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Time for a Website Refresh? Here’s How to Take Inventory & Audit Content Effectively

Website content has a shelf life. Just like bread left out too long, it will get stale. Think of your website as that shelf. Every so often, you have to get rid of what’s been on there a while, update it, or replace it with newer, more engaging content. Finding innovative ways to captivate your audience is an evolution of sorts, and it seems to be catching on.

More and more marketers are actively investing in content marketing [1], with 51% of those businesses publishing content every day [2]. As your content naturally ages, it’s important to keep an inventory of what you have and frequently audit existing content on your website. But approaching this without a solid plan can result in inconsistency across the board – exactly the opposite of what you’re going for.

Let’s dive into the different factors that you should consider when giving your website a content makeover. If you’re wondering if it’s time to refresh your website, it probably is. Here’s how to get started.

Identify Your Goals and KPIs

Measurement of website success is critical in making necessary changes. How else will you know what’s working and what’s not? About 72% of the most successful marketers in North America measure the return on investment of their content marketing [3], but quantifying this ROI can be challenging without clear metrics in place. This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come in.

Organizations with sound content strategies ensure their goals are measurable through these KPIs – quantifiable measurements of performance over time for a specific objective. These objectives will vary by organization. You have to decide at the grassroots level what indicators are important for your company.

From finance and HR to marketing and sales, key performance indicators help every area of your business move forward at the strategic level. They should be as accurate as possible, aligning both business goals and objectives. Without a clear understanding of how you will measure success and performance, projects and initiatives are more likely to fail. In fact, a lack of clear goals is the most common factor (37%) for project failure [4].

More than 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategies through sales [5]. Whether you measure your own success through dollars generated, enrollment numbers, or web traffic, everyone should be on the same page and have a clear understanding of KPIs.

Dial in Your Top-Level Messaging

Consider the impact of your top-level messaging. What are the main messages your website needs to convey? Do these messages clearly articulate your mission, and more importantly, what sets your mission apart from others?

website component on the Mayo Clinic's website letting users know the clinic has experience, will put the patient first, is innovative and has a team of experts ready to help

Check out this example from the Mayo Clinic’s homepage. Each one of these informational title headings is an H3, with supportive paragraph text that speaks more directly to the heading’s message. The CTA utilizes the commanding H2 and asks the user, “Why Choose Mayo Clinic?” The content then answers this question for the user, clearly and succinctly. Mayo Clinic uses this valuable space to not only assert itself as a dominant leader in the space but offers reasons why they are superior.

Evaluate Most Frequently Trafficked Pages

A content audit demands a robust understanding of the analytics of each page. Which pages snag the most traffic? What’s the highest average time spent on each page? Where is this traffic coming from? Knowing these answers will tell you which content your users are consuming the most so you can build from there.

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Share Compelling Stories

Storytelling is a core component of any website. Evaluate the current stories being told on your website. Which stories evoke the most engagement, and why? How old are your stories? Are they still relevant? Do they still generate excitement and elicit emotion? The image below is a screenshot of Worcester State University’s video storytelling component, where they interview students asking them questions about their personal experiences at Worcester State.

A video storytelling component appearing on the Worcester State website displaying 3 student stories about their experience at Worcester State University

HubSpot says that video was the number one format marketed in their content strategies in 2021. Furthermore, 86% of marketers claim that video has increased traffic to their website and 80% of video marketers attribute video to directly increasing sales [6]. Forming an emotional connection to your target audience through effective storytelling is a vital part of your content strategy.

Inspire Action with Key CTAs (Calls-to-Action):

All roads lead to home, right? In web design, it’s more like “all roads lead to action.” By the time your prospect has followed the pathways you’ve designed alongside their user journey, they will likely ask themselves, “so what now?”

A call to action (CTA) is the answer to that question, designed to inspire a desired outcome to your user. Apply now, read more, learn more – everywhere we scroll, organizations are competing for our attention (and more importantly, our action!). So how can we create scroll-stopping CTAs that make action the obvious choice for our users?

To answer, let’s see how CTAs can build off a strong foundation made by strategic storytelling and design. Let’s explore the ‘All-in’ campaign page on Trinity College’s website, designed to inspire a wide range of audiences to raise $500 million to drive the success of ‘a capital campaign to fuel future generations of innovation.

While a dynamic ambient video welcomes you to the page, the striking “Give” CTA is given a visual emphasis with its microanimation. Your attention then shifts when you notice the target that the page provides.

An Call-to-Action from the Trinity College campaign site urging a visitor to watch the campaign video

A section of compelling copy on the “Trinity Way” builds a sense of both inspiration and anticipation. And we all know that with anticipation comes expectation. But what are you left expecting?

Good question. The copy leaves off on the note of possibility. Naturally, you want to see what exactly is possible when the people of Trinity are all in. Upon engaging with the CTA, you are rewarded with just that – a glimpse into the fervor and future of Trinity, building your excitement and engagement. The task was to keep your attention and capture your imagination. Mission accomplished.

By starting strong with why, the how comes easy – this is the beauty in the art and science of the CTA. By the time you’ve felt energized and inspired by the campaign and its aspirations, you’ve scrolled and are not left wondering “what now” for long.

The opportunities to engage are clearly enumerated to encourage you to explore what it means to give, volunteer, and connect. In fact, upon just one more click, the ways to give are precisely and powerfully provided. There is no gueswork to how you can give now.

An additional example of a call to action on the Trinity College campaign site giving users more than one way to donate to the campaign.

At the end of your scroll, you’re asked “Are you all in?” before a final invitation to give now. Consider how this question entices you to understand the CTA as the logical next step to defend your emphatic “yes.” A good CTA tells readers why they should click. A great CTA makes it nearly impossible not to click.

A Call-to-Action on the Trinity College campaign site that gives users more that one opportunity to engage with the campaign

In Conclusion

Your website carries a lot on its shoulders, and it ultimately should be working for you. If you’re like 81% of today’s marketers, you view content as a core business strategy [7]. Taking an inventory and auditing your content helps you understand the content you currently have, what has been successful for you in the past, and how you will meet your business goals in the future.

Don’t let the bread get stale. Call us.

Sources:

[1] HubspotNot Another State of Marketing Report
[2] The ManifestHow Businesses Use Content Marketing
[3] eMarketerHow Are B2B Marketers Measuring Their Content-Driven Campaigns?
[4] TeamStage.ioProject Management Statistics
[5,6] HubSpotThe Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2022
[7] CMI2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey

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