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Measuring Web Content Readability & Consistency - with VisibleThread Clarity Grader

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Is your web content clear and consistent? Scan 1000s of pages of your web content in minutes and review any clarity and consistency issues.

We highlight hard to understand web copy, benchmark your web site against industry peers, and promote transparent web communications while eliminating hours of manual effort.

Customizable "control dictionaries" replace the highly manual process used today by marketing teams:

 Education Institutions can check that course names are consistently represented, and college / university brand names are correct. Off brand dictionaries include unapproved or old course names.
 Financial Institutions verify consistent representation of currency rates across their own & affiliate sites. Dictionaries in this context include search terms like"$", "£" etc.
 Digital Agencies support client brand engagements and drive new client business. They build clarity league tables for sector competitors.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Design
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Measuring Web Content Readability & Consistency - with VisibleThread Clarity Grader

  1. 1. Web Governance & Audit Tool Web Content Readability & Consistency – Measuring
  2. 2. measures: Clarity & Consistency
  3. 3. Let’s consider clarity
  4. 4. „Clear writing‟ seeks to simplify written language; the result is clear and unambiguous communication. From: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/examples/before_after/index.cfm “When the process of freeing a vehicle that has been stuck results in ruts or holes, the operator will fill the rut or hole created by such activity before removing the vehicle from the immediate area.” OR “If you make a hole while freeing a stuck vehicle, you must fill the hole before you drive away.” Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Obama signed on Oct 2010), E.O. 12866 & E.O. 12988 http://www.plainlanguage.gov/plLaw/index.cfm Copyright Visible Thread 2011 – Confidential and Proprietary
  5. 5. How do you measure unclear content? Clarity Measures for 9 Australian Universities Takeaway: Very Complex content on multiple pages. Level of long & run-on sentences very high. Passive Voice very high. Audience will not read or engage.
  6. 6. A quick example
  7. 7. Nice Graphic Design
  8. 8. …but the text is a little less nice! The learner registration process will not be deemed to be complete until the appropriate fees have been paid to the Awarding Body. VS. To register as a learner, you must pay appropriate fees to the awarding body
  9. 9. Why measure clarity?  People don’t read on the Web: they scan − Anything that makes the text more difficult to scan impedes communication.  People use the Web to find specific information and complete tasks − People use the web differently than print materials. If visitors can‟t find the information they are looking for, they quickly go elsewhere. − Complex language puts a greater cognitive burden on your visitors.  Approachable web language builds trust − If your competitor has web copy that makes them look approachable, then you will look stuffy in comparison.
  10. 10. What about consistency?
  11. 11. An example challenge
  12. 12. Is the UAL brand consistent in content?
  13. 13. We created a simple dictionary
  14. 14. Scan results across different sections of the site The inconsistent terms Takeaway: Inconsistent brand name used. Impacts student search
  15. 15. Actual content With the aim of attracting a rich variety of contributions from a broad selection of people - from academia, media and practice - and utilise contributions for uploading to a newly established international repository for fashion to be housed at the London College of Fashion, University of Arts of the London.
  16. 16. Why care about language consistency?  Key content likely not findable and searchable  Your audience may be confused and may not engage due to a mix of terminology  Your SEO keyword strategy may be diluted  Your content may not align with Brand/Corporate Standards especially for course names and approved/disapproved terms.
  17. 17. Applying Clarity Grader to your web content review process.
  18. 18. Applying Clarity Grader to your Content Review Process Web governance & managing content quality As a Content Manager, do you… • Produce „000s of web pages? • Using manual processes? • With many authors? • On tight deadlines? Clarity Grader can automatically scan all web pages to identify content that… • Scores poorly for clarity & web readability . • Fails brand standards. • Uses inconsistent or confusing terminology. • Has badly implemented SEO.
  19. 19. Using Clarity Grader in your content process Content Planning 1. Content Creation Evaluate editorial quality of online content for: 2. Identify key targets for improvement. i. Readability & clarity of language. 3. Pinpoint the right corrective actions for each web page. ii. Legal & regulatory requirements Content Review 4. Assess the quality of content submitted: i. Readability & clarity of language. ii. Legal & regulatory requirements iii.Adherence to brand standards. iii.Adherence to corporate standard. iv.Consistency of terminology. iv.Consistency of terminology. v. SEO & Findability. v. SEO & Findability. Post-live Assessment 5. Evaluate the ROI on updated content by: i. Comparing with other metrics of web performance. ii. Assessing the quality of work vs. cost of contactors. 6. Plan a new cycle of content improvement.
  20. 20. Clarity Grader is used in these scenarios… As part of a new content project. Use Clarity Grader to review submitted content to ensure it meets minimum standards. During a PR crisis. Use Clarity Grader to scan all web communications to ensure nothing unintended is said. To comply with regulations. Use „Good‟ and „Bad‟ language dictionaries in Clarity Grader to make sure your content is consistent. During on-going web content review. Add Clarity Grader to your dashboard & remain confident in the quality of on-going operations.
  21. 21. Customers - what people say? “VisibleThread can detect a large number of issues, aiding in defect detection, as well as driving consistency and compliance around loose language.” Tom Murphy, Research Director, Gartner. VisibleThread Named “Cool Vendor” by Leading Analyst Firm - Content Analysis Software Identifies Defects, Risky Language, and Makes Reviewing Documents 45 Percent more Efficient “The Tool Rocks! It means we‟re able to conduct web quality audits much quicker than before. Readability is something that all our clients really care about so we‟re now using the Clarity Grader reports for all major brand engagements.” Murray Cox, Director of Content Strategy, LBi (Publicis). “The benefits associated with VisibleThread are twofold: increased efficiency as a result of automation of the content review-and-inspection process, and prevention of problems downstream in the project lifecycle.” Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, Ovum. “When consumers visit websites to complete complex tasks, complex language is a major barrier. Clarity Grader provides a great toolset to improve the clarity and usability of websites.” Terry Golesworthy, President, The Customer Respect Group “VisibleThread is providing a good product and category for organizations that need to improve process quality, especially for organizations that have to work around compliance guidelines. That‟s the sweet spot.” Theresa Lanowitz, Principal Voke
  22. 22. Worried about Clarity or Inconsistency on your site? Let us show you Clarity Grader is powered by: with a 30 minute demo
  23. 23. Extras/optional
  24. 24. Validating Top Tasks for Website Content – University Example Specific Pages scanned on site – e.g. undergraduate, admissions etc. Takeaway: library catalogue not mentioned anywhere in content. Impacts user who wants to complete task The Top Tasks to check
  25. 25. Does your content reflect what ‘customers’ search for? This is the list of nouns with frequency Each column is a university website 500 page scan with noun occurrences Takeaway: Student missing entirely in 1 site. Campus missing in 2 sites, information missing in 1. Prospective student will not find the information they need.
  26. 26. Our back story • Clarity Grader was created by the people behind VisibleThread. • Our original motivation was 20 years of pain reviewing large documents. You know the thing, 150 page MS Word or PDF docs. • So we created a way to scan document content for ‘clarity’. This cut out a lot of manual legwork. This was VisibleThread for Docs. • We created Clarity Grader (aka VisibleThread for Web) with the same goal in mind, but this time for content analysis of websites. • We wanted to pin point the weakest content really quickly. Complex and inconsistent language damages your online message and kills brand trust for your customers. • But, who has time to trawl through a gazillion pages on sites and micro sites?
  27. 27. Average words per sentence: 10.5 Hard Words: 2.9% FOG Index (readability): 5.5 VS Average words per sentence: 21.6 Hard Words: 5.11% FOG Index (readability): 10.7 Copyright Visible Thread 2011 – Confidential and Proprietary
  28. 28. How does it work? Scan Multiple Websites across entire site/or microsites • Clarity Grader analyzes websites for clarity and consistency. We provide detailed reports highlighting wordy, complex and risky language, eliminating hours of manual effort. • Transparency metrics include; readability, passive language density and long sentence density. These are some of the critical measures satisfying clear writing mandates. Benchmark your site against your competition • Instantly compare peer websites side by side for readability, passive language and related metrics. You simply point at a website URL. • Comparisons allow you benchmark content against ‘best practice’. Reviewers get immediate visibility into the highest risk content in minutes. Clear actionable guidance is provided to rectify deficiencies. Red-flag Website Text by page • Flag exact text by page. Display long sentences, passive language, hidden verbs etc. Long sentences reduce clarity. Splitting them flushes out ambiguity and enhances clarity. • When faced with long and confusing website text, citizens and consumers will pick up the phone. This is costly to the business or government agency in terms of contact center resources.

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