The key to creating a useful and well-ranking website is the content. Your content needs to be high-quality, informative, add value, and differentiate your website from your competitors.
But how do you know if your content is ticking all these boxes (and more)?
Google has put together some excellent questions to help you assess your content quality. We have tweaked Google’s list of questions to provide you with more information and a better understanding of what quality content is.
Use these checklists to self-assess your website and to start a conversation with your colleagues about what you want, expect, and need from your website.
If you can answer Yes to each of these questions, this is a strong indicator that your website and content provide high-quality, high-value, relevant, and informative content.
Content and Quality Checklist:
- Does my website deliver original information, reporting, research, or analysis? Read your content – is it saying anything new or different from your competitors. Ideally your content communicates your point of view, delivers thought leadership and analysis, or provides something unique to your niche and industry.
- Does our content provide a comprehensive, thorough, detailed, complete, or substantial description of the topic? The best content is content that answers questions and gives readers the extra information they need to have a balanced and well-rounded understanding of the topic. This type of content both helps and informs.
- Does our content go beyond stating the obvious and provide insightful analysis or interesting information? This is all about content value – what value is your content providing? A simple rehash of facts from another website is not enough. Think of what you want from the content you read and give this to your readers.
- When using content from other sources, is the content updated to provide substantial additional value and originality? There is nothing wrong with using online sources, but to be of value to your readers and search engines, your content needs to be different from the source material.
- Are you using headlines and page titles that communicate value and do not use shocking language? You do need to catch the reader’s attention but the best way to do this is with headlines and page titles that communicate the value of the page and tell the reader what they will learn from your content.
- Would you recommend this page to a friend or refer to it frequently yourself? If yes, then this is a strong indicator that the page is of high quality. If not – it’s time to update this page with content that you feel proud to share with others.
- Is this content the type and quality that could be referenced in a book, printed magazine/newspaper, or encyclopedia? This speaks to the quality and expertise of the content and underscores how important it is to always provide high-value, informative content that others find useful and helpful.
- Does your content clearly communicate that your website is a trusted resource? The best way to do this is with clear and obvious sourcing of reference documents, author biographies that highlight expertise and background, an informative About page, and easy to find contact information.
- If you were using your website to learn about your subject area, would it give you the information you need to trust it as an expert and authority? To understand this, take a look at a page and ask how this page proves expertise and authority in your subject area.
- Are experts writing your content? The hallmark of high-quality expert content is content written by a subject matter expert or committed enthusiast who clearly knows the topic. This should be obvious from reading the Author bio on your blogs/articles and from reading the About page.
- Is your content free of easily verified factual errors? No one wants to read content with factual errors. Always double-check your facts, update content with the latest stats and industry research, and provide links to those sources. Expert, authoritative, and trusted content must be error-free.
- When making decisions about your money or your life, would you trust this content? Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) are pages that could contain information that has a huge impact on your money or your life. If you are providing such content, it’s vital that your website and content are recognized by Google and other search engines as an expert, authority, and trusted voice in your field.
Presentation and Layout Checklist:
- Is your content free of spelling and grammatical errors? Always spell-check your content and use a writing tool that provides grammar checks.
- Is the page layout and design easy-to-read and navigate? It must be easy for people to find the information they want with a clean design and accessible menus. It should be clear that thought and attention-to-detail were used in the layout, design, and publishing process.
- Does your content communicate a consistent tone and use the same design/layout across all pages? Quality websites use the same tone of voice, style, language, and design across all pages. Every page needs the same level of care and if you are using multiple writers, it should not be obvious who has written what. Make sure you’re using a consistent layout, colors, menu, and design across all pages.
- Is your website free of ads that make it difficult for readers to access the content they’re looking for? Make sure any pop-ups or interstitials are easy to close, small, and do not take over the entire page. Google has said that pop-ups or interstitials that block the entire page or are hard to close, negatively impact page ranking in search engine results.
- Does your website display well on mobile devices? Are the menus easy to access? Do the buttons work? Is it easy to find the contact information? Can your readers easily navigate your website on a mobile device? Do not assume the answer is yes, test your website on multiple mobile devices.
- Does your content deliver substantial value when it is compared to other pages in the search results? This underscores the importance of providing original and authoritative information that communicates a point-of-view, thought leadership, or research/analysis.
- Does your content meet the search intent of your readers? Your readers want answers to their questions and queries. Do you know what your readers are searching for and the questions they have? Every piece of content should be written around search intent – this is how you give people what they want and need. You cannot guess at search intent.
It’s not easy to critically review your website and content – don’t be shy about asking a trusted and proven expert to review your content.
Contact us for an honest analysis and assessment of your website and content. Trust us to give you an unbiased review of your digital presence.
To learn more about content quality, search, Google, and SEO read these articles: