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How to create a data-driven content strategy

By now you’ve probably heard of a “data-driven content strategy” and I know what you’re probably thinking - great, yet another marketing buzzword to deal with.

Normally, I would agree with you, however, a good content program should always be driven by strong, data-backed insights. While there are a variety of tools available to create great content, site search analytics continue to be an untapped resource when designing and implementing a data-driven content strategy.

What does a great content strategy look like?

Most people would tell you: it delivers value and it’s personal. 88% of customers and prospects expect a personalized experience when interacting with a brand’s website.

It’s difficult to blame them when they’ve been conditioned over the years to expect this type of experience by the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook. In fact, 98% of marketers agree that personalization aids in the progression of your relationships with your audience and 74% of marketers claim that it has “strong” or “extreme” impact. Source 

From their first interaction with your website, your audience is giving you valuable data. 

The search bar is often the first interaction point for your audience and it can make or break their experience with your website and brand.

  • What content is your audience most interested in?
  • What content are they having trouble finding?
  • What content needs to be retired?
  • What content should be created?
  • What content should be promoted?

We already have the data available to better understand our audiences and deliver the types of content that they want. Site search analytics, when leveraged correctly, can provide the type of behavioral insights needed to create a robust, data-driven content strategy.

Is your organization optimized to turn that data into actionable insights?

Marketing has evolved past the point of merely pushing product. Now it’s about delivering a personalized, relevant experience, that meets or exceeds your audience’s expectations, every-single-time they engage with your brand.

A phenomenal user experience is intricate, intimate and content driven

Your users are coming to your site to fulfill different needs and those needs are ever-changing. Content is at the center of it all. Funnelback’s data and feature set empowers you to provide the best and most relevant content to your various audience segments, consequently improving their overall experience with your brand. Here’s how it happens:

Promote and Curate Content Like Never Before

Optimal user experience is driven by personalization. Funnelback’s Curator Tool, Best Bets and Automated Tuning features allow you to promote and personalize content regularly.

  • With Funnelback’s Curator Tool, you can easily manipulate search results using a range of triggers including: keywords, segments, attributes, locations, date range and IP address allowing you to deliver the right content, to the right audience, at the right time. For example, you may want to surface different content for visitors who are from a different state or country. The curator tool allows you deliver personalized results effortlessly.
  • Best Bets allow you to feature items outside of the set of search results. They are completely independent of the search index and can link to items that are not part of the websites that make up the search. They can also be used for promotional purposes to promote a certain page or document based upon a user's query.
  • Automated Tuning is another way to control which search results are surfaced to users. It is a process that can be used to determine which attributes of a document are indicative of relevance and adjust the ranking algorithm programmatically to match these attributes. While the default settings in Funnelback are designed to provide relevant results for the majority of websites, it uses a ranking algorithm that is influenced by many different weighted factors that scores each document in the index when a search is run. These individual weightings can be adjusted and tuning is the recommended way to achieve this.

Improve website health & content optimization

Funnelback is packed features guaranteed to give your existing content a boost, while empowering you to produce more relevant content.

  • Our powerful Search Analytics provide the insights needed to fulfill the content needs of your audience segments. By studying what your users are searching for and what they are and aren’t finding, you’ll know what types of content to promote, create, refresh and remove from both your content library and content strategy.
  • The Content Auditor allows you to learn about the overall health of your content. With it you can identify which pages are missing metadata, learn what your content’s flesch kincaid level is and which content pieces have broken links.
  • The SEO Auditor describes the factors behind the results rankings on your site made by Funnelback’s ranking algorithm. You can optimize your content to score higher by adjusting the variables that impact the results rankings such as URL attractiveness, the number of backlinks linking to your content and content score.

Enable efficient information discovery

Features like Spelling Suggestions, Synonyms and Autocompletion make delivering content easier by enabling you to fill-in semantic gaps in search queries.

  • Spelling Suggestions provide cover for user spelling errors. It eliminates the need to have users submit multiple searches for misspelled words.
  • Synonyms bridge any language gaps by mapping between non-technical language and the equivalent technical term(s). For example, when somebody includes the word lawyer somewhere in a query, it will also search for attorney or solicitor.
  • Autocompletion provides users with real-time search term suggestions as they are typed into the search box making using this tool easier and more efficient. People who use autocomplete or suggestions during search have an average conversion rate of 2.4% as compared to 1.7% for those who don’t. Source

Improve UI

  • Improve your user interface by identifying patterns in search queries and making adjustments to your UI. One of our clients made it easier for his audience to find what they were looking for by analyzing search data and moving popular content items to the home page. By promoting the most sought after content, he was able to remove unnecessary friction points and deliver a better experience to his audience.

A great content program must be driven by strong, data-backed insights. When site search data is applied to your content strategy, it amplifies its effectiveness and enables you to deliver the delightful user experience your audience expects.

Is your organization leveraging site search in a meaningful way? Perhaps you are looking to infuse your current content strategy with fresh insights direct from your user base? We’re here to help. Set up some time with one of our experts and learn how search can power your data-driven content strategy.

Find out how data can power your content


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