Spot-check your own web content

We all hope and trust that our content authors are creating findable, usable, valuable content for both web and mobile. But how can we be sure? Here's a quick way to spot-check your own web content without user-testing. 

Can you answer 'yes' to these three questions?

  1. Do your key pages appear high in search results?  
  2. Can people make sense of links to your content in search results?
  3. When they click on search results, do people find pages with relevant, usable, valuable content?

    If you cannot answer a simple 'yes' to all these questions, then your website is simply not working. If you're not sure, here's how you can find out.

    1. Find a clean machine or device — one that no one has ever used to search for your web content. This is an important step: away from your own computer, Google delivers different results. 
    2. Search for one of your key products or services on Google, without using your company name or product name in the search. For example, 'job seeker Wellington' or 'unemployment benefit nz'. Does the right web page appear on page 1 of Google?
    3. Look at your top search result. Can you make sense of it before you click on it?
    4. When you click on the link, does the content give your intended reader what they want straight away?

    Three yeses and you're on track. Any hiccups and you at least have an idea where the problems lie.

    You can start fixing the problem web content right away. Train your writers with Contented! (Quick, there's a special offer on as I write: 20% off group training in May and June 2015.)

    Easy, huh? Do the same for all key products and services.

    *Photo in public domain. Page 18 of the 1952 Electrolux Vacuum Users Manual.

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