Course ObjectivesKnow what you’re doing with content, good and badKnow what your competitors are doing with contentIdentify opportunities to improve your content by auditingit and by auditing your competitors
What’s the businessobjective?ExamplesImprove usability of checkout processBenchmark articles against professional publicationsReview and improve CTAsIdentify 5 quick wins through improving contentAssess cross-promotional opportunities across siteAssess eﬀectiveness of content in meeting user needsRedesign a site to make it responsive
What does the user need?Content that’s usefulContent that’s understandableContent that’s credible, informative, uniqueSharable contentClear communication about what you do, why you do it,why it matters, what they can doSimple, easy ways to accomplish their goals
Lots of usesLearn about the landscapeIdentify best practicesIdentify common patterns and approachesDiﬀerentiate your executionAssess against a set of criteriaIdentify weaknesses and strengthsValidate recommendations
Learn about the landscapeClad’s magazine-stylecontent on Clad livesin the Damn GoodAdvice section.JCrew’s editorialfeatures—Jack KnowsBest, The Always List,and Spotlight—oﬀertips, how-tos, andproducts for ampingup your style.
Identify best practicesNavigation is ambiguous.The term “Natural Learning” has no tangible correlation to speciﬁc types of information.
Identify best practicesNavigation labels in category tend to be direct and obvious.Implication: Kashi’s navigation labels risk confusing users.
Diﬀerentiate your execution
Assess against a set of criteria
Zoom Hot Spots VideoNot available or very limited Not available or very limited Not available or very use use limited use Hot spots on small/medium Tutorial videos or 3rd-Limited or hard-to-use zoom image, no icons, or static party (e.g. Sell point) info overview pop-upsZoom with some controls and Hero image w/expandable hot High-quality videos for satisfactory detail spots, detail info on hover ﬂagship products Hero image w/expandable hotFull-screen, two-stage zoom, Quality (720p) videos for spots, detail w/visuals, info on with hover “loupe” wide product range hover World-class execution World-class execution World-class execution
Site Zoom Hot Spots Video LG Blackberry Motorola Apple‣ Category insight: Best in-category sites deliver robust product detailing and in-situ visuals, including strong videos, that highlight smart phones’ social capabilities.
Motorola uses product photography and zoom to highlight the design and show oﬀ the details. Blackberry oﬀers an extensive list of videos to help existing or new users understand exactly how things work. LG uses video to highlight, the fun, social experiences the product makes possible.Opportunities: Use video content to highlight emotional product qualities that make phones fun & social. Extend video content to detail how to do everyday activities.
Many things to auditNavigationProduct copyMessagingArticlesConsistency in languageCalls to action (CTAs)SEO-optimizationHomepageContent types
NavigationWhat does the Cereal Finder, Recyclebank, Tasty Fiber, the REAL Project or any of the othersections here have to do with “Events”?Risk: Navigation that doesn’t appropriately reﬂect the content can prevent users from ﬁndingit.Opportunity: Renaming the “Events” section so that it the label reﬂects the content with in itwill let users know what they’re getting and why to click.
MessagingThe primary block of text on the page tells what theorganization does, but the message is passive.Risks: Bureaucratic-level impactzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.Opportunities: Show impact through a startling infographic,provide a pathway for citizens looking to solve a problem, oruse an active headline to encourage engagement.Objective: Drive engagementUser Goal: Make info useful
CTAs Clear, single use of CTA delivers a deﬁned, primary action for users come to the homepage promo.Multiple CTAs and lots of copy risks confusing usersabout what the site wants them to do. What is the Objective: Increase sign ups or donationsprimary communication objective? User Goal: Eﬀective calls to action
Homepage What is priority of donation? Would integrating it as navigation increase conversion? Could a CTA like “See how we make a diﬀerence” to learn more help users navigate? HTML title tags lack metadata and keywords that could help drive SEO. Stronger titles that use keywords could increase clarity for intended audience and SEO on news items. Objective: Optimize the home page User Goal: Accomplish key tasks easily
Content typesSometimes the audit needs to identify how much ofwhat type of content you have to inform futureplanning.
Oﬀer actionable recommendations
HomeworkDo a competitive audit and/or content audit for yourorganization. Deﬁne a set of criteria and objectives foryour work up front. Look at how competitor sites dothings. Look at how your site does it. Summarize ﬁndingsand identify recommendations.We’ll talk about your work next week!Meanwhile, see you online.