What makes good content?

Thank you for your interest in contributing content to Ally. We’ve been creating relevant and impactful content since our start in 2015. Our new community focuses on a set of categories that suit our members and the various stages of their careers. Our content also relies on the Yoast SEO plugin to help promote engagement on the site through high-ranking search engine optimization and readability. If you are looking to contribute content to the site, it is critical that you learn about our categories and understand the rules to SEO and readability analysis.

Categories #

Please use the following categories as a basic guideline for all content submissions. When you submit a member blog or event, the categorize the content for you to help organize the content best. Here are the categories and types of content we publish. Note: if you are contacting us to understand if we’re a fit, please first take a look at the categories below to determine if we might be interested in working together.

  • Energy Insights
  • Energy Competence
  • Career Search
  • Change & Resilience
  • Creativity, Originality & Initiative
  • Critical Thinking & Analysis
  • Diversity and Inclusion & Allyship
  • Digital Competence
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship
  • Financial Competence
  • Inspiration
  • Leadership
  • Problem Solving & Ideation
  • Negotiation
  • Philanthropy
  • Recognition
  • Relationships, Conflict, Power & Office Politics
  • Social Influence
  • Storytelling & Personal Branding
  • Sustainability
  • Wellbeing & Self Care: Emotions, Energy, Stress & Life Balance

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Analysis #

We use SEO analysis to improve ALLY’s appearance in search engine results. When curating a blog post or event synopsis, there are a few things you should consider to best position your post for success on the web.

Keywords, key phrases and synonyms #

Be sure to think of keywords and key phrases that you can incorporate several times through-out the body of your text. When our editorial team goes in to review your post, we will assign these keywords to your SEO analysis so that your article is more likely to rank in search results. This tactic will be most effective when your key phrases and synonyms appear frequently and are well-distributed through-out your text. Include them in your title, headings, and paragraphs. Optimizing for keywords will also help you narrow the focus of your article, which improves the readability of your text (more on readability in the next section).

Internal and external linking #

Links are a GREAT way to improve the SEO analysis of your text. Internal links help search engines understand the structure of our site. So, find other blog posts on ALLY and hyperlink them in your text. Also try to include outbound links that open up another tab and route readers to a related site. Look for a related article, research study, company website, or other external page that will add substance and value to your article. This kind of synergy helps promote the overall activity on the web, and so search engines will rank your article higher. 

Text length #

Your text length should be between 300-800 words. If your article does not have at least 300 words, it likely does not contain enough keyword density, and thus, won’t qualify in as many search engine results.

Title length #

A succinct title is a very important aspect of SEO analysis. It should be no more than 6 words or 55 characters. The title is the first thing a potential reader will see (along with an awesome featured image), so don’t make it too long or wordy. Create a knowledge deficit for the reader that will draw them in, and be sure to center your title around a key phrase/word that effectively represents the content. 

The picture below is an example of the ALLY™ editorial team’s backend view of SEO analysis criteria.

Readability #

Online readers rarely ever read a full article – they skim. So, it is important to take the necessary steps to boost the readability of your article. Our yoast plug-in feature will rate the readability of your article or event description when you submit it, and the better your rating, the more clicks and engagement your post will get. 

A list of criteria for good readability: #

  • Sentence length: Write short sentences. 80% of your sentences should be 20 words or less.
  • Transition words: Use connecting words and phrases like “therefore”, “because”, “lastly”,  “above all”, etc. to improve the flow of your ideas and better guide your readers.
  • Consecutive sentence beginnings: Check to make sure you don’t have 3 or more sentences in a row with the same beginning word or phrase. This can sound repetitive and sloppy to your reader. This is most prevalent when writing lists or using bullet points.
  • Word choice: Your instinct might be to whip out the thesaurus and find the most complex, intellectual sounding words. But, it is more effective to use straight-forward vocabulary. While we want you to sound proficient, recognize that not all of your readers have your same level of experience or knowledge. If you are using a lot of industry specific terms, think about ways you can simplify or define them.
  • Active voice: Using passive voice often makes your sentences more wordy and sound distant. This can blur the meaning of your text. While passive voice is necessary at times, we recommend that it is less than 10% of your text. Learn more about active vs. passive voice here.
  • Heading Distributions: Break up the main points of your article with headings, sub-headings, and paragraph breaks (learn more about blog headings). A paragraph that runs on for too long without a line break is daunting and unappealing to readers. Headings are signposts to guide your reader through the article and clue them in to what is coming next. 

Flesch readability ease #

All of the above criteria factor into your Flesch Reading Score, which is a test designed by Yoast that grades the reading ease of your text on a scale of 1-100.

As a public community for energy allies, we have a diverse audience, but with a high concentration of industry professionals. Therefore, we want medium level Flesch Reading scores (between 50-70) that represent well-written and coherent work.