Publications & Products
Volume 7, Issue 14

The Case for User-Friendly Web Content

Quality website content improves your site's search engine rankings but the argument for thoughtful web information goes far beyond that, writes one marketing expert.

In an article for the site Search Engine Land, Dave Davies admits that it can be challenging to define and quantify what makes "quality web content." Davies, founder of Beanstalk Internet Marketing, explores search engine optimization metrics and what they mean for content on your organization's site.

Important takeaways include these:

There is no set definition of quality content.
Sorry, Davies has no checklists. "Quality is defined by the simple principle of exceeding your [website] visitors' expectations on what they will find when they get to your web resource," writes Davies. "That's it."

Rankings are complicated.
Davies points readers to an in-depth look at what machine learning systems means for SEO. The bottom line? "Google is becoming better at weeding out pages that do not match user intent," he writes. Higher engagement, not pages stuffed with keywords, means higher rankings. Increased click-through rates indicate higher engagement. Improve your titles and descriptions and you'll improve your click-through rate, Davies advises.

He discusses an experiment conducted by Stone Temple Consulting that replaced "SEO copy" (keyword-heavy copy but information that was not particularly user-friendly) with text that was created with "an explicit goal of adding value to the test pages"—in other words, content written with the user, not SEO, in mind. Pages with the new text saw an increase of 68 percent in traffic, he writes. Meanwhile, pages with the old text "took a hit of 11 percent."

Put users first.
Davies sums it up this way: "Serve your users to the best of your ability. Produce high-quality content that addresses all their needs and questions... anything but back to Google to click on the next [search] result."

This article is from the Advancement Weekly, March 27, 2017 issue.

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