7 Cs of quality web content

Comments Off Written on June 22nd, 2012 by
Categories: Articles, Concise writing, Planning, Readability, Scannability

If you want to write better content for your website, intranet or blog, aim for these 7 qualities. They’re based on the classic ‘7 Cs of communication’, reworked for communicating online.

1. Considered

In the rush to get information online, sometimes content isn’t well planned. But good web content shows clear signs that its purpose and target audience have been considered. It is focused. The main message is obvious. The main task is clearly supported. The content speaks the language of its audience. It engages them because it is approachable and relevant.

2. Chunked

Good web content is chunked. It is not a wall of dense text. It is easy on the eye and invites a closer look. Related chunks of information are grouped and separated from other chunks. Each section, paragraph, sentence or dot point is focused on a topic, sub-topic, step or point. Your readers find it easy to skim over the page to find the information they are looking for.

3. Clear

The structure is clear and logical — revealed at a glance. The headings are meaningful, signposting each main part of the content. The text is easy to read. It is understood immediately, without needing to re-read anything. Links are clearly labelled.

4. Concrete

There is no fuzzy corporate speak or vague bureaucratese. Good content provides concrete information: facts, particulars, details. It makes your readers confident and builds your reputation.

5. Concise

Good content gets straight to the point. Your readers don’t have to jump over fluffy introductions or welcome messages. You don’t waste their time by telling them what they already know. You don’t ramble or repeat yourself. Your content has been reviewed and edited, and every unnecessary word cut.

6. Complete

Your earlier planning ensures the content is complete. You know what your readers need, and you provide it. They don’t need to call you because everything they expected to find is there. Images have text alternatives so vision impaired users don’t miss out on anything.

7. Correct

The content has been reviewed and proofread. There are no spelling or grammatical errors. The links work.

Resources

These resources might help you achieve the 7 Cs.