Truth bomb: One thoroughly written and well-thought-out piece of website content published once a month is better than one haphazardly written piece of content published once a week.
In the past, we’ve talked extensively about the importance of never creating content just for the sake of creating it (most recently here). That’s because the days of simply generating content to rise in rank are over. Way over.
If Your Website Content Doesn’t Connect, They’ll Bounce
Website content can either completely derail or boost your audience’s experience on your site. If your content fails to meet your audience where they are to immediately connect, they’ll bounce. Why?
Personalization and connection aren’t things you can achieve with a quick, half-hearted blog post each week. The content you create should add value to each reader’s life. It should solve problems, answer questions and build trust.
We must change our mindset: No longer will we post just to keep up with our content calendar or to hopefully gain some traction in search. Instead, we’ll create helpful, inspiring and engaging content that fills a need on behalf of those that matter most: our potential customers.
CCS: A Case Study in Quality Over Quantity
Here at CCS, we’ve always prioritized writing quality content that connects. So, at the start of 2021, we decided to cut our blog publishing schedule in half. We hoped this change would enable us to spend more time writing more in-depth blog content for our audience.
We moved to a bi-weekly posting schedule. This gave our team more time to dedicate to performing more audience research, brainstorming ideas, outlining content pieces, and creating copy. Our goal? To ensure each piece was delivering value.
As a result of these efforts, our website traffic increased by 92.61% in the first year after this change. 92.61 percent! Coincidence? We think not.
How to Prioritize Quality in Your Website Content
We know what you’re thinking. All you have to do is stop posting so often, right? While this one step may get you closer to prioritizing quality over quantity, it’s far from all you need to do.
To help you prioritize quality, let’s put a definition to what quality content is. In its most basic form, quality content:
- Solves a specific problem or fulfills a specific need on behalf of your audience
- Is easy to read and consume
- Is “findable” by your target audience in search
This means there are three critical steps you must follow to start creating quality website content:
- Get to know your audience
- Prioritize simplicity and readability
- Optimize your content for search
1. Get to Know Your Audience
We’ve said it a million times before and we’ll say it again: Your website isn’t for you, it’s for your audience. So the only way to create website content that connects is to understand who your audience is. This means diving into their wants, needs, fears and pain points.
Understanding your audience will help you clearly see what problems your content can solve or needs your content can fulfill on their behalf.
The best way to get to know your audience? Create an ideal customer avatar or persona. An avatar is a detailed description of your ideal customer that includes their demographics, goals, challenges and so much more.
With a detailed understanding of your customer, you can truly write content that delivers value, instead of content that’s easy for them to ignore.
2. Prioritize Simplicity & Readability
Have you ever looked for a recipe online only to be met with a blog post detailing the history of each ingredient, why those ingredients were picked, yada yada yada? All you wanted was the recipe so you can get dinner on the table for your family!
How much “yada yada” does your audience need to go through to find the solution they’re looking for? If it’s too much, they’ll go elsewhere. The website content you create should be straightforward and easy to read for the best experience.
This means you must:
- Eliminate jargon: Jargon or industry-specific terminology should be avoided. Keep it simple—for customers that are not familiar with your industry, jargon can be difficult to understand. And a lack of understanding results in disconnection.
- Use your whitespace: Keep your sentences short, no more than 20 words. Your paragraphs should be no more than three-to-four sentences each. You can also add visual elements such as images and call-outs to break up your text.
- Stick to a single main topic per piece: Don’t try to cover multiple topics in every piece of content you create. Instead, niche. The goal is to help your audience, not confuse them with additional information they don’t need.
3. Optimize Your Content for Search
We know we said earlier that you should never create copy for the sake of improving your rank in search. That’s true, which is why we saved the optimization step for last.
Your focus should be on serving your audience first. Once you do that, you’ll want to make sure your audience can find your content online. This is where simple optimization comes in. Luckily, according to Google, you’re already most of the way there by prioritizing quality and ensuring your content is easy to read.
To optimize for search, you’ll need to add in keywords that pertain to your content that your audience may use when searching. Include these keywords in your title, headers, meta descriptions and body text. You’ll also want to link to other content on your website and external resources throughout your copy.