This session is by Elizabeth McGuane and Randall Snare, who together write Mapped.
They’re going to talk about how to use data to improve your content strategy.
When you see where traffic is coming from, and where it’s not coming from, you can tell if you have a title/link name problem. Ambiguous titles don’t inspire clicks. Product names may not inspire clicks. People need to be able to make a clear assumption about what they’ll get when they click.Challenge here is that this kind of information is sometimes buried deep in your analytics reports.
- User testing data
User testing can give you really concrete information about how your site and your content confuse users. McGuane tells about how she tested some content on a banking website, for general readability and also understanding of specific terms. Used a “cloze” test — where you remove every 5th word and let your subjects fill in the word they think fits best. The test demonstrated that the tone of the content was wrong and was confusing 90% of the readers.
Ah, now they’re loving on metadata. Make my heart sing. McGuane says metadata gives your content longevity, structure and extensibility. You can run into challenges when you’re trying to best organize the page title and keywords against business goals….what’s good for navigation now may not be good later. Have to get creative about how you manage competing needs.
- My so called data
How do you analyze things that are subjective, for instance, quality of writing? Use examples…for brand/style/content guides, examples or prototypes tell the story best.McGuane gives an example of a yogurt company that researched not just the company, not just yogurt, but all dairy…and discovered that by far the most common comment about dairy products was how creamy they are. And the yogurt company wasn’t selling any products based on how creamy they are — great opportunity.
- Useless data
What data can you throw away? Had a client request to do a GPS on a blimp…when that didn’t work, wanted a car to follow it…too complex. Turned out it was enough to create a map with dates and times you could see the blimp. Don’t create or use data you don’t have to have.
More: Think about priming — if someone says “chicken,” it doesn’t take you long to process “egg,” but if first you hear “goat,” your brain is slow to process “ghost.” You can prime your readers by carefully crafting the content.
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