Content that’s valuable to your audience is valuable to your business because it can help website visitors decide to choose you. My previous posts in this series on content auditing have emphasized bringing new value through a new website. But how do you determine what of your existing content is valuable enough to keep? In this post you’ll learn some ways to grade your content for feeling. I’ll also teach you some ways to grade content based on past actions by your audience. Using both quality and quantity, you’ll be able to make the best decisions about content for your new site.
Your Differences are Valuable
When you begin a content audit, you might have a gut reaction that all your content serves some purpose so it must be valuable. There’s a grain of truth to that, but it’s not why we’re here. When we audit content we want to maximize the impact of everything we keep. We can only do that if we select the absolute best. So, when it comes to describing a business or nonprofit, what really matters is what sets us apart. Some of your most valuable content is that which shows your unique value.
Let’s break it down. Say your business is a law firm specializing in family law. You’ve probably got a lot of content that talks about qualifications and honors, cases won, etc. This is important to building trust, but it isn’t the most valuable detail. Let’s also say that your family law firm is your personal passion because you grew up going through family court. You want to use your experience to nurture as well as provide legal help. Your story about your personal connection to your practice is more valuable content here.
Every practicing lawyer has met certain qualifications, won cases and lost cases. Your audience doesn’t need to know these vanilla facts about you to help make a decision. They need to know what makes you uniquely able to fill their need. Your background is what they need to see first, the credentials can be secondary.
For all the different possible cases there are a few core takeaways. All businesses and nonprofits have some things in common. A lawyer has a law degree, and a church is open on Sunday. While these details are important, they’re not the most valuable. The details that show the unique way you will fill your audience’s need are the most valuable. Just like your personality is more valuable to your friends than your address.
Basic Stats in Google Analytics to Look For
For the quantitative side of things you’ll need to have Google Analytics set up on your site ahead of time. If you’re reading this mid-content audit and you have time to wait, pause for a few weeks to let Google gather some info. You’ll find out how to set it all up here .
The more data you have, the better, but about 4 weeks worth is a good starting point if you’re new to the Analytics game.
Bounce rate given is a percentage. It’s the percentage of people who visited a page of your site without clicking on any other page. When it comes to valuable content, your pages with the lowest bounce rate are a good place to start. When bounce rate is low, it means people are interacting with the page. Which could be both good and bad. Good if they are doing something like navigating to a contact page. Bad if they are completely lost and clicking on anything to find their way out.
There are some theoretical reasons why a page with a high bounce rate could be a good thing. However, you’re unlikely to be in that situation as a small business or nonprofit. Consider content on those pages to be an opportunity to improve.
Time on Page
Time on page gets calculated from the time it takes a person to go from one page to another. As Google describes it, if a person lands on the first page at 10AM and the a second page at 10:10AM, the time on page is 10 minutes. When you see a high time on page (anything greater than 10 seconds) this is a good place to check for valuable content. Again, the case could be the same as above, things are too complicated and people are getting lost.
Landing Page and Exit Page
Combine these two metrics to measure landing and exit pages. If a landing page has a low bounce rate, there is valuable content there. If an exit page makes sense to exit from, there was valuable content that led there. For example, it makes sense for a viewer to exit from a contact or donate page. It doesn’t make sense for them to exit from your home page.
Valuable content is content that proves to your audience that you can solve their unique problem in a unique way. Content that tells the story of how you do, not what you do, should be at the forefront.
Google Analytics can help provide a quantitative answer for your most valuable content. Analytics can show you which pages people spent the most time reading. From there, check the content on that page for the unique value of your business and bring it to your new site.
(Oh, and have fun!)