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I’ve observed one constant in the fluid and ever-changing world of Internet marketing. No matter the medium or methods for reaching an online audience, at the heart of every resounding message is great content. Yet, when you spend as much time as I do online, you find that the quality of one’s content is often a secondary concern.

If you ask enough website operators what their pressing concerns are, you might hear them talk about search engine optimization, social media shares, widgets, plugins, stats, design, or monetization, and it will begin to sound like content has fallen off their radar.

But you don’t have to take it from me; there are plenty of voices out there, yelling from the hilltops of the Internet, that content is king online. But how do you go about identifying truly ‘great’ content?

Well if you’re like me, “I know it when I see it” doesn’t cut it. So whether I’m vetting potential blogs for our guest posts, or reviewing a collection of content that’s to be posted directly on a client’s website, I find myself asking the following question time and time again.

Is the content relevant?

Relevancy can mean a lot of different (and sometimes competing) things. I define a ‘relevant’ piece of content as something that does these three things:

1) Raises a valid question or point.

2) Gives evidence (and cites sources) to back up its claims.

3) Arrives at a conclusion that makes sense.

An article that I find ‘relevant’ doesn’t have to completely win me over to their position, but I always appreciate content that allows me to follow along, and not become flummoxed or lost within its prose. Truly great content can take a subject matter that usually relies on jargon or difficult-to-understand concepts, and make me feel like I’ve learned something about the topic.

For many websites, individual articles on a given website might cover a wide array of unique topics, and lack a cohesive theme on the surface. But after digging through enough content, you can begin to identify ‘relevancy’ on a broader scale. Despite a variety of topical concerns, is a cogent voice shining throughout the content? Does the content accurately and positively portray a certain type of message? Ultimately, do I have a singular, visceral reaction to the seemingly disparate pieces of content that I’ve just read?

In other words, the consistency of the content plays a huge role. Is it reliably thorough, logical, and coherent? Obviously a strong command of spelling and grammar goes a long way toward consistently relevant content.

While it’s certainly not a new concept, it’s always good to remind yourself that having relevant, quality content should be the prime concern of every website.

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