Quality content is worth its weight in ROI. It’s why 55% of content marketers focus on improving their content quality to boost the success of their overall marketing strategies.
However, it takes more than good grammar and writing prowess to create quality content. At the very least, you must consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices, do exhaustive audience research, and match your brand’s voice.
High-quality content should engage your readers, solve their problems at hand, and subtly encourage them to purchase your products or services. While there are different metrics for measuring the quality of your content, your audience should be the bottom line.
Your content should solve your users’ pain points in an engaging way. It should be informative and entertaining, evoking both aha and oomph moments. After reading your content, your audience should be pleased enough to reward you with a purchase, sign-up, download, like, or share — whatever your desired outcome is.
Creating quality content is easier said than done, but it's very doable. And more effectively so if you reference these top 10 tips for better content writing.
Whether you create B2B or B2C content, these 10 tips will make your content tick.
#1: Define Your Target Audience
“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”
Remember this Meredith Hill quote every time you create content. Even if you write stunning content, it’s not beneficial if you fail to reach your ideal audience. The solution is to define your ideal audience through audience research before you start creating content.
You first want to analyze your existing customer base and create buyer personas, then create content for each buyer persona you develop. To define the characteristics of your target persona, ask yourself:
- What are their main pain points?
- Which keywords do they use to search for my products and services? (This calls for keyword research).
- Which of my products or services address their pain points?
- What do they most want to know about my business?
- Which digital platforms do they most often use?
Suppose you sell cosmetics and create two buyer personas — Stylish John and Sassy Jane. You would customize content for each profile. In that case, examples of high-quality content would have headlines such as:
- Best Acne Remover Cream for the Modern Man
- Best Free-Shipping Eyebrow Pencils for the Sassy Divas
You should aim to have detail-packed buyer personas documenting the characteristics of your target customers at length. This way, you’ll get more inspiration to create customized content that reaches and speaks to specific target audiences.
#2: Fine-Tune Your Content Tone to Appeal to Your Readers
The tone of voice conveys your brand’s personality. Content without personality may sound robotic and turn off your audience. Similarly, content with the wrong tone of voice will increase bounce rates. So, how do you set the right tone of voice for your content?
Refer to your target audience research.
Say you’re creating content for a B2C business whose target audience is Gen Z. You wouldn’t use an overly formal tone because most Gen Z prefers a humorous conversational tone. Conversely, a formal and assertive tone would be ideal if you’re writing content for a B2B business whose target audience is C-Suite managers.
An Semrush report indicates that 65% of customers feel emotionally connected to brands that make them feel cared for. Curating your tone of voice to fit your buyer personas helps you connect with different readers on a more personal level.
While you may vary your tone of voice to fit particular content pieces, keep the brand voice consistent across all content. Your brand voice communicates what your brand stands for, so it should be clear in each type of content you create.
#3: Write Original Content
Originality is one of the hallmarks of good quality content. Creating original content takes lots of research, and sometimes you may need to conduct novel research. Admittedly, there will always be a point where you’ll have to express the same ideas multiple times in different words.
For instance, when writing about a new product update or service offering, you may have to repeat the same keywords and ideas in your marketing pieces. And this is acceptable. It’s when writing feature or thought-leadership content that originality truly counts.
Here’s how you can create original never before published content.
Interview Subject-Matter Experts
Talk with topical experts working on avant-garde ideas. Interviews with topical specialists give you new ideas or trends you may not read about elsewhere. Also, most subject-matter experts are glad to be featured in authoritative pieces because it boosts their industry credibility.
Research Broadly or Conduct a Novel Study
Sometimes the existing research (though original) is often overused, especially when you have hundreds of competitors referring to the same stats. To gather new information, you may expand on your existing research or start a novel study altogether. You’ll get fresh content ideas from collecting new data.
Analyze Fresh Consumer Data to Derive Unique Insights
Analyzing your most recent Voice of the Customer (VoC) data can yield unique content ideas. Comments, reviews, and suggestions from the end-users of a product or service are rich sources of new content ideas. You only need to put in the time to analyze and flesh out your novel VoC data regularly.
#4: Consider SEO Best Practices to Create Quality Content
SEO writing is the difference between low-quality content and content that sits at the top of search rankings. Without appropriate SEO, even your top-notch content will not feature on the top Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Many of your potential customers can find you through organic search when you apply SEO to your content.
When writing content, make these SEO best practices a routine:
Perform In-Depth Keyword Research
You should conduct keyword research before creating any piece of content. Keyword research reveals the search terms and phrases your ideal customers type into search engines when searching for the services and products you offer.
Completing keyword research gives you a data-informed list of the most relevant short-tail, mid-tail, and long-tail keywords. You’ll then center your content around these keywords, ensuring they feature on your meta description, title tags, and header tags. As a result, your content will appear on the top SERPs when people search Google for the keywords you’ve optimized.
Structure Your Content to Improve Readability
Overall, your content should be well-structured to make it scannable. Here’s how you can boost your content’s readability :
- Use headings, subheadings, whitespaces, and bold texts generously but strategically
- Avoid blocks of text and opt for short paragraphs, infographics, and relevant images
- Use transition words and phrases to interlink sentences and paragraphs
- Have a good balance of internal and external links
Write for People, Not for Search Engines
The rule of thumb in SEO writing is to write for your target audience and not search engines. If your readers love your content, search engine algorithms will follow suit. Avoid black hat SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing, article spinning, outbound link spamming, and content automation.
Consider the user intent and experience. Create pieces of content that answer your reader's questions and establish yourself as an authority in your space.
Conclude Your Content with Relevant and Compelling Call to Actions
A good CTA (call to action) increases your conversion rate by encouraging your readers to take the next step after reading your content. Ideally, your CTA should lead your audience towards actions with a profitable outcome for both them and your business.
#5: Use Persuasive Headlines to Entice Readers
Appealing headlines make for great first impressions. Bland headlines repel readers at first sight. If you don’t craft eye-catching headlines, your clickthrough rate will be dismal as most readers will scroll past your content.
A great headline should be practical, urgent, unique, and clever. Quality content examples with urgent headlines may read:
- Avoid These 10 Financial Sins Before You Go Broke
- Do These 10 Altruistic Acts Before Memorial Day
Practical headlines are instructional and tell your audience how to do things. Examples:
- How To Write Great Content for B2B Companies
- 10 Tips to Get Your Financial House in Order
Witty headlines have a healthy dose of humor and unique wordplay. Examples:
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Reality of Ex-U.S. Presidents
- She Thought He Was a Keeper — Then 10 Baby Mamas Came Forth
Take your time to test out different action words for your headlines before settling on the most compelling ones. Overall, a great headline should encourage your readers to click through and read the rest of your content. When crafting your headlines, avoid the following common pitfalls:
- Writing clickbait headlines: They increase your bounce rate and reduce your credibility.
- Writing lengthy headlines: The ideal headline length, according to BuzzSumo, is 11 words and 65 characters.
- Using jargon and complex phrases: Keep your headlines easy-to-digest, clear, and concise.
#6: Be Direct With Your Opening Paragraphs
Your content’s first 100 to 200 words should suck readers in so charmingly that they keep scrolling down. If your intro is a miss, you can bet readers will immediately click out. If you’re writing about a sticky topic, you have to hook readers with a riveting intro so they know they’re in for a good read.
Some of the techniques you can use to craft an absorbing intro include:
- Opening with an irresistible quote or anecdote
- Posing a hypothetical question or situation
- Starting with a cliffhanger
- Using a relevant stat
While intros may vary depending on the type of content you’re creating, the rule of thumb is to write relevant intros that augment your content.
#7: Write Sweet and Concise Meta Titles and Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions boost your SERP real estate substantially. Title tags are the headlines on the SERPs that users see as your page title when they search your content on Google. The text right below the page title is the meta description.
Your meta title and description should be brief and captivating to give users a reason to read your post. You want to include a primary keyword in the title tag and a supporting keyword in the meta description. As a general rule, your title tag should be about 60 characters, and your meta description should be no longer than 160 characters.
#8: Link Out to Credible Sources
Quality backlinks add link juice to your website and boost the authority and credibility of your content. With the millions of sources available, you must verify each source to qualify its quality and authenticity. One effective way to verify source credibility is using the CRAAP test.
To verify a source, check if the information is:
- Up to date
- Relevant to your content
- From a reputable publisher (avoid personal blogs unless the owner is a well-known industry expert)
- Backed up by solid evidence, or has been peer-reviewed or referred
Also, check out the domain score of your link sources using website authority checker tools like ahref or Moz.
#9: Limit Passive Voice and Hyperbole
To write crisp content, limit your use of passive voice. Recurrent use of passive voice can make your content feel clunky and cringe. Always strive to use the active voice to keep your content clear and precise. For instance:
Instead of writing: Good quality content is created by Compose.ly writers (Passive)
Say: Compose.ly writers create good quality content (Active)
What about Hyperbole?
Hyperbole is overstating claims to make something appear better than it is. You may be more prone to using hyperbole when writing marketing content. Here’s an example.
- Hyperbolic statement: Quality content yields a 100% conversion rate.
- Factual statement: Quality content boosts conversion rate by X% (with source link).
#10: Leverage Top Writing Apps to Write and Edit Your Content
Fortunately, several writing apps make writing and editing your content smoother. Top writing apps that help you organize your content better include Scrivener, Final Draft, and Storyist. Top content editing apps include Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Hemingway Editor.
These editing apps help you spot and correct grammar errors you may ordinarily miss on your own. They come in handy, mainly when writing long-form content.
Pro tip: When possible, it’s always better to have a peer review your content and suggest appropriate adjustments.
Create Quality Content and Fly Sky High
These ten content writing tips will help you create high-quality content for your business or clients. You’ll find this guide helpful whether you create web pages, how-to posts, product pages, feature articles, or product reviews.
If you wish to create high-quality content and get paid well for it, browse our content writing services and see if you're a good fit for the Compose.ly team.