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How to measure content effectiveness

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It’s hard to improve your content without a solid understanding of how your content performs with your users. This workshop will introduce you to a three-pronged approach to measuring content effectiveness. We will cover:

- A framework to define what success looks like and how to measure it
- Content testing methods that go beyond heuristics and analytics
- Measurement reports you can act upon

Who should attend: This workshop is for people who have been tasked with demonstrating how well content is working, or who are looking to improve content relevance for users.

Presented by Bill Siemers and Meghan Casey at Confab Intensive.

Published in: Business
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How to measure content effectiveness

  1. 1. How to measure content effectiveness @meghscase @willfredsiem #ConfabINT
  2. 2. Just a little big longer … • Overview of measurement methods • Our client for the day • Measurement frameworks • User testing practice • Content scorecards
  3. 3. Overview of Methods
  4. 4. Three-pronged approach Analytics Heuristics User Testing
  5. 5. Analytics Can answer questions like: • What pages are viewed the most? • What do people search for on the site? • Are our users more likely to use navigation or search to find information? • What paths do people take through our site? • Where do people exit the site? • How long do people spend on the site or a page? • Do people click on our calls to action? • How do visitors get to our site? • What content on a page do people look at?
  6. 6. Heuristics Can answer questions like: • Does the content communicate our key messages? • Is the content relevant to our strategy? • Is the content easy to scan and read? • Does the content contain clear calls to action or next steps? • Does the content contain lingo, jargon, or fluff? • Is the content easy-to-find through search and navigation? • Does the content conform to accessibility guidelines?
  7. 7. User Testing Can answer questions like: • Is our content organized intuitively? • Is the content easy-to-understand? • Do users know what the next steps are after
 reading the content? • Is the content relevant to users’ needs? • Does the content make users feel confident and
 informed?
  8. 8. Our Client for the Day
  9. 9. U.S. Department of State
  10. 10. Client Brief •GOAL: Reduce call center costs •RATIONALE: 75% of calls to the call center are on topics that web content should be able to address. •USE CASES: The primary use cases for those calls are: - Business traveler needing to travel in 2-4 weeks - Person needing to travel for a family emergency - Parent who needs to get a passport for their child
  11. 11. Content Strategy Statement The passport section on travel.state.gov helps us contain call center costs with easy-to-understand, actionable content for U.S. business, leisure, and emergency travelers that explains how to apply for a passport and makes it easy to apply successfully.
  12. 12. Content Strategy Statement The passport section on travel.state.gov helps us contain call center costs with easy-to-understand, actionable content for U.S. business, leisure, and emergency travelers that explains how to apply for a passport and makes it easy to apply successfully.
  13. 13. Content Strategy Statement The passport section on travel.state.gov helps us contain call center costs with easy-to-understand, actionable content for U.S. business, leisure, and emergency travelers that explains how to apply for a passport and makes it easy to apply successfully.
  14. 14. Content Strategy Statement The passport section on travel.state.gov helps us contain call center costs with easy-to-understand, actionable content for U.S. business, leisure, and emergency travelers that explains how to apply for a passport and makes it easy to apply successfully.
  15. 15. Measurement Frameworks
  16. 16. Definitions •KPIs: How an organization determines, with data, whether it’s meeting its goals.
 •Objective: How a tactic should influence a KPI.
 •Metric: How you determine whether an objective influenced a KPI.
  17. 17. Measurement Framework
  18. 18. Activity 1. Grab an easel for your table.
 2. Make a content measurement
 framework worksheet.
 3. Work together to fill out the
 worksheet based on our client
 brief for today. Use post its, or just 
 write on the worksheet. KPI Content Objective Metric Method
  19. 19. User Testing Practice
  20. 20. Content-Focused User Tests • Cloze test • User questions test • Highlighting test
  21. 21. User Test 1 Type: Cloze Test Tests for: Ease of comprehension Mode: Digital or print
 Execution: In-person or remote
  22. 22. Call us to make an appointment for emergency passport service in case of a life or death emergency. Life or death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 business days). You must provide all the usual application documentation in addition to proof of the life or death emergency.
  23. 23. Call us to make an appointment for emergency passport service in case of a life or death emergency. Life or death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 business days). You must provide all the usual application documentation in addition to proof of the life or death emergency.
  24. 24. Discuss • Talk about any difficulties figuring out the missing words and how meaning was changed if you chose a different word • Come up with one or more recommendations for how the content could be more clear
  25. 25. User Test 2 Type: User questions test Tests for: Content relevance Mode: Digital or print
 Execution: In-person or remote
  26. 26. Practice Get into groups of two at your tables. • You will take turns being the administrator and the user. • The administrator will ask the user to jot down the questions they have when presented with a title of a web page. • Once the user has jotted down their questions, administrator will ask them to read the web page. • After the user has read the page, the administrator will ask them what their questions were and whether their questions were answered. The administrator can probe further with follow up questions. • After the discussion, the administrator should write down one idea for improving the content.
  27. 27. Group 1 Page title: Get a passport in a hurry URL: http://tiny.cc/test1group1 1. Administrator asks user to jot
 down questions they’d have
 for a page with this title. 2. After user jots down questions,
 the administrator shows the
 user the page and asks them
 to read it. 3. After the user reads the page, 
 administrator facilitates a
 discussion. 4. Administrator writes down
 one recommendation for 
 improving the content.
  28. 28. Group 2 Page title: Passport photos URL: http://tiny.cc/test1group2 1. Administrator asks user to jot
 down questions they’d have
 for a page with this title. 2. After user jots down questions,
 the administrator shows the
 user the page and asks them
 to read it. 3. After the user reads the page, 
 administrator facilitates a
 discussion. 4. Administrator writes down
 one recommendation for 
 improving the content.
  29. 29. Discuss • How’d it go as a user and administrator? • What did you learn? • What recommendations did you have for improving the content?
  30. 30. User Test 3 Type: Highlighting test Tests for: Content effectiveness, voice and tone Mode: Digital or print
 Execution: In-person or remote
  31. 31. Practice Stick with your partner or switch it up if you like: • You will take turns being the administrator and the user. • The administrator will open a content document on a computer, phone, or tablet. A computer or tablet will work best. • The administrator will explain to the user that they’d like to understand how the content makes them feel, e.g., at-ease or worried, informed or confused. They will ask the user to highlight in a reddish color the content in the document that made them feel the negative emotion/state and highlight in a greenish color the content that made them feel the positive emotion/state. • The user will complete the test. • Afterwards, the administrator will review how they highlighted and ask follow-up questions, such as “Why did that sentence make you feel worried?” • Finally, the administrator will write down one or two ideas for improving the content.
  32. 32. Group 1 Highlighter Details: Red: Worried Green: At-ease URL: http://tiny.cc/test2group1 1. The administrator will open a content document on a computer, phone, or tablet, and either download the document or create a copy. A computer or tablet will work best. 2. The administrator will explain to the user that they’d like to understand how the content makes them feel, e.g., confident or worried, informed or confused. They will ask the user to highlight in a reddish color the content in the document that made them feel the worried highlight in a greenish color the content that made them feel at-ease. 3. The user will complete the test. 4. Afterwards, the administrator will review how they highlighted and ask follow-up questions, such as “Why did that sentence make you feel worried?” 5. Finally, the administrator will write down one or two ideas for improving the content.
  33. 33. Group 2 Highlighter Details: Red: Confused Green: Informed URL: http://tiny.cc/test2group2 1. The administrator will open a content document on a computer, phone, or tablet, and either download the document or create a copy. A computer or tablet will work best. 2. The administrator will explain to the user that they’d like to understand how the content makes them feel, e.g., confident or worried, informed or confused. They will ask the user to highlight in a reddish color the content in the document that made them feel confused and highlight in a greenish color the content that made them feel informed. 3. The user will complete the test. 4. Afterwards, the administrator will review how they highlighted and ask follow-up questions, such as “Why did that sentence make you feel worried?” 5. Finally, the administrator will write down one or two ideas for improving the content.
  34. 34. Discuss • How’d it go as a user and administrator? • What did you learn? • What recommendations did you have for improving the content?
  35. 35. Content Scorecard
  36. 36. Why? • Put data and insights in context. • Communicate content. challenges and opportunities. • Use data and insights to make improvements.
  37. 37. Example Scorecard
  38. 38. KPI Reduce calls to call center on key self-service topics. Content Objective 
 Provide clear, relevant, actionable content for the three most common calls that should be self-service: - Passports for life and death situations - Passports for children under 16 - Passports for trips in 2-4 weeks Metric Content is easy-to- understand. 
 Content gives users confidence to act. 
 Content answers the key questions users have about the topic. Assessment Recommendations Activity
  39. 39. Wrap Up
  40. 40. What next? • Don’t have a measurement framework? Pull together the right people and make one. • Have a measurement framework? Review what you measure and how you use the information and adjust if needed. • Practice administering the methods we learned today and try them out with actual users.

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