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Web Writing Study Note 2: Characteristics of Good Content

Summary:

There are eight characteristics of good content include structure, relevant, useful, accurate, credible, findable, scannable, and simple. When we are developing content, we don’t only focus on those eight characteristics, but also focus on writing in an interesting way to make users want to read.

Moreover, the voice of the content is also a key consideration when you write the content. You need to write more personal and to choose more active verbs. The tone of the voice should be consistent across all the channels.


Key Study Notes from the Course:

Characteristics of Good Content:

  • Structure

When you structure content on a page, you need to consider how people are going to read it.You can use big heading, bullet points, short paragraphs, and etc.

  • Relevant & Useful

You need to make sure to meet the needs and goals of both users and business. You could look at competitors’websites to learn what they are doing. Or, you could do some research.

Tips to make content more relevant and useful:

  1. Think about how your content can be phased
  2. Think about how your content is displayed in the search engine result page
  3. Look at the analytics
  4. Look at social media to see if people are talking about your content
  • Accurate and Credible

We need to make sure we don’t skip the facts. The number 1 thing you need to think about is “is it believable?”.

How do we make sure our content is accurate?

  1. make sure we have the expertise to write about the content or ask an expert to check
  2. make sure the spelling and grammar is correct

How do we make our content credible?

  1. go out and research the topic
  2. collect the facts
  • Findable

How do people find your content in the first place?

  1. search
  2. get linked from another website
  3. find content within your website through the navigation
  4. internal links
  5. use your own website internal search

The first two ways are hard to control because they are in an open space. However, you can have a lot of control power with the last three ways because they are happening on your own website. You can use analytic tools to find the patterns.

  • Scannable

One of the techniques that we use to make more scannable content is the chunking of that content.

We always want to put the most important things and summary on the top of the page.

Having some white space between content can make a site more attractive to the eye.

  • Simple

We want short, succinct content that people are going to read instantly and understand. The writing style could be: 

  • relax
  • casual
  • informal
  • match users’ knowledge and experience
  • direct
  • use examples
  • inform, not impress
  • use verbs
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