If users doubt the accuracy of your content for any reason, it will be hard for them to trust it, and they may even run into trouble meeting their goals. Issues including faulty facts, out-of-date information, or tons of typos, will cause customers frustration and may ultimately lead them to lose faith in your brand.
That is why your organization needs to prioritize content accuracy. Content Science includes Content Accuracy as one of the six dimensions of content effectiveness that we measure with our ContentWRX software.
ContentWRX evaluates content effectiveness across these six dimensions: discovery / findability, accuracy, usefulness, relevance, polish, and influence. Our research has found that people who perceive content as accurate are five times as likely to report completing their goals as people who do not and are twice as likely to report completing their goals as people who are not sure of the accuracy. These findings are based on an analysis of ContentWRX data from more than 100,000 content consumers.
This step-by-step starter guide walks through key ways to get your content accuracy initiative going.
Check, check, and check again. With the amount of disinformation and misinformation online, it is too easy to include incorrect information in your content. You must have a solid fact-checking process in place.
Here are suggested ways to get started with updating for factual correctness:
Today, verifying your information is not enough (though essential!), you also need to show your audience your work. Users want to see your references and sources so they can feel confident in your content and check facts themselves.
Here are suggested ways to get started with adding references and/or sources:
BabyCentre.co.uk articles display the name of the person who provided a medical review of the content, and enable users to view a reference list, which automatically activates inline citations.
The number one reason people doubt content accuracy based on our analysis is that the content seemed outdated.
Here are suggested ways to get started with communicating that content is current:
In our analysis, the second most common reason users doubted the accuracy of content was that an instruction or guide didn’t work. We find this happens when releases or changes to a product, service, or process outpace the updates to the supporting content such as microcopy, help content, promotional content, and more. If your content features instructions that no longer apply or links that do not work, you will literally stop users from accomplishing their goals and lead them to doubt your competence.
Here are suggested ways to get started with keeping instructions up to date:
There are many content tools now that can help you automate checking content for alignment with your brand standards, legal requirements for accuracy, accessibility, and more.
Here are suggested ways to get started with using technology to improve content accuracy:
Follow these steps and suggestions to begin to put together a plan for improving content accuracy. Once you have identified what your organization needs to do to get started with content accuracy, an essential next step is to find out (using a tool such as ContentWRX) how your content is currently performing in terms of accuracy. Understanding where you are will help you determine how fast and how far you have to go to make sure users view your content as accurate. You can also learn more about content accuracy in The Content Advantage or by partnering with Content Science.
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