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CONTENT WRITING TEST: HOW TO IMPROVE QUALITY CONTENT AND ADAPT THIS TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Por María Eugenia Guidara |

CONTENT WRITING TEST

An online business has a great challenge: to write well. This is one of the main aspects to generate attraction and sell more, within a digital marketing integral strategy.

This practical test allows you to test if your online content attracts your audience. What´s the objective? To generate what is called “great content”.

Clarity, a willingness to learn more and action

If they are owners of a brand or business with social media presence, they are probably obsessed with generating traffic quickly to their website. So, what do you have to offer people who arrive on your page?

Alert! If your readers don´t find what they are looking for, it´s likely that they leave forever.

dont go

In a publication by the Content Marketing Institute, the following interesting result is mentioned about a Digital Experience Survey from IBM in 2015:

56% of marketing specialists think that personalized content moves greater commitment rates”.

Content thought of specifically for an audience is content that helps people remember your brand and to commit more to it. In the end, this generates a positive interaction between the client and the company.

This is what your visitors must find on your website, blog and any pages related with your business. Nothing more and nothing less than GREAT CONTENT: that meets their concerns or solves their needs, is clear, makes them want more and moves them to action.

How you create a content test depends on the audience (the “Who” in this story)

Who is your audience? Better said, Who are your readers? This is quite obvious: how are you going to write personalized content, without knowing who your audience is? So, to know if your content is working, the test depends on whom it has been written for. One thing cannot exist without the other.

For example, not all readers have the same former education or the same knowledge. What happens if we write about things they already know? We bore them. What happens if they know less than we thought? They get frustrated and leave.

So, How do you test your content?

What is this test about? Its inspired in a publication by Government Digital Service (GDS) and written by two specialists: Christine Cawthorne (content strategist of GDS) and Emileigh Barnes (content designer of 18F, the official site for the Government of the United States of America). You can test your content by implementing any of the following practices (all can be applied or you can select the ones you think work better depending on your audience):

  1. Open Ended Questions

  2. Let people choose their own words

  3. A/B Test

  4. Cloze Test

  5. A/B Test + preferences

1.- Open Ended Questions (or open questions)

If you have ever been faced with the task of creating a form for a survey, you know closed questions and open questions exist. Examples:

Interested in losing 5 kilos in one week without any effort? -> The possible answers to this question are two: Yes/No. This is a closed question.

What is your opinion about diets that promise you lose a large amount of kilos in just a few days without any effort?? -> The answers can be infinite. This is a question that leaves an open end for those who answer.

Only open questions can serve to test your content. Some of them could be: What have you understood from … (x process, explanation, event, etcetera)? What does this mean to you?, What do you think is missing from this information?

The publication of explanatory content about how a product or service works is a useful way to test content writing. What do we need to know? Has the content been easy to read, easy to understand what has been explained and has it been entertaining?

whats your opinion

2.- Let people choose their own words

This has to do with the previous point, but focuses directly on the words used by readers to know if the content writing is using “the same language”. For example, youngsters from the Millennial generation don´t express themselves the same way as the rest of the people do. They have their own language.

The best thing about this technique is it allows you to include these words in your content and achieve a more direct influence with those who are reading your words. Let´s take a look at an example from one of the authors of this GDS post (the “inspirational” post).

Christine worked on an application that helped youngsters prepare themselves for job interviews. The app allowed them to choose from feelings they experienced. But that was not all: it also gave them the option to include feelings written by them.

app that helped

Source: GDS

Many ways exist to apply this technique on social networks. In our article Strategies of Visual Marketng + Questions: 10 formula models that never fail, you can see similar cases of this technique but in a social media version.

3.- A/B Test

Let´s go directly to an example published by a blog on Government Digital Service (GDS).

The National Health Service (NHS) wrote eight variations of content requesting users to sign up as organ donors. Some of them were:

  • Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. You can save or change up to 9 lives as an organ donor.

  • Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Three people die each day due to insufficient organ donors.

  • Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

This was just an experiment. Want to know how it ended? The registration rate was measured with each piece of content and the most successful one was chosen: “Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register”. The simplest and easiest won.

GDS

Specifically: the A/B Test compares two versions of content (or more versions, depending on what you consider necessary). If you are asking yourself why your users are not interacting with your website as you had hoped, maybe it´s time to start testing your content writing with techniques such as this one. Don´t forget about your landing page!

4.- Cloze Test

This practice is to put content writing to a test and has a clear objective: measure the level of your audiences understanding. This consists of eliminating certain words from a text. What readers do is complete the empty spaces.

How are words eliminated? Two ways: erasing one out of five words or eliminating keywords (selective subtraction). Synonyms can be accepted as well as exact words in their place.

We shouldn´t forget about the responsibility a text has when the reader understands what is written.

KEY POINT: THE HIGHER LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING ON BEHALF OF YOUR READERS, THE BETTER CONTENT SUCCESS.

Observe the following diagram of “Good content” by Christine Cawthorne.

Source: GDS The green star marks the ideal content point

Source: GDS The green star marks the ideal content point

5.- A/B Test + preferences

A strategy mixes both techniques: compare two content versions and investigate the audience´s preference.

Observe which questions could be made to discover the reader´s preference:

  • Directly: You prefer A or B?

  • Monitor the response: Why? Why not?

  • Qualitative Questions: ask all types of questions to know even more about the subjective vision (and the behavior) of each person.

BONUS: We mentioned this before, but we repeat it again: content readability is essential for the comprehension/connection of the reader. Measuring it can help you know how difficult the text is. Use simple language as a rule when you write.

Check these tools:

  1. Coleman Liau Index

  2. SMOG Index

  3. Gunning fog Index

  4. Readable Free Readability test tool, allows you to upload a complete link of your website and measure its readability with just one click. It´s our most notable one.

readibility test

In conclusion, the online content writing test is customizable

You can practice one or more and compare the results.

Remember that good content is making a great difference in digital marketing.

Words can transform any conduct (no matter how reluctant). To write good results and sell well.

span lang=”en-US”>Now please tell us: have you ever thought about testing your content writing? <If you have, what tests did you use? What were the results? We are very happy to share this information with you because we think it´s very valuable.

We bid our farewell with these articles that may be of interest (we´ll see you soon!):

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