How to improve poor-quality content?
What is poor-quality content?
When trying to optimize websites for Google, people often vaguely mention that they want to eliminate any poor-quality content. However, it is sometimes unclear exactly what that means.
Poor-quality content is generally material that does not serve much purpose for the audience. This type of content is often produced quickly in an attempt to improve the rankings of a website, but rarely works.
Poor-quality content often meets one or more of the following criteria:
- It is “thin,” which means that it does not provide substantial information for users.
- It focuses more on keywords and trying to fool search engines than providing value for the users.
- It addresses topics that are of interest to the brand, and not on topics that prospective customers care about or want to learn.
- The material was largely, or completely, taken or spun from another website and does not offer unique insight.
Why does poor-quality content hurt my site?
Google does not look at a unique webpage when deciding how to rank a specific piece of content. Instead, it looks at the entire domain-- a concept known as domain authority. A site that is well constructed will have ample pages that provide users with valuable information. This type of domain will naturally provide a boost to each page that the webmaster posts.
In addition, a site that is filled with poor-quality content will have trouble ranking well for any future high-quality content it publishes. It will take a considerable amount of outstanding content to overcome the poor reputation caused by the low-quality content. Even if the site does achieve a few well-regarded pages, it is likely that the site will still not rank as highly as it might have without the poor-quality content.
Do I have to start over if my site is full of low-quality content?
If you have attempted to build a site with low-quality content in the past and now you are interested in revising your content and creating a reputable site, you will have work to do, but you will not have to completely start over.
Begin by doing a content audit. Make a list of your existing content and grade it on a scale of A through F based on the amount of value it provides your audience and how well the content has been optimized. The content that is exceptionally poor and warrants a D or F likely will not be salvageable. In most situations, these pieces will need to be discarded.
Take the rest of your content pieces and align them to your ideal customer personas and their unique buyer journeys. Consider what people will likely want to learn when accessing this type of content. Expand and elaborate on the content to better address the needs of these customers. Use the existing content as a rough outline or the building blocks for creating the desired high-quality pieces. Optimize these new pieces and provide adequate distribution to help gain the traction needed to help your content excel.
While poor-quality content can be very damaging to a site’s reputation, brands that invest the time and resources to improve the content can begin to build a successful website.