Everyone talks about quality content, but it’s often hard to define.
Google has attempted to define quality so that there is some framework for content creators.
But Google has also said to stop relying so much on Google’s framework for quality and start exploring how to create something unique that connects with your audience.
In this article, you will learn some writing techniques that aren’t discussed as much as things like Google’s E-E-A-T and its Search Quality Rater Guidelines or its guidance on creating helpful, reliable, people-first content:
Once you can identify what accurate and high-quality content should look like for your brand or the brands you serve, you can empower yourself or your content creators.
Get rid of logical inconsistencies
Logical inconsistencies are contradictions or conflicts in the content that can undermine its credibility.
Resolving any conflicting statements or arguments helps ensure that the information is reliable, strengthening your content’s overall credibility.
Inconsistencies can happen easily due to things like incomplete research or hasty writing.
To overcome this:
- Take the time to thoroughly research the topic.
- Fact-check any claims.
- Review content for any contradictory statements.
- Resolve fallacies.
- Use frameworks, such as syllogisms or deductive reasoning.
In a nutshell, apply critical thinking to strengthen the logical coherence of your content.
Master persuasive writing
If you want to strengthen your arguments and enhance credibility, learning how to write persuasively is key.
This means the ideas presented:
- Are well-supported.
- Evoke emotion.
- Are convincing.
This increases the overall effectiveness of the content.
A common problem in content is weak or unsupported arguments that fail to get the message across effectively.
To address this:
- Use solid research.
- Provide relevant examples and evidence.
- Rely on emotion to strengthen your arguments.
Offer unbiased information
Use objective language and present information in a fair and balanced manner.
This may be more important for certain types of content. For example, “Your Money or Your Life” topics require objective writing.
But a thought leadership article or regular blog article that requires a personal opinion that adds value will not.
Unbiased information helps readers to trust the information presented, as it avoids subjective opinions and maintains a focus on facts and evidence.
On the other hand, biased information can lead to misinterpretation.
To address this:
Review AI-generated content
While many AI detection tools are in the market today, you can’t rely on them to do the job accurately.
AI content that has not been human-reviewed can undermine the credibility of the content.
Sometimes, using AI in content creation is a question of ethics, too – especially if the brand publishing the content hired a writer, not knowing that they used AI tools to generate the content.
What to do:
Dig deeper: Can search engines detect AI content?
Ensure data accuracy
Inaccurate or misleading data and statistics can lead to misinformation and flawed conclusions.
Carefully evaluate and verify the accuracy of the data used in the content. This helps maintain the integrity and reliability of information.
This is especially important when data and statistics play a significant role in supporting claims in content.
Some ways to go about doing this:
- Critically examine your data sources, methodologies and statistics to ensure the information presented is accurate, trustworthy and aligned with the intended message.
- Always track down the source of data to ensure any statistics used are accurate in the context of the original source.
- Unfortunately, far too many writers copy statistics from third parties (like articles that compile a list of stats on a topic) without verifying the information. It’s common for the information to have been misinterpreted or just plain wrong.
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
Keep information current
Review content regularly to identify and replace information that has become obsolete or no longer reflects the current state of knowledge. This ensures that content remains accurate, relevant and trustworthy.
As we know, search engines like Google want to show the most up-to-date information on a topic. So, this step helps ensure webpages remain relevant.
Not all topics will require new information (for example, a page on the American Civil War), but many will require updating occasionally to stay relevant.
Even pages that discuss historical events can benefit from improvements like how the information is presented and optimized.
How to address this:
- Regular content audits and updates should happen to identify outdated sections and replace them with accurate and current information. And then looking at how the page can be further optimized is a great next step.
- Follow reputable sources to stay informed about the latest developments in the topics you’re creating content on.
Grammatical errors (e.g., issues with grammar rules, sentence structure, verb agreement, punctuation and more) harm the credibility of your content.
Correcting these issues ensures clarity and precision in your writing. Clear and error-free writing enhances the credibility of your content.
Unintentional errors happen due to a lack of oversight or editing.
To resolve this:
- Proofread the content carefully.
- Use grammar-checking tools.
- Seek feedback from others to catch any overlooked errors.
Format for readability
Formatting issues (e.g., inconsistencies in fonts, spacing, indentation, headings and overall layout) can harm the credibility of your content.
Inconsistent or haphazard formatting can confuse readers and detract from the message you are trying to convey.
Formatting problems are a common issue when there are multiple contributors, evolving style guides or when content creators simply neglect to follow established formatting guidelines.
Resolving these issues ensures that your content appears professional, organized and easy to read.
Proper formatting helps guide readers through your content and emphasizes key points effectively. This can help build trust in the content.
Some formatting tips include:
- Creating and maintaining a comprehensive style guide that outlines the preferred formatting practices.
- Making sure the visual presentation, structure, and style of content remain uniform throughout.
- Proofreading and editing content to ensure consistent implementation of formatting elements.
- Using appropriate headings and subheadings in the proper order for SEO.
- Using HTML tables appropriately.
- Including a table of contents at the top of the webpage with anchor links to their respective sections on the page.
35 questions to ask before publishing
All quality content has a quality editing process.
Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone else to edit the content, this step is essential before publishing.
The following are questions to consider as you edit content for quality. Not all of them may apply to each webpage or article, so you can choose which to ponder based on the purpose of the piece.
- Does the introduction accurately summarize the main points of the document?
- Are there any sections where the author’s arguments are weak or unsupported?
- Are there any instances of biased language or subjective statements that should be revised?
- Are there any instances of overgeneralization or sweeping statements that need clarification or evidence?
- Are there any statistical or data inaccuracies in the document?
- Is there any outdated or obsolete information in the document?
- Are there any sections that contain overly technical language or jargon without proper explanation or context?
- Does the article minimize references to time-sensitive events or trends that may quickly become outdated unless necessary for context?
- Are there any instances of self-contradiction within the document where the author presents conflicting statements or arguments?
- Are there any sections that lack proper context or background information, making it difficult for readers to fully understand the content?
- Are there any sections that could benefit from additional information or examples?
- Are there any sections that lack proper transitions or coherence, making it difficult for readers to follow the flow of ideas?
- Are there any sections that contain irrelevant or tangential information that distracts from the main topic?
- Are there any places where the article lacks a compelling and concise header/subheader that accurately reflects its content and grabs the reader’s attention?
- Are there any places where the article fails to achieve a balance between paragraph length, resulting in walls of text or ineffective information conveyance?
- Are there any places where the article fails to summarize the key points discussed and provide a clear and impactful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression?
- Are there any instances of AI detected in the document?
- Are there any places where the article lacks a call to action?
- Has the article been optimized for search engines by including relevant keywords naturally throughout the text?
- Does the article lack meta descriptions and meta tags that accurately summarize its content?
- Does the article use appropriate heading tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure its content and improve readability?
- Does the article identify opportunities to link internally within, directing readers to related content on the same website or platform?
- Does the article ensure the anchor text used for cross-links is descriptive and accurately represents the content of the linked page?
- Are there any grammatical or syntactical errors in the document?
- Are there any inconsistencies in the formatting or citation style used throughout the document?
- Does the article lack text formatting elements such as bold, italics, bullet points and other formatting elements to highlight important information and improve visual appeal?
- Has the article been assessed for readability using tools like the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test?
- Does the article lack original insights or a unique perspective on the topic, resulting in its inability to distinguish itself from existing content?
- Does the article highlight key points or compelling quotes as callouts or pull quotes to grab the reader’s attention and emphasize important information?
- Does the article include quotes or insights from industry experts or relevant individuals to add credibility and provide different perspectives on the topic?
- Does the article utilize graphs, charts or infographics to present complex data or statistics in an easily digestible format?
- Does the article provide historical context or background information where relevant?
- Does the article adapt its content, examples or references to resonate with specific geographical regions, cultures or local contexts?
- Does the article evoke emotions or empathy from the reader, allowing them to connect on a deeper level?
- Does the article incorporate social proof, such as testimonials, reviews or endorsements, to build trust and credibility with the reader?
Creating content that truly resonates
By prioritizing accuracy and quality in your content, you can become a trusted source of information and positively impact both your website visitors and search engine rankings.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.