Writing great content with Google in mind

Google personnel and content developers have over time learned the art of developing great, appealing, eye-catching content, consequently making the company earn its giant title of world’s most significant search engine.  The team works with a set of guidelines that Brian Ussery, one of Google’s most popular contributors, recently shared to enlighten creators of digital content to achieve high quality online documentation,

While creating your digital content, you want to engage your readers which can be obtained by following the developer documentation style guide;

  • Using a friendly and conversational tone. Your choice of words should be selected carefully such that the reader will have the perception of having a one- on one experience as they read through your content. By so doing, you are actively engaging with the readers and can understand their personal needs and wants in words.
  • Observe simple and basic grammar rule to avoid errors that might be repulsive to the readers. Such mistakes at times alter the meaning of your intended message and should hence be avoided at all costs.
  • Accurate spelling and punctuations within a written piece are a charm to your readers.
  • Use short sentences that are easy to understand and prevent the use of jargon as much as possible.
  • Your choice of words should be easily translated meaningfully into other languages automatically by browsers.
  • For points and procedural content, use numbers to represent the facts and procedures.
  • Any external link relating to your content that a user will be redirected to on clicking, ensure that the website is user-friendly.

For the more technical areas there is a JavaScript style guide and the HTML/CSS guide which incorporate coding techniques to be used by web developers. The tips aren’t considered as outstanding neither are they generated with each new assignment. The JavaScript, HTML and CSS techniques are recurrent and used every other time as the technologies keep advancing day in day out in a bid to develop high ranking pages.

Technical tips

  • Use files with .png extension or SVG files incorporated with ALT text.
  • Use of tables and lists to neatly represent your data or information. Use of tables is applicable where the information representation is in rows and columns
  • When writing headings and points that you need to capture the attention of the reader in bold by using or at the start of the phrase and at the end of the statement.
  • In place of six characters to represent colors, use binary or hexadecimal digits which are shorter.
  • Cascaded style sheets, (CSS) have better features that bring out visual enhancers for your website while HTML develops the general framework for the site.
  • For secured web resources such as user accounts, media files, and images, use HTTPS which is secure, unlike HTTP.

As you follow the above guidelines, the below guidelines are also some documentation styles that are completely in the no-go zone.

  • Consistent sentence introduction which tends to be boring.
  • Use of slang and jargon.
  • Jargon.
  • Phrases, proverbial statements.
  • Metaphorical statements.
  • Punctuations such as exclamation marks.

A thorough read or a basic walkthrough on the above guidelines will equip professional content creators with adequate instructions for developing high-quality content for any project.

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Jane Cluff

Senior digital strategist

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