8 Easy Strategies to Greatly Increase Your Content Quality

Posted on March 10, 2017 by in Tips & Tricks | 18 comments

8 Easy Strategies to Greatly Increase Your Content Quality

Content is the main driver of Internet traffic these days and an increasing part of online marketing revolves around creating more of it.

While that is good for end users who have access to more and more top-quality web content, it is not always pleasant for content creators — competition is steadily on the rise. As a consequence, they need to find strategies to stand out from the crowd.

Of course, you can always try to compete on shear volume. Churn out masses of articles and try to drown out everyone else.

However, that’s not the most practical  approach. After all, creating content that wows readers and is picked up by search engines takes a lot of time and effort. With only so many hours in the day, you will quickly run into problems.

For that reason, a better idea is to increase content quality. Producing less but stellar material that is ready to take the pole position in Google, sets yourself apart from the rest of the pack while leaving time for other things.

To help you do so, in this article we have put together a number of strategies to greatly improve your website content. Follow the advice below and your visitors will thank you.

How to Easily Increase Content Quality

The strategies below are simple but effective ways to put a little extra polish to your content. When you do, leads and traffic will follow.

Know Your Audience

What makes content truly great? In short, the impact it has on the person who consumes it. Epic content changes people’s lives, helps them solve problems or makes a difference in some other meaningful way.

However, in order to achieve such results, you first need to know who you are writing for. The more you know about your audience, the easier it is to create something truly useful for them.

research audience thoroughly

Image by Vidoslava / shutterstock.com.

Think about it this way: who do you find it easier to prepare a gift for, one of your best friends or someone you only know by acquaintance?

Creating content for your audience works the same way. The better you understand them, the better you can serve their needs and prepare gifts in the form of awesome content.

Therefore, one of best ways to increase content quality is to thoroughly research your audience. We have already written about how to do this in advanced SEO techniques so you can start there.

Know Your Topic

Of course, besides getting to know your audience, you also need to invest in owning your topic.

In simple terms that means researching the crap out of it. Start with the core but then travel outward to less well-known parts as well. Find as much information as you can, learn as many details as possible. This will make your content endlessly more useful and valuable to people who read it.

In addition to that, make sure to fact check whatever you claim. Avoid putting anything out there you can’t prove. Putting out only reliable information is a great investment in your content quality, reputation and authority and that can never be a bad thing.

Therefore, before publishing your latest piece, make sure to go through it once more and check for accuracy. Better yet, have someone else do it to get an outside perspective.

Write The Way You Speak

Ok, so now you have a clear picture of who you are writing for and are knowledgeable about your topic, it’s time to talk about delivery.

The ability for your visitors to understand what you are talking about is an important marker of content quality for them. It won’t do readers much good if you include all the information they will ever need inside your blog post but make it so dull or hard to understand that they give up halfway through.

How do you make your posts easy to understand? First, by keeping things simple. Your goal is to have even newbies walk away feeling enlightened. For that reason, avoid complicated jargon or, if you absolutely have to use it, be sure to explain in detail.

Secondly, make your content entertaining and engaging. That doesn’t mean you have to crack corny jokes every second sentence (though that can help if you are good at it). Just avoid being purely factual and let your personality shine through.

One of the best strategies to do so is imagine you are talking to friend while writing. How would you express yourself if you were to explain your content to one of your buddies or girlfriends?

Chances are you would be informal, personal, avoid fancy words, ask questions and make it more of a conversation than a lecture. If you can do that, it will make your writing much more relatable and pleasant to read.

Include Data

We already talked about the importance of fact checking your claims. One of the best ways to do so is to back them up with verifiable data. This immediately increases credibility, shows that you have done your homework and allows readers to feel confident about your content.

use data to improve content quality

Image by hvostik / shutterstock.com.

That doesn’t mean you have to come up with your own case studies or create original data (though if you can do that, even better). It’s enough to link to other credible and up-to-date sources.

For example, did you know that blogs are one of the most trusted online sources of information? It’s true. However, that also means it’s your job as a content creator to make sure they deserve that reputation. Including relevant data in your content is just one step in that direction.

Use Examples

Like data, examples can do a lot to clarify points that you make in your writing. Remember when I asked whether you found it easier to buy presents for close friends or near strangers? That was an example to drive home my point about audience research.

Did it work? I hope so.

Using examples makes it easier for people to understand what you are talking about. It helps translate loose concepts into concrete and relatable information.

As we have established earlier, the amount of value readers get out of your content is directly related to their perception of its quality. Examples are a great investment into that.

Include Visuals

What’s better than using data and examples to clarify your points? Using them in visual form!

Our brains understand visual information much faster than spoken or written (some say 60,000 times faster). Consequently, many things that need pages and pages to explain in written form can be understood from an image in the blink of an eye.

For example, I could talk for hours to describe the happiest animal in the world or I can just show you the picture of a Quokka below and melt your heart right here right now.

increase content quality with visuals like this image of a Quokka

Image by David Haykazyan / shutterstock.com

It worked, right? For that reason, if you really want to help your readers out, include lots of images, photos, infographics, diagrams and other visuals in your content. They greatly supplement the rest of it and are also a signal of quality to Google. That way, you also do something for your SEO.

Format Properly

A post’s formatting has a lot of influence on how easy to understand and engaging it is. You might have noticed that in this post, I’m using a lot of paragraphs, headings and subheadings, lists and other ways to break it up into smaller pieces.

This makes it the article endlessly easier to digest than if everything was one big block of text. Were that the case, I could be telling people how to literally turn manure into gold but nobody would care to read through the entire post to find out.

At last years WordCamp Europe, Joost de Valk and his wife Marieke van der Rakt of Team Yoast gave a presentation on what makes content great. Here’s what they had to say about formatting:

  • Use clear paragraphs, one idea/core sentence per paragraph
  • Don’t randomly add white space within the paragraph
  • Use transition words
  • Include clear headings
  • No more than 20 words per sentence
  • Use simple words of up to three syllables
  • Avoid passive voice
  • Use synonyms
  • Mix sentence and paragraph length

Aside from that, here’s a dirty little secret: the majority of your readers won’t even read the entire post. With the surplus of information out there, most people simply scan content and read the parts that interest them.

Thus, anything you can do to make your web content more scanable will also make it more popular with readers. Besides the stuff mentioned above, images are also a great way to break up your blog posts. For that reason, using them increases your content quality in more than one way.

Edit and Proofread

We already mentioned in SEO copywriting tips that writing is not actually the biggest part in creating content. Most of the work goes into research, creating an outline and editing. Especially the latter is where much of the magic happens that takes web content from mediocre to great.

As a consequence, investing in editing and proofreading is a direct investment into content quality. Before publishing a post make sure to check for spelling and grammar mistakes, examine the entire structure of the post and each paragraph.

Better yet, hire an experienced editor. Many of the biggest bloggers out there routinely ask others to proofread their work. An outsider’s perspective is always different than your own and other people will likely pick up on stuff that you are blind to. For that reason, an editor can give you fresh input on how to make your writing better and greatly improve your web content.

Boosting Content Quality in a Nutshell

In an online world that is increasingly competitive, improving content quality is an efficient way to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Producing less but better content is a better long-term investment than producing loads of mediocre posts.

The strategies in this article are not rocket science and can be used by anyone to increase their content quality. Properly researching both your audience and your topic forms the basis for great content. Working on your writing, using data, examples and visuals to stress your point will make it much easier to comprehend. Proper formatting and editing are the final polish.

In the long run, setting high standards for your content will pay off dearly with increased traffic and engaged readers.

However, what about you? Do you have additional tips how to increase content quality? Please share your insights in the comment section below.

Article thumbnail image by Becris / shutterstock.com

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18 Comments

  1. Great article. But you forgot to put the link at the beginning, as per the writer’s instruction.

    • And yes, I have a tip: Hire a professional writer for your written content. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Magazines, journals, newspapers, they’re all in the business of serving up relevant and well-crafted content.

      What do they do? Hire professional writers. So if you want to get ahead, spend a bit of money and have something professionally crafted – you’ll end up with something that adds true value to your website and therefore to your audience’s experience.

      • Simon, thanks for the input and for spotting the mistakes on top. I’ll make sure they are corrected.

  2. Nick,

    Great article as usual. I really enjoyed some of the stats you linked us to, as I was not aware of those. To be honest, I don’t blog as much as I used to and I really need to get back into it. This article has encouraged me to do that and has provided some great advice.

    Thanks for writing!

    • Thanks a lot Jacob! Happy to hear I could add to your motivation. I blog pretty much every day and never get enough of it. Hope it will be the same for you, once you get back into it.

  3. Thanks for these tips, Nick

    • You are welcome!

  4. Hi Nick,
    Great article. I have a question about how to deal with content that may not be your own. If I wanted to cite an article in a resource area of a website, how would I do that without affecting my own rank? I see websites online that have articles where they seem to copy and paste content from news sources and the like. What are your thoughts about that and how do you think integration of content on a site can work effectively?
    Thanks 😉

    • Hey Lisa, sorry it took me a while to answer. I just wanted to take the proper time to respond to you. About your question: I think it depends on the amount of copy and paste you do. If you copy an entire article (with permission, of course) and post it on your own site, you should set a canonical link to the original. That way Google will understand that you are not scraping content and shouldn’t punish you for it. If you cite passages from somewhere else, as long as you add original content and link back to the source, you should be fine. Maybe set the cited passages in blockquote to make it even clearer. Hope this helps. Let me know if I can help in some other way.

  5. Great article! Thanks!

    • Thank you for the comment! Happy you liked it.

  6. Thanks for a good article Nick, follows professional copywriting and marketing structures. But here is a challenge for you: stop following the fad of capitalising (Australian spelling) every word in your headings. For me, highlighting proper nouns or very special words allows a CAPITAL to be taken seriously. Using them on every word destroys the impact. And that goes for you too elegant Themes! Oops, missed the capital “E”.

    • Hey Christopher, thanks for your input. Sorry you don’t agree with the capitalization policy on Elegant Themes. I personally think it makes headings look really good. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Hope you can overlook it so it doesn’t keep you from coming back to the blog. Cheers!

  7. Thanks again Nick, appreciate your insight and sharing your knowledge and experience. It helps us newbies a lot. I’m new to reading your posts but will keep and eye out for them from now on.

  8. My beefs are two-fold: line length and font.
    This new ET format makes reading the blogs MUCH harder.

    Line lengths “should” be between 66 and 85 characters. These are 100 to 110. Far too long.

    Plus, the use of Poppins makes reading even MORE difficult — Sans serif and a very boxy face.

    When I see type with many lines of this kind of type, I realize I’m no longer reading but I’m sort of floating, trying to find something for my eyes to land on.

    I realize this is the current “look” but it flies in the face of what works — Serif (Goudy 1911) and shorter lines.

    All the great content is of no use if your layout does not entice them to read. Reading is hard work and the brain will tell you to spend your time doing something easier if your “look” makes reading difficult.

    I also agree with @christophergray — Headlines should be sentences, not shouts.

    • Thanks for the feedback Randy! I’m sure the web designers will find it helpful. We hope you still come back to the blog.

  9. Many thanks for this article. I have been lacking visuals alongside my content and after reading your article this I need to change.

  10. Appreciating post. I love in-depth content which gives me satisfy information.Value added experiences matters so I like to deliver same. In-depth value added blog post.

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