The Atomic Reach Measures: Helping You Create Great Content

As the Vice President of the Client Experience team I have the privilege of talking directly to our users every day.

In most cases this is over the phone so I can really understand what people think of our products and how to use them. They all understand that creating content with a high score leads to higher engagement potential but I constantly get asked about how Atomic Reach came up with our individual measures when it comes to analyzing and scoring content.

I tell everyone that we did not come up with these measures out of the blue. In fact, spent over 2 years researching and building a platform that can assess the essential elements or building blocks of online content.  We focused on using credible evidence to determine the key characteristics of high quality content. This work focused on how people, not machines, read and appreciate good content.  This allowed us to build an algorithm based on measuring an article's Title, Structure, Fit for the Target Audience and Linguistic components.

Title:  It is not a shocking statement that a strong title can do wonders for your content engagement potential.

We provide 8 sub-measures of feedback on your title from the use of emotion to the word count.  The focus on current best practices of high engagement title construction.  Although it is not mandatory to use every element of feedback the more you use the more positively this will affect your score and engagement potential. We have added new sub-measures to our Title feature since our original product launch and will be adding more as title building trends change over time.

Structure:  We categorize article structure into four distinct parts.

  1. Length: Is your article within our ideal length band?  Online audiences are looking for content that adds value to their busy lives.  It’s hard to provide that in a five sentence piece and anything too long is too time-consuming to read.  You will see we focus on a sweet spot.  We base this on an analysis of hundreds of thousands of articles in our platform and the engagement patterns around them.
  2. Underperforming links:  You write a great article and pepper it with some interesting links.  However some of very slow to load and hence that annoying user experience has now affected the user experience of your article.  Due to this the reader is less likely to share the article and the engagement potential plummets.  Our App highlights what links you should look at replacing if they are slow to load or even broken.
  3. Topics:  We list the topics that are most prominent in your article.  If these do not match your intention as a writer or editor then you should look at adding more references to your key topics and re-score the article.
  4. Paragraph density: Long, dense paragraphs are hard to digest by any reader in the online world.   This is even more apparent if the reader is on a mobile device.  Our App highlights those paragraphs that are getting too long and potentially off-putting for your audience.  As your audience changes in knowledge level the density parameters will need to change as well.

Fit for your Target Audience:  To connect to your audience you need to write at their level.

I have two children (three year-old and seven year-old daughters) and a forty year-old wife.  I have to speak with different cadences, vocabulary and information detail to effectively communicate to each of them as they are so different in their maturity and life experience.  This is the same when it comes to producing written content for an audience.  Our platform indicates when you are writing over or beneath the heads of your audience.  In other words, we tell you if you are successfully writing in a manner that matches the sophistication or knowledge level of your readers. We only highlight the paragraphs that need modifying to get them synchronized with your ideal audience segment so there is no mystery in what content to adjust.

Linguistics:  This section contains the analysis of Emotion, Spelling and Grammar.

  1. Emotion: Instilling an emotional response from your audience when reading your content is a prime factor in increasing the engagement potential.  We provide three elements feedback on this.  The intent is not for you to start stuffing passionate and flowery language but look at how you are writing to see if you are connecting with your audience at an emotional level. We’re not saying lots of emotion is the goal, but some is better than none and the history of the written word has proved that for centuries.  Literature that evokes strong, emotional reactions from the reader dominates any list of the most influential books written over the last 300 years.
  2. Spelling: You can submit misspelled words (Proper names, acronyms etc..) to your own custom dictionary.  These words will no longer affect your score for any article you write.
  3. Grammar: Even the best writers occasionally fall into the habit of writing in a passive voice.  Our Grammar Insights will highlight typical grammar issues in your piece as well as any passive voice issues.

All of our measures are not weighted equally in how they affect your Atomic Score.  We have a massive and growing database of content and engagement data to calibrate how each measure affects content performance. We tune our algorithms over time as we see behaviors between the content and the audience change.   This feedback loop is one of biggest strengths of our technology in that Atomic Reach uses real data and not just theories to understand how anyone can build high quality based on what real audiences want.


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