Content Scoring Explained
It is almost impossible to improve what you don’t measure. On the other hand, you can’t just improve something just because you measure it.
When it comes to content, there’s no shortage of ways to score it. Some are simple methods, and others are a bit more complicated. But just because they are complex doesn’t mean it is practical or even useful.
Let’s look at content scoring and some methods to measure your content’s quality to benefit as a digital content marketer.
Benefits of scoring your content
Without keeping score, it’s complicated to identify what is not working, what does work, and what could be improved.
Content scoring encourages writers to produce high-quality content. No one likes rushed poorly written content. Authentic content must answer a searcher’s questions on the internet to rank high in search engines.
Scoring content also provides some kind of benchmark or objective to aim your content at. If you don’t do this, your content will be a shot in the dark based on a gut feeling. This strategy will not prove beneficial at all and will only hinder your success.
With proper content scoring, your team can meet expectations (or even exceed them) with their first draft. Establish a passing score or set benchmarks that you and your writers must include in the content. This will help your quality reach new heights.
Important note: Beware of vanity metrics. Numbers like the number of retweets are poor measurements of success. Likes on a post or comments do not mean your content’s goal was met.
Creating a good content scoring method
Content scoring is a fantastic way to predict a good outcome if applied correctly. However, most don’t use content scoring this way, as using scoring as a ranking and tracking method is more commonly employed than predicting.
While that isn’t particularly bad, it’s not the most effective way to do it.
Say you are writing a piece where it’s scored by the number of downloads an app gets. More downloads equal a higher score. The article gets a high score. Fantastic!
How can you determine a new content piece will perform the same or better than this one?
What if you used traffic as an indicator for scoring? Same scenario here.
Let’s put it this way. Say I’m watching my favourite sports team, and I know they’re at X amount of wins versus Y amount of losses. Let’s also assume that they have fewer wins than losses.
That score helps me determine where they stand, but it doesn’t tell me much about what they should do to win more games.
It’s the same with digital content marketing. Knowing where your content stands is fine and all, but knowing what you need to improve so that your content can score more wins is key.
How to score your content
We’ve talked about the metrics that Google Analytics uses in the past. But using those as the only benchmark to score your content will come to bite you later. It doesn’t really help you improve your content.
You know your blog gets lots of traffic. Good. How do you get MORE traffic, though? How do you reduce those bounce rates?
In marketing, you need to know why something happens. While useful in many ways, traffic metrics usually don’t help you determine the “why.”
One of the most effective ways to score your content is determining how difficult it is to understand. According to the American Medical Association, medical information should be written at no higher than an eighth-grade reading level.
This is because the average adult’s reading level is no higher than that.
Why should content marketers care? Because if people do not understand your content or are having a hard time reading it, they’ll stop almost immediately.
Content writers often have a higher reading level than average. How can you score content to be understood if you can easily understand it yourself?
You don’t even have to do it yourself.
Online tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor help you determine whether your content, in the general sense, is hard to read for a particular audience.
There are also readability tests like the Flesch-Kincaid that use formulas based on total words, sentences and syllables. These give you a numerical scorecard that you can use to either improve your content or know what type of content works.
Your SEO will improve because people who understand your content will stay around for longer.
While good content is more than readability, it will help you be well on your way to score your content.
Manually scoring it is an option, which can be an entire article on its own. For the sake of time, you can manually determine how to improve your content by:
- Search engines favour in-depth content pieces. Determine the essential subtopics and keywords to determine in your content posts.
- What are people searching for? Determine the most important questions that need to be answered so your content can match a searcher’s intent.
- Find content gaps in other content. What is the competition failing to address/include? Make sure your posts are better and more complete than the rest.
- Make your content as authentic as possible. Offer something of value to your audience before placing a call to action or a self-promotional paragraph.
- Include relevant links that help users and improve your rankings. Focus on topics you post and take advantage of internal links to create content to provide users with more information and show search engines that you are an authority on the subjects. You can still use external links to enhance your content without hindering your rank.
Great content is usually not easy to pull off right away, but it’s more than worth it. Score your content, know how to improve your score, what to keep doing right, and reap the benefits of scoring high by generating desirable results.
We hope this information helps you become a better content writer! If you want to learn more about digital content marketing, be sure to check out our blog. We have many articles that may prove helpful in your digital marketing efforts.
If you are not a marketer and are instead looking for digital solutions to boost your brand’s presence online, give us a call! We will be more than happy to help you take your company’s online ranking to the next level.