Before the days of Panda and Penguin very few SEOs focused on the quality of their content. However Google’s release of Panda in February 2011 completely changed that as “quality” became the biggest buzz word for SEOs.
In case you haven’t heard, recent algorithm updates from Google have only reinforced the buzz that surrounds creating quality content. In 2012, Penguin extended the push for quality to linkbuilding and other aspects of SEO and now SEOs can’t have a conversation without saying the word quality.
In many cases quality content is naturally engaging, but’s it best to think of them separately.
First let’s discuss how Google describes quality content. According to statements made by Google, quality content is original and relevant. It’s a simple concept at first glance, but there is a lot more to the puzzle. Google evaluates word count, grammar, accuracy, and so much more.
Content that is engaging entices visitors to keep reading or act on what they’re reading. Whether it’s filling out a form or leaving a comment, engaging content causes an action or reaction.
What Makes Content Engaging?
Engaging content is defined by many elements, including:
- Ability to capture audience attention
- Ability to keep visitors on the site
- Ability to encourage visitors to share content
- Ability to make visitors come back to the site
So how do you create engaging content? Today’s SEO writers should always be thinking about their audience. Prior to some of Google’s latest algorithm updates writers for the web focused predominantly on keywords and there was little thought given to who was reading the content.
Now knowing your audience and engaging them is critical to ranking your content. There has to be a purpose to every article written, such as answering a question, solving a problem, or offering a new concept. Naturally keywords still matter but flooding your content with them isn’t as important as it used to be prior to 2011.
Questions to ask as writers:
- Why will the reader care?
- Who is reading this content?
- Has this topic already been discussed?
- Is the information written in a fresh, unique way?
- Is there enough information being provided?
- Have all relevant viewpoints been discussed?
The addition of pictures, videos, podcasts, and infographics are also great ways to create engaging content. If you haven’t started a blog you might want to consider doing so because it’s an effective way to build up an engaging audience.
Although the type of content you create depends on your business, most articles are published with the intent of generating leads and sales. In order to do this effectively, your content must engage your potential customers. Whether it’s with a few thought-provoking words, statistics, or humor, get your audience involved. Write for them, not keywords.