Quality content: What it is and how you can create it for yourself

Quality content: What it is and how you can create it for yourself

5 minute read

Quality content: What it is and how you can create it for yourself

5 minute read

Quality content: What it is and how you can create it for yourself

Levi Olmstead

Content Marketer
There are many benefits to investing in creating quality content, not least, targeting your audience effectively and ensuring your content helps you achieve business goals.

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Most of us have heard about content marketing's potential. But when you consider the benefits and how to correctly measure content marketing efforts, things might seem a bit murky. So, let's clear this up right now.

In this article, we'll cover how to create quality content and the major benefits that come from it when done well. Then we'll discuss the key metrics you should be focusing on to measure the impact of your content.

What makes high-quality content?

High-quality digital marketing content assets have a few characteristics in common, no matter what the topic, industry, or target audience. High-quality content is content that is:

  • Valuable
  • Comprehensive
  • Helpful
  • Accurate
  • Up-to-date
  • Well-researched
  • Easy to read

Overall, you’ll gauge whether or not a piece of content is of high quality by determining if it achieves its marketing objectives. Each type of content has different requirements to be considered high quality.

For example, high-quality content on social media is not the same as high-quality SEO content. Social media content needs to be snappy, engaging content that entertains, educates, or inspires its audience. While content written for the web will be considered high quality if it is the best answer for search queries.

Similarly, signs of low-quality content will vary by type of content. Website content needs to be optimized for search engines, taking into account how the algorithm works. Low-quality website content could be content that’s written using tactics like keyword stuffing, or it could be content that doesn’t provide a positive user experience.

Why is quality content invaluable?

A staggering 60% of marketers are creating content every day to attract more business. Blog posts, podcasts, and videos are being churned out at an unimaginable pace.

While audiences already feel overwhelmed, the difference lies in quality. Content creators who publish something more relevant, useful, and purposeful than competitors earn the attention of their audience– and grow their businesses for years to come.

Here are some of the most important ways quality content helps you:

Benefits from evergreen topics

Quality content doesn't just go out of fashion next month. It's as useful a year or two from now as it is today.

It looks at a topic from a new angle and provides insight only a thought-leader can provide, is formatted correctly, is readable, and is written with its audience in mind.

It also covers “evergreen” topics. This means the benefits compound with time. You do the work once, then attract more business for the foreseeable future as the content is shared and rises in search engine rankings. Your business is positioned for sustainable growth – unlike paid marketing campaigns, which might be effective over the short term, but require more investment in the future.

examples of evergreen content
Evergreen topics are topics that are valuable no matter what time of year, which can include FAQs, how-to tutorials, testimonials, and more. (Source)

Builds thought leadership and credibility

One of the best ways to build trust with your target audience is by creating quality content.

For one, quality content gives you the opportunity to show you really do know your stuff – while you're helping give audiences the information they need. Do this long enough, and you'll find yourself a thought leader in your industry. Imagine being able to generate business through your reputation alone!

A great example that comes to my mind is the SEO all-in-one tool Ahrefs. The brand churns out multiple long-form content pieces a week over topics such as backlink building programs, keyword research, and SEO guides, many of which rank at the top of Google’s SERP for those valuable, sought-after terms.

Ahrefs has become synonymous with SEO tools and education. By building this reputation over time through quality content, they’re able to build trustworthiness and attract people to their product just through their reputation.

The ability to be repurposed

Quality content is also meaty enough to be repurposed in multiple ways. You could record a podcast or create a case study, for example, and post the transcript as a blog post. Collections of blog posts could become eBooks. You could also pull some of the juiciest quotes from the podcast and share them on Facebook or LinkedIn.

The idea is simple: do the heavy-lifting part once, do it well, and get the most attention from it as possible. From there, you can repurpose that content with much less work than it takes to create a brand new piece of content.

It’s one of the best ways to reach wider audiences across different media channels.

Drives more traffic, leads, and conversions online

Your website is the virtual storefront of your business. Quality content is like shiny objects in the display windows. It gets people to slow down, stick around and find out more.

Search engines reward quality content with higher rankings. This means you'll see increased traffic to your website over time. Once visitors engage the content and see how awesome it is, a higher percentage of them will become leads and customers.

Gets more social shares and visibility

Quality content also motivates others to share it for you. Instead of desperately trying to find a larger audience, you can engage the community you already have and let them share your content throughout their networks.

Brands can leverage their community of brand advocates in channels such as social media and email newsletters. Those familiar with a brand are more likely to share its content, helping spread brand awareness.

Marketing teams should also look to optimize their content’s social media sharing cards before executing their publicity plans for new collateral. Make sure new content has the correct social media image size and meta-text populated. Having an eye-catching social media card can ultimately be the deciding factor in a piece finding social sharing success and failure.

Quality content
Content doesn’t need to “go viral” to be valuable for visibility. When you create content people want to share, you’ll expand your reach.

Yields to earned media

If you produce great content regularly, other content creators and curators will notice. They'll mention you on social media. Some will even link to you from their websites. You never know when you'll catch the right influencer's attention.

You work hard to create the content, then let the content work hard for you. Enjoy access to a lot more traffic and new audiences.

How to create quality content to improve content marketing effectiveness

Now that we’ve covered what high-quality content is and why it’s important, let’s dive into how to actually create quality content for yourself.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when developing quality content:

1. Understand your target audience’s search intent.

Most, if not all, of the digital marketing content we create is for the web, which means that it needs to be optimized before it is published. But before you even start writing, you need to make sure that you understand your audience’s search intent so that your topic, content, and CTA are in alignment.

For example, someone who is just started to search for information about their pain point is going to type different things into their Google search than someone who is ready to buy. And if you serve the person at the beginning of their journey content focused on making a purchasing decision, you’re going to lose them.

Understanding the audience’s search intent when they type in certain SEO keywords will help you better produce a piece of content that’s likely to appeal to them. Keep this in mind when going through the optimization process.

Good to Know: Create content using templates in GatherContent and have a separate section for SEO to make sure everyone is aligned and every piece of content uses SEO.
four types of search intent
There are four general categories of search intent: navigational, educational, commercial, transactional. (Source)

2. Use proper formatting based on the type of content.

Readability is a very important part of high-quality content. Because if no one can read the content you’re producing then there’s no way it will meet its marketing goals. To ensure readability, make sure you’re using proper formatting for the channel you post your content on.

For example, while a blog post can certainly be 1,500+ words, a social media post will be much shorter. If you’re typing a novel in your social media post, it will be difficult to read based on the medium. Make sure you’re using best practices to format your content for readability.

3. Do thorough research and fact check.

If you want to build trust, then you need to earn it by using thorough research and data to support your ideas. Make sure that any statistics you are using are up-to-date (within the last 3-5 years, depending on the topic). And only source from authors and organizations that are reputable and unbiased.

In addition to using adequate research, you’ll also want to make sure that you fact-check everything before you publish. If you’re not citing original research by your organization or another, then you need to locate the original source to ensure it’s accurate.

4. Create original content from a unique perspective.

There are no new ideas. We are constantly recycling information and ideas. However, adding your own perspective to the topic can make it more interesting and worthwhile.

When you’re writing a piece of content on a topic, consider what you can add to the conversation. It might be a new example or personal experience you’ve had that people are able to relate to. Or it can even be adding humor to an article about a topic that’s typically dry.

5. Review and edit before you publish.

It’s probably not shocking to learn that you should review and edit your content before it's published. If you can, get someone else to review and edit your content to ensure that it makes sense, everything is accurate, and there are no grammar or spelling issues.

Good to Know: In GatherContent you can use shareable links so that you can collaborate with anyone on a piece of content at any stage of the process.

If you can’t get someone else to edit your content, make sure that you give yourself a day in between writing and editing it. That way, you can look at it with fresh eyes and notice things you wouldn’t have before.  

Try reading it out loud to see where there is any awkward phrasing.

How to measure the impact of creating quality content

Now that you understand some of the biggest benefits of quality content, let's talk about how to measure its success. There's no need for an intuitive approach with so much data available:

Creating quality content for traffic

A major indicator of great content is increased website traffic. Sometimes you'll see this in spikes (after something goes viral, for instance), but most of the time, it's steady and gradual growth.

Traffic itself is an important metric, but not all traffic is the right traffic for a business. Great content is tailored to a specific audience type. For example, writing an introductory marketing article to an audience of CMOs and director-level marketers would be inappropriate and ultimately hurt a brand.

However, each piece of quality content you create gives people another opportunity to find you. Some traffic will come from search engines, and others will hear about you from someone in their social networks.

Creating quality content for conversions

Quality content attracts visitors to your website. It's tempting to engage, share, and maybe even bookmark. When it really does its job, it intrigues the audience to come back. Whether it's the number of people leaving comments on your blog posts, downloading other content, or joining your email list, quality content motivates visitors to identify themselves as leads. Which leaves you in a great position to nurture those leads to become buyers.

Creating quality content for sales

From a content marketing perspective, this is the end goal of quality content. Great content helps you all the way through the sales funnel. Great content educates buyers, creates a customer journey lifecycle, and ultimately converts web traffic into customers.

sales funnel
Quality content differs for each stage of the sales funnel as people need different things along their journey.

It attracts more eyeballs to your website, but it also assures these visitors that you're credible and provides valuable solutions.

Creating quality content for SEO ranking

Search engines reward quality content to give their users the best experience. This translates into higher SEO rankings for major keywords relevant to your business.

It takes time for your efforts to pay off, but look for a gradual upward trend. Once you can make it onto the first page (or even the top few spots), you'll see a flood of organic traffic. It's important to wrap SEO into your content creation process.

Creating quality content for site engagement

Quality content doesn't just motivate more people to visit your website; it changes their behavior dramatically.

As visitors engage with one piece of great content after another, expect your average page views and time spent on your website to increase. Bounce rates will taper off. Plenty of first-time visitors will find themselves back on your website again because they've bookmarked it or joined your email list.

A priceless investment

In a world where most businesses are using content marketing, quality makes all the difference. Now that you know what it can do for you and how to measure the impact, it's time to get busy creating your own good content and deciding on the tools and processes you need to measure the performance of that content.

Tools such as GatherContent help enable teams to produce the highest quality content because it frees your team from the chaos around content creation and allows them to focus on the content itself. When the content creation and collaboration process is easy and seamless, your

Most of us have heard about content marketing's potential. But when you consider the benefits and how to correctly measure content marketing efforts, things might seem a bit murky. So, let's clear this up right now.

In this article, we'll cover how to create quality content and the major benefits that come from it when done well. Then we'll discuss the key metrics you should be focusing on to measure the impact of your content.

What makes high-quality content?

High-quality digital marketing content assets have a few characteristics in common, no matter what the topic, industry, or target audience. High-quality content is content that is:

  • Valuable
  • Comprehensive
  • Helpful
  • Accurate
  • Up-to-date
  • Well-researched
  • Easy to read

Overall, you’ll gauge whether or not a piece of content is of high quality by determining if it achieves its marketing objectives. Each type of content has different requirements to be considered high quality.

For example, high-quality content on social media is not the same as high-quality SEO content. Social media content needs to be snappy, engaging content that entertains, educates, or inspires its audience. While content written for the web will be considered high quality if it is the best answer for search queries.

Similarly, signs of low-quality content will vary by type of content. Website content needs to be optimized for search engines, taking into account how the algorithm works. Low-quality website content could be content that’s written using tactics like keyword stuffing, or it could be content that doesn’t provide a positive user experience.

Why is quality content invaluable?

A staggering 60% of marketers are creating content every day to attract more business. Blog posts, podcasts, and videos are being churned out at an unimaginable pace.

While audiences already feel overwhelmed, the difference lies in quality. Content creators who publish something more relevant, useful, and purposeful than competitors earn the attention of their audience– and grow their businesses for years to come.

Here are some of the most important ways quality content helps you:

Benefits from evergreen topics

Quality content doesn't just go out of fashion next month. It's as useful a year or two from now as it is today.

It looks at a topic from a new angle and provides insight only a thought-leader can provide, is formatted correctly, is readable, and is written with its audience in mind.

It also covers “evergreen” topics. This means the benefits compound with time. You do the work once, then attract more business for the foreseeable future as the content is shared and rises in search engine rankings. Your business is positioned for sustainable growth – unlike paid marketing campaigns, which might be effective over the short term, but require more investment in the future.

examples of evergreen content
Evergreen topics are topics that are valuable no matter what time of year, which can include FAQs, how-to tutorials, testimonials, and more. (Source)

Builds thought leadership and credibility

One of the best ways to build trust with your target audience is by creating quality content.

For one, quality content gives you the opportunity to show you really do know your stuff – while you're helping give audiences the information they need. Do this long enough, and you'll find yourself a thought leader in your industry. Imagine being able to generate business through your reputation alone!

A great example that comes to my mind is the SEO all-in-one tool Ahrefs. The brand churns out multiple long-form content pieces a week over topics such as backlink building programs, keyword research, and SEO guides, many of which rank at the top of Google’s SERP for those valuable, sought-after terms.

Ahrefs has become synonymous with SEO tools and education. By building this reputation over time through quality content, they’re able to build trustworthiness and attract people to their product just through their reputation.

The ability to be repurposed

Quality content is also meaty enough to be repurposed in multiple ways. You could record a podcast or create a case study, for example, and post the transcript as a blog post. Collections of blog posts could become eBooks. You could also pull some of the juiciest quotes from the podcast and share them on Facebook or LinkedIn.

The idea is simple: do the heavy-lifting part once, do it well, and get the most attention from it as possible. From there, you can repurpose that content with much less work than it takes to create a brand new piece of content.

It’s one of the best ways to reach wider audiences across different media channels.

Drives more traffic, leads, and conversions online

Your website is the virtual storefront of your business. Quality content is like shiny objects in the display windows. It gets people to slow down, stick around and find out more.

Search engines reward quality content with higher rankings. This means you'll see increased traffic to your website over time. Once visitors engage the content and see how awesome it is, a higher percentage of them will become leads and customers.

Gets more social shares and visibility

Quality content also motivates others to share it for you. Instead of desperately trying to find a larger audience, you can engage the community you already have and let them share your content throughout their networks.

Brands can leverage their community of brand advocates in channels such as social media and email newsletters. Those familiar with a brand are more likely to share its content, helping spread brand awareness.

Marketing teams should also look to optimize their content’s social media sharing cards before executing their publicity plans for new collateral. Make sure new content has the correct social media image size and meta-text populated. Having an eye-catching social media card can ultimately be the deciding factor in a piece finding social sharing success and failure.

Quality content
Content doesn’t need to “go viral” to be valuable for visibility. When you create content people want to share, you’ll expand your reach.

Yields to earned media

If you produce great content regularly, other content creators and curators will notice. They'll mention you on social media. Some will even link to you from their websites. You never know when you'll catch the right influencer's attention.

You work hard to create the content, then let the content work hard for you. Enjoy access to a lot more traffic and new audiences.

How to create quality content to improve content marketing effectiveness

Now that we’ve covered what high-quality content is and why it’s important, let’s dive into how to actually create quality content for yourself.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when developing quality content:

1. Understand your target audience’s search intent.

Most, if not all, of the digital marketing content we create is for the web, which means that it needs to be optimized before it is published. But before you even start writing, you need to make sure that you understand your audience’s search intent so that your topic, content, and CTA are in alignment.

For example, someone who is just started to search for information about their pain point is going to type different things into their Google search than someone who is ready to buy. And if you serve the person at the beginning of their journey content focused on making a purchasing decision, you’re going to lose them.

Understanding the audience’s search intent when they type in certain SEO keywords will help you better produce a piece of content that’s likely to appeal to them. Keep this in mind when going through the optimization process.

Good to Know: Create content using templates in GatherContent and have a separate section for SEO to make sure everyone is aligned and every piece of content uses SEO.
four types of search intent
There are four general categories of search intent: navigational, educational, commercial, transactional. (Source)

2. Use proper formatting based on the type of content.

Readability is a very important part of high-quality content. Because if no one can read the content you’re producing then there’s no way it will meet its marketing goals. To ensure readability, make sure you’re using proper formatting for the channel you post your content on.

For example, while a blog post can certainly be 1,500+ words, a social media post will be much shorter. If you’re typing a novel in your social media post, it will be difficult to read based on the medium. Make sure you’re using best practices to format your content for readability.

3. Do thorough research and fact check.

If you want to build trust, then you need to earn it by using thorough research and data to support your ideas. Make sure that any statistics you are using are up-to-date (within the last 3-5 years, depending on the topic). And only source from authors and organizations that are reputable and unbiased.

In addition to using adequate research, you’ll also want to make sure that you fact-check everything before you publish. If you’re not citing original research by your organization or another, then you need to locate the original source to ensure it’s accurate.

4. Create original content from a unique perspective.

There are no new ideas. We are constantly recycling information and ideas. However, adding your own perspective to the topic can make it more interesting and worthwhile.

When you’re writing a piece of content on a topic, consider what you can add to the conversation. It might be a new example or personal experience you’ve had that people are able to relate to. Or it can even be adding humor to an article about a topic that’s typically dry.

5. Review and edit before you publish.

It’s probably not shocking to learn that you should review and edit your content before it's published. If you can, get someone else to review and edit your content to ensure that it makes sense, everything is accurate, and there are no grammar or spelling issues.

Good to Know: In GatherContent you can use shareable links so that you can collaborate with anyone on a piece of content at any stage of the process.

If you can’t get someone else to edit your content, make sure that you give yourself a day in between writing and editing it. That way, you can look at it with fresh eyes and notice things you wouldn’t have before.  

Try reading it out loud to see where there is any awkward phrasing.

How to measure the impact of creating quality content

Now that you understand some of the biggest benefits of quality content, let's talk about how to measure its success. There's no need for an intuitive approach with so much data available:

Creating quality content for traffic

A major indicator of great content is increased website traffic. Sometimes you'll see this in spikes (after something goes viral, for instance), but most of the time, it's steady and gradual growth.

Traffic itself is an important metric, but not all traffic is the right traffic for a business. Great content is tailored to a specific audience type. For example, writing an introductory marketing article to an audience of CMOs and director-level marketers would be inappropriate and ultimately hurt a brand.

However, each piece of quality content you create gives people another opportunity to find you. Some traffic will come from search engines, and others will hear about you from someone in their social networks.

Creating quality content for conversions

Quality content attracts visitors to your website. It's tempting to engage, share, and maybe even bookmark. When it really does its job, it intrigues the audience to come back. Whether it's the number of people leaving comments on your blog posts, downloading other content, or joining your email list, quality content motivates visitors to identify themselves as leads. Which leaves you in a great position to nurture those leads to become buyers.

Creating quality content for sales

From a content marketing perspective, this is the end goal of quality content. Great content helps you all the way through the sales funnel. Great content educates buyers, creates a customer journey lifecycle, and ultimately converts web traffic into customers.

sales funnel
Quality content differs for each stage of the sales funnel as people need different things along their journey.

It attracts more eyeballs to your website, but it also assures these visitors that you're credible and provides valuable solutions.

Creating quality content for SEO ranking

Search engines reward quality content to give their users the best experience. This translates into higher SEO rankings for major keywords relevant to your business.

It takes time for your efforts to pay off, but look for a gradual upward trend. Once you can make it onto the first page (or even the top few spots), you'll see a flood of organic traffic. It's important to wrap SEO into your content creation process.

Creating quality content for site engagement

Quality content doesn't just motivate more people to visit your website; it changes their behavior dramatically.

As visitors engage with one piece of great content after another, expect your average page views and time spent on your website to increase. Bounce rates will taper off. Plenty of first-time visitors will find themselves back on your website again because they've bookmarked it or joined your email list.

A priceless investment

In a world where most businesses are using content marketing, quality makes all the difference. Now that you know what it can do for you and how to measure the impact, it's time to get busy creating your own good content and deciding on the tools and processes you need to measure the performance of that content.

Tools such as GatherContent help enable teams to produce the highest quality content because it frees your team from the chaos around content creation and allows them to focus on the content itself. When the content creation and collaboration process is easy and seamless, your

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levi

About the author

Levi Olmstead

Levi Olmstead is the owner of LeviOlmstead.com - a content marketing service helping brands with content strategy, content production, link building, and conversion. Levi is an Indiana-native and IU alum who in his spare time enjoys solving paranormal mysteries with his dog Frodo.

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