How much thought is your company putting into the content it publishes? Are you making use of content optimization tricks like a content scoring system? Are you or your content manager tracking return on investment (ROI) for each piece of content that you publish?
If you’re like many site owners, you may find it daunting to track the success of every piece of content on your site. You have enough to do, right?
If your site has been online for years, you may have already published hundreds or even thousands of blog posts, articles, videos, and PDFs over time. But which of those pieces is helping your goals and which ones are just muddying up the landscape?
Before you don your galoshes and slog through the assortment of content pieces you’ve already published, take a proactive approach. Find the winning topics before you publish with a content scoring system.
What is a Content Scoring System?
A content scoring system is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a method of identifying the characteristics of each piece of content to assign a score.
The better the score, the better the piece. Pieces with lower scores either don’t belong on your website or should be revised until they earn a better score.
Marketing professionals have started using content scoring systems en masse. But there’s nothing exclusive or elusive about a content scoring system. In short, there’s no reason you can’t start using a content scoring system no matter what size your company is.
Whether it’s just you wearing all the hats, or you and a handful of hardworking department heads, this method of creating a content scoring system is accessible and practical for all.
What Every Piece of Content Should Have in Common
Now, before you run out and get a laboratory jacket, you should know that every piece of content, no matter what the topic or how it performs, should have some certain characteristics.
These characteristics should be true whether you’re publishing duplicate content (a no-no!), jokes in bad taste, or scientific articles based on the latest findings (again, with that lab coat!). Here are the characteristics:
High quality means well-written pieces in your native language. In other words, if your website is in English, and serves English customers, then your content should be written by writers whose native language is English. (You’ll find plenty of those on the WriterAccess platform!). High-quality pieces will be error-free, or at least 99% error-free.
True to the Site
The piece should convey knowledge so that the reader comes to your site for valuable information or entertainment they can trust. And this is true even if you happen to publish satirical content.
The reader should know that the pieces of content on your site will be true to the culture of your site. So, if you publish news satire, then it wouldn’t make sense to publish a real list of sites where a person can get their dogs a rabies shot, for example.
If you have existing content that doesn’t meet these two characteristics, you can get rid of them right off the bat. But again, we’re not clearing the landscape quite yet. Right now, we’re just making sure that all new content matches up to your new content scoring system.
How to Create a Content Scoring System
Thankfully, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when making your new content scoring system. Content optimization tricks using a set of proven metrics have already been created, which you can use, revise or alter to suit your own needs.
The following content scoring system can be a jumping-off point for your own customized content scoring system, or you can follow it verbatim. Just know that this particular system was created by a leader in content marketing, so don’t veer too far from its basis.
Below you’ll find the metrics to score. Note that you can get most of the information from Google Analytics, or you can use a content scoring tool, widely available online.
How much traffic is the piece getting? This measures site visitor interest as much as anything else. Is your content getting organic traffic? Paid traffic? Consider applying a score based on comparative performance. If a blog post is getting 75% more traffic than others on your site, the score would be 75 out of 100.
Lead conversion is another metric to keep score of. How many clicks are you getting with a piece of content?
For this one, remember that any issues might not be with the piece of content itself, but with how the link is presented. If one piece of content has a popup connected to it, while another doesn’t, the issue might be the popup, not the content. Just bear that in mind. If 20 visitors out of 85 visitors click, that piece of content would get a score of 24 out of 100.
Bounce rate and negative activity should be scored, too. Bounce rate is how fast a reader leaves the page. You can match bounce rates to scores using inversion. The higher the bounce rate, the lower the score.
Once visitors engage with your content, are they taking the next steps? Do they subscribe, fill out a contact form or follow you on social media?
Their actions refer to navigation activity, and this is a key metric to track with your content scoring system. Give each action a score that adds up to 100. So if you’re tracking three actions, each one is worth 33. If you’re tracking four actions, each one is worth 25.
These content optimization tricks aren’t tricks at all, but proven content marketing strategies that most successful digital marketing companies are already using. Once you begin using a content scoring system, you can filter all your future topics and content through it to ensure that each piece of content is performing at its peak level.
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