Creating quality page content

Once you've researched and decided upon your main keyword for a page, you'll want to build content to support it. If you find, in the process of creation, that your content is drifting away from your keyword, consider either reworking the content or tweaking your keyword choice. At the end of the day, the two must match or you will send the search engine confusing signals and suffer lower search engine ranking for the error. Below are steps to help insure that your content is strong enough to be picked up on by major search engines.

What makes quality content?

Simply put, content is the visible pictures and the text on a website's pages. The important question is what is QUALITY content?

Quality content is more than just words and images — it is crafted words and well-chosen images that, together, work toward creating a website, each page of which communicates a single, complete, thoughtfully-chosen message that is supported by a group of similarly created pages that explain any aspects of that message that a user might find useful.

Quality content is unique

Due to changes in major search engines' algorithms, any content that has appeared elsewhere on the Internet is correctly considered unoriginal and — again, correctly — suffers for it in search engine rankings. This can be seen as an obstacle but should be seen as an opportunity to provide fresh, genuinely valuable content to your users.

Quality content is sticky

Optimally, since search engines track user time on a page, number of pages visited and time on your website, in addition to conveying a complete message, each page's quality content should be somehow "sticky." It should grab a user's attention and inform them. It should engage their imagination so they read and/or interact as long as possible and click to its supporting pages. It should impact them so they are tempted to share the page via social media, blogs and forums and return to your website.

Quality content is natural

Quality content is NOT spamming a keyword over and over throughout the page's text. Text must read naturally and be genuinely informative. Even if spamming a keyword may result in an immediate bump, it will not sustain ranking because it will not please or inform users, therefore they will not stay on the page, move to other pages on your website, return to your page/website, or share your content on social media, blogs and forums.

Quality content types and templates

There are a number of content types and page structures that have proven effective since high-speed Internet has become the norm. Infographics, HTML5 motion graphics, interviews, DIYs and how-tos, video, series, and slideshows should be considered when appropriate. Kathryn Aragon and Neil Patel illustrate "12 structures," effective strategies for creating quality content in their article, The Advanced Marketing Guide: Templates for Quick and Easy Content Creation.

The tone of quality content

There must be a consistent tone throughout a page, a clear stance. The user must know that you are an authority of some degree on whatever subject you're covering. Otherwise, why would you expect them to remain on your page? If possible, you should impart the emotion you yourself feel about the subject — it will show through when the user reads it.

Ease of use

In addition to being completely informative and interesting, a page must be easy to use. At the very least, it should be laid out cleanly with ample space around images and consistency of font and color. The same rules that apply to decorating your living room should apply to creating your page's content. You wouldn't spash the walls with garish colors or a spinning signs. nor yell your message at guests you have over. Similarly, try to allow your message to speak for itself. Images and other visual elements should evoke thought and conversation instead of loudly demand a visitor's attention.

A word on page titles

Clarification: we're talking about the title that appears on-page like a newspaper headline, often at least somewhat different from the HTML title that appears at the top of the browser window.

One SEO guru suggested spending no less than two hours crafting the title of a page's content. Even he admitted that that's a lot of time for anyone who has a real job, but point taken. It is arguably the single most important element a of a page's content. There may be no standard time to spend on it but suffice to say that a LOT of thought should go into it because it must grab a reader's attention in the same way a newspaper headline must.

A word on word count

For a long time, there was a general rule of thumb that you should include no more than 200 words of relevant content on a page. Though there is truth to that statement — it would be difficult to convey a complete message in less than 200 words — the more important goal to strive for is to convey that complete message. Once you dedicate yourself to that task, the 200-word threshhold should come and go unnoticed.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to create quality page content, proceed to Organic optimization of pages.