How to Improve the Quality of an Article

Updated on December 8, 2017

Quality Correlates with Success

Quality is important on HubPages for several reasons:

  • Quality is a huge predictor of success (traffic, earnings, impact) over time
  • A minimum quality standard must be met in order for an article to be Featured on HubPages
  • High quality work can improve online reputation and bolster readership (while low quality work does the opposite)

We therefore recommend doing maintenance and updating your articles periodically to improve them and ensure they follow current online writing standards.

Simple Ways to Improve an Article

A few small fixes can go a long way. We recommend:

  • Making sure that your title is short and descriptive, and that it matches common search queries people might use look for the information in Google or other search engines (more on creating good titles can be found in our Learning Center guide to creating successful, search-friendly titles)
  • Providing information that cannot be found elsewhere online (unique expertise, insider tips, rare data and analysis, and information that is not already extensively shared via existing online resources)
  • Presenting concrete facts, figures, and data, referencing and linking back to trusted sources, and providing detailed, insightful analyses rather than "common sense" and anecdotes

Presentation Goes a Long Way

Try to display information in an attractive, alluring manner.
Try to display information in an attractive, alluring manner. | Source
  • Providing a pleasant reading experience via subject-appropriate attractive, high quality media, text broken into multiple Text Capsules with descriptive subheadings, bulleted lists, and helpful summaries and highlights
  • Utilizing a wide variety of capsules where appropriate to present your information in a thorough manner (use Map Capsules to provide context to historical accounts, Table Capsules to summarize features, cautions, timetables, prices, and recommendations, Ratings Capsules to provide ratings of products, services, and places mentioned, and Video Capsules to feature supplementary footage with additional information or instruction)

  • Making an effort to include relevant images that bring additional context, instruction, information, legitimacy, and visual allure to your article while also encouraging visitors to share your article via visually-based social media sites like Pinterest (ideally, you will use your own personal photos; if you use others' images, be sure to respect copyright law and attribute Public Domain, royalty free, or Creative Common images properly)
  • Editing your text (or having someone else edit it) to address any grammar/spelling issues
  • Avoiding unrelated text, links, and products and ensuring that all content is tightly on-topic and relevant to your reader

Pro Tip:

Utilize our quality rating guidelines as a helpful reference point. These are the very same criteria used by the people who rate your articles via the Quality Assessment Process. We recommend shooting for an 8+ to ensure your article is of very high quality.

Pro Tip:

Review our Elements of a Stellar Article guide to see common characteristics of the most successful articles.

Article Examples: Before and After

Each of the articles below starts out as a page with promise that has a lot of room for improvement. The final 'After' examples are exemplary articles that will most definitely be Featured on HubPages and are likely to see long-term, sustained success.

The 'after' articles are good examples of an 8 or better on the Quality Assessment Process.

An Article on Beekeeping

Both the before and after example articles on harvesting honey from a beehive contain information that would be useful to a beekeeper. However, the improved "after" version goes above and beyond and reveals to the reader, via photographs and added media, the complete process.

Before: Honey, honey, honey!

After: How to Extract Honey from a Beehive

The improved version has a title that matches the content and is search friendly; an incredibly important part of online writing.

Personal, anecdotal photos help build trust by proving to your readers that you have walked the walk and have personal expertise in the topic. In addition to added photos, the improved article leverages instructional video and additional capsules to add value.

The "after" example is broken up into multiple capsules with search-friendly subtitles to improve readability. Overall, the improved article will be more likely to be found via search and offers a great deal more to the reader.

Before and After

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The title is not search friendly and the article contains only one image and text that is not broken up into multiple Text CapsulesThe article features an unattractive image and unrelated Amazon and eBay productsThe article has attractive images and is broken into logical sectionsNote the detailed, step-by-step imagesThe article includes great features such as the Nutrition Capsule, bulleted lists, and the Table Capsule
The title is not search friendly and the article contains only one image and text that is not broken up into multiple Text Capsules
The title is not search friendly and the article contains only one image and text that is not broken up into multiple Text Capsules | Source
The article features an unattractive image and unrelated Amazon and eBay products
The article features an unattractive image and unrelated Amazon and eBay products | Source
The article has attractive images and is broken into logical sections
The article has attractive images and is broken into logical sections | Source
Note the detailed, step-by-step images
Note the detailed, step-by-step images | Source
The article includes great features such as the Nutrition Capsule, bulleted lists, and the Table Capsule
The article includes great features such as the Nutrition Capsule, bulleted lists, and the Table Capsule | Source
Before
After
346 words
1933 words
1 photo
13 photos
No special capusule
Video Capsule, Table Capsule, Nutrition Capsule
Little evidence of genuine passion
More text and anecdotal images (showcasing real people) proving the author to be genuine and trustworthy
The image used does not contribute value to the content and is unattractive
The images used reveal the author's expertise and authenticity while also adding significant value to the content

An Article on Travel in Vancouver

The following article on traveling in Vancouver, Canada, demonstrates the importance of organization, depth of coverage, and finding the right mix of supplementary media.

The improved version of this article is much more-reader friendly, starting with the title. The second title is much more succinct (and utilizes a list format that is more likely to be clicked on). Travelers searching for things to do in a city are likely looking for a list of options. The article is organized so that it is easy to scan the list of different locations, find cost and feature information, and see a few photos for each suggestion.

In addition to including the right mix of supplementary capsules (maps are very useful for travel articles, for example), it is equally important to exclude those capsules that don't provide unique value and can annoy readers.

In this case, a pair of skies and sushi making set featured in Amazon Capsules really have nothing to do with traveling to Vancouver. It helps to think about what the reader is actually looking for.

Before and After

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Title is not search friendly.The article contains unrelated Amazon products such as a sushi-making set and a pair of skis.The article  is more likely to be found via its search-friendly, alluring title and opens with a prominently-featured Map CapsuleThe article features a large number of original images taken by the authorThe article features high quality and relevant supplementary video footage via the Video Capsule and shares summarized details in a Table CapsuleAnother Map Capsule shares additional details in each location's description
Title is not search friendly.
Title is not search friendly. | Source
The article contains unrelated Amazon products such as a sushi-making set and a pair of skis.
The article contains unrelated Amazon products such as a sushi-making set and a pair of skis. | Source
The article  is more likely to be found via its search-friendly, alluring title and opens with a prominently-featured Map Capsule
The article is more likely to be found via its search-friendly, alluring title and opens with a prominently-featured Map Capsule | Source
The article features a large number of original images taken by the author
The article features a large number of original images taken by the author | Source
The article features high quality and relevant supplementary video footage via the Video Capsule and shares summarized details in a Table Capsule
The article features high quality and relevant supplementary video footage via the Video Capsule and shares summarized details in a Table Capsule | Source
Another Map Capsule shares additional details in each location's description
Another Map Capsule shares additional details in each location's description | Source
Before
After
467 words
1247 words
One image (that does not add value to the content)
24 photos (that add significant value to the content)
Unrelated Amazon product capsules
Product capsules taken out
No special capsules
One Video Capsule, Table Capsule, two Map Capsules
Headings are not used optimally (not used as subtitles of Text Capsule) and are not sufficiently descriptive
The author entered headings into the Text Capsule's subtitles and made them clear and descriptive

An Article on Smoothie Recipes

The "before" article below may give you all of the actual information that you need, but it will have a difficult time competing with other articles on the internet for this topic because it does nothing to go above and beyond and contains clutter. In order to beat out the competition, your article needs to be better. We strongly recommend researching your topic by typing your title into Google and seeing what results show up. To beat the competition, you have to write a better, more informative article.

Before: Yummy Smoothie Recipe

After: Spinach, Kale, and Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Recipes must be aesthetically appealing (i.e. you must have appetizing photos!). The "before" article has one photo that isn't very appealing (would you add it to your Pinterest board on beautiful food? Probably not.).

The updated article uses Instagram filters to enhance the photos. While the photos are not professional (they are taken with an iPhone), they add a bit of beauty to the page.

While it is tempting to add a large number of products to an article, you must add them sparingly or not at all. Only products that you think would be extremely beneficial to your reader should be included. If a product is justified, add it near where it is mentioned in the text, and if you are including more than one product, use in-text links rather than Amazon Capsules.

The "before" article also doesn't make use of any Recipe Capsules. We highly recommend using the Instructions Capsule, Nutrition Capsule, Ratings Capsule, and Ingredients Capsule if appropriate in your recipe.

Before and After

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The article has neither a search-friendly title nor Recipe Capsules.The article is short, poorly-formatted, and features Amazon products in a manner that detracts from the reader experience and the author's credibilityNote the vibrant, attractive imagesThe improved article also features Recipe Capsules, which make it more search-friendly, as well as additional information summarized in a right-floated Text Capsule and *one* highly relevant Amazon product
The article has neither a search-friendly title nor Recipe Capsules.
The article has neither a search-friendly title nor Recipe Capsules. | Source
The article is short, poorly-formatted, and features Amazon products in a manner that detracts from the reader experience and the author's credibility
The article is short, poorly-formatted, and features Amazon products in a manner that detracts from the reader experience and the author's credibility | Source
Note the vibrant, attractive images
Note the vibrant, attractive images | Source
The improved article also features Recipe Capsules, which make it more search-friendly, as well as additional information summarized in a right-floated Text Capsule and *one* highly relevant Amazon product
The improved article also features Recipe Capsules, which make it more search-friendly, as well as additional information summarized in a right-floated Text Capsule and *one* highly relevant Amazon product | Source
Before
After
354 words
857 words
1 photo
4 photos using Instagram
Excessive use of product capsule
Ratings Capsule, Instructions Capsule, Ingredients Capsule, Nutrition Capsule, Poll Capsule, and removal of all products except one

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