Researching and using relevant keywords is an important part of your SEO strategy. However, combining these keywords with compelling, user-friendly content is critical.
In February 2011, Google release an algorithm update called Panda aimed at preventing ‘thin-content’ websites and advert-heavy websites ranking high in search results. Thin-content websites are websites that use keywords very lightly on a webpage that offers little or no use to users. The Panda update has evolved since and is now part of Googles core search algorithm.
Google provided the following guidelines to consider when constructing content:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
How do I write strong content?
The following tips will get you started on writing strong content…
What is your Users Intent?
Firstly, consider your users intent. Put yourself in the shoes of you customer and consider what is there purpose for visiting your website or specific webpage? Typically a users intent will be to find, learn, solve, buy, fix, treat, or understand.
What important information will they be interested to see?
Creating a quality answer to this requires “situational” thinking. You should walk-through your users steps in your mind and picture the journey they will go through starting with a search and resulting in a final click or touch. Consider what is the important information they should know about and see throughout this process.
How can you meet their Intent and deliver the required information?
How do you highlight this? Will images or video’s help? How will it look on mobile devices? Think carefully about how you will meet the users intent and deliver the useful information they will be interested to see.