What Exactly Is High-Quality Content? How Do You Know?

High-quality content is a cornerstone of good digital marketing. As a marketer, you recognize that quality, relevance, and usefulness matter.

However, what’s the barometer for high quality? Is it completely subjective? Or does it include tangible metrics and best practices?

After carefully observing content performance for over a decade, we’d argue the latter. Read this post to review what we’ve discovered equates to high-quality content.

Understand What High-Quality Content Is (and What It Isn’t)

High-quality content isn’t just about having a lot of posts you’ve published with your pretty branding slapped all over it. Outstanding quality has consistency and variety, and most importantly, it meets your target audience’s needs.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter what you think about your content as much as whether your target audience is reading and responding to it. Consequently, good metrics are more important than ever to determine what content has real quality.

The Rock says without good metrics, it doesn’t matter what you think high-quality content is.
Source: Tenor

You Need High-Quality Content

Content marketing is the battlefield on which our companies win or lose customer loyalty. Remember that high-quality content delivers many benefits:

  • Engages your audience: Motivating content keeps buyers coming back for more.
  • Builds your brand image: Your target audience sees you as a thought leader and turns to you for solutions to their pain points.
  • Boosts SEO rankings: Google’s algorithm prioritizes content that’s helpful and puts those sites at the top of SERPs for greater visibility.
  • Generates better leads: As your audience educates itself, you get customers who are less price-conscious and focus more on investing in high-quality solutions.
  • Increases conversion rates: Well-designed content guides buyers through the funnel toward purchases and repeat business.

You should always be trying to get better at your content strategy to ensure you remain competitive.

Use These 6 Principles To Consistently Produce High-Quality Content

We’ve seen what gets reliable, repeatable results with content. Use these six tips to keep your quality high.

1. Great Content Is More About Your Audience Than You

Content that draws in your ideal customer is going to help your readers solve their problems and reach their goals. Start with that mindset, and you’ll never run out of good topics that attract your target audience.

Make it easier for your team to do that by developing well-crafted buyer personas. That requires audience research that you gain through direct interactions, surveys, site analytics, and competitive analysis.

These personas should be as specific as possible. If your high-quality content is a story you’re telling, your customer is the hero — not you. The better you know them, the easier it will be to create content that addresses their needs and desires.

2. High-Quality Content Directly Correlates to Your Goals

Granted, focusing on your customers doesn’t mean that you forget about yourself. Yes, they’re the hero, but your products or services are the tool or weapon they use to achieve success.

Your audience needs to know what to do with the information that you’ve provided. Your CTAs accomplish that by pointing them in the direction of something you offer that can help.

Tie your content to your marketing goals by making sure each piece has a clear objective in mind. That’s not always a lead or a sale. It might simply be nurturing leads through the funnel and getting them to another piece of content. Or you could be keeping them warm with posts that encourage engagement and leave you top of mind when a need arises.

Of course, the challenge for large enterprises is keeping this all organized among your team with your many pieces of content. For that reason, you can’t minimize the importance of a content operations platform.

The software allows you to simplify getting content requests from customer-facing teams that understand what your audience wants. You’ll also have the data that shows how well that content is meeting your goals for leads, conversions, and sales.

That dovetails nicely into our next point.

3. Data Still Defines High-Quality Content

Within your content performance data metrics, you have the elements you need to discern high-quality content from subpar. Which ones actually matter?

Pageviews and Time on Page

How many views does a piece of content have? If this number trends up, it must be of interest to your audience. However, you also want to look at the time on page. Longer time on the page usually means the person read the entire article.

Provide context to this metric by comparing it to how long it takes an average reader to consume the material. If it’s a five-minute read and the time on page is around that number, it’s an indicator that users finished the piece.

Bounce Rate

High bounce rates can indicate that a piece doesn’t connect with an audience and isn’t high-quality content. The quality level could be why. Look at the bounce rate to determine how many of those pageviews were of substance.

Social Media Metrics

Social media profiles are likely your largest content distribution channel. When a post has high engagement (likes, comments, clicks, shares, etc.), this typically reflects that the subject matter is intriguing to readers. However, it can be misleading unless you examine it alongside the bounce rate.


The goal of content marketing is to generate leads and conversions. These goals are different depending on the buying stage of the content and its format.

Content with clear CTAs that are conversions allows you to gauge the quality of content as a means of persuading or convincing. A content piece with high conversions did its job well.

micro conversions - customer journey matrix

Image via User Testing

High Domain Backlinks

Backlinks benefit your SEO, especially links from high domains because they can boost your organic rankings. High-domain websites aren’t going to link to trash content. Rather, they want ultimate guides, unique perspectives, and illustrations of expertise. Higher backlinks mean high-quality content.

High Organic Rankings

Being on the first page of Google is an objective for every content marketer. Get there with appropriate keyword usage, correct technical aspects, and readability.

4. Top-Tier Content Has Real Depth

Surface content is a problem in content marketing. “Surface” means it doesn’t go deep into the subject. It’s generic, not specific. You, of course, want to produce content that shows thought leadership and leverages data and examples.

For example, if you’re writing about cybersecurity threats, you should use statistics on the volume and increase. You should also highlight some specific incidents that illustrate the risk.

Then, you need to demonstrate your expertise by offering takeaways and best practices. These things bolster the quality of the piece. When content has these elements, it’s more engaging and could provide more conversions.

Video Source: ChatGPT Won’t Help You Rank On Google (But This Will!) – YouTube

5. Great Content Looks Good and Is Easily Digestible

In the realm of high-quality content, you have to talk about design. Every piece of content has some level of design. In talking about blog posts specifically, the cleaner and simpler, the better.

Images should be applicable and professional. The words are what really matter, but humans are very visual, so if they land on your website and find it outdated or too busy, they won’t stick around to read your awesome article.

This also relates to readability. The Flesch score tells how readable a piece of content is. You can bolster readability by using short sentences and paragraphs, bulleted lists, lots of headers, and basic language.

You should also always use active over passive voice. It’s not always possible to hit the 70 score (which is optimal readability) because sometimes the topic relates to “big” words.

However, if you use an SEO plugin on WordPress like Yoast, hitting that green light for readability is easier, and it can even call out areas to improve. Grammar checkers like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor do this as well.

Image: Yoast

6. High-Quality Content Requires Regular Updates and Attention

Old and outdated data can wreck your SEO performance and your relevancy with your audience. However, you don’t have to delete all of your old pages to stay looking fresh with high-quality content.

While content pruning is a vital part of your strategy, your content calendar should also include regular refreshes of posts. Sometimes, all an article needs is better links or improved keyword optimization. Other times, you need to update images, videos, and text.

In any case, just like a garden needs regular upkeep to stay healthy, you must tend to your field of content to keep it in good shape.

Get the Right Tools To Create High-Quality Content

A big part of consistently publishing high-quality content is having a platform that streamlines content planning, automates production workflows, fosters collaboration, and provides visibility. You can achieve all these things and more with DivvyHQ. Request a demo today to see why so many enterprise content marketing teams love it!

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