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Maybe that sounds like a silly question to some of you, but it is one that I have been asking my clients lately. It’s taken a decade, but many of my clients actually know which content works better than others do. They have labored over web analytics and conversions and attribution and bounce rates and they are finally starting to think they know which content seems to be working better than others—and kudos to them.

But it does beg the next question: “Why is that content working?” Because if you don’t know why, how do you do it again?

I often see people looking at the successful content but they know there is more to the story. For example, I asked a client, “How do you know which content is successful?” They told me that it has the highest conversion rate. So I said that I knew the best content on their site: the thank you page. 100% conversion rate. And I know the second best content: the shopping cart page.

Now, clearly, that’s silly and we would never say that those pages are the best content on our site. But we say things that are equally silly because we say that the best content on our site are the product pages that have the highest conversion rates. But is that really the best content or the best products?

A few clients are ready for something deeper. They are really asking the “why” questions. There are ways of using text analytics and machine learning to identify why certain content works. I won’t say that I have it completely nailed yet, but we are finding some very interesting things with our first couple of clients. I would love to tell you what they are, except they wouldn’t be interesting to you.

One thing that I am learning is that there is nothing more interesting to a digital marketer as an insight as to why something is working on their website. But I am also learning that there is nothing less interesting to a digital marketers than why something is working on someone else’s website.

Are you asking the why question for your site?


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Mike Moran

About Mike Moran

Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and a senior strategist at Converseon, Revealed Context, and SoloSegment. Mike is the author of three books on digital marketing and is an instructor at Rutgers Business School. He is a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO, a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research, and a Certified Speaking Professional.

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