Content is a code that defines the behavior of the person who reads it. In addition to text, it includes audio, video, pictures, code developers.
This material will only apply to content for sites and only for promotion on Google. Abstracts do not relate to promotion on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Soundcloud and other platforms where text is not key content.
My task is to help you conduct a quality audit of already published content and give an algorithm for selecting good authors for the site. You will find out what is high quality content and how to create it.
Table of contents
- What is a content quality
- Characteristics of quality content
- How to find a good author for your site
What is a content quality
Content quality is a characteristic with many variables, some of which cannot be accommodated in a mathematical formula. Google’s algorithm can calculate the link weight of pages, the number of occurrences of a keyword, and the uniqueness of content.
But without evaluations of assessors it is impossible to teach the algorithm to evaluate the reliability of the facts presented in the article, the level of expertise and authority of the author of the article, the quality of editing and design.
Over the past few years, webmasters, SEO specialist and website owners have been focusing more on form rather than content when create the text. The most popular method to create a competitive text so far is the analysis of the top of search results.
This method is useful, but not enough. The more Google will attract associates and train the search engine neural networks, the more important it will be to conduct a quality analysis of texts. It is necessary to identify the best practices for creating content, its editing, design and apply on your site.
When you read an article on the Internet, you may notice at the level of feeling that you like or dislike the material. But you cannot always explain why. Let’s try to figure out what content parameters affect its quality and user satisfaction.
Characteristics of quality content
The author’s parameters include: education, experience, professional achievements, authority among other specialists in a particular field.
In fact, authoritative and experienced authors do not always produce the best content, but this is a certain filter that enables Google to cut off spammers due to the complexity and high cost of wrapping such a factor.
It is better to lose some valuable materials from future, still unrecognized stars and form a good performance, than to spend resources on finding nuggets among hundreds of thousands of pages of worthless content.
Tell more about your authors, their achievements and provide links to their social networks. Faceless sites with endless rewrite are a thing of the past and it’s wonderful.
Author profile on Semrush
In addition, when a person knows that under the text or above the text people will always see his profile, this seriously affects his responsibility and motivation.
Remember how you wrote a term paper or thesis. The introduction to this work should contain three important blocks: who has already explored this topic, why it is relevant, and what is the novelty of your work.
Most articles that are created on the Internet do not meet all the parameters of scientific work. But there is a simple rule, the execution of which always sets the article apart from all others.
This is a description of what the author’s judgments are based on. If this is a personal experience, then which one. If this is a study of other materials on this topic, then which ones.
In addition, if a person leads sources, then the chance immediately arises that his material will not be just a rewrite of other people’s thoughts.
The structure performs several tasks at once:
- helps to quickly assess whether the text contains answers to the user’s questions;
- helps to create a quick content block and accelerate the transition to the desired part of the page;
- makes it easy to understand the entire content of the page for the user.
It is because of the importance of the structure, keyword research and SERP analysis before writing text are so important. They allow you to design the skeleton of the page, on which you can further string the content.
Good content is:
Comprehensive – maximally reveals the entire cluster of user intents. After studying the page, the user has no more questions on the topic.
Consistent – all parts of the text are logically connected, one part of the text does not contradict the other, the conclusions follow from the facts stated above.
Actual – with changes relating to the topic, the text is supplemented or updated according to the changes. The user receives the most accurate answer that the manufacturer can give as of the date the content was studied.
Reliable – the content is true. For different types of content, this is expressed differently. For the scientist – a generally accepted view of any theory. For the journalist is confirmed by the presence of any evidence of the specified event.
If the content meets all these four parameters, then when you study it, you are unlikely to notice this perfection, but if something is broken, it will catch the eye.
Other important characteristics of quality content:
Cool headline – briefly and clearly conveys the content of the page. It is also important that the material inside matches the promise in the title. Title → quick content → content. These are the three control points at which the user decides whether to delve further into your material or toss it and leave.
A variety of formats – one and the same thought comes through different content formats. In addition to text, there can be infographics, tables, formulas, pictures, videos, audio. I wrote about the difference between types and formats of content in this guide on content strategy.
Good design of the blog and content on the site begins with the development of editorial policy.
The main thing is that such a policy is generally present and there is a person who monitors its implementation. This does not have to be an already experienced editor.
Now about the characteristics of quality design.
The most important thoughts in the text stand out. Or bold, or italics, or color, or designer accents. It is important to give the user something to catch on when he scanned content. And as Nielsen research shows, most of these users don’t read text, they scan it.
The text is divided into small paragraphs. So the user can easily return to the desired paragraph, if he was distracted. It is easier for him to copy the necessary thought in order to save, comment or send to someone. The division into paragraphs also applies to the use of bulletins and numbered lists.
There are no grammatical and punctuation errors. It’s hard to do without an editor here. But if you have a small blog, for now it will be enough to re-edit the content yourself after a while and use the help of the online tools like Copywritely, Grammarly.
Unique design. The unique design of the blog and image preview immediately raises the credibility of the blog to a level higher in the eyes of the reader. It is important that the pictures schematically display the text content of the article, category. This all simplifies navigation and helps an inexperienced user quickly understand the basics of a new topic.
We also worked on this on Sitechecker’s blog. The designer studied the content of each article and figured out how to schematically convey the meaning of the page in one picture. As a result, now the entire Internet is stretching them for their publications.
Unified design rules on all pages. This is also difficult to achieve without an editor. Different indents, quotation marks, different use of italics and bold – all this eats away the eyes. If you can’t hire an editor, start tidying up your posts yourself, auditing the pages one by one, starting with the most traffic ones.
If readers share your content, then the lack of Open Graph markup or errors in its content can seriously reduce the conversion to clicks on these links.
7. Social proof
People like to read reviews and evaluate the popularity of the material, as this reduces the risk of spending time and money in vain. Show statistics of views, shares, comments, so that it does not need to be searched.
How to find a good author for your site
Now we turn to the search for good authors. You need to either find an expert that has already taken place, or recognize a nugget that you can quickly grow into a pro. And you can do both together.
Most importantly, you need someone who understands well or quickly understands your niche. Such a person does not have to be a good entrepreneur, editor, SEO specialist.
Hire an established expert
- Take from competitors. Select the best competitor blogs. Make a list of authors who wrote content for the blog but don’t work on the company’s staff. Invite them to write material for your blog.
- Search on Google. We use such search queries: the best specialists in …, …training, … conference.
- Search in social networks and forums. An expert may not even have a site or it will be poorly developed. But depending on the niche and personal preferences, he can develop his YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Instagram, forum profile, podcast. Do not be lazy to look everywhere.
- Search on freelance websites. Many have the idea that only beginners and average people work on freelance websites. This prejudice can play into your hands. There are pros there.
- Search online and offline conferences. At good conferences, the organizers pay great attention to networking. They offer to fill in their data and explain how you can find interesting people for you. Among such people, you will surely be able to find a ready-made pro and a novice specialist who is looking for ways of self-realization.
Grow an expert
In order to grow an expert in a niche, it is not necessary to hire him, although efficiency will be higher this way.
At this stage, it is important to identify a capable, motivated person. He can be either a student or a specialist in another niche who has decided to change his field of activity. To assess the ability of candidates to create content, try the following.
- Find out what he is fond of, who his favorite content authors are, what he likes about the work of these authors. According to where a person looks, what he sees and appreciates, much can be said about himself. To recognize talent, you need to have talent yourself.
- Give him a couple of pages on your site and ask him what the purpose of the pages is. Evaluate how quickly he can figure it out and how much he gets to the point.
- On the same few pages with content, invite him to conduct a short audit. Let him give his advice on improving the content on the page. Let it reveal all the errors: both in the content and in the design.
- Find out what stages it will divide the process of creating material after receiving the first task. It is important to see how well he understands the key stages of a good study and preparation of the text.
- Pay for the test. Let him write an article for your site on some simple topic that you can quickly figure out.
Even in the process of selecting candidates, it is necessary to explain what we expect from the candidate, in which direction we will develop him and how training will take place. You need to achieve three goals at once:
- create conditions so that the author learns the real skills of your field;
- teach him how to create high-quality content;
- help him grow a personal brand.
The entire process of development of the author can be divided into such stages.
- Show the best blogs in your niche and convey what exactly you like about them. If there are no such blogs, you can show just good blogs, no matter what sphere. Even better, if you pre-develop an editorial policy and include best practices and popular mistakes in it. A good example of such an instruction is here.
- Create a content plan. Well, if you have it before hiring the author on staff. But in addition to your plan, the author will regularly have new ideas in the process of work about what you need to write about and what may be interesting to the audience. Constantly update the content plan with his ideas, even if there is not much semantics on such a topic.
- Create a skills training plan for your area. Your author should become a pro, not just portray it. To do this, he needs to attend conferences, take courses and practically apply all the knowledge gained. If the site is about travel, then he should travel; if the site is about cooking, then he should cook.
- Make a plan for the development of the author’s personal brand. Registration and cross-hosting in social networks, participation in offline and online discussions, guest posting on reputable venues, webinars. The sooner you start developing public profiles, the better.
- Arrange a competition. This is the best. There is nothing more productive for creativity than the desire to win. If you have several authors, then arrange a competition between them. If there is only one author, find someone in a similar position in a competing company and turn him into a virtual rival.