Ask Me Anything: Top 10 Actions to Improve Website Design and Content

>>Karen: Good afternoon, everyone! We’re going to
go ahead and get started. I’m Karen Ruprecht with the Child care
State Capacity Building Center and thanks for being with us today for our
30-minute ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on ‘Top 10 Actions for Website Content and
Design’. This webinar is part of a larger Consumer Education webinar series hosted
by the State Capacity Building Center. Today we’re going to walk through some
questions that participants posed on the national webinar on this very topic two
weeks ago today. We know you might have some additional questions as we go along
so we encourage you to put them in the chat box. The PowerPoint slide from the
webinar that we hosted a couple of weeks ago will be posted on the Consumer
Education webinar series homepage soon and we’ll post the link later on in the
webinar to that website in case you don’t already have it and there’s also a
helpful resource guides that can help you enhance your consumer education
webinar and I’ll make sure that you have the link to that as well. But I want to
start off by doing some introductions of our guest speakers today. As I mentioned,
I’m Karen Ruprecht with the Child Care State Capacity Building Center and today
we’re joined by Clem Auyeung from ICF and he works with the State
Capacity Building Center on the Consumer Education webinars and also with some of
our states that were working with in an intensive TA capacity. Then we’re also
joined by Jennifer Drake from the National Center on Parent, Family, and
Community Engagement, and as some of you may know on our calls, we always like to
know who’s on the phone with us here today.
So Violeta, do a pull up the poll and if you could tell us which role best
describes you and we’ll give you a minute or two to fill that out. Looks like we have a majority of state
government professionals which is usually, oh actually it’s kind of coming
in a little bit, as a tie with some other folks joining us. Training and technical
assistance professional and we have a couple of state-level government or not
state government people with us here today. So thank you for taking the time
to fill that out it’s always good to know who’s in the audience. There we go.
So I want to start off our webinar today by asking our speakers a question, a
broad question, that came up in the webinar a couple of weeks ago in the
webinar. As some of you may have remembered we reviewed a list of top 10
actions to improve website content and design and one of the actions I
believe it was action one: encourage people to inventory how your audience
finds and reaches your website. Many states and territories want to use
social media for outreach to families and child care providers and
specifically we had a question from a participant who asks ‘Can we tell which
audience is using which channel to access our sites? Can we infer who is
using our website based on the channels that refer web traffic to it’? So Clem,
can you get us started on answering this question?
>>Clem: Sure, Karen. Before we begin, I want to clarify that when we say channels, what we really mean by it is just
another way of saying how your audience buying your consumer education
website. So for example, a channel of your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or any
other website where your information is posted and you know people click on it
to come to your website. So you might be interested in knowing which channels
your users are using to come to your website because then that might tell you
which channel you want to focus on optimizing. So,
common, free tools like Google Analytics can tell you some basic
information about the visitors on your website, like the percent of this
percentage of visitors who are new visitors versus the percentage that are
a returning visitor. So unless you have configured your
analytics tool of your choice, it’s really difficult to attribute
referral data, which is like who is actually coming to the site. For one channel to a specific audience segment that you’re considering for your
website. While we won’t go into detail necessarily here, we
do have a couple resource guides that can help you better understand web
analytics and search engine optimization that I’ll share on the screen right now. One of those resource guides you can download and you can download these
and we will be putting the address for that in the chat box for you. Like
Clem mentioned earlier, if you want to make some inferences about your
channels that your family in your state prefers to use, you need to
bring in other kind of data to paint you a better picture in order to understand
that question. Some of the data might be social media analytics or
even your conversation that you’ve had in the past with parents in
your state or territory through user research or stakeholder or focus groups
which can help you do that and the third resource guide on your right on this side
is going to be a helpful guide to help you get you thinking about how
the free users, which could be a parent child care providers or other
stakeholders, about these types of questions. However, just because your website is getting traffic from social media and it
doesn’t automatically mean that they’re parents.
You can use industry report to kind of get a sense of what are
some general trends that maybe demographic sites. Parents view online and how they access online content but if you
really want insights into a specific audience that’s relevant for your
website you need to either talk to them directly or you know use quantitative
methods like survey that you want to send out to them to collect more
relevant data for your site. And if you need hints and ideas on how to gather data
from parents and other audiences you can go check out the guide to use the research
that we put on the screen before this. Just a word of caution that sometimes another
data can also paint inaccurate picture so over relying on analytics can
sometimes lead to blind spots. For example, if a visitor links and sites
from clicking on a link that someone copied pasted into a text
message or apps like Facebook Messenger or email. This sort of behavior shows up
online or shows up -could show up on an analytics platform. A direct
referral traffic which you kind of basically means someone, you, typed in the
URL into a browser or you know like knowing from a bookmarked that you
bookmark on your site but you know in reality and they really clicked on a
link that someone has shared on a platform that you might not have tracked
on your analytics platform. And we do have a link to that article in a
guide when it’s posted in about a week and we can explain how this happens.
And over to you, Jennifer.>>Jennifer: Yes, sure. That is good information. Clem and I would add another exemplary practices to avoid using a single data
source to draw conclusions and by that I mean augment your quantitative data. What you find from analytics with qualitative data for example user feedback to really
understand why something is happening or how well something is working. If you can
understand why a family in a particular situation prefers to use Facebook over
going directly to your website for example, you can start to think of
strategies to kind of leverage those drivers of behaviors and get parents to
your website. Basically, you won’t find answers or to why questions using purely
quantitative methods. Consumer engagement strategies are useful for gathering that
kind of qualitative feedback for learning about your audience’s interests
and how well your website or social media strategy is meeting them. When
consumers are engaged, you can make decisions together about enhancements to
the content and how its presented. NCP- FCE strategies for engaging families
resource offers lots of ideas about different ways to gather input and
partner with your audiences to identify potential enhancements and also to
evaluate the effectiveness of changes that you’re making. Our guide
to creating a family-friendly experience offers more tips for promoting
engagement through your website and if you’re responsible for developing and
posting content yourself or you support staff who do you can directly apply the
information in this guide. If you’re not and that’s often the case, if your
websites managed by others or if you work with a vendor to develop and post
your content, you can apply this information to your plans and requests
and quality improvements. Social media, as Karen mentioned at the top – is also a
powerful tool for consumer engagement and this guide, Using Social Media to Engage Families, offers lots of tips for engaging families. For example, how to
respond to comments and questions from families and it also covers developing
and managing a social media plan identifying your audiences and
connecting social media efforts to your mission. Choosing the best sites
sometimes to post based on your audience and objectives. It covers a bit about
technical requirements and promotion and quality assurance of your social media
efforts and relevant here is like really creating posts that kind of
invite engagement, posts that are strengths- based, easy for readers to understand and
culturally and linguistically responsive.>>Karen: Thanks, Clem and Jennifer
for that information. And if anyone on the webinar today is interested in more
specific guidance on social media and how your state can leverage it to
promote your Consumer Education website I encourage you to check out the resources
that were sharing and to also consider signing up for our November webinar on
using social media to enhance your web presence. So we’ll talk a lot more about
that in a couple of months. So I want to turn now and it asks about some
strategies for managing and developing website content funds. Would you like to
start us off on that?>>Clem: I can. So, you know, in regards to managing developing
content, a big question that often comes to mind is how do we know that
we’re doing the right thing in creating a right content. And for a lot
of government websites the value of the site comes from the content and without
it, there wouldn’t really be a website . So planning and creating
publishing and maintaining content is really a large part on maintaining
website after launch and some of this you know comes down to how your
team makes decisions and sort of like a framework or plan to help guide
decision making to ensure they align with your Consumer Education website
goals. So let me just share some strategies to get you started and don’t feel bad if you don’t get it or get all of it, I think I just want to
put out some ideas to help you start thinking about ways to improve
the managing of the website and think about which content to create.
So one of these tools is to is a core strategy statement and this is a concise
sentence that helps keep your team on course. It summaries
choices about individual choices within the team about why a team produces content, for whom, and how in NFS which is the what.
And it needs to be specific enough that you can say yes or no to different tactical decisions which is the kind of a
guidance part of the sentence. And it needs to be memorable enough for your
team to use it in everyday conversations and it is not a vision statement. That’s
a little step level up but I think the the course I just made is really about
helping you make the right decisions for your website and you can collaboratively
develop it with your team or if you’re short on time, you can develop it
yourself. You just have to do it for a website, you can just test it out and
iterate on a smaller portion or site. If you want to so that you can now impose
like a strategy, overall strategy for a site right away. And just core strategy
statement has four parts that you would want to consider: one is content product,
which kind of translate into the content that you want to produce,
curate, or procure from a lot of other sources and share. And this is you know
how you want your information to manifest and another part is audience so
for whom is the content specifically written or produced for.
User needs, which is why do you those audiences need or expect that content
from you, like why are you producing in the first place. And
finally, business goals: the organizational goals, which are the
outcomes that you’re striving for to that you want from providing the content
now, how does that achieve organizational goals and that is kind of why you’re
creating it in the first place. As an example, we can, around
your brain of the core strategy statement is, one could be to increase the number of parents who use our child care search. We will
create online resource guides for working parents who are look
for child care for the first time to help them choose the new a
cost-effective quality child care provider. And that’s just an example you
don’t have to memorize or anything but to show that how do we tie these four
parts together to help you make decisions around content. And it doesn’t
have to be perfect draft. This is designed to spark a
conversation around these four here, four areas and you know decide how to move
forward in the medium term to help answer the questions you need to answer to around these horrors and build a foundation for making decisions
and this one also point out that maintaining content is multifaceted and
how you maintain core strategy content depends on who’s your team, your
subject matter, expertise, writing skills and publishing, human timeline,
abilities and also usability and configuration of your content management
system. You want to kind of define from the team roles and
responsibilities ahead of time and kind of gauge how that would affect
your strategy. And also you want to then kind of define the process for creating
and publishing content, outlining the steps and who’s going to do them and
those sort of pieces will help you maintain a site. It’s in a
crucial relevancy for your audience after you launch it.
>>Karen: Great, thank you, Clems, for that information. I know there’s a lot of information that goes
behind thinking about your strategies for maintaining and developing your
content for your consumer ed website. And to go along with that question we’ve
had another one regarding the website content: ‘What are some helpful strategies
or considerations you have when it comes to evaluating the content on the
consumer ed website? Are there tools for example, that states and territories
might be able to use to evaluate your content’?>>Clem. Yeah, sure, yes.
so you know achieving and maintaining quality website content requires an
ongoing effort. Ongoing quality improvements all about setting
goals, taking the right metrics to measure the expected effectiveness
of your efforts. Gathering data and making adjustments based on findings and
testing them and continually and then also doing all of these activities
consistently. You just want to remember that content shouldn’t just fit
on your site after you publish it. You want to periodical to review your
strategy and the quality of your content to make sure that it is still relevant,
useful, and up-to-date. And so when I think about your content as having a
life cycle, where you birth the content through developing the
content publishing it, and maintaining. And then kind of evaluating
whether that’s so necessary or relevant to the audience. So like a garden
you kind of need a little more pruning for I guess your content to
flourish. And you might need to update or retired content that might be out of
date, out of base, or on your no longer serve your audience. So you want
to have some sort of processes or steps you can support regularly scheduled. And sometimes ad hoc review of the content. So some of these review
activities might include a broken link and review for content, for accuracy.
Ensure that you constantly following plain language and search
engine optimization best practices. And we do have a guide for that. It’s
called ‘I for including search engine optimization’ which you can- I encourage you to check out after this. And also reviewing your web analytics to
kind of gauge the effectiveness of your previous improvements and we do have the
web engagement section in the ‘Using Data to Inform Your Website’ questions, and answers from the app ‘Ask Me Anything’ webinar
which will provide more detailed guidance on the timelines and
considerations for web analytics. The other parts to reviewing your site is
your content on your site is to have a regular content planning sessions which
I think will help you and your team produce on strategy content. This is
where you decide what content create and you can start usually start
that planning process by assessing the current state of the content to validate
they still use full, current, on- strategy and can also identify
new content to enhance your website to further your website’s goals and vision.
And some of these more formal and regularly scheduled content
planning will help inform editorial planning which is the when, the where, how
you’ll feature and promote your content. So I think it’s a good idea
before you go into planning, you might want to review first to make
sure it aligns with your consumer education website goals and visions and
then that will can help you see what you need to still produce and any
new kind of content you want to produce outside of that kind of realm.
Otherwise I’m just looking at it like to consider which content performs
well and which didn’t and that might give you insight into what
people are looking for on versus what is less relevant to what they
need to complete. And again, the guidance for measuring web traffic and
engagement the resource guy will help provide more tips. You create
that, envision, and it will process for you to get insights from
your analytics platform. And when you don’t want to
create everything and everything right? So you probably also want to consider
having some sort of a characterization frameworks, like impact
versus audience impact or organizational impact versus audience impact or expert versus value. Whatever that’s important for your
audience or for your organization and your audience that you want to kind of have.
But maybe you have that in place as a decision-making mechanism to help you
make the decisions. After that editorial planning, I think that maybe
it’s a little more common which I won’t go into now but you want to kind of schedule when, where, and how you’ll promote your
content on different channels, like social media, Facebook page, kind of media opportunities etc. And I’m gonna hand the reins to you, Jennifer to talk a little bit
more about resources.>Jennifer: Thanks, Clem. Yeah, I just wanted to add
that the consumer education website guide to creating a family-friendly
experience resource that I mentioned earlier includes an assessment tool and
it goes along with all of the points that are discussed in a guide. But it
can be handy too as a tool to help you kind of regularly check in on quality
measure, such as the overall look and feel of your website, plain language,
strength based language, ease of use, and more. You can answer questions like you
know how do we know what content we should be creating and what can we do to
keep the website fresh and dynamic and make sure that it’s continually updated
so that it’s responsive to a family’s interest. So it’s a nice complement to
some of the other strategies that you discussed, Clem.>>Karen: Great, thank you both Jen and Clem for sharing your ideas on how to improve the content and design of your consumer
education website. I know there’s a lot of information that was packed into some
of the details that Clem and Jennifer gave us here today and I want to share
with you and again this will be on the website as well. Some of the resources
that were shared here today from both SCBC and the NCPFCE. I encourage you to
check these out. These resources will really develop to help you enhance the
website content and design so please, please use them. And here’s some other
resources as well and again these will be posted for your convenience in just a
little while as we close out today as we usually do. And we want to take a couple
of polls to see if the information that you heard today was relevant and useful
so have you a lot of pull up those hold for us. So our first question is how much has
your understanding of this topic improved? So if you just want to go ahead
and complete that we would appreciate that it really does help us think about
how we can better serve the needs of our states and territories and technical
assistance professionals that are on the line with us here today. Okay. Okay Violeta, the next poll please. And the next poll asks how likely are you to use one of
the strategies of practices presented to you today, Okay and then the other if you have lost
the last one and this is our open-ended one. If there’s any other webinar topic
that you would find useful in your work. If it’s with the consumer education
websites, great. If it’s something that’s outside of the purview of the consumer
education website that’s fine to indicate on on this section of the polls.
So I’ll give folks a minute if there’s any other webinar topics that you would
find useful. We really find this information quite useful as we’re
planning some other webinars on hopefully in the future. Alright, Violeta if you want to just
kind of flip it over. If you do continue to have some future ideas please feel
free to email us and you will certainly add it to the list because we do want to
make sure that we’re it’s responsive as we can be and to folks neat and I just
want to remind people the most look on this slide at the same size. I want to
remind everybody about our next topic webinar which is on September 12th and
we will be in partnership with NCPFCE on this webinar about don’t forget about
school-aged child care in your consumer education website. And on this webinar
we’ll explore different ways that some states have used their child care search
filters and search results in informational resources to share with
school-aged family. So this webinar will give you some nice tips and resources to
take back and to consider enhancing your own consumer education website and it’s
very timely because it’s back-to-school time for so many people. So we hope you
join us on that webinar as well with our partners with NCPFCE. We thank you for
joining us here today we hope you all have a great day and please remember we
will be posting the information from this webinar on the consumer education
webinar series homepage shortly. Thank you and have a great day everyone.

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