Realistically, content evaluation isn’t a top priority for website owners. Finding the time to produce new content is hard enough. But we are missing a pretty big trick when we don’t.
Table of contents
Here are just a few reasons to evaluate content:
- ensure content is continuing to meet user needs
- ensure it is still meeting business goals
- identify and deal with outdated and erroneous content (before it damages the user experience and your reputation)
- identify unsustainable content (and deal with it)
- increase ROI on existing content
- learn what is and isn’t working and stop repeating mistakes with new content
- identify content ready to remove and/or archive
Good Evaluation looks a bit like this
Regardless of the site, type of content, audience, and scale — there are common principles for good content evaluation:
- design a plan so it actually happens (ideally before launch)
- know what success looks like in advance with benchmarks to compare with
- regularly evaluate
- focus on actionable insights
- assign ownership/responsibility for performing any evaluation
- communicate evaluation insights
- have the people and time to act on insights
- be selective — better to focus on a few aspects to evaluate than trying to look at everything
- gather insight from a range of inputs such as usability testing, audits, and web analytics
Design and Implement a Content Evaluation Plan
Starting with a simple plan with some basic details is all you need.
Be clear about the communication goals of your site to design a few meaningful and relevant KPIs to evaluate if your content is helping to achieve them.
A communication goal could be: ‘Build awareness of our services with prospective customers’, or ‘Build our credibility in subject area X’.
The table includes some popular and insightful KPIs to consider using when measuring the success of your content:
Evaluation plan checklist
When you are designing your evaluation plan ask yourselves:
- Are the KPIs SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound)?
- Have we benchmarked the KPIs so we can measure improvement?
- Will the insights be actionable?
- Is the method configured? It may require some technical skill to set up the first time.
- Is the person responsible aware, skilled, and resourced to perform their role?
- Who is going to see the evaluation? What format is appropriate?
- Do we have enough time to evaluate properly and consider what it means?
“If you’re making a case for budget next year for a new website, consider this. Content is a commitment. You wouldn’t buy a car unless you had plans to maintain it. Same thing goes for content. Consider additional costs to produce fresh content, and to maintain it. How many people are needed on a daily basis? A website is never as simple as a single line item in a project plan or a marketing budget so make sure you can maintain a commitment to content so that new website isn’t a wasteful investment.” — MARGOT BLOOMSTEIN, Principal of Appropriate, Inc.
Originally published at https://paminy.com on February 1, 2021.