“Content is King.”

…is an especially popular saying in the internet marketing world these days.

Nonetheless, the main reason people keep saying it is because it’s true.

The quality and quantity of the content you post online has become a much more important factor in determining how well your webpages rank in the search engines.

Even if you don’t depend on search engine rankings for traffic, another free traffic source which is probably even more important than Google optimization for many people is viral traffic created by social media sharing.

People don’t share just share any old crappy content. They share good content that ‘added value’ to them in some way.

If you want to get traffic from social media sites without spending money on advertising, you absolutely MUST produce awesome ‘share-worthy’ content.

However, creating high quality content takes a lot of time and effort.

Fortunately, there are numerous strategies you can use to produce good content quickly.

There are even ways you can populate websites with quality content without your having to personally write anything at all.

Having said that, having no written content on your site would have a detrimental effect on your search engine rankings unless the site you were creating content for was already an authority site or was already getting a lot of traffic from social media sites.

OK – so what constitutes ‘good’ content:

You might think that quality content simply means accurate written information which is grammatically correct.

There are however actually several different criteria which must be fulfilled for your content to be of the highest possible quality and therefore of the most possible benefit to your website as a whole.

Here are some of the characteristics of quality content from the perspective of an internet marketer:

1. Interesting – Even the most useful content needs to be presented in an interesting way. Content that is boring isn’t going to be read to the end, nor is it going to encourage readers to view any of your other content.
2. Entertaining – Not all content has to be extremely entertaining, but if it’s not useful, it should at least be funny or exciting.
3. Useful – Unless your content is really interesting or entertaining in some way, it needs to be useful. Useful content like tutorials and educational material is quite popular both with readers and with search engines.
4. Well Researched – Your content needs to be well researched, ideally from multiple sources.
5. Factually Accurate – Obviously, your content must be factually accurate. If your site gets the reputation for distributing false information, people won’t come back.
6. Grammatically Correct – Not only should your content be grammatically correct for readers, but also for search engines. Google can tell if your content is grammatically correct, so it’s more important than ever to ensure your spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all correct.
7. Long – Unfortunately, these days, Google wants long content. This change basically came about to combat all those spammy websites that were putting up 150 to 300-word articles that were very basic and didn’t really offer anything of value other than repeating keywords often for search engine rankings. These days, Google likes to see articles that are at least 1,000 words, and even up to 3,000. There is one way to avoid writing long content, and that leads us to the last element of great content.
8. Mixed Media – Having other media like images and videos is not only great for your visitors, but Google loves it, too. You do need to have some written content on your site, but having other forms of media is great for Google, great for visitors, and great for you!