SEO in mid-2017 – Content Quality

Read this thought-piece to get an understanding of the struggles face by users and site owners as everyone starts to drown under waves of poor quality content in 2017.

Enjoy & if you’d like to discuss further, please get in touch.

#SEO #ContentQuality #ContentMarketing #UserExperience


Content – Never Mind the Quality Feel the Width

Summary:

Content is becoming ever more important to being discovered on the web. However, it is challenged by poor implementation and vast swathes of poor quality content.

State of SEO 2017 Content

  • Content Floods
    • If you open almost any feed, or Twitter stream these days, you are almost certainly to be assaulted by an inundation of content. Some will be great (like mine), some will be mediocre, others will be poor. This is a race to the bottom as people think the quantity of content can outweigh the quality. This is wrong. Concentrate on producing good quality content at the right cadence and frequency.
  • Content Length
    • The number of words per article seems to be drifting inexorably upwards. I have seen graphs claiming that all content should be 2000+ words, which is just silly, and more reasoned approaches, which indicate that content which ranks for significant numbers of keywords tends to have a sweet spot between 500 and 2000 words.
    • Remember that 2000 words of piffle is still 2000 words of piffle.
  • Quality
    • With the rise in content length, we’ve also seen an inverse drop in content quality. Writers tend to wedge snippets of vaguely related information into their articles. This is poor.
    • To be seen as an expert, write deeply about a topic. Don’t cover the surface of 10 different things inadequately.
  • User Journey
    • Since RankBrain, content which matches the user’s place in their journey has been promoted above more semantically correct articles. This is a good thing generally.
    • Always understand your prospective user journey and where they are on it when they query Google. Are they ready to buy, or just looking? Are they competitive, or do they want to read at length. Content should always match the user journey.
  • User Experience
    • “Nice looking”, or swishly “designed” is often mistaken for good user experience. It’s not. Google knows that users want answers to their queries, and they want them fast – it’s their entire search ethos in recent years. If your content can give them that answer fast and in a clear, unambiguous manner, then you have given the user a great experience, increasing the likelihood of a bookmark, onward click, return visit, or conversion. To see this in action, you only have to look at Google’s implementation of Material Design and their Help Pages.
    • Focus user experience on answering the query as quickly as possible.

Actions to take if needed:

  1. Make sure you pace your content creation. Do enough to get noticed, but not so much that you sacrifice quality.
  2. Keep content length reasonable for the subject. Detailed questions need detailed answers. Brief questions need brief answers.
  3. Focus on the user journey. Understand the user, where they have been and where they want to go. Doing this will help users to find answers and move forward to the next phase.
  4. Ignore designers who go on about user experience. It’s a myth that people can’t cope with reading content on mobile. Most mobile issues are IA and navigational related. Focus on given the user an answer as swiftly as possible.
  5. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss further.

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TL;DR Content Quality 2017

Stop producing floods of poor content. Cut, paste, wash, rinse, repeat doesn’t do website owners, or users a lot of favours.

If you’d like to discuss further, please get in touch.