Elements that transform good content into great content, according to Google research
What makes for good content? In the creative sense, we could reflect that it is a matter of opinion or personal taste. However, when trying to appeal to a target audience, we should consider if what’s good content for you is also good for other people. When looking at the differences between good and great content, we could say that great content takes good content and tailors it to the target audience, to deliver an engaging user experience related to what the user is looking for; in this way, we can say that great content goes beyond user expectations.
Creating consistently good content nowadays is the bare minimum. In order to compete, it is essential that the content focuses on delivering an enhanced user experience to create meaningful interactions.
According to Google’s latest research, 87% of content viewers stated that good content is personal and relevant. The research went on to say that good content is relevant to the users, intellectually and sensorially stimulating, and emotionally resonant. Therefore, if we consider the research, we should note these four essential elements when creating content for users today.
This article will explore the elements of creating great content based on Google’s latest research and how to deliver this for the search engines and your target audiences.
Elements of good and great content
Good content consists of the four elements outlined above; see below for more details:
Relevant. People are looking for content that is relevant to them and they want this content to be created in an approachable and relatable style.
80% of people surveyed said they are more open to advertising or branded content when it is relevant to their interests.
Intellectual. People are looking for content that allows them to learn new things; this is also important for brands.
Examples include an educational webinar, a how-to article, or even an in-depth product review.
88% of people surveyed stated that YouTube helped broaden their outlook and ways of thinking.
Is this statistic in conflict with the first stat? Yes, at least partially. But the use of the word “intellectual” may be the issue.
This may come as a surprise, as many people look for content that confirms what they believe in and in some ways the algorithyms reinforce this pattern of behaviour.
Sensorial. Good storytelling should focus on the details. Concerning video specifically, people surveyed said “unique storytelling or production” can provide a more stimulating experience than “cinematic quality.”
94% of people shared that good content should tell a good story.
Moreover, 92% of the people said that good content is created with thought and effort.
We can take away from this that good or great content does not need to be perfect or high quality. It is more important that your content is authentic for your brand and to your users, along with providing value by being useful or helpful, therefore serving a purpose and telling a story.
Emotional. Most people are looking for a content experience where they can feel something from the content, though the research didn’t differentiate between negative and positive emotions here.
85% of people surveyed said that good content makes them feel something emotionally. If you can create content that your target audience feels emotionally attached to, this will generate a sense of loyalty to your brand
Are these the only four content elements that matter now?
In a word, no. This research was based on content consumers, so as with every research, it does have a bias.
Therefore, Google’s research is particularly relevant to visual content, especially video.
If we look at content through an SEO or marketing lens, the trackable metrics determine if the content is good or indeed great.
It all comes down to how the content is performing; the difference between creating good content for some people and great content for an audience that matters to your brand.
Here are some metrics to track to see if your content is performing:
- Average pageviews
- Average time on page
- Number of links (and quality/relevancy of links)
- Organic search ranking/impressions
- Organic search traffic
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Content engagement (e.g. comments, shares)
- Bounce rate
- Lead generation/conversions (e.g., purchase, sign up, download, contact)
The key takeaways from Google’s research are specifically relevant to visual content (notably YouTube); however, the principles can be applied to any content type you create.
The findings come down to the principles of marketing. Consider the point when your target audience is in the decision-making stage of the customer journey; they are more likely to purchase from a brand that creates good and relevant content and communicates with authority on the topic. This is because it gives the user confidence in the brand and its products and services.
It is always important to monitor your data analytics, to see what types of content users are viewing and engaging with and, where conversions are coming from, the bounce rate. Tracking the data will give you an insight into what content is working and what needs to be adjusted or removed.
Focus on creating content your audience will be delighted with and create it in the format your users prefer, whether a YouTube video, a long-form blog article or a podcast. Google is clear on this point; if we delight our users, this will also serve our brand well in terms of search engine performance.
If you have any questions about content marketing, please feel free to contact our expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.