High-caliber content isn't just content that is written well. Nor is it necessarily long. It's content that shows other people you're a major contender in your niche. It lets others know that you're an expert. And not only do you know your stuff, but you can get it across in a way that demonstrates your passion and expertise.
Doesn't that sound like the type of person you'd like to do business with? Wouldn't you be comfortable hiring that person or buying her products? That's the beauty of high-caliber, or "cornerstone," content. And if you're not creating it, you're losing out on a lot of great benefits.
Today, I'll explain four reasons you should be putting in the time and effort to create content that people will love. Don't be surprised if Google gives you a healthy boost to boot!
#1 – It's Hard To Compete With
How hard is it to write a 400-word article that passes the quality standards at EzineArticles? Not very. And that's why so many people do it. With hundreds of thousands of folks submitting articles to EA, what are the chances that yours will rise to the top? Not very good.
And that's one of the reasons you should create material that shines.
Think of the last time you came across a page of content that absolutely blew everything else you had seen out of the water. Didn’t you give the author credibility? You probably made a mental note to revisit the site down the road. High-caliber stuff stands out. It's really tough to compete with it.
Think of it from this angle: how many sites can match the depth of the content found on any given topic at Wikipedia? Wikipedia represents pretty stiff competition.
#2 – It Becomes Popular
Cornerstone content gets attention because people tend to like it. And they share what they like with others. No one says, "You have to read this fantastic article over at EzineArticles! It answers every question imaginable about the mating rituals of tree sloths." Ho-hum content doesn't get people excited. Folks do not share EA articles on Twitter and Facebook.
An example of high-caliber content that becomes wildly popular is SEOMoz's history of Google algorithm changes. It gives 14 years of detailed history, algo tweak by algo tweak, on a single page. Is it any wonder that it ranks above Wikipedia for the term "algorithm history"?
#3 – It "Sticks" In Google
When you publish a small "throwaway" article, it may get a little bit of attention for a short period of time. It's new and hopefully relevant to your audience's needs. But eventually, interest in it declines. If you monitor your stats, you'll notice the traffic to that article eventually dries up. One of the reasons is because its place in Google's index starts to fall.
Not so with cornerstone content. Great material tends to attract links with time. The incoming links keep the content ranked well in Google, which keeps it in front of people interested in the topic. When folks stumble upon it, they share it with their friends via social media sites. That generates social signals that Google uses to further rank it at the top.
See how the momentum continues over the long run? More links, more social signals, higher ranking.
Also, if the topic of your high-caliber piece warrants regular updates, those updates prompt Google to rank the content high. When was the last time an article you submitted to an article directory received that kind of treatment?
#4 – It Builds Subscribers
When people trust you and like what you have to say, they want to hear from you on a regular basis. You're an authority figure to them. That's a great opportunity for you to build an email list. Your list gives you a chance to reach out to your audience whenever you want. You can drive them to a blog post on your site, ask them to buy your new product, or encourage them to share your recent white paper on their favorite social media sites.
So, how do you attract people who want to join your email list? By drawing them to you with your cornerstone content! When folks see how good your material is, they are more receptive to giving you their email addresses. Before long, you can have thousands of people on your list waiting to hear from you.
What was the last piece of top-notch content you created for your business? Did the content help to generate links to your site? Did you ask your readers to share it with others on Twitter and Facebook? Let us know how it turned out for you in the comments section below!
About the Author: Tara Geissinger is an SEO and content marketing expert by day and triplet mom by night. As Co-Owner of the online visibility firm, SEO Content Solutions, and online press release distribution firm, Online PR Media, Tara has helped thousands of businesses get more visibility online. From helping Macy's optimize their product descriptions to working behind-the-scenes with some of the largest SEO and marketing firms in the world, she is one of the best kept secrets in the online marketing niche.