Table of contents
2. Tips on using UX and UI in content development
2.1 Conduct user interviews to collect ideas
2.2 Understand topic and keywords intent
2.3 Built content around user awareness level
2.4 Connect the dots with calls-to-action
Have you ever written an in-depth guide, clicked publish, waited for traffic and leads to land on your website, and saw no considerable change after a long time? There are a couple of reasons that could cause your content to underperform. Let’s briefly look into some of them.
Before creating content, you should be asking a question of whom you are producing it for. Think about (and research) what content your customers are keen on reading. Do they need simple explanations to complex topics, or do they tend to go all in the details and science?
For example, if you are creating content for performance marketers who are launching campaigns with Google Ads, don’t expect them to get interested in the article, “7 Reasons Why Your Company Will Benefit From Google Ads”. This is something they already know.
In this case, some of them would be more interested in the following topic, “How the Hagakure Model will Change the Way You are Using Google Ads”. Why? Because performance marketers are keen on following the latest changes to Google Ads algorithms as it impacts their daily work. At the very least, that’s the hypothesis I would want to investigate further. I will explain how to verify hypotheses with research and user interviews later in this article, so keep reading.
When interested in some marketing topics, I usually type some phrases in Google and do my research. 90% of articles I come upon online don’t introduce anything new to what I already know. That’s because some marketing copywriters tend to cover the same content over and over again.
In some cases, they can even rewrite the content created before. Let’s say they are covering topics of product development while having no experience of working on product development before. It doesn’t mean they write a bad article. Quite the opposite – it will be well researched, backed with facts, and comply with the best copywriting rules. However, it won’t cover a case study or give a new perspective on the topic. That’s where expert content shines.
If you are creating content for experts or the audience that is heavily relying on expert opinion, engage experts in content creation. This will add more authority to the content and get even the most demanding readers interested.
Visitors landing on your website can be at different stages of a buyer’s journey. Some of them are not looking for educational articles, explaining the topic for dummies. They have already gone through that stage and know what could solve their problem. They are looking to buy and start comparing offers from different vendors.
If you are creating top of the funnel content, you won’t be able to reach those who are considering offers and are ready to buy. That’s why you have to create more bottom of the funnel content. Check out the differences between content funnel stages below.
We have gone through three major reasons that cause your content to underperform. So how can you start creating the content without making costly mistakes? Writing the right content is like developing a product – you have to ask your users first, do proper research with open-source data, and get back to a drawing board. Only then can you come up with some ideas on what content your audience really needs. If you want to get users to convert with your content, you have to look at content development as a process with UX and UI at the forefront of content curation.
Website and blog redesign can be costly. Instead of putting everything at stake by starting to create content from scratch, it’s better to take a safer approach. Let’s see how you can improve your content creation process with a strategy of small steps applying smart UX and UI strategies.
As we have mentioned earlier in the article, gathering user feedback can give you ideas on what content your user would engage with. You could start with UX research for the content you have created in the past. Here is how this process works in a nutshell.
First, invite a few users for an interview by writing a professional email. Then show them the content you have been creating so far. Ask questions on how they see it and if they find it interesting. Then collect feedback and suggestions on what topics they would be most interested in that you haven’t covered.
You can conduct usability testing of your blog the way you would do with a new product or an online app. When asked, users can tell you what they like and dislike about your blog structure. By acting on their feedback and improving your content, you can get users to read more on your blog, convert into leads, and finally – paying customers.
Getting users to talk will help you understand what areas of content creation you could do better, what topics make more sense for your target audience, and what type of content you could create more (and which you have to kill forever)
In some cases, user interviews and usability testing can be an eye-opening experience.
When writing your content, you want to ensure that your target audience can easily discover it. In other words, you are writing for keywords with a high search volume. Content editors are usually using SEO tools such as Ahrefs or Sitechecker to discover popular topics and keywords. They are evaluating keyword potential by search volume, keyword difficulty, and the number of clicks. When choosing a keyword to rank on, you would most likely go with the one having the highest search volume and lowest difficulty rate.
Should you really focus on such keywords? It depends on search intent – something the tools won’t tell you – you have to evaluate it on your own. For example, the keyword “hire developer” has a relatively low volume and is hard to rank for.
However, it makes more sense to write content on this topic rather than “women in tech”.
This keyword has a huge volume and clicks, but would it convert in more leads for your development agency? When you have a choice, go for transactional keywords such as “hire a developer” rather than informational ones (“women in tech”). This way you will drive high-quality traffic that will bring you more sales. In most cases, you would have to think critically to understand if a given search query has a high potential to bring users who convert. You will also have to account for the difficulty of ranking your content on transactional keywords, and research how your competitors rank for the same keywords.
Users visit your website at different stages of awareness. Some might already know what they want. Others know they have a problem but don’t know how to solve it – only after some time, they could discover your business can provide a solution. For example, you are offering an e-learning app in a subscription model. Some of your clients are convinced that 20-minute daily learning is the easiest way to learn French. They have already chosen an online app and prefer it to online courses or classes with a tutor. Others would still have to decide what suits them more – online classes, a language app, or classes with a tutor.
You would create different content for both groups. For the first one, you would think of some articles or videos like “10 best e-learning apps to master French”. For the other group, you would go with the topic such as “E-learning app vs. online language course – the best way to learn French”.As you see, the two groups would have different content needs that you have to account for. Now, as you have prepared some content for different groups of users, how can you ensure your content is well-connected and lead users to the action you want them to take.
Adding some calls-to-action to connect your content in one holistic system is your answer, so let’s look into it in depth.
When you have prepared content fitting different levels of user awareness, it’s time to connect the dots. Let’s come back to our example of language learning apps to see how articles can be connected.
When a user reads a comparison article “E-learning app vs. online language course – the best way to learn French”, you would want to lead him to the next one “10 best e-learning apps to master French”. This is because your reader has already learned about the benefits of e-learning apps. They can start considering choosing one.
Let’s see an example to illustrate this case. Juro, a contract automation software, is converting the reader’s interest in contract workflows into demos. The banner headline is closely related to the content of the article and features a call-to-action that stands out. It leads to a form that facilitates lead generation.
So how can you connect the dots when developing your new blog? There are a few tools at your disposal.
Banners – this is a great visual element that helps catch users’ attention. You can add some text and a call-to-action button to lead a user to the next article bringing them closer to the consideration stage.
Buttons – you can use this element across the whole article. Button text can relate directly to the article content after which you place it. Buttons are a great way to interlink your articles and lead users to the next stage in their journey.
Pop-ups – non-intrusive, aesthetic pop-ups can support your lead acquisition effort. Triggering them at the right moment, when users are more likely to respond, is a key to generating more leads.
When you have given these ideas a try, you should continue collecting feedback from users to learn if you deliver the right content. For example, you can consider utilising a website feedback tool to get feedback from users at the right time and place. Such tools will help you understand if the changes you have introduced to your content strategy satisfy your users.
Remember that collecting feedback is a good practice you have to implement continuously. Create multiple iterations on your content and carry on with improving the UX and UI of your blog and landing pages over time. The needs of your customers will evolve over time. By doing UX research and acting on your users’ feedback will help deliver the right experience and achieve your content goals.
There are various reasons for which your content underperforms, ranging from misalignment with your customer persona needs to a bad content structure. However, by applying smart UX and UI tips we described in the article, you can significantly improve your content performance. You might want to implement these tips from A to Z at once or test them out one by one. While implementing, remember to measure your effort to check on your progress and benchmark against your past achievements. That’s the way to see the change!