Getting success in digital marketing depends on content quality. Businesses have rightly put content creation in their priority lists. Some have even made their entire marketing strategy centering around it.
But creating high-quality content is difficult because the process involves many complexities. Here are the tips to overcome them:
Add relevant information
There’s no point creating content that doesn’t offer relevant information. If the content fails to inform readers, then they won’t read it.
What does relevant information mean?
Relevant information are often found in professional posts that are useful for readers. Let’s say you are writing on car battery replacement. The following information are useful for your readers:
- DIY battery installation guide
- Equipment necessary to carry out the process
- Average lifespan of car batteries
- Professional auto battery replacement service charges
Readers won’t find value in the content if it doesn’t contain the said information. The problem is you can never put in useful information unless you have mastery over the topic on which you are writing, and achieving mastery in multiple areas is anything but easy.
It seems like a dead end, right? Well maybe it does, but it’s not a dead end.
There are two alternatives:
Alternative 1: Don’t write on new areas, write on those areas in which you already have a sound knowledge.
Alternative 2: You can write on new areas, but to compensate for your lack of knowledge, conduct a thorough research beforehand. This way, you can get a comprehensive idea of the topic along with its many nuances and understand how these relate to the benefit of the readers.
Grammar and coherence
Maybe the content is informative, but it’s not grammatically sound or coherent.
Will that be an issue?
Yes, a big issue.
Remember, proper grammar and coherence add as much value to an article as information does. Any content lacking either of the two is not high-quality content.
There’s an immense need for correct grammar because bad grammar is reportedly killing brands. While it’s easy to overcome small errors like the ones involving punctuation, tense and spelling, more serious errors, the ones involving sentence formation, enhancement and style, etc are difficult to deal with. But readers will not entertain such excuses as they can read an article that’s grammatically perfect, coherent and packed with valuable information on some other site.
To give them a reason to stay on your site, you need to steer your content clear of grammatical issues. That’s possible when you edit the content over and over. The more you edit it, the better. Using grammar software can also help.
Grammarly is an excellent grammar checking tool. The older version of Grammarly can scale content by assigning it a score between 1 and 100. A high score indicated the content is high-quality.
You can have a Grammarly overview and see how the new version works. It was introduced in the beginning of last year and it divides errors into two categories; advanced and critical, while critical errors are easy to reckon with, advanced errors are hard to identify.
The two key components of coherence are factual accuracy and logical organization. Make sure all the data acknowledged in the article are factually correct and all the claims can be backed by hard evidence. Connect each paragraph with the next in a logical manner as if one paragraph is the continuation of the other.
The overlapping area between grammar and readability is all about how bad grammar hurts an article’s readability. But that’s that, there’s nothing more in their interconnectedness; being grammatically perfect is not the same as being readable.
Readability depends on the ease or difficulty faced by readers at the time of reading an article. If the reading experience is smooth, then the content is readable. If not, then it has readability issues. The Flesch–Kincaid model quantifies the readability aspects of content.
Below is the mathematical representation of the model:
206.835 – 1.015 (Total words ÷ Total sentences) – 84.6 (Total syllables ÷ Total words)
See the graphic representation of this model below:
The formula above shows the quickest and the easiest way to increase the readability score is keeping a ratio between total words and total sentences and not using too many syllables. Albeit the model gives an idea of crucial readability factors, following it is difficult for the reasons below:
- A high readability score (90-100) indicates the content is for 5th graders. But any content that’s full of information and delves deep into the subject matter is for an erudite segment of readers. Writing such content is recommended as it helps the creator in building an authority for himself in his field.
- Use of terminologies, keyphrases and more importantly unique words (Infotainment, Infographics) is highly recommended as these can help an article or a blog get visibility on the search engine. However, such terms may be obtrusive to readability.
The content can’t be for 5th graders or for college graduates (0-30). It has to fall somewhere in the middle, it needs to spew out useful information, guide readers in their pursuits and all the while, be simple and easily comprehensible.
Akin to readability, visual optimization makes the reading experience seamless for readers by removing the invisible clutters. Content marketers are facing increasing difficulty in capturing people’s attention. The infographic below confirms this:
You have to hold visitor’s attention as long as you could and have to do it quick because the page that features your content won’t get more than 15 seconds of attention. If it takes more than 2 seconds to load, prospective consumers will leave.
Visual optimization can lend you a hand in this. It depends on:
Font selection: Don’t select an overly catchy font like Corsiva or Syncopate. Don’t select an overly simple font like Verdana either. Select a font that’s balanced and easily noticeable.
Fixed-width layout: There should be a gap between the viewport and each end of the page. This not only makes the layout clean and uncluttered, but also drives the attention to the content. See the optical illusion below:
The square shapes share the same plane with each other and with the oval shapes, but it seems like these are deep inside. Shape shifting, from large to small can direct the vision to follow a distance that’s unreal. The gap between the viewport and the four ends of a page can create a similar effect so the attention fixates on the content.
CSS loading: A lot depends on how fast the CSS elements load. More than 2 seconds is a red flag, especially on the handheld platform because mobile users are more impatient than their desktop counterparts. Tricks like CSS file consolidation can come in handy.
Visual optimization is about form, not about substance. It can prevent visitors from leaving your site and buys your content some time so that it can hold them for long.
Writing around keywords
After the Hummingbird update, marketers began to use semantic variations of original keywords, a practice which was quickly legitimized owing to Google’s “Things, not Strings” aphorism. However, as everyone’s been doing it, a content creator needs to choose a different (And a more creative) avenue, such as writing around keywords.
Conventional searching was reliant on connectors like “And” and “Or.” But as per Matt Cutts, there’s been a jump from fixed query format to a new format where query syntax is variable.
Partly technical and partly subliminal, this change insinuates how content marketers should be looking at keywords. They need to draft content as the answer to potential search queries. The right way of doing keyword research includes anticipating the possible queries and the non-systematic and non-sequential formats, in which the queries can be formulated by the searchers.
Let’s go back to the battery replacement example again. In conventional searching, the searcher uses keywords like “Car battery replacement” but when using the voice search feature, he may use a query like “How can I replace the old battery in my car?” The second query is longer than a standard long-tail keyword.
Content should be created as answers to long and detailed search queries. Some experts have pointed out Google’s proclivity to such content. If the search engine giant is fully convinced that the content deals with problems faced by users (Denoted by keyword ideas), then it may be used as a featured snippet.
The tips shared here are offbeat, in the sense that they are based on an experimental approach.
Do they guarantee success?
Well, nothing is guaranteed, but yes, creating a strategic content marketing plan based on them and implementing the plan with the use of cutting-edge usability tools escalate the odds of success.
Moreover, the tips are open to further experiments, as such you can add your 0.2 cents to make them customized and more effective.