Architecting quality content is a choice. Many people are choosing to create poor or mediocre content, which produces the same results. Great content is built on a foundation of the following four characteristics:
Google has changed the way people develop content. Instead of focusing on the needs of our readers, we tend to stress over SEO and rankings. Too much of the content on the Internet is “writer- and Google-focused” rather than “reader- and end-user-focused.” If the reader cannot see him or herself in the content, nothing happens.
Crafting deliberate and intentional content takes time, energy, and practice. Something most people claim they do not have enough of. But the result of misdirected, confusing, and poor communication can result in substantial costs of time, money, and lost productivity.
Content is about creating an experience. It should be meaningful and provide a better user experience. Whether in a brick-and-mortar shop or online, people will stay longer if they can find what they need and feel like they are treated well.
Plain language is the opposite of dumbing down information. It is about making complex information clear for the intended audience without losing meaning or context. Elements of plain language include word choice, sentence structure, paragraph length, headings and subtitles, infographics, and other visual aids.
Everyone knows that a structure is only as good as the foundation upon which it was built. Your content is no different. If you miss integrating one of these elements, your content (and the results that follow) will be unreliable.
Now is the time to take stock. Where does your content stand?