Anyone else remember the awesome 1996 movie Space Jam? Turns out it had one of the first movie websites and it’s still alive. Check it out here.
You might be wondering what a kids movie website from almost 20 years ago has to do with marketing, media or social content and the answer is everything. The super smart Suzanne Carawan tweeted this gem at one of the first sessions I attended at MMCCom:
She’s absolutely right! People rarely go looking for older content. A website isn’t a digital archive of everything your organization has done for the last 20 years.
The first step to freeing yourself as a content manager and your organization from the mountains of digital content you’re being smothered by is to ask this: Would you take the content with you if you moved? It’s ok if the answer is no. (If you haven’t already done a content audit and/or created a content strategy, this would be a good time to do that step too.)
The take the second step and ask: Who owns the content? Is that person even still with the organization?
Now that you’ve started considering what content you want to keep and what content might be better in a vault, review your user behavior. Check the analytics. Look closely at what people are searching for on your website. Then search for those things! If you can’t find the answer in one or two clicks. your audience has probably totally checked out too. Remember just because you added a Google search bar to your site does not mean you are like Google. Make sure you find a way to give your web users access to content in a way that makes sense to them.
A show of hands indicated that most people do not go to a website without a goal in mind (even if that goal is just to waste a bit of time or be entertaining). Your web users are no different.
Is your audience happy that they came to your site? You can find this by checking the analytics for time on site, pages visited, exit pages, etc. Look at the overall picture the analytics paint, not just each piece of information. It can be tempting to rely on surveys to determine if your web content is working. These should be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of users will tell you what they think you want to hear. The analytics should give you as much if not more insight than a survey will. This isn’t to say surveys don’t have a place, they do, just not necessarily on website usability.
Ideally, your website should be able to solve a users need right then with content? Answer a question, satisfy curiosity, lead the person in the right direction. Most web users are happy to follow a Wikipedia like rabbit hole, but only after their initial question is answered.