Content is the backbone of any marketing effort. Whether it’s a website, a social media post, or an email newsletter, the quality and effectiveness of your content can make or break your marketing endeavors. But more importantly, we want to ensure that content delivers to its audience.
Content testing data informs us about how to adjust the message to the user’s needs, not the writer’s. By testing your content, you can ensure your message is aligned with your target audience, drives engagement, and delivers results.
What is content testing?
Content testing, sometimes called usability testing, determines whether your target audience can find, understand, and comprehend your copy. Through content testing, you can gain valuable insights to shape your content marketing strategy by answering key questions such as:
- Does your value proposition align with your audience’s needs?
- Are your keywords relevant to your audience’s interests?
- Are the language, tone, and style relatable to the audience?
- Does your content provide sufficient information?
- Are your calls to action effective and engaging?
As a result, it helps copy strategists and marketers improve the user’s experience and generate better results.
Why content testing is necessary
By testing content before it is published, you can determine what is effective and what is not, from the homepage to the product page, tabs, accessibility, buttons, and even blog posts. This process will help you determine if your content is engaging, addressing customer/client concerns, and encouraging them to learn more or purchase.
Evaluating your content
Here are 6 things you can consider to make the best content for your users.
Usability A/B Testing
Usability A/B testing, also known as split testing, offers a preview of your content to real users in a manner that provides valuable insight and feedback. In usability A/B testing, ‘A’ refers to the ‘control’ or the first testing variable, and ‘B’ refers to the ‘variation’ or the new version of the variable. In usability testing versions, A and B are the two options you have for your test. This test will help you understand your audience’s wants and needs.
Accessibility refers to how easy it is to find your site in the first place. This includes technical aspects of your site, cross-browser capabilities, cross-platform capabilities, semantic HTML markup, and proper SEO development. SEO can be influenced in various ways, with many aspects overlapping with content testing. For instance, incorporating header tags and internal links within blog posts can enhance navigability and SEO. Creating content that revolves around popular phrases and terms frequently searched by your audience on Google and producing unique content that other websites want to link to can also positively impact SEO. Here’s how to measure accessibility:
- The number of pages indexed by Google.
- The number of backlinks pointing to your site.
- The organic search ranking of your web pages.
- The domain authority of your website.
Readability is to measure how easy and comprehend your content. These factors include the vocabulary used, sentence structure, syntax, and typography (the font). An excellent way to find out if your content is readable is to survey your audience by collecting feedback from your audience via surveys, sales calls, or website feedback requests. Alternatively, you can use the Flesch Reading Ease Test as a quantitative metric; scores range from 0 – 100. The higher the score, the easier the text is to read.
Searchability refers to the ease with which individuals can locate online content, web pages, or information. Is the content optimized for search engines to increase its visibility in search results? Does the content appear toward the top of search results? Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in determining the accessibility of your website.
Navigability indicates how simple it is for visitors to navigate through the content on your website. Good navigability means visitors to your website should quickly find the page they’re looking for. Here are some ways you can determine your site’s navigability:
- Measure the number of pages that users visit per site visit.
- Map out how visitors to your site progress from page to page (also known as a “behavior flow”).
- Measure which pages visitors most often exit your site from.
User experience (UX) refers to a user’s emotional response and overall perception of your product or service. A poor UX could mean your content is difficult to comprehend, your website is hard to navigate, your design is unappealing, and your page takes too long to load. To measure your content’s UX, you must gather behavioral (user actions) and attitudinal (user feedback) metrics. Behavioral metrics such as page views, time-on-page, bounce rate, and conversions provide insights into how users interact with your content.
Useful Content Testing Tools
Ahrefs is an excellent option for focusing on accessibility. This SEO tool enables users to conduct competitor analysis, keyword research, SEO audits, and backlink analysis. Test for:
Content Intelligence Platform by Knotch
Knotch’s Content Intelligence Platform is a helpful tool for testing various aspects of your content. It provides quantitative and qualitative metrics for all content pieces on your website, allowing you to understand how customers perceive your content and the reasons behind their feelings. Moreover, it can identify the source of your website traffic by referral channel and classify it by demographics, device, or location. Test for:
CrazyEgg is a heat mapping software that provides insights into how users engage with your website. By using CrazyEgg, you can identify the areas of your website where users click the most and the referral sources of those clicks. Furthermore, CrazyEgg includes an A/B testing feature, which enables you to map a particular website action to a specific goal. Test for:
- A/B testing
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that helps webmasters optimize their website’s visibility. With Search Console, you can request Google to index your website pages, resolve issues, and track the keywords driving traffic to your website. Test for:
ProWritingAid is a Google Chrome plugin that scrutinizes your website’s content and makes edits for grammatical correctness and style. It also offers a line-by-line readability score calculated using the Flesch Reading Ease Test. Test for:
By using SEMrush, you can pinpoint keywords that will resonate with your target audience, monitor your competitors’ keywords, audit your blog for SEO improvement, and identify new opportunities for backlinking. All of these features help to make your site more accessible to visitors. Test for:
UserTesting is a platform that connects your brand with a customer from your target demographic and allows you to observe their experience while interacting with your website. To get started, provide UserTesting with a scenario you wish to test, and they will arrange for a customer to execute it on your website. Then, they will send a video of the experience, including the customer’s feedback on what worked and what did not. UserTesting is a valuable tool that can be used to evaluate entire websites, specific content pieces, competitor websites, and more. Test for:
- A/B testing
Testing content can be a time-consuming but ever-so-important process. It is crucial to use content strategies that create reliable insights to make the most informed decisions.