Life has a qualitative-quantitative balance. What you do on the strategic front (qualitative) will affect your results (quantitative). But what does it mean to be “qualitative?”
The strict definition is “relating to, measuring, or measured by the quality of something rather than its quantity.” In other words, the quality of your strategy or approach will affect the quantity of your results.
Content is a strategy unto itself; it’s a means of communicating who you are, what you do, and how you can help. And while it’s easy to say you should improve the content of your website, how can you tie it to quantitative results?
It’s difficult to draw a straight line, but benchmarking definitely helps. And a scorecard is critical for benchmarking.
You Can’t Measure Anything Without a Starting Point.
By creating a scorecard, with a set of quantifiable criteria, you create a starting point for measuring a number of qualitative elements.
There are innumerable elements of marketing deliverables that can be scored. But for any content marketing efforts, your website is arguably the most prominent area that will be viewed by prospects, and there are three areas that need to be scored:
- Product Pages
- Blog Pages
When we created our Content Scorecard, we focused on both the content on the page, as well as the conversion elements that were prompting visitors to take action. After all, what good is a website if it doesn’t motivate the visitors to take action?
We give away a free Content Scorecard to help you. It’s an interactive PDF scorecard, and there’s no email required to download it. Here’s how it works:
Section 1: Home Page
The home page is usually the most popular page on a website. Granted, it gets a lot of direct traffic – those are visits from people who already know who you are and come directly to your page.
But traffic can also come from content you publish on social media or from someone meeting one of your sales reps and deciding to check out your company. Here are just a few of the critical elements we score.
Segmenting: The goal of most home pages is to segment, which means to direct visitors to the specific areas they want to go.
Value Proposition: Your home page should also deliver your value proposition in under 10 seconds. What is it you do, and what makes you different?
Social Proof: What are your customers saying about you? Do you have case studies to share?
Section 2: Product / Service Page
Ultimately, you want someone to get to a product or service page. It’s the bottom of the funnel, so it’s here that you truly want to get a lead for your sales team or a conversion on your e-commerce site. A few key elements we measure include:
Neuroscience: Have you identified the pain points of your customers, and do you also share how your product or service will solve their problems?
Data-Driven: Do you have any type of data or specs that back up the effectiveness of your approach and the performance of your product? Show how your product works; don’t tell us with marketing fluff.
Contact Form: Do you have a form, right on the page, with a minimal number of fields that balances getting key data from quality prospects with the risk of asking too many questions?
Do you have a form, right on the page, with carefully chosen fields for the prospect to fill in?
Remember, you want to balance gathering key data from quality prospects with the risk of asking too many questions.
Section 3: Blog Content
Blog posts are typically the home of top-of-funnel, informative content. It’s difficult to evaluate just one post on your blog, as there may be all different types of posts (short opinion pieces, longer informative pieces, etc.)
For these scoring purposes, choose an informational post on your site, where the intent is to produce a top-of-funnel piece of content designed to address a basic problem a customer encounters. Some elements we would consider include:
Quality Depth: How much content you produce isn’t always a solid benchmark, but for informative pieces of content, typically posts over 1,500 words get the most shares and likes. You want to provide a quality, well-researched answer.
Tone: Remember, this is informational. Your goal isn’t to sell. If you’re hawking products on this page, don’t. You won’t get links, and you won’t get ranked by Google, both critical elements if you’re going to eventually rank for your product pages.
Readability: One of the biggest mistakes most bloggers make is they don’t create content for skimmers. People need visuals; subheads; and bullet points. They don’t need a big wall of text.
Once You’ve Got a Content Score… Now What?
Quantitative can inform qualitative. Once you’ve got a benchmark score, you can use it in a number of different ways:
- Make Improvements. We’ve tallied up scores for companies using the scorecard, and they’ve focused on the areas where they’ve scored low and improved the quality of their website.
- Measure Impact. Once you’ve made these changes, you can see if they correspond to your website conversion goals. Are people segmenting effectively from your home page? Are they converting on your sales pages?
- Benchmark Compared to Your Competitors. Don’t just score your website. Score the pages of your competitors and determine how you stack up.
Content appears in many forms in your marketing efforts, but these three, highly visible areas are a great place to start.
Download our interactive Content Scorecard (NO EMAIL REQUIRED) and start measuring your content marketing efforts!