Lauren Bates

Cat memes are great, and this lady was awesome! But, if you are serious about attracting more readers, you need quality content.

In 2013, research done by Disruptive Communications showed that audiences care about the quality of your content. Surprised?

This research found that 40% of respondents confessed that poor grammar and spelling lead to a less than favorable impression of the brand. Yes, even though it may seem that people don’t care about grammar or spelling (thank you social media), they do. And they expect you to as well.

In addition, 25% of respondents felt that many brands’ updates on social media are far too salesy. Admittedly, it is a bit surprising that the percentage isn’t higher. So, with that being said, keep (most) promotional speak out of your content and off of social media.

Quality Content sets your Brand apart

Here’s how to create quality content: Five points to keep in mind

The Length of Your Content

What is the ideal word count? Well, Google prefers long form or ‘meaty’ content. Meaning, that if you want to rank highly in search engines (and attract links) aim for content that contains 1,000+ words. Now, mobile users prefer shorter, succinct content that is easily digestible on the go. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the length of your content, especially when you are optimizing for mobile.

  • More people use mobile to go online (60% of mobile web users cite their phone as their primary means of going online)
  • Cut through the noise and lower your word count
    • Focus on long-tail keywords
    • Leverage headings
    • Use bullet points (you don’t have to form complete sentences that way)
    • Link to mobile-friendly content
    • Use powerful words, paint a story

Supplement Content with Images, Video, Infographics, and Other Media

Not only does visual content outperform text-only content across the board, but we are also able to process visuals exponentially faster than text! Crafting content with visuals attracts inbound links, social shares, time spent on page, and engagement. When thinking in terms of SERP rankings, Google considers inbound links as one of the most weighted factors in its ranking algorithm. Also, multimedia-based content is shared up to 12x more than plain text content.

Grammar, Spelling, and Overall Coherent Content

A page with poor spelling, grammar, or typos is viewed as less trustworthy by Google. This is a big deal because Google has placed a huge emphasis on the trustworthiness of pages and websites. And, as mentioned earlier, your site visitors are far less likely to trust your content if it isn’t written professionally.

Provide Value

When thinking in terms of content value, try to answer at least one of these questions.

  • Does it solve a problem?
  • Does it answer a question?
  • Is it entertaining?
  • Does it make people giggle?
  • Does it provide unique or expert insight?

Distribution Plan:

Think social media. These days, it isn’t enough to just publish. You have to have a plan to make sure that your content will reach your intended audience. Remember, the goal here is to have readers take the next step. Whether that be a share, a like, an email signup, or purchase.

  • Think about what platforms your content will be shared on and make it relevant to that platform
  • Include an appropriate call-to-action
  • Make your social share button’s prominent
  • Share your content across your social media channels and encourage your readers to share it too

Social media and smartphones have made a huge impact on global communications and the way we consume content. So having a mobile mindset will help you plan your content (and the distribution process). Another moral of this story is not to create content for search engines. While that is an important piece to consider, your readers/audience come first. If you are having trouble figuring out your audience, try this.