Content Optimization - Three Dimensions to Creating Content that Works


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My workshop slides from TC World in Wiesbaden, October 2012

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  • Mention Amazon
  • Why are companies spending heavily on SEO? To improve their search rankings so they are found when people need:InformationTo purchase – (but not ONLY when they’re buying)Help – (you don’t want someone else helping out your customer)
  • CTR = Click-Through Rate, i.e., the percentage of people who view the page and click on the link
  • CTR = Click-Through Rate, i.e., the percentage of people who view the page and click on the link
  • CTR = Click-Through Rate, i.e., the percentage of people who view the page and click on the link
  • Content Optimization - Three Dimensions to Creating Content that Works

    1. 1. Content OptimizationThree Dimensions to CreatingContent That Works - #tcworld12 Andrew Bredenkamp @abredenkamp Acrolinx © 2012 Acrolinx
    2. 2. OverviewIntroduction 15 minutesWhy do we develop content? (8:45-9:00)People-Ready Content 25 minutesIntroduction, Exercises, Examples (9:00-9:25)Global-Ready Content 25 minutesIntroduction, Exercises, Examples (9:25-9:50)Search-Ready Content 25 minutesIntroduction, Exercises, Examples (9:50-10:15)Wrap-up 15 minutesTake-aways, Feedback, Discussion (10:15-10:30) © 2012 Acrolinx
    3. 3. Quick Survey Technical writers? Editors? Translators? Documentation managers? Engineers: software or otherwise? ESL Writer (writing in English but not a native speaker)? Experience with simplified English? Experience with structured authoring? ―Pre-Sales‖ content writers? © 2012 Acrolinx
    4. 4. Why are you here? Solve a specific problem Help those around me write better – I am in charge of our style guide Write better Write better for translation Translate better Write better for search © 2012 Acrolinx
    5. 5. What products do you make? Software Products with embedded software IP products Components in larger products Products only touched by people with appropriate training  90% of user interface is … content  Customers interact with your products through … content © 2012 Acrolinx
    6. 6. Words are everywhere(source: © 2012 Acrolinx
    7. 7. Text-free user interface © 2012 Acrolinx
    8. 8. How to make it happen?Content’s often (almost)all you’ve got! © 2012 Acrolinx
    9. 9. Content is your only chance!“90% of customers nevertouch the product beforethey buy” HP ―Global Content Management: Hewlett-Packard Talks the Talk of Worldwide Business‖ The Gilbane Report, January 2005 © 2012 Acrolinx
    10. 10. Content is your only chance!“70% of the buying process isalready complete beforeprospects engage with asalesperson” (SiriusDecisions) © 2012 Acrolinx
    11. 11. The roles that content plays Your content is influencing sales All your company content is influencing customer satisfaction © 2012 Acrolinx
    12. 12. What I promisedIncreasingly organizations have realized that [if theydo it right] their content represents a criticalcompetitive advantage. But your content has to workfor you. This session will show how asking the rightquestions can help you create content that works. © 2012 Acrolinx
    13. 13. Help is at handYou are the contentprofessionals! © 2012 Acrolinx
    14. 14. Three Dimensions © 2012 Acrolinx
    15. 15. Content That Works People-Ready Global-Ready Search-Ready © 2012 Acrolinx
    16. 16. People-ready 16 © 2012 Acrolinx
    17. 17. People-ready? Understandable by target audience Tone-of-voice Non-native speaker friendly Task and solution-oriented © 2012 Acrolinx
    18. 18. Cisco Catalyst 4900 © 2012 Acrolinx
    19. 19. Cisco Catalyst 4900 © 2012 Acrolinx
    20. 20. Cisco Linksys E900 © 2012 Acrolinx
    21. 21. Cisco Linksys E900 © 2012 Acrolinx
    22. 22. Cisco Linksys E900 © 2012 Acrolinx
    23. 23. Content Strategy @ Cisco ―The 4900 Series is ideal for space- constrained deployments.‖ “Simplified Management: Edge switch auto- provisioning‖ Zero uses of ―you‖ © 2012 Acrolinx
    24. 24. Content Strategy @ Cisco Not ―space- constrained” but ―smaller‖ No sentence over 18 words Eight uses of ―you‖ © 2012 Acrolinx
    25. 25. Cisco Linksys E900 US EU © 2012 Acrolinx
    26. 26. Tone of voice © 2012 Acrolinx
    27. 27. Writing for mobile Space constraints Short sentences Telegraphic style Abbreviations Allowing for expansion © 2012 Acrolinx
    28. 28. Don’t just guess! Don’t publish standards and hope they are applied Benchmark and measure over time (―are we getting better?‖) Look for leading indicators – Quality metrics which give you an indication of content effectiveness © 2012 Acrolinx
    29. 29. Summary Carefully identify who you are writing for – And how they will be reading it (space-constraints?) Choose words, phrases and a tone of voice which this audience can easily understand Don’t just guess! © 2012 Acrolinx
    30. 30. Not People-Ready“Travels of persons, for whom you are defined as their superiorwith the status Entry complete, Requested and travels, whichare to be approved by persons, for whom you are their approvaldeputy.” © 2012 Acrolinx
    31. 31. Global-ready 31 © 2012 Acrolinx
    32. 32. Global-ready? Write for a global audience • Not everyone reads English (as well as they claim to) Write for translation • MT not TM • On-Demand MT (you’re not in charge) © 2012 Acrolinx
    33. 33. Read this!  Writer, Editor, Linguistic Engineer at SAS Institute  Guidelines based on extensive (on-going) empirical analysis  Acrolinx customer since 2004 – Not just thinking, but doing! © 2012 Acrolinx
    34. 34. What is Global English?Global English is English that has been optimized for a globalaudience. The four guiding principles are: 1. Eliminate ambiguities that impede translation. 2. Eliminate uncommon technical terms and grammatical constructions. 3. Make sentence structure more explicit. 4. Eliminate unnecessary inconsistencies. © 2012 Acrolinx
    35. 35. The benefits of using Global English Clearer and more consistent technical documents result in faster, clearer, and more accurate translations. Documents that are not translated are more easily understood by non-native speakers of English. Documents are also clearer and more readable for native speakers of English. © 2012 Acrolinx
    36. 36. Key Guidelines1. Conform to Standard English2. Simplify your writing style3. Use modifiers clearly and carefully4. Make pronouns clear and easy to translate5. Use syntactic cues6. Clarify –ING words7. Fine-tune punctuation and capitalization8. Eliminate undesirable terms and phrases © 2012 Acrolinx
    37. 37. But first:The Cardinal Rule of Global English―Do not make any change that will sound unnatural to nativespeakers of English‖Corollary“There is almost always a natural-sounding alternative if you arecreative enough (and if you have enough time) to find it!” © 2012 Acrolinx
    38. 38. Global-ready Know your audience! Precise Concise Simple Jargon-free Translation-ready © 2012 Acrolinx
    39. 39. Precise (unambiguous) language Pronouns – ―Once you define the basic structure of your table, enhancing it is easy.‖ – ―Once you define the basic structure of your table, enhancing the table is easy.‖ Prepositional phrases – ―I saw the girl with the telescope‖ vs. ―I saw the girl with the ice-cream‖ – ―Attach panel with paint‖ (attach it with paint? Or does it have paint on it?) ―Only‖ – ―Only use arrows to indicate stress points‖ – ―Use arrows only to indicate stress points‖ © 2012 Acrolinx
    40. 40. “Use modifiers clearly and carefully” (Kohl) 3.1 Only Only I hit him in the eye yesterday. I hit him in the only eye yesterday. (No one else did any hitting.) (He had just one eye.) I only hit him in the eye yesterday. I hit him in the eye only yesterday. (I didn’t shoot him in the eye.) (Not long ago—recently.) I hit only him in the eye yesterday. I hit him in the eye yesterday only. (I didn’t hit anyone else.) (Not any day other than yesterday.) I hit him only in the eye yesterday. (I didn’t touch any other part of him.) © 2012 Acrolinx
    41. 41. Simple Short sentences Simple structures Verb (action) oriented Standard/Mainstream language © 2012 Acrolinx
    42. 42. Short simple sentences How short? – It depends (15-30 words) • Procedural (for example, <step> content in DITA) =< 15 • Descriptive (introductory, marketing) => 30 – Flesch-Kincaid will not help! • It sets the wrong goals – especially for technical content – Use words you know your audience will know – Use sentence structure • Simple • Direct • Natural © 2012 Acrolinx
    43. 43. Simple expressions © 2012 Acrolinx
    44. 44. Simple expressions © 2012 Acrolinx
    45. 45. Simple structures nose landing gear uplock attachment bolt © 2012 Acrolinx
    46. 46. Simple structures © 2012 Acrolinx
    47. 47. Standard/Mainstream language © 2012 Acrolinx
    48. 48. Jargon © 2012 Acrolinx
    49. 49. Writing for translation I All of the above © 2012 Acrolinx
    50. 50. © 2012 Acrolinx
    51. 51. Translation-ready II © 2012 Acrolinx
    52. 52. Global-ready - summary Know your audience! Buy John Kohl’s book Be precise, concise and simple Avoid jargon Remember translation (and remind everyone else) © 2012 Acrolinx
    53. 53. Search-ready 53 © 2012 Acrolinx
    54. 54. Search-ready? SEO – Search Engine Optimization More content delivered via Google (you’re not in charge) Search performance is a challenge for Support After-Sales Content is relevant for Sales! © 2012 Acrolinx
    55. 55. What’s it called again? © 2012 Acrolinx
    56. 56. What’s it called again? Circulating pump Recirculating pump Pump, circulatorCirculation pump Pump Circulator pump Water pump Recirculation pump © 2012 Acrolinx
    57. 57. circulation pump © 2012 Acrolinx
    58. 58. circulating pump © 2012 Acrolinx
    59. 59. water pump © 2012 Acrolinx
    60. 60. recirculating pump © 2012 Acrolinx
    61. 61. What’s it called again? Heizkreis-UmwälzpumpeHeizkreisumwälzpumpe KesselthermenpumpeHeizkreispumpe Umwälzpumpe Heizungspumpe Gerätepumpe Heizungsumwälzpumpe © 2012 Acrolinx
    62. 62. What’s it called again? 循环泵 泵 再循环泵再循环水泵 水泵 循环水泵 热水循环泵 冷水循环泵 © 2012 Acrolinx
    63. 63. Ask BingDevelop great, original content (including well-implemented keywords) directed toward yourintended audience © 2012 Acrolinx
    64. 64. Ask Google (hint: search for “Google SEO”) © 2012 Acrolinx
    65. 65. Ask Google © 2012 Acrolinx
    66. 66. Other search enginesIn Russia, China, South Korea and Japan, Googlehas less than 40% of the search market. © 2012 Acrolinx
    67. 67. SEO Goal: VisibilitySERPs = Search Engine Result Pages Google Adwords (Paid advertisements) Organic search results © 2012 Acrolinx
    68. 68. The Battle for Search Rankings HP IBM IBM Fujitsu HP © 2012 Acrolinx
    69. 69. Higher Rank = Higher Click-Through Rate HP IBM CTR IBM Fujitsu HP © 2012 Acrolinx
    70. 70. What’s the Value of a Higher Ranking? 8100 searches / month ―unix servers‖: IBM CTR 40% (= 3240 qualified visits) Fujitsu CTR 5% (= 405 qualified visits)Conversion rate on website 1% HP 32 transactions, new customers 4 transactions, new customers IBMAvg. Transaction $8000 Revenue+ $256,000 / month Revenue+ $32,000 / month IBM Fujitsu HP © 2012 Acrolinx
    71. 71. Bad SEO Los Angeles SEO is important if you own a website in LosAngeles. When you own a website, you need Los Angeles SEO to achieve a high page rank. Without Los Angeles SEO, your website will not perform. Contact our Los Angeles SEO Company to learn more about Los Angeles SEO! [from:] © 2012 Acrolinx
    72. 72. Good SEO If you own a business in Los Angeles, California, chances arethat you have a company website and that you rely heavily upon search engine optimization (SEO) to market your services online. Like most business owners, you probably know that achieving a high page rank is essential to the success of your business as most people rely upon search to find local companies. What you may not know is what SEO strategies can improve your overall page rank. Thankfully, there are Los Angeles SEO companies out there like Star Content that can help. To learn more, contact us today! [from:] © 2012 Acrolinx
    73. 73. Text optimization example: Before Title and first 100 words only contain 1 useful keyword, ―Active Directory‖ Topic title too generic – Rich key words and important solution content hidden in second half of topic Recommended action – Break out second half into separate topic to increase visibility of content – Optimize intro to content From: Metrics-based Publishing at Symantec, Bob Lee, Shared Engineering Services © 2012 Acrolinx
    74. 74. Text optimization example: After Title and first 100 words contain additional new keywords – Domain controller – DCInterface – NTLM First 100 words also contain important updated technical information that address customer issue from Symantec Connect forum From: Metrics-based Publishing at Symantec, Bob Lee, Shared Engineering Services © 2012 Acrolinx
    75. 75. How can Acrolinx help with SEO? Acrolinx can help with on-page optimization – Discover keywords – Which keywords to use – Where to use them Help with conversion – Create compelling snippets © 2012 Acrolinx
    76. 76. Search-ready content: summary Make your content relevant Use appropriate words and phrases in prominent positions Don’t ruin your content for humans! Keywords are just part of the story, other key factors: – Linking strategy – URL naming – Website performance and hosting location © 2012 Acrolinx
    77. 77.  Other notes © 2012 Acrolinx
    78. 78. Redundant contentPlease enter an actual start date earlier than the actual end date. Enter a Start date that is before the End date.The Start Date cannot exceed the End Date. Please enter an end date that is later than the start date.The End Date cannot precede the Start Date. Date To must be later than or equal to Date From.End Date must be Later than Start Date. The Date To must be later than the Date Received.End date must be equal to or later than the start date. The actual end date must be on or after the actual start date.The end date must be later than or the same as the start date. End date should be greater than start date.End Time must be later than the Start Time. End Date cannot be before Start Date.The valid grades end date must be Later than or equal to its start date. The start date must be prior to the end date.Please enter an End Date that is later than or the same as the Start You entered a start date later than tile end date.Date. Ending range must be later or the same as starting rangeCompetence end date has to be later than or equal to the start date. Please enter a new start date later than the original end date.The start date cannot be later than the end date. The ending date must be later than or the same as the beginning date.The appraisal end date must be later than or equal to appraisal start The date to has to be later than or equal to date End Date must be gr eater than Start Date.The Effective start date cannot be Later than the Effective end date. You cannot enter an .. End Date" that is before your ,.Start Date."Date from cannot be later than date to. End Date must be greater than or equal to Start Date.The start date must be on or before the end date. Please enter a start date that is before the end date.The Start Date cannot be after the End Date. The end date you enter must be between the grades start and endYour end date must be after your start date. dates.The end date cannot be after the start date. The start date you enter must be between the grades start and endStart date must be before end date. dates.Your start date must be before your end date. The projected end date must be on or after the projected start date.The Status End Date is either earlier than the Start Date of the The Period start date cannot be later than the Period end dateAssignment or later than its End Date. © 2012 Acrolinx
    79. 79. Writing for structured authoring DITA rules © 2012 Acrolinx
    80. 80. Further reading © 2012 Acrolinx
    81. 81. Be more concrete… Set standards. How? Make sure they are followed Why is it so hard? Take the automation slides from Webinar #1 © 2012 Acrolinx
    82. 82. How to make it happen… Governance Analytics Optimization © 2012 Acrolinx
    83. 83. Governance 1. Choose your audience 2. Choose the right language for them 3. Choose the right tone-of-voice and words and phrases 4. Setting standards © 2012 Acrolinx
    84. 84. Appropriate choice of words © 2012 Acrolinx
    85. 85. Creation / Optimization 1. Work as a team 2. Create and Optimize in one step where possible 3. Know when you’re done 4. Connect content with consistent language © 2012 Acrolinx
    86. 86. Checking © 2012 Acrolinx
    87. 87. Analytics 1. Assess your content against standards 2. Understand your audience 3. Capture your language 4. Find the best content 5. Find the worst content 6. Find the redundant content © 2012 Acrolinx
    88. 88. Metrics, metrics, metrics Test your content Measure your content Nurture your content Make your content work for a living © 2012 Acrolinx
    89. 89. Content Quality Reporting © 2012 Acrolinx
    90. 90. What are the benefits of doing this? Write Edit Translate SEO Time off!! © 2012 Acrolinx
    91. 91. Takeaways Content needs to be – People-ready – Global-ready – Search-ready Strategy is good – success comes through execution Governance – Analytics – Optimization © 2012 Acrolinx
    92. 92. Thank You! @abredenkamp © 2012 Acrolinx