If eyes are the window to the soul, then content is the window to your website’s effectiveness. That’s why our Content Scorecard is such an effective tool for evaluating and benchmarking your content marketing efforts.
Content is obviously the backbone for content marketing. But we’ll take that a step further and say content is truly the basis for any marketing initiative. You can’t host a website, post to social media, or advertise without content, right?
And while we can’t tell you what to write (unless we’re working with you ;-), our Content Scorecard will help you with tactical points on how to structure and present your website content. So let’s dive in.
Why you need to evaluate both content AND conversion elements
We’ll look at your content through two different lenses: The content itself, and then the conversion elements, which help you achieve the goal of your website, such as requesting a demo, or signing up for a newsletter.
The three columns on the scorecard include criteria, score and comments. On our downloadable Content Scorecard, the score and comments boxes will be blank, but in this post we’ll use the comments section to explain what you should look for with the criteria.
For the score, we use a 1-5 rating based on our observed best practices.
1 = Never
2 = Rarely
3 = Sometimes
4 – Often
5 = Consistently
Evaluating three areas on your website: Home page, product page, blog page
You can make the argument that your Content Scorecard should focus on more than just your website. Content can include your social media posts, guest posts, presentation decks, infographics — all things we may consider for Content Scorecard 2.0. (Subscribe to our blog to receive those!)
For now, we’ll focus on your website and three critical areas: your home page, a product/service page, and a blog page.
One of the most popular pages on any site, the home page is usually the destination of direct and referral traffic. These are people coming to your site to check it out for the first time or are making a return visit.
Direct traffic is counted as people who type your URL into a browser, and referral traffic comes from a link to your site, typically to the home page.
Goal: Segment — Much like the receptionist at a brick-and-mortar HQ, your home page should direct people to the specific place they want to go.
Product / service page
Visitors will reach these pages via web searches or from your home page. These are transactional pages — visitors are coming here to purchase a product or service.
Goal: Sell — Your language here will focus on benefits to the consumer and ultimately on getting them to BUY! You’ll also want to feature social proof that backs a purchase.
Visitors will reach these pages via long-tail search terms or via your eNewsletters (providing you have one). These visitors are looking for information, not purchases. For example, “Why should I have a blog?” might be a good topic to cover in a content marketing blog.
Goal: Inform — You don’t want to push sales here. You want to educate and answer questions.
Wrap it up with overall comments and questions to consider
At the end of our Content Scorecard, we like to leave some overall comments about the content and conversion elements on the site. What are the big takeaways? What was the user experience like? This can help you adjust the overall impact of the website.
We also serve up some questions to consider from a strategic viewpoint:
Examples of questions to consider: Have you considered converting your white paper PDFs into blog posts / web pages? What are you doing for top-of-funnel content and list building? How can you showcase your people? How do you prove your performance? How can your overall site reflect your value prop?
We’ll leave you with one final thought: The goal of this scorecard isn’t to criticize where you are now. It’s to provide you with a clear direction of what your next steps should be, and how to benchmark yourself moving forward. So fill in your scorecard NOW!