“Quality content.”

These words get thrown around an awful lot in the realm of content marketing. But what does it really mean?

You’ve been told that in order for your content to be truly amazing and defined as “high-quality,” it should be a specific length, a specific look, readable, enjoyable…blah…blah…blah. It’s got to be visually appealing and formatted thoughtfully. It should ooze with authority and trustworthiness.

But do any of these truly define quality?

Honestly, No. Actually BIG FAT NO. However, there are seven things that I think all quality content do have in common:

High Engagement Data

Walk in the park, or amusement park?

How much of the content that you create would you classify as magical and how much of it do you think is bland and ordinary?

The content that I consider to be “Quality Content”, has the highest user engagement — the more engaged your users are, the higher the ranking of the page in Google, the more people see it in social etc…

If content underperforms on one channel, it is likely to fail in another. Tweet this!

Quality content is like a great poker hand. They come once in awhile. You will have many hands before hand that suck, but when you do get that one great hand, you need to go all in.

And once you get your “great poker hand”, hold onto it. Repurpose it, republish it, and promote it. Analyze it and identify what made it perform so much better and try to replicate it.

Quality Content Achieves Its Marketing Goal

High rankings, engagement, or conversions? Or is your marketing goal to generate more traffic? Obviously, you have marketing goals for your content, and only quality content has the power to achieve it.

And at the end of the day, your best content isn’t the ones that you’ve spent the most hours slaving over. It may not be the one that you created custom infographics for with the help of a digital artist or the one that you did the most research on and cited industry experts. It might not even be the one that you are most proud of.

Quality Content Ranks Well in Google

There are a number of factors that go into how well content ranks on Google. First of all, Google’s algorithm looks at click-through rate and the higher the percentage, the better the content will rank compared to the competition. Google goes as far as assessing the number of people who leave your page by hitting the back button.

Backlinks and cross-linking also play a huge role in your Google ranking. However, Google isn’t just looking at the numbers of backlinks a site has but also looks to see if they are relevant and has authority by analyzing the text around the link.

Quality Content Has Impressive Click-Through Rates

The higher the CTR, the higher the Quality Score which improves your ad rank and reduces CPC. And while a remarkable CTR is crucial in all advertising platforms (Facebook, Adwords, YouTube etc…), it also important in other marketing channels such as organic social media, organic search, CRO, and email marketing.

A higher CTR also gets you big discounts. Which is great considering how much those clicks can really begin to add up.

Quality Content Triggers an Emotional Response

What makes content viral? When it comes to content marketing, the virus lies in the message. And what causes the audience to carry the virus and pass it on to others is how they feel about it emotionally.

The rate at which content is being produced is ridiculous. And chances are, your content is getting lost in all that noise. The “loudest” content excites, saddens, inspires, or even disgusts. When people feel strongly about something they’ve seen or read online, they naturally want to share it with their friends.

Quality Content Has High Conversion Rates

Quality content has the power to convert.

If you want to increase your CTR to get higher conversion rates dramatically, you should also be working on improving your brand awareness. The natural inclination to click on an ad is often based on pre-existing brand affinity. So work on building a strong social media presence to get your brand in as many people’s faces so that you can create a demand before people even start searching.

Quality Content Performs Well on Every Channel

Some of you reading this might disagree, but I believe repurposing your Quality Content across different channels, tweaking a bit to fit each, is critical if you want great content success.

Ultimately, quality content should do well across all channels — paid social media, organic social media, SEO, PPC, CRO, and even email.

If content underperforms on one channel, it is likely to fail in another. If content fails to rank well in organic search, don’t be surprised if it has low engagement on social media which obviously means dismal conversion rates.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be wasting your efforts on trying to transform a donkey into a unicorn. The average donkey will never magically turn into a unicorn and putting in the time to make it happen only takes you away from focusing on what will truly achieve your marketing goals.

Quality content is subjective and may mean something different for each person you ask. However, we know for sure what it is not. Quality content does not underperform. Quality content isn’t always the longest nor is it the most well-written. It is, however, useful, preferably credible, unique, and most of all, engaging.

Quality content does not underperform. It isn’t the longest or the most well-written. It is useful, valuable and engaging. Tweet this!

If it takes kissing a few frogs to find your prince, then it may take many donkeys before you find your unicorn. And once you find that winner poker hand, run with it, milk it and walk away with the most chips!

Happy quality content creating.

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