Website content is not all made equal...
When it comes to quality content curation, nobody does it better than Netflix. For decades, big television networks decided what we watched, without finesse. Missing attitudinal shifts in society, they left open a niche to fill a mass want for rawer, if not realistic, stories; available on our own terms. Netflix-produced shows are not only successful, they’re institutional (who hasn’t bonded over Orange is the New Black, or dissected Black Mirror with a colleague?). And, more importantly, they make the consumption of content personal, with a focus on quality. Netflix knows you, and creates a curated set of programs to suit who you are based on what you like, search for and watch. So, what does this have to do with website content? Consider Google as Netflix, and your content a show to be served up to your consumer, if it reaches the quality high bar.
Content can’t cheat
Just like a forgettable ‘90s sitcom you’d never see on your on-demand streaming service (for every Friends there were four Caroline in the Citys), keyword stuffing is now search engine napalm. You can’t cheat. Google knows all, essentially reading, or ‘crawling’, your website for quality control, promoting or punishing as it sees fit.
A common catchphrase in the digital space is ‘content is king’; but, really, quality content is king (or queen, whoever is alive and ruling). It's in Google's best interest to utilise its now very sophisticated ranking algorithm to recognise quality content and rank it accordingly. Remember, Google want consumer trust just as much as you do. No beast is too big to be replaced if they're not fulfilling their service promise.
Throwing a bunch of keywords into a repetitive nonsensical block of text will not only stand you in poor steed with Google, it will too with anyone who visits your website. People want their questions answered and problems solved when they click on your site; a lack of legitimate information will be evident pretty quickly and they’ll hit ‘back’ and click on the next business.
If you want to be in the search engine ranking running and gain the trust of customers, you need good content.
What is good quality content for your website?
In an extensive study of 600,000 keyword phrases, marketing analytics company SEMrush expressed their findings, and the great benefits of well-curated content. They found that the ‘main advantages of a text are its quality and relevance’, and that this ‘play[s] a crucial role in the page ranking’.
What this means: when people search it’s because they want a question answered, or a problem solved. Your business should aim to provide both.
A well considered company bio that includes keywords (but is not drowning in them) will offer a solution by way of trust in your service and business. Then, if you also have a blog, you can offer additional value to them, helping answer questions they may have about their problem. For example, a finance business bio will solve the search ‘Tax returns Newcastle’, but a blog with relevant content will also answer the question ‘What to do if I missed my last tax return?’. If these terms are searched and your content is clumsy, too thin (not enough content), irrelevant, manipulative (doesn’t provide on a promise provided in a header, for example) or simply poorly written, it won’t rank well and it can potentially be money out of your pocket. But, if it's done well, you've found yourself a new customer.
Good quality content should include:
Legitimate, helpful information that solves customer problems and answers questions
Accurate grammar, spelling and no typos
Additional value in the form of video (your own, or even sharing relevant YouTube clips)
A well considered tone – your content is your voice and you want it to adequately represent who you are and what you stand for
Formatting – one big paragraph of text is not a good experience for the reader, and Google knows this
A proper use of keywords.
So, what to do now? I suggest conducting a mini-audit on your website content. Even ask friends and family to give their honest feedback on what their experience is when they go to your website. Is it showing the very best of what your business does, and is it offering customers genuine value? If not, it might be time to reinvigorate your website content and find yourself a place at the Google ranking table… After all, you want to land in the proverbial 'picks for you' show reel before another program (well, business) gets in first.