April 1, 2020
Golden Partnership: How to Improve Website Findability with Actionable Analytics & Content Analysis

Golden Partnership: How to Improve Website Findability with Actionable Analytics & Content Analysis


I’m Janelle falls with digitalgov university so now i’m going to go ahead and introduce our presenter Watson is the digital analytics manager for the US Department of Health and Human Services and as a past contributor to digital got back of his presentations and pop post often focus on the need two bands of digital analytics for the public sector and in the past and has promoted the need for actionable analytics and the important steps agencies can take in setting up their own analytics program i’m so i’m going to go ahead and one more thing I should mention last exam is that he actually is leading an effort HHS to develop an analytics data warehouse I joining to start data sources for dynamic visualisations so Sam take away thanks to know I want to thank you know and Jacob this for everything they do additional go just allowing us to have these you know trainings and then the and the post that people share so we can kind of stay connected on on what we’re all working on been great to to watch that grow um so a little bit of an introduction on the presentation I guess apologies for the title it’s hard to find you know the balance between substance and ambiguity the end can get a little funky sometimes but i did want to develop this presentation although it you know it’s probably applicable to most non ecommerce sites really it’s it’s from the government perspective sort of its own unique demands of government website it is i’m just assuming that a lot of people here from management or from college you know how we’re going to increase traffic you know what will show me some reports on whether that’s that the status of our traffic is and you see a lot of dashboards where it’s just you know the roll numbers for all sessions or visits were all page views which in and of itself isn’t terribly meaningful where there’s no context you don’t know these users are satisfied they’re finding what they’re looking for if they’re completing tab on the website don’t know if it’s the right audience you know just the simple thing of having a segment that’s us only for content that serving US citizens rather than showing total sessions from from all users but so maybe a better overall goal is you trying to increase target audience traffic that actually complete tasks on the website so little bit more comprehensive but just assuming that’s our goal this presentation really I’m trying to focus in on some areas for major returns on investment analytics expertise alone can’t really it’s not always enough to get us where we need to go in terms of really improving quality traffic volume so what I’ve focusing on here today is a the content analyst and trying to define what that means eat when we work the process with analytics usually need a Content owner you know someone to represent the content someone who’s engaged believes in the process and has the time commitment but that’s not always possible so in in place of that kind of going to try to find what a digital team might call a Content analysts are specialists and how their role can really boost the analytics program and the work that we do in our digital teams all right long production apologize for that let’s let’s use an example so your website today is ice cream dot-gov and we’ll just use this generic topic as a way to just kind of which stay focused throughout and I mean it’s harmless so thinking of a website and where traffic comes from what I’ve seen government sites is it is a a large amount of organic traffic organic search 1670 sometimes upwards to eighty percent so this is just kind of a normal distribution I see quite often from direct traffic and referrals sometimes one might be higher than the other but around their fifteen or twenty percent or so and then being generous maybe one to two or three percent social social media and that’s really the the picture that were working with when we’re talking about acquisition channels but social media sometimes gets all the the fireworks it gets all the attention in terms of all right the site is live now we need to promote it we need to get more traffic and it gets a lot of a sort of attention because of its visibility and and and some other things but while social media is important and I’m not knocking it i’m certainly not saying we shouldn’t be doing social media and it’s not the best return on investment strictly speaking if our shared goal is to increase quality traffic volume it’s just not close to where you would get return on investment in some other areas which we’ll talk about why is it not the best return on investment i don’t want to dwell on this for too long but i just want to talk about briefly just a couple of points on time investment the idea that we have shared accounting government around social media and the limited reach that it can produce so on time investment you really need a stream of fresh content and it’s not always possible to really be dedicated or of to producing that fresh stream of content on one topic you know talking about a couple of twitter post today on something and it gets lost in the shuffle you need a content strategy so you really need to put in the time upfront to have that content calendar the content strategy that goes along with really investing in social media nothing shouldn’t do it you should totally should just pointing out a couple of things and a measurement plan some things that a lot of times aren’t done is that is the social media side getting involved with the analytics program and saying you know how we’re gonna do this right we need to actually have a proper measurement plan in place so we know what kind of posts are working we can use the the variables of things like tone marketing style and consistently implement and measure those and then after the facts were to do a retrospective and figure out which posts are more effective there’s a lot of planning that should go into it and then you need to consistently implement the content strategy and the measurement plan and there’s a lot that needs to involve to look to really push an engagement campaign around social media then there’s the idea that we have shared accounts right so our government agency has a lot of people who are stakeholders in the in social media account so if you really wanted to dedicate a campaign on one topic where you’re really hammering it for several days it may have to also share that space with others who want their material and their posts also posted on that on those days are those weeks so that’s not ideal for an engagement campaign then that’s wonderful drivers you know things that have to be posted just because and zach is pushed into the mix eight and then you’ve got multiple authors to which is interesting because you you can’t have that consistent tone of voice or marketing style that you might want in an infective agent campaign and so the result is a lot of mixed messaging and a lot of muddled content doesn’t have to be that way just point this out briefly as we move on to some areas that you don’t have a higher return on investment but limited reach there’s a lot of fake and inactive followers in in Twitter for example and you can get some add-ons are very cheap to point out just the percentage of faking an active followers the algorithm for fake is a little bit dicey so it’s not exact but you’ll definitely see some of the accounts they point out are you obviously fake the inactive is very accurate just you know I think they they cut it off of six months to a year of inactivity and it makes up a larger percentage of the account in government space than you would imagine and this goes into the idea of the of us seeing some visualizations are graphs where they say well we have this many likes over time and this many likes overtime but a lot of what’s happening is people just click ya out i’ll follow this rob i like this and then they forget about their not actually following me become an active and they were also a legitimate percentage of fake accounts out there and they are attached to government accounts and there are tools to identify this but just put that into the mix and then there’s this government bubble right so we’re out there posting to our account which a lot of the active followers or people who are going to help lift our posts and really multiply the reach our other government accounts and there’s there’s somewhat of a talking to each other thing happening within the government space in social media not always but but it but it can be the case so I went backwards for a second and then there’s a short-term disability you know of Twitter the posts are there and they’re gone in facebook you may you may get some impressions you make it a lot of impressions but that doesn’t really mean it was seeing by the exact number of people that you would have the act that would have the opportunity to see it and so when you’re anyone you include links that link back to your content those wings become temporary right because they’re only in there as long as it’s visible and so active versus passive fishing so so what this is when you’re on the social media space is you’re actively fishing group for for users you’re saying come and look at my stuff stop what you’re doing and look at my stuff and please take a look and please if you would come over to our website to there’s nothing wrong with that and we should be doing it but in terms of return on investment that kind of active fishing especially all the challenges around the government space not saying we shouldn’t be doing we should there are much bigger opportunities for return on investment to really improve traffic quality traffic volume so let’s talk about those right organic search we know this is huge is where most of our traffic is coming from already these are act if searchers which makes us doing my talk about actively fishing in social media we are passively fishing when we’re talking about organic search because these people are looking for the content that we own if it’s there after ice cream they’re out there searching for we don’t have to say hey please stop what you’re doing and check out our stuff or come to our site they’re out there looking for us well where where can I find out about sunday where can I find out about rocks road I want that information right now and there’s lots of them lot more of them than what you’re able to do with some social media short-term engagement campaigns so that’s one thing to think about right but some of those people aren’t exactly sticking to our site and that’s ok most bounces are not field visits most bounces or visit that come they consume a page the page was meaningful and then they leave some are bouncing 44 not so good reason and we do need to address that and then in this same space some of that traffic is going to competitor sites now you not competitor in the sense that we have a conflict with them may alter the other government site competitor in the sense that we are competing for the user as with eyes are keywords are optimized for search engines so just in this space this bubble organic search these people searching this is assuming that our ice cream dot-gov site has content to address all of these queries and it’s getting quite a bit of traffic but it’s competing for some of it even though we have content and we’re losing some of it to other sites for different reasons maybe some of these keywords or not optimized as well as we could be and some of them were optimized very well but there’s an opportunity to grab it even more there ok so that’s something to think about but what about just the topic of ice cream just a broader target audience of ice cream Peter’s they’re even bigger there’s more searchers out there in addition to those that we’re we’re currently getting and competing with in Google search results they’re searching for things that are in the same topic area they’re actively searching sometimes there’s a few people sometimes there’s a lot of people for certain topics and the reason this bubble is so unconnected to us is because currently we don’t have content that addresses these searches we could we didn’t know about these searches but but the opportunity to address that larger audience exists and it’s a big opportunity but until we do that that traffic will go solely to other competitors who are in that space who do have content that addresses so that’s a look at the larger picture we could take our resources and we do often and have a a person who’s part time or even full-time dedicated just a social media and there should be that person not saying there shouldn’t but surely we can find the resources for person dedicated to increasing our connection with the target audience and really boosting traffic and really boosting traffic from the right audience because that maternal and investment is really waiting and it’s a lot bigger so we’ll come back to that about that position that that should exist but this is that that landscape right so let’s start with those sites that were competing with now we have content for these searches but we’re just losing some of that traffic so what do we do about this this this we have content competition exists as we’ve mentioned but maybe our google search rank is low for some of these keywords and that’s why we’re losing it so that the action here is to focus on search engine optimization and this is a way for us to really grab the low-hanging fruit because there are some quick things we can do to address this and there are some longer-term things we can do to address this this presentation really isn’t all about SEO so i’m not going to get hung up on this but do you want to talk to you for a little bit just to point out some of the things you probably already knew and maybe some things that you hadn’t heard yet so important things to note keywords structure mobile content these are just some topical categories we can talk through so keywords obviously a huge part making sure that the keywords that you’re targeting are in your tags that your title tags your headers all text for images your url this is pretty basic and straightforward but you’d be surprised how many times I see or we see as a program sites that are actively you know asking for visualization understand kpi’s and have titles with no keywords in them just generic titles for some similar pages it’s just a just an oversight so it’s an important reminder to have this as a as a part of your process when you have that focus on increasing traffic from organic search that you want to go back to the basics and start there and do that sort of initial coverage audit call away will also the description tag it’s important but there’s it’s not as important as it used to be or its just as important but in a different way and that will talk about that and in the content section because when you write your description in your meta tag it used to be that was always what google search used to describe your site as displayed in search results but that’s not always the case anymore so you wanna always make sure your keywords are part of a structured sentence rather than just stuffing a tag with lots of keywords with google penalize for talk about the structure briefly you know there is a proper structure with headers and how you know there’s a tiered hierarchy from h1 headers down to the lower tiers so it’s just making sure that that’s in place and then you’re only using one each one per page unless html5 and they have their own social structure but it’s one h1 header / section you can have multiple sections but xml sitemap you want to make sure becoming a new post new content you’re updating your statement and your canonical links and 31 redirect if you have duplicate content you need to make sure you’re putting in the redirects your marketing in your site map which link is a is the the main content whether its content that used for syndication or blogs that are automatically replicating content in different category sections making sure that you set those the canonical links will give that information to google and make sure that you don’t get penalized and that it knows which one to to use for the actual content of the original content so mobile is a big thing for SEO and it’s changing all the time with google and they did the recently announced that the mobile index is the primary index and that that’s a big deal and that’s going to be updated more often than the desktop index so they’re really shifting the focus to making sure that the emphasis is put on your websites being mobile friendly nothing new but the way they’re interpreting that in the way they’re implementing that in our algorithm is new and it’s and aunt rapidly it’s not slowing down it seems it’s it’s it’s just going to keep evolving so being mobile friendly and fast as you’re searching automatically so that’s an important piece to to to think about I mean I’ve seen you may still see you know a site where it has a blog and the blog on the website and unresponsive and not mobile friendly and the blog where you’re putting a lot of dynamic content new content and do not have that being mobile friendly and take a hit and searching for that when you’re when you’re fighting for you know when you’re fighting for traffic within a short time period where the where the post is new that stuff so another thing to consider is the is the Google + pages accelerated mobile pages which I’m sure even you’ve seen even if you didn’t know what they were called and probably a lot of you know know know quite a bit about them but you’ll see in in search results for 4 news pages and for news articles this carousel on the top of Google when you’re on your mobile device and those are at pages there faster they they use a version had their own sort of library for their version of HTML their version of CSS is a stripped-down website that is it’s extremely fast and if you use their standards you can create very fast pages and you will can be promoted within the carousel so there are some major benefits 222 going that route and you can always tell the amp a post still have a little lightning bolt right near the bottom so this is just picking up steam it doesn’t seem like it’s going away it may eventually be the mobile standard for you know for the web or at least that maybe one of Google’s hope so there are competitions during facebook has a their version of something similar so it’s not the only way to go but it’s something to consider when content you your car that needs to be keyword-rich so that you can rank higher in search results and you kind of need to know your content well so that you can you know expand further on what content is in demand the content that people are going after with greater frequency you can give them more of that which we have more keywords included and that will help and identify and fill your content gap so what you’re not providing it at the moment which users would would like to have both of these last two they point to the need for a top task analysis which is really one of two content research methods are want to dive into today so let’s talk about what I did put this year just because I don’t forget to it but a bonus reminder that we could talk about featured significant because featured snippets are really cool in a way for you could to jump to the top of search results and easier than ever really using certain strategy may we get we can get to that but so top task analysis you hear a lot of people say on top caste and top tasks are important and that’s how we want to design a website around top test so we thought about that a lot and I tried to put together a process for an actual top task analysis that makes sense it’s not just saying well this is topped at these are the top task because that’s what we think they are actual process that when assisted with content analyst would bear a lot of fruit so we’ll go over the resources in the process and what insights it can it can provide starting with the resources that i don’t want anyone to get hung up on this and we can I have a guidance that we developed I can provide its we could do a whole training just on top task analysis and how it’s done or at least how we do it but I don’t want to get hung up on this but just for some background it’s the metrics that we might use our top 50 pages by unique pageviews not not total pageviews looking at the bouncing xr8 scroll tracking if it’s implemented on your site if it’s not something you should seriously consider implementing and then top documents link clicks you top search terms internal and external especially external and survey responses for context and then all of this will be also looked at through different audience segments so I’m like your your schools colleges and universities in some instances and demographic data if you are collecting that in some instances so it’s it’s what you have in your analytics program probably maybe not all of it but um that’s sort of the the first half the second half is that you need analytics team was able to gather this data organized theta and that content analysts that elusive content analyst who is representing the content of the site who can work with the analytics team actually completing the top task someone who knows the goals of the site the acronyms the language of the site who’s really familiar with it and it has some research skills as well so let’s talk about okay so yeah this person not only going to help you identify the content related task they’re gonna help group the content and help interpret the data so it’s really critical partnership right justjust in that instance but the foundation is there’s a couple of things to really keep in mind when identifying what your top cats actually are your top pages are not your top task and there’s a lot of reasons why they’re not but but that’s not what top tasks are you can’t look at these are top 10 pages that’s what people are doing what most on our site a lot more involved in that and and often your tops are not your goals they could be your goals are what you want to as a program of people to accomplish the top capture just what people are doing and seeing a lot of instances where we are able to say you know these are the top task and content owner or program office might say well that’s no those aren’t the top tasks that you know this is what our program what you will be doing so will those can be your goals and you can promote those but that have separate from the top tasks and and your website top cap are not your audience top have because what we can learn from your website is the audience you have today the audience that you have today is based on the content that you have if we didn’t have content about organic ice cream we didn’t have content about ice cream calorie count then we don’t know about it that the path full range of tasks from the ice cream audience we just know about those who came and are doing stuff now today so there’s still a lot more to learn beyond this and there’s a real element of craft ok and it’s more than just looking at the data isn’t the craft comes with knowing how to kind of look to those lenders of the visitor and and understand the content of the website and that’s why you need that qualitative side or that the different love the different approach that continent can bring in partnership with analytics scene so the process you bucket tasks and not pages a single-pass could represent you know completing this one document but it could be a document and and several HTML pages it could be any combination whatever it takes to complete that task so that’s the first thing you really and like i said we have guides on this but i just want to kind of help frame if you will you know you you do start with a list of fifty or hundred of your top pages but with the intent of bucketing them and if you have a page that’s nothing more than a pass-through page or collections age where it’s just links to other content and there’s no actual cut you just throw those out you start whittling down to have just pages with content and then you start bucking the content so if this one task was to find the local ice cream store then the way you count that and rank that if you’re combining all of the unique pageviews for every dynamic page so you know you got ten who found the the dot the Maryland results page for ice cream and there’s 24 the Indiana and there’s 50 for the California you add all of those up and that’s the total where you’re counting is how popular is the task of finding local ice cream in ages you don’t look at those pages individually when and collectively it’s the same cast and you know on the flip side when you have a task that’s completing an application or form you don’t add them all off you just count the ones who got to make it to the end you count the number of completion pages they made it to the whole process and that’s how many completed the task but if you were to add page 1 and page 2 and then page 3 you got your first you’re multiplying the same user multiple times and you’re counting people who didn’t even finish the task because they banned it so there is there there is there’s a process to it and it will change you what you think of your top ten pages to your top task and it can be surprising what they actually are versus what you thought they are so you do have to verify intent that’s the next part of it you look at the data you look at what the key word was that they used to land on the content for the site for the page and then you look and analyze the content on that page is there a match so they were asking for rocky road and they landed on the page is there enough content on on rocky road on the page are you confident that satisfying or at least is a match to what the keyword is and then you look at the behavior if you’ve got the content on rocky road at the bottom of the page and you have to scroll down then you need to look and say did what percentage scroll down 50 pages are 50 users came for rocky road only can scroll down to where the content live then only 10 people completed that task so you really have to dig into the data to really figure out what your top tasks actually are they click did they scroll did the open it beyond they were on the page that somewhere located there is some more content so there’s a process that’s don’t dwell too much on that week it will will will we will pull out to a more of a high-level I just wanted to dig into this because it’s one of two important research strategies that trying to develop for what content analyst can do and contribute contributing to it to a digital team so what what the insight that you get from this is you know you learn what actually users are actually doing versus what pages they view the most you’re identifying duplicate and discordant content as you bucket these tasks you find meta tag and content mismatches you’ll discover a lot through this process identifying specific audience segments like I said you can you will after bucketing there’s a part of the guidance that talks about segmenting so there’s quite a bit that you can learn from it but really it would but it will also want to stress is that it demonstrates how content expertise magnifies the analytics and it’s necessary partnership is necessary to the process without somebody representing the content was engaged and he’s really invested can’t get as far as you could otherwise so that’s 0 the one more bonus if we have time rush are a couple of red flag kpi’s that that we use we could talk about anyhow that’s top task analysis how we do it in a brief overview although like I said there’s guidance in this there’s more to it it’s important process to help you identify what’s really going on with your users beyond the roll numbers of we have 50 views or we have 10,000 sessions like okay but who are these people were they actually doing what are the task and how many of them actually completed an important process is one of two content analyst position type of you know research strategies that I really want to cover so take take coming back out the bigger view of SEO you know how you can grab some low-hanging fruit how you can dig into what’s going on your site today to get that larger share of organic traffic it’s all of this that we’ve talked about plus backlinks right the one of the most important things that you’re getting quality back links to your site that boosts SEO considerably that that sites with similar content sites that are well-trafficked are linking to you and it’s one thing that we don’t do enough of in the government space or sometimes we don’t do any of is a backlink campaign you need to get on the phone or use email i mean this is again only assuming that we’re invested truly in boosting quality traffic from the audience on our website that’s if that’s the goal if that’s the shared goal then you know before we you invest in more social media posting which doesn’t really produce that much return on investment let’s make sure we invest in things that do work even though they’re not as interesting and not as fun and the first blush might be to say i don’t want I just don’t want to do that you know but that’s fine just let admit to ourselves that well the goal that we talked about isn’t as important as we thought it was or it is and let’s do some of the stuff that really works so that was just talking about what’s going on with those sites that you know we share content with and we’re sort of competing for that extra bit of the pie but what about that larger audience segments that’s out there talking about other content related ice cream that we don’t have how do we do we address that what is that we have little or no content around this type of these types of searches yet so we’re not really the ranking in Google yet but that’s because and we were unaware of the terminology we’re just gonna wear the demand you know we didn’t know people wanted information on organic ice cream we didn’t know they were that concerned about the calorie count so we never put the content up so we don’t have that traffic so the action here instead of SEO is research so something I’m gonna work for now at least when you sit around and you can your analytics program and you and you see that there are these opportunities you start dreaming like what if we did have someone in this imaginary position who was the content digital content analyst who was empowered with that to really embrace that position and thought my job is important because you know i do XYZ without me you can’t really make improvements on your site i can take website i can consume that content i can learn the ins and outs sit down with the analytics team and together we don’t even we don’t just do a quantitative analysis we do a quality that break down to learn the ins and now then we apply this craft to learn more about the user more about the audience more about what they’re doing and and we improve traffic based on what we did that you sit around you imagine that person and think what would be what could we have them do if they existed right and it’s at that person exists in your office good for you so there was a I think like a decade ago or more those terms scent trails and they still use it today you know the idea that when people are on a website searching they are following the scent trail and they’re looking for terminology and context that they feel most comfortable with that they relate to mostly it’s going to help them get to their goal when they follow that scent trail wherever it’s going to see that piece of light that I recognize that terminology or that sounds good to me let me go that way so what I’m thinking of here is sort of reversing that they’re not our site yet so we need to find out where they are now what is the terminology they’re using what are the what are those clues in that context that will help us understand how 23 fine and and and redo our target keywords to be more expansive and and and include the larger audience who’s interested in other things that ice cream so what we do talk about what this process is this is really the second of the two i had mentioned about it what this position would entail should it exist and so resources right and the content Alice 41 sure and their time and that person being empowered and that person warning you know 26 the success of seeing the the website or any kpin prove because of the specialties that they bring and I’m saying this because as an analytics digital analytics practitioner I don’t possess some of those skills I don’t consume the content and have that critical eye from the users perspective like I said like I know other people do and bringing that together and the powerful thing so what the process so she hears here’s really a lot of just tips and tricks I’ve picked up over a few years and try to bundle into one process really what this is research work but you’re searching on all digital platforms where where the target audience leave a scent quote-unquote or some kind of digital trail and there are a lot of places to look but some of the best places are like competitors website especially if they have a blog or social media account because you can look at the comments and you can browse the blog post and figure out okay how does have the users in this audience talk or their issues where their questions and what the terminology that do they use another great resource for this RTR question and answer site like Korra or answers.com you go answers.com and plug in a topic like ice cream and will give you the you know the top 10 most asked questions whether it’s making ice cream at home or whatever it is you go there and it doesn’t have to be this ice cream we use this for you know different content with or not some project we did around hepatitis you put it in and it comes back as you know these are the top questions around hepatitis and and then you compare to what you have on your site today but you also look at the responses in the comments and how are people talking about it they’ll tell you exactly what they meant by the question or what they thought they could be the they meant by the question so another resource and this is like a treasure trove is read it and subreddits really a treasure trove I mean you go in on type in a topic like ice cream and it’s just streams of of subreddits with tons of comments around everything you can think of that high school right it’s all there people talking comfortably naturally as they do about the topic and not just ice cream raise any topic of importance and you go there and this is like a keyword diamond mine you have to go in and spend some time but again like how important is that ultimate goal right because the number one way the government interfaces with the public is by far our website i mean nothing comes close to how how much traffic we get across federal government didn’t look at the data numbers to see just how much traffic we get four people coming to see our content so maybe it’s worth this investment of you know if someone’s part-time or someone’s full x could be able to spend time say look we’re gonna we’re gonna figure out what the audience is doing what they’re saying but they what they’re asking just one of those things like backlinks backlink campaigns like we know how powerful it is but it’s so hard to get someone to say yeah I want to do that or even for a manager to say like no like you should be doing this part of your job it’s it’s like it’s tough to see so I hear it’s like another so when the subreddit for more serious topic just because I didn’t want you just get lost in the ice cream forget or think that you know it only applies in certain way so this is on mental health go in look for a mental-health subreddit and once you’re looking within mental health then you can do a search just within that stream and that’s like all right I wanna know about insurance so then I’ve got all these posts the topic of mental health about insurance and people are closing their issues what they what they wish they could resolve involving their insurance insurance companies certain conditions they have and it’s all there because they are frustrated and they need help with this stuff and if you have a website or mental health you are right you’re trying to help people who are frustrated and need resources so that they’re there and you’re there but just being the time to go find out what they’re actually asking for is powerful powerful stuff so in addition to that youtube videos and Amazon book reviews seriously because even even the comments that are dissatisfied like I would you know what I wish this book would have addressed this topic or you know it’s not always there with that’s another place to look simpler simpler if you haven’t i’m seeing this is a their healthcare hashtag project you go and you register with them a hashtag thats related to really any disease or condition they have this massive database of of all these hashtags and they may use the twitter api to monitor all these hashtags you can go in and there’s a paid version but almost all you need is available in the free version you don’t you just go you don’t have to login just go and look at it go in and you can find like and I mean there’s dozens of topics Orleans like and then just because health doesn’t mean it just relate to HHS so you know as well maybe something EPA’s looking at this is no wider than you might think so just go in and you can look at that the one of the biggest and hashtags around asthma who are the top influencers and typically a lot of organizations so right there you’re like okay here’s a bunch of organization so i can reach out to for a backlink campaign because they’re really into this space and they’ve already established a foothold in this space let’s get the link to us or at least try to they also have all all the tweet for more that terminology of how the people are talking about asthma issues and they have mana linux comparing related hashtags for copd allergies respiratory asthma so also you know if you’re going to do outreach with existing hashtag you’ll know from from simpler which are more popular than others so it’s a powerful free tool to really utilize and understand the audience better and help especially on social media side and then here’s one more this is simple but very powerful autocomplete and and related domain you put in related colon and the domain of your website and you’ll get back a bunch of related content and not just from one angle it’s not like you know you’ll just get icecream stores like ben & jerry’s they also get answers.com course answers.com question ice cream you also get me to get an informational site about ice cream you could get a government site on ice cream if one existed so related ice cream two related colon your domain you can get you nowhere you sticking your competitors domain like it’s a new topic for you but you know website addresses it stick it in and then you get all the other websites related to it and so this and autocomplete you doing autocomplete make sure your log out of google or using like incognito mode so your cookies only influence the results but again you’re going to find its drawing on the popularity of what’s out there so these are a bunch of different resources available for this reverse Central’s research which I think we all should be doing and then the second part of this is you know test the related phrases that you find so Google Trends I think this is a little bit more widely known and some other stuff I think probably a bunch of us use this free go in plug in a couple of terms you can compare them so you know I know that people are talking about pie and ice cream but i wanted to know is pilot mode or popular is pie ice cream more popular and it will show you the popularity over time in google search so I know sort which angle to go i can include both so you test there and then you can use some su tools like ma’s to figure out the space the competitor space they do it may days with our keyword explorer tool you know they the estimate how difficult it is to enter the space based on how many competitors sites are out there and also what the opportunity is in the potential so the potential opportunities like how many people are searching for this and then the difficulty taking that into account how many people are competing for this so you can research here too is it worth it going forward and trying to carve out this base is our big opportunity with less difficulty jump in because it’s basically telling you tons of people are searching for this stuff and there’s not a lot of people answering with web content enough to take advantage of this and it’s super cheap tool you’ve fixed it’s something we should be doing if we had a person dedicated to this apart their job I mean we can do in the athletics program and we do but there’s there’s a pattern of Florida this content related research that almost deserves its own position ok so that’s the process and the application of this stuff is that you know you note down everything you see you’re playing detective and you and you know that the popular term issues the questions surrounding this audience and you’re evaluating which cop topics and keywords are within the purview like can you and should you be writing about this content you know they’re out there you know they want it should you address it and is it worth chasing and then you can do a cost- like a cost comparison like is it worth approaching who search engine optimization or is this topic so important or is it so difficult because there’s so much competition that will be better off spending some money on paid on paid search terms like paper pay-per-click probably not something the government forget heavily involved in but there are times when it makes sense and depending on how important the the the project is then pay-per-click you know is an option so make sure you take that into account and then you implement this file list that you’ve developed you know so much more about the topic of ice cream and the users you know what they’re searching for how they’re talking about it the terminology they’re using right you know a lot more than you did before so you make this list and then you go back to your site to implement this new content and update your SEO and update those keywords to reflect this bigger much bigger audience right and you can also use a good to go blog fishing because your blog no I know we see blogs use a lot sort of just post a lot of internal stuff like this office has this new committee sometimes not always thinking that this happens more like another political pressure like oh we have to have this thing about some of this this higher-up officials travel needs to be posted and no people aren’t terribly interested in reading it but now you have all this information you know their top questions you know their top keywords and other issues you can now sit down with a blog team and for this content analyst can write and and say look we need to inject some of these keywords we need to point a blog post about this question because people are it’s like the number two on answers com or you know we’ve seen this like 10 reddit subreddits on this issue we got a blog about this and and then your traffic going to pick up because you already know what the audience is asking for and that’s the difference between doing the research and then just saying okay i have a blog post and i’ll call the audience X and now i’ll just post whatever i had already written anyway you know it’s just an exercise it’s like when you start doing audience alright I ok this audience I mean that happens right so that’s the difference but how important is the goal we’re going to do this stuff you know just really ditch that’s the question I keep returning to him asking myself so what we get out of this like I said you know we’re going we’re discovering new terminology of the actual audience and this information as opposed to like you know user interviews of eight or ten people it so this is potentially massive sample size it’s not a live interview but the scent trail they leave all throughout digital platforms it can be very big and we can learn quite a bit from it so and then we’re also identifying that list of organizations that we can later come back to and contact for backlinks which is like one of the biggest drivers in SEO one we should definitely be focusing on so there’s a lot of benefits to this type of research to better understand the scope of the space and the competition and and this coupled with the path analysis this really i think is going to demonstrate how powerful the role of digital content analyst is it’s not the content owner who’s really the subject matter expert and and E is focused in policy of or the or the content related to their you know work and and then passes the web material onto you know someone else in digital it’s not that it’s not the person who sort of is the go-between between set of contractors and and the content owner who basically says you want this image changed okay are you want this page updated ok it’s not that it’s someone like usability specialist or analytic specialist who has a craft and yes and specialties and they and they are empowered by that and they said you know what I’m here to do i’m here to help I’ve got some demonstrated strategies ready to go so that’s the second thing really wanted to cover network we’re getting close to the end so they don’t think there’s not much left but we’ve but i do want to kind of hurry through in case there’s some questions that’s the bigger piece right we saw before if you implement some of the strategy that we talked about they’re going to increase organic traffic which is already huge and you’re also going to increase referrals from you these other sites should you push her back length but there’s one more part and that you know we gotta measure the stuff and this is more on the analytics teen but and and you may be familiar with a lot of this so I don’t wanna hang out too much but it’s important to touch on this you know the foundation is really that big the goal objective kpi action process you stick I usually put target in there as well kpi target action but don’t want you to get hung up on that really gold objective kpi action and then the goal is that high-level you know I i well i like to use it as a as a category like improve findability improve awareness objective to find specific task or tasks you can have two or three objectives for a single goal right and then you segment the audience whenever possible something we just don’t do enough of I think throughout government we’re talking about goals so it’s not that you just want to increase awareness to a specific website you want increase awareness among US citizens because your content doesn’t apply legally or or practically to an international audience segments and goals around improving the findability the website for these are just examples right you t-mobile it could be it could be demographics can be generated Vaz could be different things but when you can especially when it’s measurable you should segment up front but but the most important part about all this is that the actions actions are a month that’s how the process works you can’t say this is our goal and kpi and then just sit back and get to work because like what work you know you have to have to make changes to measure anything otherwise you’re just sort of waiting to see what happens and then then what if it goes bad you say we didn’t do anything and if it goes well you say must have been us I mean is it and you can make a simple and so I apologize for that but you know that’s reality and so here are some examples / findability we talked about somebody so these aren’t particularly new but search rank if the if the goal is to find ability we have two objectives improve the search rank for targeted keywords difference between the ones that how people are finding your site today which that doesn’t mean those are the right keywords versus the targeted keywords that you’re that you’re you know the user audience uses and you rather be building the target list optimized for a targeted set of keywords and using and then the second objective increasing number of domains linking to your website the backlinks that improve SEO and the KP I’ve total domains that link your website so straightforward example and a few other examples just outside of findability and I just wanted to do this because i think that a lot of confusion between awareness and what you might call engagement although engagement sort of a of elusive definition their awareness might have an objective like increase the percentage of visits a website for branded search terms if you’re searching for a year if they arrive to your website and the search term used the program name I they are already aware of your program there specifically searching for they forgot the URL for instance but they’re calling you out something specific about the grant name or the program name then you really you can categorize that and.and you can track that kpi how many branded searches are you getting and then increase the growth rate of followers growth rate as opposed to you know total like or total followers because there’s a natural growth that happens with social media and that’s always happening you have seen a dormant fight with no posts in two years continually rise slowly but continually right so if you’re really going to claim something good there you really need to be something different than the norm of a spike in the rate not that it’s still rising because it’s it’s rising for every account in government so and/or here’s the increase of gov delivery email open rates is another so that’s it different than click-through rate right so they opened it even if they didn’t click through opening we can count as an awareness kpi because at least they opened it so there there’s a chance that they’re at least i’m considering clicking through vs and the engagement more actionable set of KPIs and objectives so click through rates versus open rates open rates awareness click the rage engagement and watching videos sharing content for social media interacting with some button or widget or app and then here is the example of what we like to look we developed this here and just in case our content staff wanted to embark on you know setting goals and kpi’s and metrics for websites that they work with we provide a list of actions that can be taken to address an objective right and say like it’s findability and targeted keywords to provide this list like here actions you can take with trying to take more burden off by saying we listed out for you pick some of these whether it’s dressing keywords considering am updating the XML sitemap i’m requesting backlinks from other organizations this this is this but something has happened to be measured the action has to be part of the process that’s the main point ok so we’re the only they were very very close to the end so hang in there we talked a lot about this position if digital content analysts are specialists it was born out of here in the analytics program working with a different types of content onus who because to make the process work you really need an engaged continent and he says yeah let’s figure out the goals and the KPIs will measure it and i’ll take some little make some improvements and we’ll measure that and they have to have to be that back and forth but there isn’t always right sometimes it’s it’s sort of the can you just can you send me some reports you asked like some questions about what their goals are and you start to think all right this is gonna be interesting and they said just reports you know graph that’s one place that it starts and then there may be the other sort of versions who says was very sort of in tune but yes goals kpi’s metrics that sounds great i want to do it i want to follow the process we can do this right so go do it and when you’re done get back to me i can’t wait to see what you come up with anything and that that’s nice too but it sort of remove the responsibility of the content owner or the representative of the content from any form any part of the process which unfortunately limits what you can do really you want this partnership and the content analyst superhero who doesn’t just do this because oh I was assigned this website no it’s because like like I want to be an analytics and like usability specialist often like what they do this person’s like I have a certain skill set good this let’s get together and make this even better that that’s the partnership and I’m trying to describe and that I think we should celebrate where we when we find it working but if you could get it let’s say this person does exist if we get into their head and figure out you know starting from scratch what makes up this position of this land i’m thinking it’s part practitioner there’d been to a little bit about SEO metadata a usability start talking about the structured data things that are the backbone of a of web content you know it’s beyond just copy and then part detective because things like that we we sort of outline these strategies around top task analysis reverse Central’s research that are not exciting on their faith but are definite past two major returns on investments in places where I’m not to say excuse me I’m sorry I’m not just saying you know these are big areas for returns on investment go into tools like mods when I showed you their keyword findings like yeah we maybe even scored it on the difficulty or opportunity scale so it’s it’s it’s definitely a time well spent it if we share the goal that we talked about and then part of Angeles because they’re going to be able to spread the message of goals and objectives and importance of actions the more they talk about it and they start presenting on what they’ve done some other people might take interest and realize that like campuses this is something we should be thinking about and backing campaigns of I wouldn’t will be amazing it’s just to see a digital goalposts and someone says describe how they sat down and called 20 people and it led to you know ten major domains linking to their website and let the such-and-such traffic will be picked up the phone and being in a single game but it’s true but truly um so and you know just no rodeo champion i think that is what I’m thinking of when when talking about what is what the digital content analyst would bring to a digital team and so finally just a little bit on honor our can empower this person or more or what we can do in the meantime I think whenever we see this kind of stuff happened we really need to celebrate that position as we do analytics as we do usability I don’t think it’s that important i think we should think about developing unique position descriptions and uh and really recruit for that when commenters don’t have the time or the interest to really get involved in the process with the analytics team is it you know to really figure out how we are setting goals kpi’s and improving traffic quality and volume well then that’s where you need the content analyst that’s where you need someone on the digital team no matter what the content of your site is can come in and do that evaluation and have that critical I can research on one of the target audience and can partner with the analytics team on foreign important things like goals and kpi’s so knowing all this you know maybe you feel to the next time your supervisor or supervisors supervisor comes around and said you know did we increase our traffic can we increase our traffic maybe maybe they were responses like do we have anyone dedicated to SEO and content are we ready to write that position description now maybe that’s open for debate but uh that’s pretty much it i think we’re close or maybe a little bit over okay sorry about that are no worries that was a lot of information so it’s great to hear all of your experience and yes things that we can take away and hopefully people can implement in their own agencies so we have quite a few questions so we’ll get through as many as we can in the next 10 minutes or so um so going back to the beginning you talked about bounces and that some bounces could be good some could be bad I’m this person from fda ask how could you tell the good bounces from the bad bounces with analytics or is there a way yeah that’s a good question so the only way to tell if it’s a bad bounce for sure if it’s a page where you look at the page and decide there’s no way you can gain any content real content from this page or there’s no way you can complete a task from this page take a homepage where all these see is a is maybe up banner and links to the main topical areas and a search box simple homepage if they don’t search which would stop it from being a bounce or they don’t click on a link to go deeper into your website if they leave right away its if it’s a bad bounce because they there’s nothing there that could satisfy to visit and so for larger website you you you have a lot of subsections where they’re they’re landing pages are sort of mimicking homepages to an extent where there may not be any real content just a search box and some links and if they bounced from those pages that’s bad pass through pages or collection pages like a listing of blogs or like a listing of links for an archive where there’s nothing to gain from being there you look so you’re sort of in the middle of a process and then and then that and that page where you are there’s there’s no real content if you don’t click or search and you leave right there you couldn’t satisfy the visit and so that’s a bad bounce but automating that automating it because there’s so many different kinds of content is something we’re working one here as well I think what we’re trying to do is using some sort of a a content tagged that you would have to place on these types of pages so that you could then have a part of a Content group within universal analytics or you could set as a custom dimension and track it that way but if you’re talking about a small report like honest on a directory we like I just want to know about like this directory then you need to go in you say well I know that page right there has no content so let’s just always look at that page and and then if the bounces are higher than like thirty percent on a page that has no content that’s that’s a red flag ok think that’s and that’s very helpful explanation you also mentioned at the beginning talking about the old and new in regards to SEO a question came in from someone at Nara ask how can we find what keywords people really using to find our site now that Google doesn’t really reveal much of that anymore yeah um eat if you start with google analytics it’s like that you know there’s not much there at all and then you go into search a search console used to be called webmaster tools and you get a lot more information not only keywords the top keywords but click-through rates search rank really that there’s not a way to do a whole lot of analysis within google analytics for keyword you have to go into search console or webmaster tools which is free and open an account there so that’s that’s the major resource a lot of other services utilize the API for from google and that and and or have their own major network of sites that they crawl like mods that show to get the the key word finder like scorecard I’m so there are some char surface that is another one so there are some cheap like you get on if you get under like on a government credit card you can purchase for yearly subscription to some of those tools for you and also use the free webmaster tools and then also that just the central research where you go out and you and you look for clues so those are the major ways right thank you in regards to the related colon domain query does that work for landing pages and subdomains as well um I think it may just resolved to the domain I don’t know good question i have to look into it at this and there was a tool that you referred to a couple times what was the tool maaz maaz mosque can you clarify with the tool is and what it is i think i could even be pronouncing it wrong i think with owned by phone by my like Mozilla the browser and so modest score or modest Cape they have a couple different products all around SEO but mo the score and mo the escape they have an API you got a lot of different tools once you there’s a couple tears of service but we have a very cheap subscription that gets you like the key word finder and a lot of other great tools that the audit your site and give you a score on sort of page Authority how well you would rank for certain you know how well your optimize the point out issues you have with with them with your SEO so for a lot of money the it’s a very powerful tool and another one look into is the surface that service that tore it and erp all caps that FB a key st18 certs that service so search engine results pages the acronym syrup and then stat ft 8000k great well those are good tools to check out learn more about do you think someone from see what agency FDA and a different person do you think content syndication is a good way to improve your search ranking and traffic to your site yeah I don’t know if it’s going to prove it but I think it’s a good it’s just it’s a nice practice to be involved in if you’re involved in syndication you do have to set the canonical link and and tell Google like this is the original content and rang me on this content matter well to peers but but but sighs and that i think that one of the great things about syndicating content is that you know you have like state and local organizations that maybe don’t have the resources to to to research and write their own content and they can maybe rely on some of these syndicated libraries to easily update their site with like when new information breaks and then its end and if we can make it available in a timely matter and i think that’s a powerful connection that sorry i took a little bit different direction but but I don’t know specifically that’s going to help improve you know your search rank or your SEO just by communicating that makes them ya know and and expanding on that I think it’s helpful someone else had a question do you think it’s important to eliminate content that’s not popular focused or just leave it there and focus on building and adding new better analyzed content that’s a great question i think you know there’s there’s two major buckets one is what you have to have as a government agency so there’s that untouchable content that like has to remain up no matter what because it’s mandated and so you leave that alone and maybe there’s a couple more of those three buckets you know another one might be it’s not mandated and it’s not popular but it’s the corner of the program’s mission and so you’d like people to be kind of consuming the content and then you can do some maybe experiments to try and make it more visible you can do things to promote it on the website and hope that it does get a little bit more popularity and that that’s the difference between goals and keywords I’m sorry goals and top tasks so you undertake the top task analysis and then you say alright I’m gonna pick like three goals two of them are going to be to improve the top task that’s sort of the the pool content what people are asking for and i’m going to have one push content goal one that represents our mission and you know it’s not popular yet let’s try and make it more popular and that’s totally fine to mix it up like that it’s just it’s just a matter of prioritizing and being clear that you know this isn’t popular today but that’s a major goal and these are things that people are asking for so we’re going to build on it and you can totally do both great i was on mute the tensor talking we have a question from a perhaps a colleague at HSN not sure which sub-agency but if we’re currently the she asked the question if we’re currently doing some of the tasks of the content analyst does it have to be uber flexible with regard to the website content of the clearance process is daunting and for changing the content on a page often you can either get overwhelming for staff or stuck in a clearance cycle any advice yeah i would say don’t come don’t stress out about having to update the content often I mean let’s assume that you’ve got a site that has never had a scent trails research strategy implemented so you there’s never been someone who’s going out and said let’s look for the broader audience and look for the broader issues so just doing it once once even if it was once and the only time you did it for the whole entire year and you may have made it sort of a project we’re ok we’re going to take this one website this is the pilot website we’re going to dig deep into the user of user audience the target audience gonna find out everything we can’t do research and we’re going to make content updates one plant them out and then push them out one and then measure afterwards and then maybe you wait another quarter or six months before you do it again based on the results too i think it’s the difference with you know if you’re starting from where it’s never been done you don’t have to jump to like being super agile and flexible because there are the bureaucratic limitations in place so doing it occasionally is better than not at all and that also give you the flexibility of having enough time to do the proper analysis and and you know to inform and and present to all the right people and say this is what happened this is what we did next steps and you can go with that you know that more comfortable pace great we have two more questions I think we up with three more quick going back to the beginning to talk about the social media traffic is the ROI on government social media low likely to grow over time and but wouldn’t in European need to change regarding I think the it if it probably is not likely to change because in the private sector the goal of social media wing of the company is the same as the overall goal of the company which is to push the content or the product but in government the goal of the social media wing is often more political not totally but has at least dose a healthy dose of political drivers that are different from the goals of pushing particular content now they sometimes the line and you get the sort of window the campaign’s that makes sense both from a program mission standpoint and from a political standpoint but because the social media wing is you know tied so tightly to communications and this is political space is unlikely to change its likely to remain you know the face of the agency that has the limitations because of that and so I think it exists to take advantage of oil take advantage of it anyway you can then turn the ROI I think you can tweak around the edges you can implement measurement more focused content strategies and you can do a little better but it’s never gonna grow because of those constraints to the level of you know like organic search and optimization ok thank you a more broad question if the site is new which I don’t think we see that often in government but you know that could happen how much data should you get before you start the top task analysis three months six months yeah that’s a good question i would typically would like to do if you can do a year that’s that will that will be great but you can do it certainly was like three months I would I would I wait to have it like at least three months of data particularly if you’re like only in the summer when you know there’s these natural rhythmic up and seasonal changes that that better that are out there for some content around university in school schedules or certain certain content has a big release of an annual reports yet the long as you’re wary of those things that’s that if that’s the other thing about having a content person engaged like as net analytics person i’m not gonna know all those intricacies like well you know you didn’t wait til October when we release our big report that’s basically what the site exists for or you know thirty percent of our traffic is for this particular group and they come around this time of year so I really need a content person involved and you can do it make it work three months if you’re aware of those intricacies the group of Greater time the better up to a year be nice thank you that’s helpful last question is a specific question about you mentioned a free google resource for tracking and I’m I don’t think that’s the mods that you were you talked about was there another tool go google trends is a built on top of you know all the search data all the query data and use that to plug in and find out how popular a phrase or topic is amongst all google search so that’s a free tool you can go in and compare like and this is big too with pot with the government because you know you might write to the proper where you can see the proper terminology and like calling something h1n1 all over your content when you know the searching for swine flu is eight times greater and i’m not saying that there are limitations and you can always get away with using with more popular but that tool can reveal how how much uh of the audience’s being is not being capped when you compare like the similar terms great thank you there anything else that you wanted to add before we closed out no but thanks everybody i really appreciated thanks for listening to me drone on and bent of it a lot of fun thanks thank you so much have a great afternoon everyone thanks Sam

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