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6 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your Website Content

Writing content might not be the most exciting responsibility, but anyone that has a website knows it is important.  If you create content that is not engaging, users will leave the site.  If you clutter your website with too much content and users will leave.  Finding the right balance of content is crucial for engaging your audience.  To keep them coming back, your website content must be valuable. So valuable that it compels users to share your content with others.  Effective content tells a story and is displayed in such a way that engagement is inevitable.  Content that is too heavy and does not engage will be ignored by users. As a website owner, it is important to invest in the quality of your content, not quantity.  This blog will discuss 6 steps to help you evaluate your content and strategize your content for the future. These 6 steps are easy questions to ask yourself: 

              1. Who:  Who is the audience for this website content?
              2. What:  What form is this content in?
              3. Where:  Where on my site is this content?
              4. How:  How am I producing this content?
              5. Why:  Why am I publishing this content?
              6. When:  When was content published? How long do I want it up?

Step 1: Who

Who is the audience of your content? The first step is identifying who will be absorbing the content on your site. This is your target audience. How old are they? Where do they live? What characteristics do they have? Answering these questions will help you break down your content development strategy. You want to be producing content that will engage with your audience. Take a look at your current website content. Is the audience consistent in every piece of content you have published? Does it feel like your content jumps around? Is the content reaching the right audience? Is it useful and shareable? If you are unsatisfied with your answers to these questions, it is time to implement a new strategy for the future.

tablet and keyboard displaying a blank google search

 

Step 2: What 

What form is my website content in? When people think about content, they usually think about paragraphs of text, but in the digital era, content is taking on new forms. From paragraphs to videos to gifs and infographics, marketers have found more ways to create more engaging content. But just because you can put a variety of content on your site does not mean you should. Heavy video-rich media can slow down your site. If your message can be relayed using content as simple as a photo, do so. The more complicated the work you are creating for yourself, and the more issues you can have with your site in the backend. 

Another important question to ask yourself when thinking about the type of content on your site is what that media looks like. Are you using stock images or stock videos? If you are, chances are other companies are using the same stock imagery. You want to create a unique website experience for your users, that is difficult to do when your content isn’t your own. Producing custom content like photos and videos might require specialist knowledge. If you do find you need these kinds of media, plan out your content strategy before hiring outside professionals. This will ensure they capture what you are looking for and the session will be effective. Remember, quality is always better than quantity. The easiest way to see if your content is high quality is to see how users are engaging with it. Using tools like Google Analytics will help you see what pages and posts are outperforming others. These tools allow you to see how many individuals have performed the desired action. The more users that share your content, the more authority you have among them. The more authority you have, the more brand awareness is generated. All of these factors are effective for search engine optimization. 

Step 3: Where

Where is your content? Where is your new content going? It is essential when evaluating your current content strategy, that you understand where the outdated content on your website is and where you are going to update. A quick summary of an event should be written in a blog post. When you think about where on your site your content should go, remember to think about the audience we talked about in the first step. Where will your user go to find this information? If you offer an informational content, perhaps it should live under a case study or white paper tab. Your content should be clearly labeled and accessible. A user that is unable to find the content they desire on your site could find it on your competitor’s site. However, it isn’t all about the content located on your site. You also need to be thinking about where you want to share your content. Are you going to share it with your company’s social media platforms? Your personal LinkedIn? It is important to get your content out there to bring in new users and help establish brand identity. 

device home screen showing social media apps

Step 4: How

How are you producing content that is optimized for search engines? The user is not the only person you should be writing your content for. Write your content for your audience, but optimize it for search engines. Use optimization tools to set keyphrases and configure your meta descriptions to optimize web pages. Another key factor for writing web content is that optimized for search engines is the traffic you will generate. Write about topics that will generate traffic to your site. Once you have produced engaging content, you can monitor it with the SEO optimization tools and google analytics. Find trends in your continent that generate the most traffic, clicks, and shares. Perhaps it’s a video you uploaded or a blog-style you tried. The more engaged your audience the better for search engine optimization.  For more Eri Design insights about SEO, check out this case study with The Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Person at cafe scrolling through website content on tablet device

Step 5: Why?

It is not enough to write the perfect paragraph of text or to post the perfect picture on your site. No one will be able to even absorb your content if it isn’t optimized. Earlier in this blog, I talked about the importance of quality content with search engine results. Google and other search engines know to recommend your site to users based on the content within your site. These search engines reward sites for using effective content. The relationship between your content and the keywords searched by the user is how you generate traffic. Evaluating content also means taking a deep dive into the optimization of your content. Optimizing your content for search engines means evaluating your keywords, and changing up your text to reflect these keywords. If you have not done this in the past month, you should dedicate some time shortly to do so, and create a comprehensive strategy to do so more often. 

Step 6: When

When was your homepage content updated last? How long are you planning on keeping your current content up? Are the photos on your site new and fresh? Are those homepage sliders telling the same message it’s been telling for years? The point of content is to engage, and get users coming back for more. Don’t you want to provide them with something new every time they visit? Evaluate your current content by taking a look at the oldest posts and pages on your site. They are easy to lose track of especially if the site is multiple years old. Assessing these posts and pages on the backend of your site so that you can categorize from oldest to newest. Take a look at how your oldest content is aging. Is there any messaging that can be updated? You should also look at the analytics of your site, and figure out if there are any older pages in need of fresh content that users are accessing. This is especially important if you offer any sort of training or technical guides on your site. Even something as simple as an outdated logo can be confusing for users.

What story is the content on your homepage telling right now? If you cannot answer that question it might be time to evaluate your content and strategize your content plan for the future. Your website content is the sum of all of the text, images, blog posts, and videos that together give a visitor user experience. The combination of this content tells the story you want to tell your audience. But what does that content look and translate to as an experience? Having quality content is not just beneficial for your website visitors. The more optimized your content is, the more attention search engines will pay to it, which helps you in the long run.

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