If your business has a presence online, chances are very good that you’ve heard about the importance of having “quality content” on your website. Quality content can mean many things to many people, often creating confusion for business owners looking to get started on improving their web presence.

When the term “quality content” is used, it generally refers to more than just using the right key phrases for SEO purposes. In order to meet the criteria of “quality content”, the copy on your website needs to be easily scannable by both readers and search engines, should speak to the appropriate audience and reading level, and needs to be consistently authoritative and helpful to readers. If you’re not sure where exactly to get started, here are some helpful tips for ensuring that your website has quality content.

Scannability is key

Ensuring that web content is easily scannable is one of the most overlooked processes of the content creation process. If your content isn’t easily scannable, chances are you’re going to lose out on a significant portion of your audience, and users won’t feel compelled to stay on your website for long periods of time.

In order to maximize content scannability, you need to ensure that your content is straight and to the point. Think of it as the difference between a newspaper article and a multi-page essay – one can be quickly consumed by just about anybody, while the other contains flowery prose that makes it difficult to pick out the important details at a glance. Scannable content means:

  • No excessive use of punctuation
  • Brief sentences
  • Writing in a language that can be understood by any audience
  • Using traditionally easy-to-read fonts
  • Using bolded text and bulleted lists to highlight important points
  • Linking to sources and related content
  • Appropriate white space to minimize distractions

Speaking to the right reading level

The readability of your content is extremely important to ensuring that it’s accessible to all – this practice has been a standard in journalism for many years, and made its way to the internet some time ago. It’s generally agreed that writing to a sixth grade reading level is most effective, especially if your business isn’t involved in the sale of complex products and services like legal management software or engineering services.

Readability is determined by the Flesch–Kincaid readability tests, which measures reading ease and grade level of your content. Being able to measure the readability of your content allows you to alter it to read to the correct audience – writing to an advanced reading level can hurt the effectiveness of your content, especially if the services offered by your business don’t require it.

There are a number of free online tools often used to score content readability, including:

Content should always be authoritative and helpful

Your content needs to provide value to readers, especially if you want them to come back time and time again. Every piece of content on your website, whether it’s a blog, landing page or web page, should offer at least one key takeaway for readers. If your content is authoritative without being helpful, it’s no good. The key is to be both authoritative and helpful, speaking about a subject with complete confidence and trustworthiness while offering tips, resources, and useful information about that subject.

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) is one of the key elements used to determine page quality, which is an influencing factor on search engine rankings. The more your content meets the E-A-T standards, the higher your page will rank on search engines, and the more likely audiences will find your content and stick around for more. All your pages should have an explicit purpose, and should benefit readers in some way.

By having a better idea of what is considered to be “quality content”, you’ll be able to ensure that your online content meets the established standards of scannability, appropriate reading level, and authoritativeness and helpfulness. The stronger your content, the more value it offers to readers, and the more likely those readers could become customers.

ion8 is an all-in-one business consultancy with a full team of digital marketing and SEO copywriting experts ready to help you craft high quality online content. For more information about everything that ion8 can do for your business, contact us today.