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We Asked Readers About Our Content Quality. Here’s What We Learned

We recently ran an experiment across three of our blogs to better understand readers, what they think of our content, and how we can potentially improve it. The idea was simple: ask our audience a series of direct questions and see what patterns emerge.

In this post, we’re going through the why and how of our experiment, along with the raw data and our initial conclusions.

We’re showing you these results for inspiration. We encourage you to try what we did and ask your audience similar questions. You’d be surprised at the valuable feedback you can get. It’s a straightforward way to figure out how to better your content and make your site more appealing to your readers. Just think of it as a practical experiment to really understand what your audience is looking for.

content quality

Let’s dive in.

Where we ran the experiment

This experiment was done on three of our websites: FinMasters, CodeinWP and Themeisle. We took two posts from each site and then asked the people viewing them a series of eight questions.

Here are the specific posts we chose (click on the images to see them):

Now onto the questions and findings:

Question 1: “Would you say that the content on this page offers a thorough and comprehensive overview of the topic at hand?”

Our goal with this one was to check if our content fully answers reader queries and satisfies their search intent. This is crucial for any website aiming to keep readers and improve user experience. By assessing our content’s comprehensiveness, we get a clearer picture of our effectiveness in meeting audience needs coming in after doing a specific Google search. Similarly, by asking this question on your site, you can assess whether your content is truly serving your audience, leading to better engagement and loyalty.

“Would you say that the content on this page offers a thorough and comprehensive overview of the topic at hand?”
FinMasters Themeisle CodeinWP
Best Stock Picking Services Ovation Credit Repair Review Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed How to Make a Small Biz Website UK WordPress Hosting Compared Why Are My Emails Going to Spam
Yes 100% 98% 96% 100% 98% 98%
No 0% 2% 4% 0% 2% 2%

The data shows a high level of satisfaction across different topics, indicating that the content is generally perceived as thorough and comprehensive. However, the negative feedback, although minimal, points to a broader issue beyond content quality – trust in specific content types, particularly posts that are monetized through affiliate links and product mentions.

This suggests a need for a more nuanced content strategy that not only focuses on comprehensive information but also actively builds and maintains trust, especially on sensitive or skepticism-prone topics. Addressing underlying reader concerns about credibility and intent early in money-making content could be the way to enhance overall engagement and trust.

Question 2: “Does the content on this page offer value or insights that you believe distinguishes it from other similar pages on the topic?”

We wanted to see if our readers find our content not just informative but also unique compared to others on the same topic. It’s important for us, and any website owner, to know if we’re providing something of value that’s not just a repeat of what’s already out there. This understanding helps us create more engaging and distinct content that stands out to our audience.

“Does the content on this page offer value or insights that you believe distinguishes it from other similar pages on the topic?”
FinMasters Themeisle CodeinWP
Best Stock Picking Services Ovation Credit Repair Review Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed How to Make a Small Biz Website UK WordPress Hosting Compared Why Are My Emails Going to Spam
Yes 92% 82% 82% 80% 87% 77%
No 8% 18% 18% 18% 13% 23%

In the data, there’s an indication that layout and design play a significant role in the perceived value and uniqueness of content. If you go to our list of the best stock picking services or best WordPress hosts in the UK, you’ll see that they’re not just a standard blog post that’s a wall of text.

While the focus is often on the written content, this suggests that visual presentation and structure are also key factors in differentiating content from competitors. It highlights the importance of not just what you say, but also how you present it, blending unique insights with creative and engaging design to enhance overall content appeal.

Question 3: “How quickly did the page address and provide an answer to the primary question or main topic of the article?”

Readers frequently seek quick, clear answers, and this metric helps us understand if we’re meeting that need effectively.

“How quickly did the page address and provide an answer to the primary question or main topic of the article?”
FinMasters Themeisle CodeinWP
Best Stock Picking Services Ovation Credit Repair Review Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed How to Make a Small Biz Website UK WordPress Hosting Compared Why Are My Emails Going to Spam
1️⃣ 0% 2% 2% 0% 0% 0%
2️⃣ 0% 6% 2% 2% 2% 6%
3️⃣ 16% 24% 26% 12% 17% 21%
4️⃣ 53% 32% 48% 57% 43% 42%
5️⃣ 31% 36% 22% 29% 38% 32%

On the one hand, the data shows a need for improvement in quickly addressing the main topic in our content.

However, looking at this data, it’s also interesting to see how different topics might need a different approach. Some subjects might need a bit more background info before diving into the main question. This tells us it’s not just about being quick but also about getting the balance right – giving enough info without making readers wait too long for the answers they’re after.

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Question 4: “Is this the sort of page you’d want to recommend, share with a friend, or bookmark?”

We wanted to gauge our content’s shareability and the likelihood of readers recommending it to others. This helps us understand the overall appeal and value of our content from the reader’s perspective. This is also a good measure of the overall content quality. People don’t generally recommend bad content.

“Is this the sort of page you’d want to recommend, share with a friend, or bookmark?”
FinMasters Themeisle CodeinWP
Best Stock Picking Services Ovation Credit Repair Review Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed How to Make a Small Biz Website UK WordPress Hosting Compared Why Are My Emails Going to Spam
Yes 76% 80% 74% 80% 79% 81%
No 24% 20% 26% 20% 21% 19%

It’s interesting to note that our two tutorials on this list and one review had slightly better shareability scores. This could be because tutorials and in-depth reviews tend to provide practical, actionable information, which people find more share-worthy.

It’s like giving your readers tools they can use or discuss, and that practical value might just make them more inclined to pass it along to others. On the other hand, lists of tools or solutions are less likely to get shared.

Question 5: “Does the content on the page appear to be written or reviewed by someone with deep expertise or familiarity with the topic?”

We’re aiming for 100% confidence in our authors’ expertise from our readers. Knowing how our audience perceives the expertise of our writers helps us ensure credibility and trust in our information.

“Does the content on the page appear to be written or reviewed by someone with deep expertise or familiarity with the topic?”
FinMasters Themeisle CodeinWP
Best Stock Picking Services Ovation Credit Repair Review Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed How to Make a Small Biz Website UK WordPress Hosting Compared Why Are My Emails Going to Spam
Yes 92% 96% 90% 86% 91% 92%
No 8% 4% 10% 14% 9% 8%
Author ✍️ Levi Rasmussen Nick Gallo Joe Warnimont John Hughes Karol K Colin Newcomer

As it turns out, the author with the highest score has a professional title in finance (CPA), suggesting that clear qualifications can boost perceived expertise. Also, factors like the prominence of author information and the quality of their bios, as seen in the varied responses, significantly impact audience perception of expertise.

Question 6: “How would you rate the trustworthiness of this page?”

We asked this question to get a straightforward sense of whether people trust the info on our pages. It’s like a reality check for us – we want to make sure that when someone lands on our site, they feel they’re getting the real deal, not just some fluff. This helps us make our sites a go-to place for reliable info.

“How would you rate the trustworthiness of this page?”
FinMasters Themeisle CodeinWP
Best Stock Picking Services Ovation Credit Repair Review Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed How to Make a Small Biz Website UK WordPress Hosting Compared Why Are My Emails Going to Spam
1️⃣ 0% 2% 2% 4% 4% 2%
2️⃣ 2% 4% 2% 0% 0% 6%
3️⃣ 12% 18% 18% 12% 6% 15%
4️⃣ 53% 38% 52% 35% 45% 34%
5️⃣ 33% 38% 26% 49% 45% 43%

The responses varied, with some pages getting better trust ratings than others. It looks like the type of content can impact how much trust it earns. Tutorials seem to win more trust, maybe because they’re about helping, not just comparing (“best of” lists) or selling. For anyone running a site, it’s a good hint to think about content type when building trust.

Question 7: “Are there any elements on the page or design choices that made you question the trustworthiness of the content? If yes, what was it?”

In this one, we wanted to see if some of the design elements used on the page influence its perception of trustworthiness. We had a feeling that it’s not all about the content, and that how the page is structured and designed can have some influence on how users perceive the information as well.

FinMasters feedback:

“Best Stock Picking Services”
  • There is the lock on the link, signifying it’s secure for transactions, it has also been reviewed by a peer, to whose info we can check.
  • No but I would recommend altering the formatting so that things are separated/delineated more clearly, making it easier to read and follow.
  • The ads made me question the content.
  • a standard layout for ” the best…” website
  • No I think it trusting as I’ve seen similar pages that compare things
  • The credentials of both the author and the reviewer of the article.
  • The jump to option is good but I would say have a “start here” or “read here first if you are a long term investor” overall the article is amazing and will be recommending this to friends who do stock trading!
  • Screenshots
  • No. I just don’t fully trust any website
  • No, the author looks very reputable. The 5 stock picking sites are reputable and well known. The page layout was stellar.
  • Information seems comprehensive and the layout is very clear. Liked the ‘about us’ page that gives so much info about the team. Understand there’s a web link about the author of each article but I think it would look better to see the author’s picture straight away and some information about his or her credentials without the need to hover the mouse. Otherwise good job.
  • Number them, first I thought they were ads on the page.
  • the ads on the bottom take up half the screen- that makes viewing frustrating
  • You need to compare with other sites first before committing to a product on your page.
“Ovation Credit Repair Review”
  • no, seemed like a trustworthy site went to the main page and it looked reputable
  • Home Page was pretty bland, images or logo or larger font at home page maybe would help
  • The hyperlinks to certain pages when I hovered my mouse over it. Font was readable. Possibly put the Ovation phone number on the top so people don’t have to scroll too much to get the contact information. Other than that I enjoyed the page. Thank you!
  • Shortly after reading the first couple of paragraphs, I found it odd how they immediately tell you that you can trust their reviews. Seems like a convenient way of putting that thought into a person’s head before they’ve had the chance to read the article & make an informed decision on their own.
  • Online review are a notoriously unreliable source of reviews
  • The page just has a lot of writing all in the same font and not enough variety and also needs more photos
  • The site itself.
  • It reads like a paid advertisement. I would trust the information provided on this site very little.
  • Competitors were not mentioned
  • No, but think the ‘jump to’ section could be larger and maybe the use of the occasional picture image in the site.
  • The information is trustworthy as i googled the same and got it right

Themeisle feedback:

“Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed”
  • Only the template and the graphic
  • It seemed to be pretty genuine, but it’s hard to tell sometimes when there are affiliate links.
  • No, the fact that no website was rated perfect and only that website was rated perfect, means they are fair
  • Maybe the links to the Hosting websites, it seems a partnership and not an informational blog
  • i wonder if you’re talking by experiences (working with those) or just because you know (read something about it) those web hosting services
  • Too much of the website is taken up by secondary content.
  • the end page notes where it say the post contains affiliate links
  • I would recommend updating the screenshots of the websites with the latest webpage of the respective sites, as it builds more trust if the displayed images are close to the original page after navigating them.
  • A little more background about the person or persons that wrote the content of the page, in the “who we are” description
  • There is no, but I think it is possible to develop illustrative and detailed tables, for example, prices and time periods.
“How to Make a Small Biz Website”
  • The “Key takeaways” box could have been designed more creatively, suggesting that the writers might not themselves be the best designers, and therefore might not be the most trustworthy in terms of the content.
  • The amount of things being linked to on the page. Gives off the impression you get commission but haven’t declared it in my opinion.
  • The information on the page looks mostly reliable. It does, however, look like an advertisement for paid services. It doesn’t seem to go as in depth as it potentially could, though it does look like it’s a good start.
  • No – I think the website has a nice clean modern design and at the top right it mentions the contributor John Hughes has over 5 years experience with WordPress, which makes the article credible.
  • I would just like to see more about actually constructing the page
  • Content on the page is in a narrow column… I would like to see wider
  • Contains far too many hyphenated words that don’t always read well – and especially “user-friendly, budget-conscious” coming together. Maybe it lacks a graphic at the top to anchor your attention. On the whole reads in an articulate, honest way that explains the topic well and has many well placed links for further info.

CodeinWP feedback:

“UK WordPress Hosting Compared”
  • Yes, the design made me question if it’s trustworthy or not.
  • It is strange that the order of the five WordPress hosting options is seemingly random. What I mean is that, in the beginning of the article when the options are being described in greater detail, the first option is neither the best nor the worst in the overall results. So when initially scrolling through the page, the comparison reads as slightly jumbled, until reaching the comparison chart. The chart and following summary does make the results much clearer to read and understand, but as a reader, I do wish the beginning descriptions were more organized.
  • It’s a little too minimal/simplistic in terms of design. The font choice gives an “amateur blog” vibe.
  • Could really benefit from a broader ranged vocabulary.
  • The entire layout looks very generic and looks like clickbait to get affiliate money.
  • Some of the graphics used, such as on the Website Builder Comparison chart, seem a bit too much like “clip art”, how one feels about that style is up to interpretation. I don’t expect original masterpieces, but visuals can affect perceived legitimacy.
  • I would say the font of the article made me question the legitimacy bc its the type of font a scammer would use here in the US. But the content is good!
  • It didn’t make me question the trustworthiness of the content but the article started in a wider screen and it was congested in the middle where the list was published and again in wide screen for the table. I didn’t like that in some way.
  • The menu option at the top of the webpage.
  • I found it thorough but with all things on the internet I would double check with another reviewer
“Why Are My Emails Going to Spam”
  • Yes, the design seems quite simplistic and refers to an outdated type of design, not at all current.
  • The emojis
  • structure of the web site
  • using the same words at the start ” Why are my emails going to spam?”
  • The non responsive design, the white of the web background and the structure of the content in the sense of the attractive visual
  • Related articles below of the page

As you can see, the responses vary, with some users noting specific elements like ads, layout, author credentials, and page design impacting their trust. Some also felt that standard layouts were off-putting, while clear author credentials and well-structured designs enhanced trust.

The data also suggests that user trust is influenced by a blend of content and design elements, not just one or the other. For instance, some users may question the trustworthiness due to ads or layout, while others focus on content depth or author credentials. This indicates a need for a more complete approach to design, where both content quality and design details work in tandem to build credibility.

Question 8: “Are there any additional comments or feedback about the quality or trustworthiness of this page you’d like to provide?”

This was the final question in our experiment, and we asked it to potentially find any other points that we might have missed along the way. This is basically giving our readers one more chance to speak up on anything they might have noticed while browsing our pages.

FinMasters feedback:

“Best Stock Picking Services”
  • adding at the beginning a table of listed firm would make it more transparent
  • You should remove the “YOU CAN TRUST OUR REVIEWS”.
  • I think the page could have multiple CTA’s such as ” if you are a long term investor review these, or community-based start here” I really love the article it’s just a matter of getting the target audience to the information quickly rather than having them scroll to what is relevant to them
  • More pictures will be good for the site
  • take the ads off the bottom
  • Great hard work behind the website in terms of information. Only it should look more professional with a good logo, designs etc.
“Ovation Credit Repair Review”
  • I like how addressed the issue if negative comment because you can’t please everyone
  • Whilst it is a very good web page, it’s very long. It’s beautifully presented but very few people are going to read all of that. Can some of the information be condensed somehow? I think that would be beneficial to the readers if it could
  • Just the phone number and contact information a little higher so that people can skim a little and say oh here is where I contact.
  • “YOU CAN TRUST OUR REVIEWS: FinMasters writers and editors follow a strict editorial policy to ensure that our reviews are unbiased and dependable with a consumer-first approach. See how we reviewed Ovation credit repair.” This part showed good trust in the website
  • with the vote for was this article useful, maybe a count of yays and nays
  • I like that the website explain what the site is about and warned about untrustworthy sites as well
  • just a little more variety to color to catch peoples eyes would be more beneficial
  • The setup of the page was quite boring and bland. It’s very easy to lose the attention of the viewer.
  • Overall, the way that the page is designed, it does not instill me with confidence. It doesn’t look like it was properly vetted by somebody. As I said before, it looks very similar to other pages that are explicitly created to scam you. It looks like an advertisement rather than a website that has your interests at heart. There’s a lot of talk about how much it costs which is great to know, but there’s almost too much talk about it, if that makes sense. The layout and design looks like it was designed for mobile devices rather than a desktop which indicates to me that the site is explicitly targeting people in certain demographics who may not be savvy when it comes to researching financial products. Overall, I would rate this site poorly.
  • It only mentions one company so it seems like an advertisement for one company.

Themeisle feedback:

“Cheap Web Hosting Reviewed”
  • This just happened to be content that I didn’t have the time yet to get into, so thanks for that! It would be nice if there were quick info links to some of the terms. I don’t know for example what free CDN means.
  • Seems like a nice team
  • As I said earlier, promoting web hosting it’s a big topic and maybe although I know the blog post was about 7 hosting companies all included will still leave the reader pretty much confused and since he/she will click all the links he will make a decisions mostly based on money, which is not really a great decision. So sure the blog post is trustworthy but maybe too much of whatever you chose chose one form the list so we get the commissions kid of feeling. I read better blog post on hosting promoting.
  • The design is clean and not difficult to navigate through the site. It’s important, since you sell design templates.
  • Affiliations and lack of expertise lower the level of trust.
  • it’s just a website with a good design but nothing special
  • option for for darkmode would be nice
“How to Make a Small Biz Website”
  • Since the writers get a commission from Bluehost, perhaps other hosting providers should have been written about and specifically suggested to the reader.
  • Easy to follow steps, as someone who’s planning on starting a small business with a website, it was all very clear and helpful.
  • It’s too busy. You need to have summary sections where visitors click to read more than having everything spelled out on the main page. There should be sub pages.
  • The way the information was broken down made the content easy to understand for someone without the technical knowledge without being patronizing.
  • The page seems a bit text heavy. Could use more graphics.
  • Site design seems old/dated.

CodeinWP feedback:

“UK WordPress Hosting Compared”
  • I highly enjoy the added components of the page – Why Trust Our Hosting Reviews; What to Look for When Thinking Best WordPress Hosting UK; “A couple of things stand out here”; “Want some quick honest advice”. These are components that are not always featured in similar pages, and I personally think they convey a very relatable and informed person on the other side of the screen, which increases the trustworthiness of the page tenfold. Well done 🙂
  • The writer Karol has 85 articles, so seems knowledgeable!
  • I find the site very informative and I would consider what is said to be true. I would double check with another site before proceeding though, as there are other options on the net to check with also
  • I think better interface will make it 10/10
  • Make some changes on formatting
“Why Are My Emails Going to Spam”
  • I think the page should undergo a rebranding to fit in better with current times as it looks like a website with a lot of concentrated information and a design that is not very captivating for the user.
  • I prefer the header categories starting with capitals.
  • Yes, on the graphics of the page, it appears a bit sparse and poor.
  • should be link to a video for more information and may be some youtube channel
  • I believe it should be more short text and more summed up. That way it wouldn’t be as boring.
  • I noticed that the bullet points are underlined. I don’t think that is necessary and it would look better without it

Our readers offered various feedback, highlighting elements like clear navigation, informative content, design aesthetics, and author credibility. Some suggestions included improving design, adding more visuals, and enhancing the user interface for a better experience.

The data also indicates that users pay close attention to various aspects of a page, not just the main content. Elements like site navigation, design choices, and the presence of visuals are crucial in shaping the reader’s overall impression and trust. This suggests the value of paying attention to the entire user experience, ensuring that every aspect of a webpage contributes to a positive and trustworthy perception vs just focusing on the written content and hoping that it’s all that’s needed to make the reader happy.

Conclusion

Our experiment gave us some real talk about what our readers think. Turns out, getting to the point fast, showing off your know-how, and making your site look legit and easy on the eyes really matter. Who would have known, right?

If you’re running a site and want to keep your readers hooked, give this kind of check-up a try. You’ll get the lowdown on what works and what needs a tune-up.

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. We’ll do our best to answer.

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. Learn more below:

 
Karol K

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