There are some pretty low-quality pages out there topping search results just waiting to be replaced with something better. Those spots could be yours! Did you come here looking for the secret to creating better content? Sam Oh from Ahrefs says the first step is to understand what better content is. You can’t make it until you define it. So Sam says you need to think about what readers want. Better content is content that readers prefer. Sam breaks it down into four categories for assessing content.
This is the simplest category. You will find content out there that is poorly written or disorganized. Check the content you are trying to beat and make sure your content is clearer.
When you are working to create better content, consider if the target page covers all the questions someone might have. If your topic is “how to get a driver’s license,” you could just say “Register online for a driving test and pass.” But there are a wealth of questions that leaves unanswered. Consider the readers. What are the questions they might have? If you can answer all the possible questions around a topic while maintaining clarity and organization, many readers will prefer your page to competitors.
When a reader visits your page after clicking on a search result and then stops looking at similar search results, you know you have done a good job. Take a look at the top three or four pages to get an idea of what people are trying to accomplish with this type of content. It is not always an exact literal match for the keyword. Then serve that need. For instance, if you look at the results for “best garden hose,” you won’t find the holy grail of garden hoses. You will find a list. You can make the content even more useful by talking about some attributes of garden hoses that make them good or bad and assess the items in the list based on those attributes.
Casting the aphorism aside, people go around relentlessly judging a book by its cover. So make a good first impression. As Sam says, “this is why it’s important to present your content in a way that’s visually appealing and user-friendly. A few basic presentation tips would be to add a table of contents, ensure your fonts are readable, use skimmable headlines, and use media that enhances your content like screenshots, custom illustrations, and videos.”
Put The Reader First
Notice something about these tips? They are not about accomplishing what you want, they are about helping the reader accomplish what they want. Focus on user experience rather than driving directly towards the bottom line. To create content that is better than your competitors, simply put the reader’s interest first and work from there.
Sam goes on to look at three content examples and explain how to beat them. It’s worth watching if you have a few minutes. Jump to 4:48 for the case studies.