How effective is our content, and where can we stand to improve content experiences for our users? It’s a question we hear all the time, and it’s why we developed ContentWRX, Content Science’s own content evaluation software. By looking at the effectiveness of content across multiple end goals, device types, user profiles, and six dimensions of content effectiveness, ContentWRX delivers a comprehensive view of content’s strengths and weaknesses. ContentWRX also allows users to set benchmarks using their own past performance, and compare their content’s performance to other companies within their industry or with the same goals.

Utilizing ContentWRX for our clients, we’ve discovered many key findings and best practices, but here are five telling results from nearly 4,000 content evaluations across a number of industries that all organizations focused on content strategy and content marketing must pay attention to for improving their own content’s impact.

1. Mobile Use Continues to Rise, and Content Teams Are Meeting the Challenge

The average ContentWRX effectiveness score for mobile and tablet visitors to client sites rose 7.45% in 2016 from 2015. With Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices expected to generate 68% of all web traffic in 2017 according to Cisco, content teams should continue to focus on ensuring that content experiences are consistent and satisfactory across multiple device types.


2. Calls to Action Must Improve

17.7% of users say they do nothing after viewing content—a clear sign that one of the biggest challenges content teams continue to face is in influencing their users’ decisions. The good news is that users are willing to do more research to learn about a topic—after viewing/using content, 35.4% of users conduct more research/view more content related to the topic, and 17.4% of users share content. Content teams may currently struggle with making their content actionable, but they can meet user needs by guiding the user to additional resources or materials for further research and making content more shareable. Organizations can also utilize existing web content management technologies to make these next steps more relevant or personalized to the individual user.

Calls to Action Not Working

3. Site Preference: Past Experience Matters

Personal experience is a bigger draw to content than external recommendations. When users were asked, “Why do you turn to a site for content?” the most common response (37.3%) was “I remembered the site from my past experience.” This really speaks to the opportunities content teams have to generate value by cultivating a loyal, repeat user base. An additional 20.4% said they discovered the site via a search engine. “Personal” recommendations from a friend or colleague (9.8%), social media (6.6%), and experts (5.3%) were the least common responses. Learn 4 Ways to Make User Journeys Actually Useful for Content Strategy to help improve your user experience during their first, and every, visit to your website.

Website Discovery

4. Your Internal Search Stinks

Why do people have trouble discovering the content they want on sites? Of users who said the content they were looking for was hard to find, 36.2% said they never found the content they were looking for. 21.8% said they tried searching, but search results were either irrelevant or not useful. Internal site searches are a huge driver of dissatisfied content experiences online and a huge missed opportunity for many organizations. One way to improve internal search is to regularly audit and retire content, as Intel’s former Director of Digital Governance and Operations  Scott Rosenberg shared in his Content Science Review contribution, Intel Addresses Modern Marketing Challenges Through Digital Governance.

5. Unsurprisingly, Trust + Credibility in Content Is Wavering

Of users who said they were unsure if the content they viewed was accurate, 40.4% said they were unable to verify the content’s accuracy, and 37.1% said they were not knowledgeable enough on the topic to be sure of the accuracy. Including more links or references to figures or claims as well as engaging the user with educational content can greatly improve users’ confidence in your content.

Content teams must focus on the user’s needs and behaviors to deliver the best overall content experience. This means a lot of things for 2017—from continuing to optimize content for multiple devices to ensuring that users can trust your information and continue to use it even after leaving your site. An organization that meets those needs head-on—by identifying, then fortifying their strengths and eliminating their weaknesses—is sure to deliver the best possible content experience for their users.

The insights above are a good start, but the question remains: How effective is your content? Sign up for a free ContentWRX demo to learn how it can help you tackle these five common content experience issues.

The Author

Andrew is the Principal Consultant, Content Intelligence + Analysis for Content Science, the award-winning content intelligence and strategy company behind ContentWRX, Content Science Review, and Content Science Academy. Andrew has worked with a wide range of organizations to define and measure content effectiveness and to empower enterprises with content intelligence. Andrew holds data and analytics certifications from leaders such as Google and the Digital Analytics Association.

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