AI & Search Analytics: The Yin and Yang of High-Performing Content Pieces
~ Stuart McDonald, CMO – Freshbooks
Tracking content’s performance is of utmost importance. Otherwise, you stand at the risk of creating content that does not perform well because it fails to meet user’s needs.
By amalgamating the extraordinary power of search analytics with the fundamental principles of user experience (UX), you can easily assess user behavior as users go through their content.
As the technical communication industry continues to expand and evolve, writers are now pushing content that fosters engagement with target audience. To achieve this feat, the industry has adopted a user-centric approach.
“It won’t be long before you’ll know which of your topics are making a positive difference, which need some help, and which can simply disappear. It will soon be painfully obvious which team members are writing the high-impact topics, which are writing the unintelligible topics, and which are writing the irrelevant topics.”
The Story So Far …
Technical communication has been a one-way street for a long time. Technical writers produce copious amounts of content without engaging the target users in any significant way. Since the user opinion is seldom solicited to facilitate continual improvement of content, it often fails to entice the users it was originally intended for.
- First, technical writers plan their documentation activities and define a content structure or outline.
- On the basis of the outline, they then develop and present a draft for review.
- Subject-matter experts (SMEs) and language editors scan the content, zero-in on any factual errors or inconsistencies and eliminate them.
- The authors then prepare the final copy after addressing all comments from the SMEs. Finally, the content is given green flag and is published for the users.
Usage of AI & Analytics: A Welcome Move
Analytics offers you the ability to transform raw data into rich insights, which in turn enables you to constantly improve your content strategy. On top of that, you can evaluate how people use resources like help center and support portal, and hence, take the user experience up a notch.
As a result, you will be able to quantify content conversions and drive your organization towards progress. After all, conversions are the holy grail for all your efforts, aren’t they? However, it is easier said than done.
- Combine diverse channels: Stop thinking about delivering a never-ending stream of information through multiple channels. People already have information overload to deal with. Instead, think about a single touch point connecting all points of interaction. Ensure everything is covered and easily accessible, and the conversions are bound to improve.
- Personalize search results on the basis of user behavior: Machine learning leverages location to browsing history, to optimize the results for relevancy. Thanks to external search giants like Google and Bing, people expect ‘personalized search’ and get furious when they see generic results or have to scan multiple pages to find what they are looking for.
- Don’t confuse engagement with success: Yes, the engagement metrics matter, but focusing more on bounce rate, click-through-rate (CTR), etc. is akin to fixating on calorie count and ignoring to keep track of weekly weight when dieting. These are just the indicators, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, i.e. conversion.
- Look at the information they seek: You might be a kickass writer, but your knowledge bases are probably not at the top of user’s reading list. They usually visit a platform in search of answers to their questions. Use analytics to figure out what they are and then develop content that directly addresses their concerns.
- Keep track of what they are unable to find: Which search queries are returning limited results or results with less than stellar click-through rate? There lies the problem. You were ‘this close’ to converting prospects but lack of relevant information drove them away. Just make sure such queries are a part of your content strategy. As a result, people will be able to find what they need and improve your conversion rate.
- Use machine learning to drive conversions: The most effective way to skyrocket your conversions is by proactively delivering the right content to every visitor. Yes, it is doable. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning, you can easily automate the delivery and analysis of information for good.
- Revisit your content: There could be many reasons behind a low-performing piece. Maybe it is your headline that is plaguing an otherwise brilliant content; analyze pages with higher than average exit rates and try out a different position, style, or text of the headline or other parts and see if it works.
- Make the experience as seamless as possible: Do you like to type in your email address to see an article? How about that pop-up which recommends you to check out something you’re probably not interested in?Such things take a toll on user’s experience and might be enough to piss them off. It is of paramount importance to strike a perfect balance so that the user experience isn’t hampered in any way. Use A/B Testing and then look at your numbers to get a fair idea of what really works.
- Don’t be scared of a few missteps: Last but not the least, remember that there will be times when things go south on you. These stumbles are a part of analyzing and testing your way to a more sound content strategy and better conversions! Never regret. Instead, take a lesson from them and improvise!
The Bottom Line
To put it simply, machine learning, AI, and search analytics work hand-in-hand to deliver personalized and relevant results. This ensures that users only see the results that directly answer their question and ensure proper accessibility of your content.
Together, they improve customer satisfaction as well as engagement by providing smart suggestions as users type in their query, searching for most suitable answers across multiple repositories, personalizing results according to user’s role & permissions, and analyzing the content gaps.
This way, you can be assured that the right information reaches the right person. The rest of it depends on your content itself. And we’re pretty sure that you got that covered, right? To see all of it in action, request for a free live demo now!