due to our stubbornness and pride, however, it has actually proved quite useful. By suggesting certain changes, whether we decided to take them on board or not, it has begun to learn how we write, while also getting us to take a closer look at the content we produce. So, rather than making us lazy, it has simply highlighted the need to proceed with caution. For those less confident in their content, it’s something we’d definitely recommend.
3. Print it out
If in doubt, print it out. Again, it’s a pretty simple thing to do, but if you’ve been staring at a computer all day, coming away from it can really give your eyes a welcome break. It also gives you the chance to read your content out loud. Don’t forget to read it as per the punctuation dictates. If you’re left puffing and panting, it could well be that your sentences could be way too long.
4. Proofread copy
You’ve run a spell check, you’ve printed it and read it out loud. Once you’ve edited and amended your work, be sure to give it one last read through as it is so incredibly easy to add in mistakes the more you tamper with a piece of content.
5. Use a professional
If you’re not confident in your own writing skills, hire a copywriter or content strategist to do it for you, or employ a proof-reader to check your documents over before hitting the “publish” button. If you don’t have the budget to do that, at least make sure someone edits it for you. Just having a second set of eyes glance at the content can pick out issues that you may miss when you are going through it.
6. Create a plan
If you want to ensure your content is of the best quality, it’s worth checking what you’re writing about is of value. What do your customers want to know? What are their struggles or fears? Create a list of these questions and write content based on this, publishing it in frequent intervals.
7. Use Google best practices
When Google released the first Panda update, they also released a list of questions that can help you to judge the quality of your site, including:
- Does the article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Was the article edited well?
- Does the article contain insightful analysis?
- Would you expect to see the article in a printed magazine or book?
- Does the article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
Google’s Panda update is a filter that’s aimed at stopping sites with poor content from working their way up the Google rankings while allowing those that take time and effort creating great content to benefit. Panda is known to target “thin content” – where there is very little content on a page, duplicate content and “spun content”.
To ensure your content is always great, make sure it’s relevant, well researched and take the time to edit and proof it before publishing. You can fix problems later down the line, but it’s best to limit the damage before it’s done.
If you want to improve your content, along with the impact it can have on your business, put a plan and content calendar in place. Aim to create content consistently throughout the year and distribute it via the various channels available to you, including newsletters, social media and press releases.
Then all you need to do it let the enquiries roll on in.