Lots of people talk about creating “good content” for their web pages.
Yet what makes content good?
Good content is effective.
Most people don’t pay to have a website designed and maintained simply because they are trying to pursue a hobby. If you’re like most, you want to sell something.
At some point, the content needs to either persuade the customer to buy something or persuade them to take another step, such as continuing to investigate your product or signing up for your mailing list.
Not every page will do this. Some blog posts, for example, just capture keywords and build trust. They can be written just like articles.
By contrast, your landing pages and service pages will need to use the principles of effective copywriting to get the job done.
Good content brings in traffic.
That means it’s targeting topics your customers care about. What are they wondering about? What are they hoping for? What problems are they trying to solve?
Ideally you’ll have content on your website that covers every part of the buyer’s journey.
Some pages will answer questions about their problem. Some will answer questions about your solution. Some will help them make the decision to purchase your specific solution. Some will help teach them how to get more out of your product and service, thus building loyalty.
Each of those types of traffic targets different needs and thus different keywords. This, in turn, helps you bring in more traffic.
Good content follows Google’s EAT guidelines.
EAT is an acronym that means “Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.”
- Google wants to see content that was written by an expert in the industry, or, alternatively, which consults with and quotes experts in the industry.
- Google wants to see content that is accurate. This is especially important in the medical and financial industries.
- They want to see that your website is credible.
Google pays particular attention to EAT on so-called “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages: pages that could impact the future happiness, health, or wealth of users. Yet you should strive to provide content that meets this quality standard whether you think you have a YMYL page or not.
Here’s an example. Website #1 belongs to a plumber. They outsource a writer from the Philippines who has never so much as looked at a toilet plunger. The writer digs around on Google and cobbles together an article that barely demonstrates an understanding of the customer’s issue.
Website #2 works with a professional writer or marketing company. They get an expert, say, Bob the owner of the plumbing company, to speak to them on his area of expertise.
They then transform this content into a coherent web page that’s interesting to read. Bob is attributed as the author. Google can see that Bob is a real plumber and that the content is good and authoritative. Google can compare the web page to other pages about plumbing to determine that Bob is passing on accurate information. Google can also look at all the other pages on the site, as well as Bob’s Google reviews, to ascertain that a customer would be well-served by reading Bob’s material.
One page has EAT. One doesn’t. Furthermore, one is going to convert customers, and one won’t.
Good content shows empathy.
You got into the business you got into for a reason.
Maybe you had the same problem your customers now have. Maybe you’ve been in their shoes.
Remember that feeling. Remember what you went through.
If you got into business because you were just really passionate about that business, or really good at that business, talk to your sales team. Or think about your last ten sales calls.
What was really going on with those customers? What were they feeling?
Sad? Frustrated? Angry? Annoyed? Tired?
What specific issues were they dealing with? What was broken? What made the call urgent?
Write up a persona that describes one of your customers. All of your content should now empathize with that person. You should speak to that person directly. Your content should convey that you care deeply about what’s happening to them and that you want to fix it.
Customers will not work with you if they do not believe you understand them.
Good content is robust.
“Thin” content pages are sites with very little information on them. You might find just a short paragraph, or a few sentences, or some repetitive lines that don’t really offer any new information.
You want to put as much (relevant) information on your web pages as possible.
You aren’t going to write anything just for the sake of writing it, but look for ways to include information your customer needs. Doing a Google search on your favorite terms and targeting “people also asked” questions is a great way to uncover new content opportunities. You can always answer questions people need the answers to.
Good content isn’t easy. We can help.
If you’re struggling to create the kind of content that gets results, reach out. We work with all of our clients to create the right content for their web pages.