Quality content matters: to people, and to Google

by Elliott Fudge

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When it comes to getting your content seen, it’s easy to think quantity is key. After all, the surest rule of boosting traffic is to roll out keyword-filled articles that match what people are searching for – right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. Creating optimised content isn’t just about hitting the right keywords – it’s about authenticity, expertise and originality, too. Don’t believe us? Just ask Google.


Quality v quantity: what’s the big deal?

Imagine a content marketer producing optimised copy for a business. There’s a steady stream of articles and thought leadership pieces coming through the website and hitting generic keywords. And to try and appeal to the widest possible audience, our marketer is producing responsive content that taps into a wide range of trending topics. But while there may be sporadic upticks in traffic, most of the content produced isn’t having the desired effect. What’s going wrong?

Once upon a time, producing a high volume of loosely tailored, keyword-filled articles might have been the best way to make a splash, but search engines have long since moved beyond ranking pages purely on their keyword volume.

In fact, take a look at Google’s automated ranking system guidance today and you’ll even see that the key to being ranked on the search engine’s results page is to provide “helpful, reliable information that’s primarily created to benefit people, not to gain search engine rankings.”

Instead, Google’s advice is to prioritise “people-first content” and not “search engine-first content”. That means less content designed purely for search engine visits and more content providing new information, offering insightful analysis and demonstrating first-hand expertise and knowledge.  Bad news for our volume-focused marketer.


E-E-A-T your way to success

But how does Google identify people-first content? Google’s guidelines say that after identifying relevant content, it ranks pages based on how helpful they seem. To do this, it analyses which pages show the most signs of E-E-A-T – experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. In other words, the key to getting fresh eyes on your content to is produce confident, authoritative and authentic copy.

The good news? This definition of quality can do more than get you ranked on Google too. Get your tone of voice right and you can establish trust between you and your customers – something seven out of 10 people consider before making any purchase. For example, by ditching tried-and-tested travel clichés, travel companies can offer far more immersive and authentic experiences that readers really believe. And by taking the time to weave empathetic communications into customer letters and emails, broaching tricky topics can be all the easier. Whatever the sector, whatever the circumstance, it’s clear original and insightful copy is key.


Conveying value through quality writing

As copywriting strategists and experts, we know just how important original copy can be. Matching our cutting-edge SEO expertise with our specialist sectoral writers, we relaunched our website in 2019 to showcase our subject-matter expertise and reflect our growing global scope. And to make sure we were getting the most visibility, we aligned our website with the E-E-A-T model at every step.

As part of the relaunch, we focused our efforts in four areas:

1. Insights

From showcasing the value of your expertise in a professional industry to providing tips on how to tackle a first-time ESG report, our insights page is where we spotlight our team’s experience and authority at tackling a range of different business pain points. By grouping our insights on a sector-by-sector basis, we make it easy for our clients to find insights relevant to them. And by speaking with authority and confidence, we give them the assurance that we’re the right agency for the job.

2. Hubs

Our clients often need us to act as an extension of their team. No matter how niche and technical the subject-matter is, we wanted our clients to know that we can seamlessly plug-in to their team and scale up or down as they needed. That’s why we organised our top-level sector pages, like Technology and Financial Services, into hubs. These hubs break down into granular ‘sub-pages’ where we can better demonstrate our breadth of expertise and authority, helping us rank better on search engines.

3. Structure

We changed the structure of the site so that finding the right pages, services and sectors is easier than ever. With a clear structure and authoritative copy, clients can trust us as experts in a wide range of fields

4. Launching internationally

With a growing list of clients around the world, we launched US and German websites to create a more localised identity in those markets. With tailored SEO ensuring we always speak to our clients’ pain points, we can speak with confidence about our expertise and the value of a specialist content partner.


Growing with confidence

Showing, rather than telling, is a golden rule when it comes to copywriting. And by showcasing the value of quality writing to clients all over the world, we’ve been helping them ignite growth and inspire change – wherever they are and whatever their sector. Since the relaunch, we’ve doubled in size and have forged long-term relationships with leading businesses in different sectors.

When it comes to getting your SEO right, communicating with authority and expertise doesn’t need to be a pain point. Register now to hear from our Head of Digital & SEM, Laura Coles, at our next webinar on 9 May at 9.30am GMT: ‘Winning trust with words: How to build credibility with strategic SEO’.

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