Your Content Checklist
Whether you’re a newcomer to providing web content or a veteran searching for fresh thought, we finish the What is Quality Content series with a look at Google’s final components needed for quality content. Overall, you’ll want to pay attention to content details. Review Content Part 1, Content Part 2, and Content Part 3 for an in-depth analysis of the rest of Google’s content quality checklist.
Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
If you’re a prolific blogger, you know that your hours can add up while writing. One hour turns into two, which turns into five. Why? Colleges teach budding writers the writing process- to take drafts to completion in steps. Serious authors can be absorbed in word smithing for hours, days, and weeks drafting and re-drafting. This process is a blessing and curse.
Those who are meticulous usually produce comprehensive stories and articles, but time is money. In the rush of Internet content creation, journalists aren’t the only ones pressed to meet deadlines. Many companies weed out corporate web writers who move at a turtle’s pace. Shrewd content writers make choices. Cutting an article’s word count quickens the writing pace, but Google values article completion.
- Offer a beginning, middle, and an end.
- Answer questions that people ask.
- Provide links to other articles with additional details.
- Include video uploads when possible.
You’ll meet the completion standard if you don’t leave readers in an abyss of unanswered questions.
Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
Some articles are simply a waste of time and space. While reinventing the wheel isn’t always possible, do make relevant, knowledgeable, and worthwhile connections.
For example, most people know that shopping habits have changed. In his 2011 eBook, Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director of US Sales & Service explains his aha marketing concept known as ZMOT . Lecinski’s website provides video testimonials, corporate examples, and practical applications of this marketing strategy, which suggests product purchasing decisions occur long before the First Moment of Truth at the store shelf.
My Web Writers connects with the ZMOT concept. We wrote a blog post for content providers entitled, Ten Content Tips for ZMOT experts, which offers practical suggestions for writing with the Zero Moment of Truth in mind. Applying proven constructs to new and evolving platforms and concepts offer opportunities to provide insightful analysis.
Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
Bookmarking does indicate the value of your content. Which page would you rather book mark and share today? Consider this list of the top 20 bookmarks. These sites are popular because they offer entertainment and informational value. Meaningful checklists, groundbreaking ideas, thought-provoking stories, and inspirational material are the stuff that email forwards are made of!
Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
The paragraphs that are easiest to read avoid excessive hyper-linking. It’s fine to promote services or products, but not at the expense of meaty content. About 4- 6 links are appropriate. Also, a page littered with side bar advertisements distract from actual content. Consider moving ads to the bottom of your website or blog.
Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
Print authors endure an arduous pre-publishing process. After submitting attention-getting queries to publishers- often through snail mail with a long wait, these authors carefully submit properly formatted, researched articles that often meet with rejection. Those rejections undergo revisions at conference gatherings and writing group meetings until the author submits to the process again. Articles you read in print are often ones that took hours and hours to write. Google knows a bargain when it sees one. If that kind of article is posted for free, it’s likely to be read again and again.
Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
Sometimes shorter is better, as in the instance of a popular poem. Use the above tip from Google as a guide. Offer concrete ideas for improvement by
• Connecting to complementing articles and ideas
• Captioning graphs, pictures, and artwork with specific and descriptive labels
• Summarizing key points
• Providing references
Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
Both content providers and web designers pay attention to details. Content providers should run through this detail checklist:
- Use an action-packed headline.
- Reference each quote’s source.
- Include keyword tags.
- Spell and grammar check.
- Add descriptive pictures or graphs and link them to your website or the image’s source.
- Add relevant videos.
- Use bold subtitles.
- Provide a thesis, transitions, and a conclusion.
- Call your reader to action or invite participation in the closing.
Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
If your site content is illegal, immoral, or inflammatory, you’re gonna get called on it, Dude. Sure, you can be colloquial, down-to-earth, informal, or even edgy, but don’t think you’ll stay ranked for long if you’re raunchy. Posting indecent pictures or spewing cuss words will have angry parents hunting down executives at corporate to file formal complaints. Not even Google wants to deal with angry soccer Moms.
Your Quality Content
After writing each piece, run through Google’s content checklist. Make necessary corrections and remember that each work has the potential to produce amazing results. Share your ideas for crafting quality content with us!