The recurring goal for every content writer is to meet and exceed their content KPI targets: blog views, article shares, leads, and the list goes on. With so many targets to achieve, having an efficient way to track and work toward each criterion should become priority number one. There’s a great way to do this: keep a content scorecard. This might sound like an obvious thing, but there’s more that goes into it than just making a simple list. Keep reading for our breakdown on the complexities of scorecarding and why it’s worth implementing into your content writing habits!
What is Scorecarding?
Content scorecarding is a method of ensuring that your articles are primed for maximum engagement using a checklist comprised of high-priority criteria. The idea is that if you create a proven list of things which gave your best articles excellent engagement, you can replicate those same axioms into your new articles. Hopefully this will yield similar or better results as those articles you’ve selected, since you’ll be holding your new content to the same high standards. It’s all about consistency; essentially you’re benchmarking yourself!
The actual scoring comes into play as a functionally aesthetic layer to this list you’ll be creating. The itemized list itself is the most important component of your scorecard, but the scoring shows its usefulness as an actionable motivator: each individual criterion on the list is worth 1 point (an arbitrary value that’s completely up to you—if you’d rather set it to 5 points each, or 100 points, then feel free!) and every time you satisfy that requirement in your new blog article, you gain that point. So if your scorecard list consists of 7 things, all of which your best articles have in common with each other, then your possible point total for every article you write going forward is 7 points (or 700 pts if each criterion is worth 100, for example).
You should always be aiming for that grand total, whatever your magic number may be.
Don’t cut any corners or give yourself slack because you’ll only be shortchanging your own content’s potential for success. Once you meet each requirement on your scorecard and have earned every single point possible, your article will more or less be ready for publication. Of course, scorecarding is a framework upon which you’ve tasked yourself with following; you still need to polish your article with all the necessary bells and whistles—images, links, call to actions, etc.
Find Your Best Content
Now that you know that your first duty is to round up your best articles, you’ll need a way to do that. Choosing which of your articles to benchmark against is a data-driven activity, so using tools such as Google Analytics, Storyclash Insights, or any combination of your favorite measurement tools is a good idea. It’s important to remember that you want to find content published within the last year, as newer articles are better for scorecarding than older ones (this also means that you’ll be updating your scorecard periodically, which may not necessarily involve changing your criteria but rather refreshing them with minor refinements).
Crunch some numbers and collect 5 or so articles that have performed the best over the most recent 12-month period. This means utilizing Google Analytics to crawl your blog / website and produce a data report from which you can pull engagement insights. Ideally, you’ll be able to see which web pages and which articles have performed the best over this 1-year period. Things to look for: top pageviews, top mobile page views (via mobile audience report), top unique visitors, top time on page / dwell time, top conversion rate—you’re basically looking for any metrics that are letting you know which articles are your top-performing content across the board.
To back up your findings, you’ll want to supplement these analytics with data from social media.
Using Storyclash Insights, find out what your top-performing social media posts are and cross-check those numbers with your blog data. If you post blog content updates to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, you are likely to find that your social media interaction insights and your Google Analytics report reflect similar information. This shouldn’t surprise you since users will find good content anywhere they can, whether they’re going straight to your blog organically or being referred to it via social media. It’s also worth noting that app data (not to be confused with mobile web data) can be useful as well; the more reporting the better.
With Storyclash Insights, you can analyze your top-performing social media posts in real-time
Once you have your desired reports in-hand, dig deeper and figure out the tangibles of why your best content performed so well. Isolate your top 5 articles and open each of them in separate browser tabs. Starting with your best post, study each article one at a time, taking notes as you go along. Here are a few bullet points / questions to guide your analysis:
- Type of post: is it a how-to article, news update, list post?
- Free downloadable resources: does it include a product trial, content upgrade, checklist, worksheet, template?
- Word count: less than 1,000 words? More than 2,000 words?
- Additional content types: does it include audio, video, ebook?
- Exclusive value to readers: does it have comprehensive topic coverage, innovative insights, unique data analysis – which is difficult to find elsewhere?
Establish Scorecard Criteria
Now that you’ve taken extensive notes on each of your best articles, grab a highlighter and start looking for common denominators. These criteria should be consistent across each top-performing post, and they should also be achievable in anything you write going forward. You should have an ample-sized working list of scorable bullet points which you’ll now turn into checkboxes. Each one represents a requirement that all future articles should meet in order to fulfill your personal standard for quality content.
See below for an example of a 7-point scorecard:
☑ Relevant industry-based topic
☑ Incorporates high-quality keyword for SEO (search engine optimization)
☑ Content backed by research and data
☑ Subject matter contains comprehensive coverage with practical value
☑ Guide (in article or downloadable) to help readers put content into action
☑ Compelling CTA (call to action)
☑ Custom visuals (images, animated GIFs, etc.)
Solution: Score with Storyclash
You should now have a concise scorecard with which to keep track of your most essential criteria while writing future articles. Don’t forget to check off each box when you satisfy that specific requirement, and keep track of your point total to ensure that they all add up to your scorecard goal by the time your draft is finished. Whether you tally up your score while you write—checking off each respective criteria as you progress—or you prefer waiting till after you’re done writing to proofread and tally your score is up to you. The most important thing is to habituate this scorecard process; once you’ve made it a routine, the implementation of each criteria should become natural!
Try our free trial and combine valuable social media data from Storyclash Insights with your Google Analytics report to discover how indispensable our dashboard is when it comes to scorecarding your content.
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