Treasure chest containing glowing crystals

UPDATED JANUARY 7, 2024

Your blog should be a treasure trove of valuable content. The kind of content that will attract your target audience to your website and set them on the road to becoming paying customers.

But if the content you’ve created so far hasn’t had the response, or made the difference, you were hoping for, you may be able to improve it and create better content going forward.

And that’s what this post is about.

But first, an overview of the objectives.

The objectives of blog content

When you’re creating blog content, keeping these objectives in mind will help you stay on the right track.

To attract

One of the main things your blog should do is attract your target audience. You can do this by creating the content they’re searching for and search-engine-optimising it so it shows up on Google.

To engage, inform and inspire

Once you’ve attracted your target audience, you need to keep them on your site. You do this with engaging content that gives them the information or inspiration they’re looking for.

To show expertise

You’re the expert, and your blog is where you demonstrate that. With articles that show you know your stuff and helps to build your target audience’s confidence in you.

To build trust

People buy from brands and businesses they know, like and trust.

Your blog is a great place for your target audience to get to know you, get to like you and start to trust you. So everything you write should be geared to becoming known, liked — and, most of all, trusted.

You’ll notice I haven’t included ‘To sell’.

That’s not because a blog can’t sell or convert prospects into customers.

But selling isn’t one of the direct objectives. Instead, it’s more of a by-product. Something that will happen as a result of all of the other objectives your blog satisfies.

People who are just looking for information won’t appreciate being sold to. So unless you’re writing a sales post, selling is best avoided here.

What is Google looking for?

First, let’s be clear about something: your content should be created for your audience and not for Google.

And this is actually what Google is looking for, too. Its algorithms rate high-value content that satisfies its human audience by answering their questions and providing them with the information they’re searching for.

As a guide, Google favours content that:

  • Is original, with no duplication
  • Contains original information, reporting and research
  • Is substantial, comprehensive and complete
  • Provides valuable insight
  • Offers better value than the other pages in the search results
  • Serves its human audience and is not just written for search engines
  • Satisfies its Quality Rater Guidelines with Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness*.

*You can read more about this in my article: Practical ways to demonstrate E-E-A-T

How to create the most valuable content

These 20 pro tips will help you upgrade your content game and create content that’s more valuable for your audience, your brand and for ranking well on Google.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

1. Create the content your audience wants to see

If you want your target audience to come to you, this is the best place to start. By creating the kind of content that will attract them to your site and search-engine-optimising it so they can find it.

To do this effectively, you need to think about the searches they’re doing online.

For example:

  • What questions are they asking?
  • What problems/challenges are they having?
  • What do they need help with?
  • What advice are they searching for?
  • What how-tos are they looking up?

If they’re searching for it, that means they want to read it.

2. Create different kinds of content

Your blog should have a range of content that appeals to different kinds of readers. From those who are only just realising they have a need, want or problem to those who’ve done their research and are primed and ready to buy.

For example, your content might include:

  • Answers to their questions
  • Information and statistics
  • Hacks, tips and advice
  • Inspiration and ideas
  • Checklists and templates
  • How-to guides and instructions
  • Solutions to their problems.

3. Remember the SEO

The SEO, or Search-Engine-Optimisation, is vital. This is what will get your content ranking on Google, where your target audience will find it.

Illustration of three rockets powering into space
Image by metalandrew from Pixabay

To get the SEO right, you need to pay attention to what your customers are searching for and use the same phrasing and language they’re using.

For example:

  • “How many people own a smartphone?”
  • “Examples of grey living rooms”
  • “Wedding hair ideas”
  • “How to change a ukulele string”
  • “Website SEO checklist”

4. Use the best media for the job

When you’re considering the content your audience wants to see, you should also think about the media that best suits that content and will provide the most value.

For example:

  • Style guides: photographs + text
  • Travel posts: photographs/video + text
  • Technical instructions: illustrations + text
  • Product demonstrations: video + text transcript/option to read
  • Case studies: video interview + photographs + text
  • Interviews: audio/video + text transcript.

You’ll notice I’ve included text with all of the above and this is because Google will predominantly use words to rank your content.

5. Do your own research

Google rates original research, so why not conduct your own?

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Ask your community

If you have access to a customer database or an online community, you could run your own research survey and publish the results.

Research like this could help you:

  • Test a hypothesis or widely held belief
  • Gain some better insight into your target market
  • Show patterns in preferences and behaviours
  • Gather perspectives and opinions on industry topics.

When you have the results, you can add your own analysis.

Ask the experts

If you have access to experts in your field, you could ask a small number to take part in a more in-depth interview.

For example, they could give their expert opinion on current industry issues, or use their knowledge and insight to predict future developments.

Test a product

If you’re selling products, you could put one to the test in the name of research.

For example, you could conduct a test, comparison test or series of challenges to research, document and demonstrate its:

  • Performance
  • Efficiency
  • Versatility
  • Cost/energy savings
  • Time savings.

You could write up your findings as a blog, including images, or make a video.

If you’re making a video, remember to include a transcript. This will help Google understand what your content is about and will also help potential customers who

6. Use your own experience

Google rates original content and articles that show first-hand experience. So including your own real-life experiences, or those of someone you know, will make your content both valuable and unique.

For example, you could:

  • Tell a true story
  • Publish a customer case study*
  • Give a behind the scenes look at your operation
  • Show how you’re dealing with a current challenge or issue
  • Talk about an an experience you’ve had within your industry.

*If you’re using a customer as a case study, make sure you get their permission first.

7. Use relevant examples

Giving relevant, evidence-based examples will help to illustrate and prove the points you’re making. Seeing examples often clarifies those points for your audience and improves their understanding.

8. Collate statistics and facts

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Image by Public Domain Pictures on Pixabay

Google rates valuable content, so it pays to add as much value as you can.

When researching a piece of content, use and cite multiple sources of information — not just the same ones everyone else is using.

Bringing together information and examples from lots of different sources will make your piece more comprehensive and credible.

Remember to vet your sources carefully to make sure they’re valid and the most current available. If you’re not sure how, you’ll find advice on this and more in my article: How to conduct online research like a pro

9. Create content that doesn’t exist yet

If there’s content that doesn’t exist yet, there’s a golden opportunity for you to create it. That content will be extremely valuable to those who need it and haven’t been able to find it anywhere else.

To find these opportunities, try looking at:

  • Content creators in your niche
  • Your audience’s questions and needs
  • Emerging and upcoming trends/tech.

Look for what everyone else seems to be missing or create a new trend of your own.

10. Be objective and impartial

A lot of businesses struggle with this one. Because being impartial means you sometimes have to point out the downsides of your own product — or say why a different solution might be more suitable.

And that seems counter-intuitive, because you should always be promoting your own stuff, right?

Well… not always.

Because your stuff won’t always be what’s best for everyone.

If you do end up selling, you’ll want to sell to your ideal customers, because they’re the best fit for what you’re offering. Selling to bad-fit customers could mean leaving those customers unhappy, which can lead to bad reviews.

Plus, promoting your own stuff will make it feel like a sales pitch, which isn’t the goal and can be off-putting to your audience.

The most valuable content gives the best and fairest advice for different situations. And this will also help to build trust in your brand.

11. Be consistent

Consistency is important for building trust. And having the trust of your target market is something that’s valuable to your brand.

What do I mean by ‘consistent’?

Show up consistently

Be present and dependable. Post new blog and social media content regularly. Talk about current issues that are relevant to your industry and don’t be afraid to have an opinion.

Have a consistent message

Your brand message should always be the same, with no deviation or contradiction.

Use a consistent tone of voice

Your brand should always sound the same, with the same personality and tone of voice in every piece of content you put out there.

12. Make your content accessible

To give the most value, your content should be accessible to everyone who needs it.

For example, you should use:

  • Plain language your audience will understand
  • A light background with dark text, for easy reading
  • A clear, legible font at a reasonable size
  • Short paragraphs and lots of white space
  • Relevant and meaningful headings
  • Subtitles and transcripts on video/audio content
  • Meaningful alt tag descriptions on your images
  • Descriptive text links for linking to other content.

13. Support your content with credible information

Content is instantly more valuable when it includes credible information from official and trustworthy sources.

For example, you could use research findings from:

  • Respected media publications
  • Universities and other institutions
  • Large companies and corporates
  • Professional bodies and organisations.

Wherever possible, link to the original source. Google will also see your content as more valuable if you include high-quality external links.

14. Ensure your article length is proportionate

There’s lots of advice out there on the optimum length for a blog article. The general consensus seems to be that articles of between 1500 to 2500 words have the most success.

But, before you go stuffing your articles with extra content, you need to understand how it really works, because it’s not quite that simple.

The length of any post should be proportionate with the subject.

If a post is too short to cover the subject matter in sufficient detail, Google will think it’s not valuable enough. Likewise if the post is too long — in this case, Google might reasonably expect that it’s low on substance and full of waffle.

For example a 500-word article entitled ‘The complete history of the steam locomotive’ wouldn’t be long enough, but a 500-word article on how Apple’s Siri works might be.

In my experience, shorter posts can still have value — especially if they answer the questions clearly, specifically and with enough detail.

15. Go compare!

When you’ve written your content, it’s a good time to check out the competition.

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Image by Tumisu at Pixabay

Do a Google search to see what other articles have been published on the same topics and look at the articles on the first page. These are the articles you’ll be competing with.

  • How do they compare to yours?
  • Does your article have more or less information?
  • Is your article as comprehensive and detailed?
  • Does your article make the same conclusions?

Based on what you’ve seen, can you:

  • Improve your own article, while maintaining your originality?
  • Add something new to the conversation?
  • Introduce a fresh perspective or different way of thinking?
  • See a different angle that hasn’t been covered yet?

16. Be smart with your formatting

Reading on a screen isn’t always easy. For example, if your content is a huge wall of text with no breaks in it, you could be discouraging your visitors from reading it.

One improvement you can make is to break up your content into sections and introduce each section with a relevant heading.

Break each section into shorter paragraphs that are easier to read and digest. In my experience, paragraphs comprising 1-4 lines of text read well on a screen. And varying the lengths of your paragraphs will make them more visually appealing.

You should break your paragraphs down into sentences — and vary the length of these, too — from a minimum of one word to a maximum of 23. An easy way to check if a sentence is too long is to read it aloud. If you need to draw a breath before the end, you should probably find a way to break it up.

Split long lists into bullet points, which are also easier to read.

Taking these steps makes your content less daunting and enables your visitors to skim read and find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.

The headings also help Google, by outlining the content of your post.

You can read more about formatting in these articles:

Writing for the web? Here’s how to format your copy and content so it gets read >>

How to use the heading hierarchy correctly on your website and blog >>

How to break up long content >>

17. Check the quality

Google rewards quality content, so before you publish, make sure you:

  • Proofread, edit and spellcheck your work
  • Verify your links are working and your sources are correct
  • Check the hierarchy of your headings*
  • Add your images, categories, tags, excerpts and meta tags
  • Include alt text for your images to describe what they show in words
  • Preview your post to make sure it’s displaying correctly.

18. Link to other relevant content

The most valuable content is helpful to your audience. It anticipates what they’ll want to do next and points them in the right direction.

Signpost-showing-one-way-or-another
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

For example, will they want to:

  • Learn more about the subject?
  • Find the answer to a new question?
  • Watch another tutorial?
  • Read a complementary article?
  • Learn about your product or service?

In your calls to action (CTAs), you can link to other relevant content you’ve created. This should be content that may be of interest to them and will help them on their journey.

19. Repurpose your content

Different people prefer to consume different kinds of content. For example, some will like reading, some will like listening and some will like video or visuals.

You can get the most value out of your content by repurposing it in different ways for different audiences.

For example:

  • Turn your blog post into a video or SlideShare
  • Discuss your blog topic in a podcast
  • Post stats or nuggets from your blog post on social media.

20. Keep it fresh

Once the content is published on your site, you need to keep it fresh with updates and improvements as necessary.

There are basically three types of blog content:

  • Evergreen content that’s always fresh and never dates
  • Updatable content that needs periodically updating
  • Short shelf-life content that can’t be updated.

You should aim to have a mixture of all three.

Evergreen content

Evergreen content doesn’t contain statistics or changeable information, so it should stay fresh for a long time. But, as you grow, it pays to check on it every once in a while to make sure it still represents your best work.

Updatable content

The themes of updatable content can stay relevant for some time, but the statistics and information will date. So, periodically, you’ll need to return to these posts to refresh them with the most current data and republish them. If there are changes, make sure you update your commentary on them too.

Short shelf-life content

Some content has a much shorter shelf-life. It might talk about passing trends or make specific predictions about what might happen within a given period of time.

Having content like this is a good thing because it shows you’re forward thinking and have your finger on the pulse. But the nature of this content means you’ll probably be left deleting it rather than updating or repurposing.

Repurposing older content

If old content can’t be refreshed, you may be able to repurpose it instead. For example, you could take parts from older blogs to use in new ones. Or use the content you originally created to inspire something new and more current.

Do you need high-quality blog content?

Allow me to introduce myself.

I’m Jenny Lucas, a freelance copywriter and content writer based in Leicester, UK.

Check out my blog for more articles on Content Creation, SEO and Working with me.

Looking for a content writer?

Look no further!

I’ve been writing and ranking SEO content for more than 15 years — and I’m pretty damn good at it!

My comprehensive content packages include everything you need to make a success of your blog. From rigorous research to a solid strategy and smart SEO.

Prefer to write the content yourself?

Maybe you like the writing side, but need some help with your strategy, research or SEO.

With my content packages, you can get all the support you need, with strategy, ideas and SEO.

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Photo by Matt Glover Photography

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