Whenever you ask an internet marketer about ranking your website better in search engines, you typically get the most ubiquitous answer ever: “Write high quality content”. As if writing “high quality content”, whatever that means, is something easy that comes naturally to every website and business owner in the world.

So, what exactly is high quality content?

High Quality Content Provides Value

For a start, high quality content provides value to website visitors. This means that the content needs to answer the visitors’ question(s). Now, obviously, we can view these questions as keywords and it’s not only people that want to find out the information they’re looking for as soon as possible, search engines treat website content the same way. It needs to be concise, straight to the point and provide value to the reader. So, for example, when someone types: “Best way to remove nail polish quickly” into Google’s search bar, they expect to get a clear, concise answer. Google’s sophisticated algorithms have evolved and are beginning to mimic human behavior in this regard.

High Quality Content is Optimized for Search Engines

Apart from providing value to the visitor, website content needs to be optimized for search engines. This means titles, subheadings and the body of the text itself need to be properly optimized for keywords that they’re targeting. Keyword density of about 1-2% is considered to be ideal (the days of keyword stuffing articles and outsmarting Google’s algorithms by spamming websites with keywords and spun content are long gone) and the keywords themselves are ideally placed in the title, subheadings or the first couple of paragraphs of the text. However, this should be taken with a pinch of salt. Writing content around keywords is good, but the content should be organic and not seem like it’s written for search engines – write it with your demographic in mind.

High Quality Content is Engaging

High quality content is also engaging. It captivates the readers’ attention and makes them stay on the page longer (so called bounce rate – the amount of time spent on a web page – is another important ranking factor). Bring life and color to your website, add images, infographics, videos – anything goes. Do not spam the website with ads or annoying pop ups. Many beginners make the mistake of adding social media and mailing list pop ups to their website, so instead of being informative and fun, they’re being pushy and making their website look like an “out to get your money” type of scheme and, at the same time, making themselves look like scammers and “gurus”. Avoid this at all costs. Keep it simple, keep it natural and try to engage the reader.

High Quality Content is a Combination of Expertise and Friendliness

It is also important to convey authority and expertise in your content. Clearly, this doesn’t mean you need to use industry-specific lingo and whatnot. Avoid sounding condescending and keep a friendly tone throughout the content. Engage the reader, present them some facts and assert yourself as an authority on the subject, but try to strike a balance between being friendly versus being an authoritative expert. Your approach can (and probably should) vary, depending on your target demographic, but it’s always good to keep things relatively light, simple and straight to the point.

High Quality Content Suits the Website Visitor

It is key to understand the reader and their intent. In the world of internet marketing user intent is typically divided into four separate groups: know, do, website and visit-in-person. Know – they’re looking for information. Do – these are action, often buyer keywords. Website – the reader is looking for a specific website. Visit-in-person – the reader wants to find out more about a specific business organization. Clearly, if you’re a small business owner you’d want to let them know about your business, products and services that you’re offering. Of course, combining informational content with information about your business is perhaps the best way to go, but in the beginning, it might be a good idea to not experiment too much. Find out what works best (which web pages are getting the most traffic or social media shares) and stick to that.