Learn the best practices for creating a content strategy for user experience that produces real results with usability and future content in mind.
The content lifecycle must begin with planning and end with an assessment just like any other workflow strategy. Here we will discuss how to produce accessible web and product content, discuss the important of information architecture, identify what to include and what to prioritize.
A content strategy is the path you will take towards meeting your goals and fulfilling your vision. There may be multiple parallel paths that help you reach the same goal. Your content strategy helps define what you will and won’t do.
Content Consists of Substance and Structure
Your content strategy for user experience must have reliable information architecture, functionality, platform, user interface and usability and accessibility.
- Substance is the story, topic, brand elements, voice and tone that fulfills business objectives by meeting the audiences needs.
- Structure is the organization, categorization and component elements that makes content findable and usable for users and manageable for technology.
On-page factors that contribute to poor user experience:
- Copy errors and typos. If your content is riddled with mistakes good luck on keeping your readers trust.
- Off-brand voice and tone. If you are a highly technical, specific industry but your blog sounds like a teenager wrote it you are missing out on your entire target market. Do not confuse personality with slang or clever idioms.
- Misinformation and inaccuracies. With the rise of alternative facts in today’s society, most users will fact check and look for your source to be cited, just as a way to know your information is correct. Inaccurate information or details can be the worst downfall to content.
- Poor navigation. If your customers can’t get to your content, then how can they engage with it? navigational architecture is one of the first things you should get correct when laying out your brand’s website. If your content is accessible, users are more likely to interact and have a favorable experience.
- Non-functional elements. Make sure to regularly check your pages to make sure there are not any buttons or links that are no longer working. This could be what makes you lose out on a form lead or email signup.
- Poor design. Some websites look like a Picasso, and some look blurry, poor color scheme, out of whack image sizes or a poorly designed interface. If it isn’t beautiful or meeting the aesthetic standard, why are you creating it?
Performance factors that contribute to poor user experience
- Poor timing. You may write your most creative and unique content at a time that it is not relevant. This can lead to poor user experience, especially if what is written inside the content is old news or even if it is ‘new’ news, that is just not ready to be digested by your readers yet.
- Poor audience targeting. Is the content that you are offering your users something that they are interested in or is it potentially falling on deaf ears? Make sure that you understand your audience and that your content is meeting their needs. If what you are writing is better suited for another audience, maybe you need to rethink who your target market is.
- Lack of call to actions. You may have the best written content around, but are calling for zero action by your readers. Then what is the point? Make sure to always let the readers know throughout or just at the end of you content, depending on the page or type, what you the next step is.
- Poor channel use. Let’s say you wrote the most effective landing page there is, and organic search isn’t working so you begin using Adwords or Facebook Ads, or other forms of publication and it still isn’t being seen. You need to take a step back and dive into where you customers are digesting information and re-plan your channel distribution methods.
How to Create Great Content
Perform a content audit of your current hits and misses. Then develop a content strategy to understand what you need to bring in the right users. Your content strategy should include timing, implementation, readability, analytics, timelines, metadata and accessibility.
Challenges to Creating Great Content
- Telling the right story.
- Providing the right information for the right audiences.
- Guiding users through the decision making process/purchase path.
- Creating processes, guidelines and tools to ensure consistency and continuity over time.