Get Better Content with Analytics and User Testing

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So you're going to Confab Higher Ed. You're already pretty excited about content strategy. But your boss and colleagues? Not so much. To outsiders, content strategy is just another buzzword. And as more schools move to become "data-driven" organizations, talking about content can sound hopelessly qualitative.

So don't say "content strategy": do it. This session will look at content strategy practices you can introduce to show even your most quantitatively-oriented colleagues the value of content strategy: content analytics, social media analytics, and user testing techniques. Rack up successes first—then start talking content strategy.

• Introduce content strategy practices into your organization when your organization doesn't care about content strategy.
• Use analytics to identify what needs improvement.
• Learn how user-testing techniques can improve your content.

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Get Better Content with Analytics and User Testing

  1. 1. Get Better Content with Analytics and User Testing Mike Powers Director of Electronic Communications Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  2. 2. About Me
  3. 3. About Me • Director of Electronic Communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  4. 4. About Me • Director of Electronic Communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  5. 5. About Me • Director of Electronic Communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  6. 6. About Me • Director of Electronic Communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania • Taught web writing at Higher Ed Experts
  7. 7. About Me • Director of Electronic Communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania • Taught web writing at Higher Ed Experts • Ph.D. in English
  8. 8. About Me • Director of Electronic Communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania • Taught web writing at Higher Ed Experts • Ph.D. in English • @mjpowers
  9. 9. It’s almost over
  10. 10. What happens to the excitement back at the office?
  11. 11. How do your co-workers feel about content strategy?
  12. 12. Best Practices Mobile Digital Natives Content Management System Social Media Branding User Experience Information Architecture Enterprise Big Data ROI HTML5 Analytics The Cloud
  13. 13. Best Practices Mobile Digital Natives Content Management System Social Media Content Strategy Branding User Experience Information Architecture Enterprise Big Data ROI HTML5 Analytics The Cloud
  14. 14. How does your boss feel about content strategy?
  15. 15. Higher Ed is becoming a data-driven world
  16. 16. You need to go quantitative
  17. 17. You need to go quantitative(ish) quantitative
  18. 18. Analytics and user testing are for everyone.
  19. 19. “a data-driven life is “the sexiest digital “life you can imagine.” —Avinash Kaushik
  20. 20. You’re doing it wrong.
  21. 21. Pageviews aren’t the goal. Your goal is the goal.
  22. 22. Higher Ed Goals
  23. 23. Higher Ed Goals 1. Get students
  24. 24. Higher Ed Goals 1. Get students 2. Help students, faculty, alumni succeed
  25. 25. Higher Ed Goals 1. Get students 2. Help students, faculty, alumni succeed 3. Get money to keep doing 1 and 2
  26. 26. In content terms...
  27. 27. Content... Get students Help students, faculty, alumni succeed Get money • Appeals to H.S. students • Provides correct, useful information • Persuasive • Helps students register, add/drop, etc. • Continues to market school • Gets audience’s attention • Shows value of school • Gets donors through donation process
  28. 28. Once you know your goals, you can measure them
  29. 29. Before you start, turn your goals into questions Image by Cyberslayer http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyberslayer/
  30. 30. Without goal-related questions, you won’t find the answers you need Image by Cyberslayer http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyberslayer/
  31. 31. Some Questions • Can readers understand my content? • Does this page encourage donations? • Does this page encourage applications? • What should this section of the site be named? • What kinds of social content are most effective? • What content on this page is getting the most attention?
  32. 32. Sampling of Measures and Methods • User Test • Readability Score • Survey • Sharing Metrics • Card Sort • Social Media Engagement • Navigation Test • Pageviews • Heat Maps • Bounce Rate • A/B Test • Avg. Time on Page • Page Value
  33. 33. Sampling of Measures and Methods • User Test • Readability Score • Survey • Sharing Metrics • Card Sort • Social Media Engagement • Navigation Test • Pageviews • Heat Maps • Bounce Rate • A/B Test • Avg. Time on Page • Page Value
  34. 34. Five questions. Five ways to answer them.
  35. 35. For answering and generating questions:
  36. 36. For answering and generating questions: Usability Test
  37. 37. Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/l-i-n-k/3654390818/
  38. 38. Do a User Test First • See people experiencing your content. • Experience their pain and joy. • Find some blindingly obvious stuff that you wish you had seen earlier.
  39. 39. Advice for First-Timers • Just do three tests. (Use Jacob Nielsen’s useit.com to convince colleagues) • Write tasks that center on your goals. • Who you get to do the test matters less than you think. But—choose a reasonable audience to help colleagues accept your results.
  40. 40. Advice for First-Timers • Just do three tests. (Use Jacob Nielsen’s useit.com to convince colleagues) • Write tasks that center on your goals. • Who you get to do the test matters less than you think. But—choose a reasonable audience to help colleagues accept your results.
  41. 41. Advice for First-Timers • Just do three tests. (Use Jacob Nielsen’s useit.com to convince colleagues) • Write tasks that center on your goals. • Who you get to do the test matters less than you think. But—choose a reasonable audience to help colleagues accept your results.
  42. 42. Can readers understand my content?
  43. 43. Can readers understand my content? Readability
  44. 44. Readability scores measure how easy to read a text is.
  45. 45. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
  46. 46. 4 sentences 72 words 90 syllables Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
  47. 47. Flesch Kincaid Grade Level Formula 0.39 × (words ÷ sentences) + 11.8 × (syllables ÷ words) − 15.59
  48. 48. read-able.com
  49. 49. read-able.com
  50. 50. read-able.com
  51. 51. Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 6.2 Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
  52. 52. Our undergraduate and graduate classes are designed to offer future journalists—and private and public sector leaders who will interact with them—a thorough understanding of the role of the press in the policy making process. Through instruction and internships, students learn about the principles and the practice of journalism, while mastering the broader background of studies in public policy, politics, economics, history and other liberal arts. 2 sentences 67 words 113 syllables
  53. 53. Our undergraduate and graduate classes are designed to offer future journalists—and private and public sector leaders who will interact with them—a thorough understanding of the role of the press in the policy making process. Through instruction and internships, students learn about the principles and the practice of journalism, while mastering the broader background of studies in public policy, politics, economics, history and other liberal arts. 2 sentences 67 words 113 syllables Grade Level: 17.4
  54. 54. Our undergraduate and graduate classes are designed to offer future journalists—and private and public sector leaders who will interact with them—a thorough understanding of the role of the press in the policy making process. Through instruction and internships, students learn about the principles and the practice of journalism, while mastering the broader background of studies in public policy, politics, economics, history and other liberal arts. 2 sentences 67 words 113 syllables Grade Level: 17.4
  55. 55. Our undergraduate and graduate classes are designed to offer future journalists—and private and public sector leaders who will interact with them—a thorough understanding of the role of the press in the policy making process. Through instruction and internships, students learn about the principles and the practice of journalism, while mastering the broader background of studies in public policy, politics, economics, history and other liberal arts. 2 sentences 67 words 113 syllables Grade Level: 17.4
  56. 56. We don’t need elevators. We’re only going to put athletes in this dorm.
  57. 57. Why care about readability? • Makes web reading easier, even for highly skilled readers • • Readable content gets shared more Readers read more, understand more often
  58. 58. Solutions for poor readability • Shorter sentences • Less passive voice • • Less jargon Shorter words
  59. 59. A LITTLE BIT OF A TUMBLER. A shining indication of yellow consists in there having been more of the same color than could have been expected when all four were bought. This was the hope which made the six and seven have no use for any more places and this necessarily spread into nothing. Spread into nothing.
  60. 60. A LITTLE BIT OF A TUMBLER. A shining indication of yellow consists in there having been more of the same color than could have been expected when all four were bought. This was the hope which made the six and seven have no use for any more places and this necessarily spread into nothing. Spread into nothing.
  61. 61. “Data is your eyes, “not your brain.” —Colleen Jones
  62. 62. Does this page encourage donations?
  63. 63. Does this page encourage donations? Bounce Rate
  64. 64. A bounce is a one-page visit.
  65. 65. The bounce rate is the % of visits to that page that bounce.
  66. 66. 36 entrances ÷ 23 bounces = 63.89% bounce rate
  67. 67. What does it mean?
  68. 68. “I came, “I saw, “I puked.”
  69. 69. So a lower bounce rate is better
  70. 70. Except when it’s not So a lower bounce rate is better
  71. 71. Except when it’s not So a lower bounce rate is better
  72. 72. Solutions for a high bounce rate • Is there an audience that hits this page with the wrong expectations? • Are there useful links on the page? Anyplace to go? • Does the content actually interest people?
  73. 73. Solutions for a high bounce rate • Is there an audience that hits this page with the wrong expectations? • Are there useful links on the page? Anyplace to go? • Does the content actually interest people?
  74. 74. Solutions for a high bounce rate • Is there an audience that hits this page with the wrong expectations? • Are there useful links on the page? Anyplace to go? • Does the content actually interest people?
  75. 75. Solutions for a high bounce rate • Is there an audience that hits this page with the wrong expectations? • Are there useful links on the page? Anyplace to go? • Does the content actually interest people?
  76. 76. Solutions for a high bounce rate • Improve readability • Make it more useful • Make it shorter
  77. 77. Analytics Tip #1: For content strategists, pageviews do and don’t matter
  78. 78. Pageviews: how many times a page has been loaded into a browser.
  79. 79. Why not hits? • 1 page = 10, 20, 30 or more files • A hit is the download of a single file
  80. 80. One thing about pageviews...
  81. 81. One thing about pageviews...
  82. 82. Average Net Worth in This Elevator $50 Million
  83. 83. If pageviews are low, other scores may not mean much
  84. 84. Does this page encourage applications?
  85. 85. Does this page encourage applications? Page Value
  86. 86. To use page value, first set up monetary goals in Google Analytics
  87. 87. Higher ed goals 1. Get students 2. Help students, faculty, and alumni succeed 3. Get donations to keep doing 1. and 2.
  88. 88. $ Higher ed goals 1. Get students 2. Help students, faculty, and alumni succeed 3. Get donations to keep doing 1. and 2.
  89. 89. GA allows these as goals • Clicking on something • Seeing a certain number of pages • • Staying a certain number of minutes Getting to a page
  90. 90. Set up goals in Google Analytics Donation [donation value] Application $??? Visit registration $???
  91. 91. Set up goals in Google Analytics Donation [donation value] Application $200 Visit registration $100
  92. 92. Set up goals in Google Analytics Donation [donation value] Application $2,000 Visit registration $1,000
  93. 93. Page value is... Value of any Number of “transactions” unique that happen ÷ pageviews for after a visit to this page this page
  94. 94. Home Page Admissions B.S. in Math Visit Campus Visit Sign-Up Form Thanks for Registering
  95. 95. Home Page Admissions B.S. in Math Visit Campus Visit Sign-Up Form Thanks for Registering $100
  96. 96. $20 $20 $20 Home Page Admissions B.S. in Math Visit Campus Visit Sign-Up Form Thanks for Registering $20 $20 $100
  97. 97. Solutions for low page value • Shorter, more readable, include calls to • Is this page related to a goal? action • Usability test Content experiment (A/B test) •
  98. 98. Analytics Tip #2: What’s a good score? It depends.
  99. 99. Grade me! Look at me! Evaluate and rank me! I’m good, good, good and oh so smart! GRADE ME!
  100. 100. Problems with analytics • Google Analytics installs can be • Sites are different different • Goals are different Analytics isn’t always accurate... •
  101. 101. 40?
  102. 102. 40? 40?
  103. 103. 40? 40? 40?
  104. 104. Use analytics data in comparison • With similar pages on your website • • Dept. vs. dept. Major page vs. major page • With last week, last month, last year
  105. 105. Analytics Tip #3: Use segments
  106. 106. Bounce Rate: 95%
  107. 107. How did they get to the site? Segment by Source
  108. 108. How did they get to the site? Segment by Source
  109. 109. How did they get to the site? Segment by Source
  110. 110. Are they new to the site? Segment by Visitor Type
  111. 111. Are they new to the site? Segment by Visitor Type
  112. 112. Are they new to the site? Segment by Visitor Type
  113. 113. Where are they? Segment by Metro
  114. 114. Where are they? Segment by Metro
  115. 115. Where are they? Segment by Metro
  116. 116. Were they on mobile?
  117. 117. Were they on mobile?
  118. 118. Were they on mobile?
  119. 119. What should this section of the site be named?
  120. 120. What should this section of the site be named? Card Sort
  121. 121. Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/3343501403/
  122. 122. Open Closed • Users stack cards then • Give users header cards • Give each pile a name • They assign cards to the header cards
  123. 123. What should our top-level portal pages be called?
  124. 124. What kinds of social content are most effective?
  125. 125. What kinds of social content are most effective? Engagement
  126. 126. From follower to “customer” Followers Engagement Shares/Actions
  127. 127. From follower to “customer” Followers Engagement Shares/Actions
  128. 128. Social media engagement measures show how many of your followers interact with your content.
  129. 129. Most go something like this: clicks ÷ posts ÷ followers This gives you the percentage of followers who engage with each post.
  130. 130. What’s a click? Facebook Twitter Like Mention Comment Retweet Share Link click
  131. 131. So the formula for Facebook would be: (likes + comments + shares) ÷ posts ÷ followers
  132. 132. (30,286 likes + 703 comments + 7,170 shares) ÷ 1 post ÷ 4,165,311 fans =
  133. 133. (30,286 likes + 703 comments + 7,170 shares) ÷ 1 post ÷ 4,165,311 fans = 0.92% engagement
  134. 134. “0.92%? That’s tiny. “George Takei is “bad at social “media.”
  135. 135. (101,010 likes + 2,266 comments + 9,144 shares) ÷ 2 posts ÷ 4,165,311 fans = 1.35% engagement
  136. 136. But isn’t a share or a comment worth more than a like?
  137. 137. The Varsity Outreach Formula
  138. 138. The Varsity Outreach Formula
  139. 139. The Varsity Outreach Formula
  140. 140. (30,286 likes + 703 comments + 7,170 shares) ÷ 1 post ÷ 4,165,311 fans = 0.92% engagement
  141. 141. (30,286 likes × 2 + 703 comments × 2 + 7,170 shares) ÷ 1 post ÷ 4,165,311 fans = 1.66% engagement
  142. 142. (30,286 likes × 2 + 703 comments × 2 + 7,170 shares) ÷ 1 post ÷ 4,165,311 fans × 1,000 = 1,660 engagement
  143. 143. Choose a formula that works for you and stick with it.
  144. 144. Presenting Analytics and User Research
  145. 145. Content analytics spreadsheet
  146. 146. Content analytics spreadsheet
  147. 147. Content analytics spreadsheet
  148. 148. Visits Campus Tours 1,500 1,125 750 375 0 1/16/2011 1/23/11 1/30/2011 2/6/2011 2/13/2011
  149. 149. Some Questions • Can readers understand my content? • Does this page encourage donations? • Does this page encourage applications? • What should this section of the site be named? • What kinds of social content are most effective? • What content on this page is getting the most attention?
  150. 150. Some Questions • Can readers understand my content? • the questions and show how Does this page encourage applications? content Whatstrategysection of the site be named? should this makes things better • What kinds of social content are most effective? • What content on this page is getting the most attention? • • Most encourage donations? Does this pageimportant: Answer
  151. 151. Questions?

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