What Makes a Quality Post in the SEO Space

This started out as a comment about the post, this month in seo, which is an excellent post with a mediocre headline.

As I was writing my thoughts I realised it would be better as a post and to give Van Gogh a link for his effort.

Lets leave whether or not this post is linkbait or not, as the label of “linkbait” is becoming irrelevant and meaningless as a descriptive label when compared to the constituent elements which make up a quality post which attracts links. A label can stop thought because it makes understanding too easy, it misses the point.

The point being, what is it that makes a quality blog post which attracts links? I want to use this post as an example of a worthy piece of content which will grab links and social bookmarking votes.

The headline is wrong, but let me come to that later and I will tell you why.

The absolute stand out reason this post rocks for me is that it saves me time. It doesn’t make me money, but it saves me time and in my world when you save me time you get my attention. Those of us who are online professionals know what I am talking about.

How this saves me time:

  • Information is edited, only the good stuff makes the list.
  • Information is contained in contextual blocks making it easy to scan
  • Information is sectioned so if I want only the Twitter stuff I can go straight to it.
  • Information is extensive, I don’t have to waste time looking for more. I spend above average time on the page

All these things are done well and with thought. A comprehensive and edited list of information within a space is valuable, check out Stuntdubl for this technique, Todd does it very well.

So what about the headline?

“This Month In SEO – 3/08″

No. What this post is to me is a time saver, it’s concentrated juice. And there is also a trick here that the author is missing, Steven Bradley (a.k.a. vangogh). I presume Van Gogh wants to be better known, possibly improve his brand recognition and become a player within the space. If this is so I would include his name within the headline, stamping his brand on the post.

Something like this:

  • Van Gogh’s March SEO Madness
  • Van Gogh’s SEO Juice: Concentrated
  • Van Gogh’s SEO Juice for March
  • Freshly Squeeezed SEO Juice for March by Van Gogh

Using your nick to standout also improves your personal brand, associate yourself with quality and you will be perceived as quality. It’s not what you do, it’s what people think you do.

It tells me who wrote it and what it is and if I notice Van Gogh again I know I will get the same quality. There is so much noise in the SEO space associating yourself with quality posts is one of the best ways to standout. It really is that simple.

I see most people making the mistake of churning out short posts with low quality information, for the purposes of google food, presumably. But, this makes the mistake of getting no links, people don’t link to the crap, they link to the good stuff like this post.

This post took time to put together, most people are too lazy to spend the time working and crafting over a piece of content like this. If you are prepared to spend a couple of days on a post such as this you will already be in the top 10% of blog posts.

Saving people time is a very effective way of getting people to notice you.

Now why cannot all the stuff that makes it to the Sphinn front page be as useful?

Comments

  1. says

    Well, Steve was originally doing a weekly post and as a baseball fan was doing his tribute to ‘this Week in Baseball’ – then time became and issue and it was moved to a monthly offering… just a FYI

    ..and I do enjoy them, though they are more weighty and it takes longer to get through now :0(

  2. says

    Lyndon, thank you very much for your thoughts on the post. It’s greatly appreciated. I will definitely consider your ideas for titles, since they are better than the one I’m using.

    Ironically the round up post didn’t start out to be baity at all. It was actually meant as a way for me to be lazy and not have to come up with an idea for a post one day each week. For whatever reason the laziness didn’t hold and the post became what it is.

    Dave is right. The name came from an old weekly show about baseball (This Week in Baseball) that would show the week’s highlights in the days before ESPN. I’m a big baseball fan and took the name. I had thought of changing it when I switched to a monthly, but wondered if enough people already knew the post by that name that it made sense to keep it as is. I’ll have to rethink it.

    One of the things I’ve found interesting in the feedback I’ve received is that for those people who do enjoy the post they enjoy it for different reasons. Some people like the collection of links and find it useful, while other people aren’t so interested in the links and enjoy instead the writing around the links. I hadn’t expected that last part.

    Thanks again for the comments. You’ve given me a few things to think about and like I said it’s greatly appreciated.

  3. says

    Ditto on Jaan for the focus on execution. I also like posts about how to use tools to improve the business value of SEO.

    Because without money how will we ever move out from Mom’s basement?

    -OT

  4. says

    I Think the name branding is important in the title. It stands out and more importantly, it svaes time when I am looking fo quality blogs that can help my online business. A good example is this blog’s tip about branding in my title.

  5. says

    This is the quality way : keep it informative, rich, structured, easy to understand. Quality way, hard way. It takes time to craft articles like this, takes expertise and experience, and that drop of creativity to make it spark, instead of being arid.

    But what about the rest out there? What about those who are hyper-active by nature? Or just restless? A bit there, another unrelated idea goes the other way, oh, wait, some more juice comes from something totally unrelated, so on and so forth ..

    It narrows down to personal preferences, in the end, I guess.

  6. says

    Great advice. Hope readers listen as I’m tired of wasting my time with anemic posts failing to provide sustenance. You’ve offered a satisfyingly rich morsel. Cheers, k