These days when it comes to content, quality is the new black. Producing content that will stand out and be noticed involves a lot more than just filling a site with copious quantities of posts filled with strategically-placed keywords. If you really want to have your content appreciated, liked and shared by others, then it needs to have quality and credibility built right into it.
On top of that, Google recently announced that they have developed algorithms to provide a ranking boost to content that has real authority and expertise behind it, making credible content far more favourable in search results. You can learn more about this development here.
So how do you build credibility into your content?
Well, it all starts with knowing your audience – who they are, how they tick, and what they are looking for. When you start from here, you already have half the battle won. But from this point, you need to establish yourself as someone with authority and expertise on your subject, who can be trusted, and who has something of real value to offer your audience.
Suggested ways to do this:
- Regularly produce original, top-quality, truthful, fresh and useful content that is geared to your audience – that is, it provides real workable, tried-and-tested solutions to problems, or it answers questions they have, or provides them with useful expert information they didn’t previously know about.
- Make sure your posts are well-written, and proof-read or edited to ensure they are error-free and grammatically correct. Poor writing or grammar could let the side down. If writing is not your strong point, outsource the task to a professional content writing service.
- Write posts on topics on which you have genuine expertise. Avoid pretending or faking it! If you make mistakes on a topic and get caught out it could really let your credibility down.
- If your subject is complex or technical, write in layman’s terms, but without talking ‘down’ to your audience.
- Backup up factual claims with data or statistics from credible sources. Make sure you link to your sources or to at least cite them.
- Include instructive graphics or videos where relevant – ones that could help your audience achieve an outcome or solve a problem they have. Make sure your images look professional.
- Always use headlines that are clear, concise and information-rich. If you don’t have the luxury of being able to outsource your writing to a professional content writing service, one of our previous posts has some helpful tips on writing headlines. See more about writing great headlines.
- Provide quotes and / or links to well-respected authors or visionaries who have established credibility, such as the Richard Bransons of this world. (Although do avoid excess name-dropping or bragging about who you know as it’s not the best look!).
- Include a professional headshot image on your profiles, so people can see who you are and relate to you.
- Engage with your audience. Link to your posts on social media, and answer queries or questions that come up. Let them see you are a real live human being who cares and is interested in offering them the best.
- Take advantage of Authorship tools. Google+ Authorship is great for establishing yourself as a trusted authority in your field, and it is easy to set up and to use.
- Include a very clear ‘About Us’ page on your site. This is often one of the first places people will go when visiting a site. Make it concise, informative, truthful, and engaging.
- Invite credible writers to guest-blog on your site. Recent alarm bells might have made it sound like guest blogging is done for; however the real truth of the matter is that guest blogging merely for SEO and ranking purposes is no longer the way to go.
- How your site appears to your audience is important. Check out popular sites and note the design elements and layouts that work for them. Of course you want to be original, but it needs to be easy on the eye or people will just go elsewhere.
Having credibility means that you are trusted. People listen to you because they know you have something good to offer and they can believe what you say. When you have credibility, other credible authors are more likely to link to your site. So make sure to make credibility a top priority in all your business dealings!