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How to Improve the Quality of an Article

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HubPages is a one-of-a-kind online community of writers, editors, artists, and everyday enthusiasts sharing expertise and information.

Your article's quality can affect its ranking, which will determine how many people see it in their search results.

Your article's quality can affect its ranking, which will determine how many people see it in their search results.

Why Does Quality Correlate With Success?

Quality is important on HubPages for several reasons:

  • Quality is a huge predictor of success (traffic, earnings, impact, etc.) 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 regular content maintenance and updating your articles periodically to improve them and ensure they follow current online writing standards.

Simple Ways to Improve Your Article

A few small fixes can go a long way. Here are a few simple but impactful ways to boost the quality of your article.

  • Make sure that your title is short and descriptive. It's also a good idea to make sure it matches common search queries people might use to find information via Google or other search engines. (More on creating good titles can be found in our guide to creating successful, search-friendly titles.)
  • Provide information that cannot be found elsewhere online. Consider providing unique expertise, insider tips, rare data and analysis, and information that is not already extensively shared via existing online resources.
  • Present concrete facts, figures, and data. Referencing and linking back to trusted sources and providing detailed, insightful analyses rather than "common sense" and anecdotes add authority and trustworthiness to your content.
Presentation goes a long way. Try to display information in an attractive, alluring manner.

Presentation goes a long way. Try to display information in an attractive, alluring manner.

  • Provide a pleasant reading experience. Utilize attractive, subject-appropriate, high-quality media; break up text into multiple Text Capsules with descriptive subheadings; include bulleted lists; and provide helpful summaries and highlights.
  • Utilize a wide variety of capsules. Where appropriate, present your information using specialized capsules. Use Map Capsules to provide context to historical accounts; Table Capsules to summarize features, cautions, timetables, prices, and recommendations; Ratings Capsules to allow readers to rate products, services, and places; Photo Capsules to illustrate your points and provide visual examples; and Video Capsules to feature supplementary footage with additional information or instruction.
  • Make an effort to include relevant images. Including images can 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, 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.
  • Edit your text (or have someone else edit it). It's important to address any grammar/spelling issues in your article so that comes across as trustworthy and professional
  • Avoid unrelated text, links, and products. Ensure that all of the content in your article is tightly on-topic and relevant to what your reader has searched for.

More Resources You Can Use

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. You can also review our Elements of a Stellar Article guide to learn more about the 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.

BeforeAfter

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.

BeforeAfter

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.

BeforeAfter

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