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  • Steven Wilson-Beales

Best content strategy links of the week, November 21

This week: rethinking your homepage, Service Design, keeping it simple and Iron Maiden??? Homepage Real Estate Allocation A mind-blowing report from Jakob Nielsen: “Websites spend too little homepage screen space on content of interest to users and fail to utilize modern monitor sizes. And? It’s worse now than it was 12 years ago :-(“

This is Service Design Thinking I’ve been working with a healthcare provider recently and the ideas provided by this book have been invaluable. It’s a little light on practical application – Dave Gray’s Gamestorming is more pragmatic in this respect – but still useful. I find a lot of conversation around content marketing can be a little abstract, so linking your content to mental models within a  strong ux framework (as suggested by this book) gives more clout to your content strategy. I think at least.

This is a topic covered recently in the latest UIE podcast – Jason Ulaszek & Brian Winters – From Research to Experience Roadmaps. Well, worth a listen, particularly for range of design exercises mentioned by Jason and Brian.  The moral of the story? Great teams result in great ux solutions .

Why “Simple” Websites Are Scientifically Better This article is over a year old now but I still love it. In short, don’t try and reinvent the wheel every time you launch a new website. Find out what your users expect and work from there. I quote at length…

“When you deviate from a person’s expectations – the price was higher than expected, the color scheme and symmetry were off, the site didn’t load fast enough, the photos weren’t high enough resolution – the working memory processes those disfluent “chunks” instead of what matters.

That’s because the working memory calls the long term memory to use what it already knows to perform the task. When the long term memory can’t aid in processing the information, flow is broken & the working memory disengages and moves on.

That’s why it’s vital you understand your visitor’s level of exposure – not just for sites in your category, but to websites in general -If you want to “hack” their working memory with design. The blogs they read, the sites they shop on, their browser, age, gender & physical location, all hint at how will impact their level of familiarity on first impression.”

Google+ & SEO: How Google+ Impacts Search Results Another reminder that we all need to invest more time on this social network.

Stop Thinking Keywords, Think Topics Great article from Kate Morris on Standard SEO practise in some quarters…

Be the Result that Google Wants to Rank WARNING: Features an animated GIF of Tom Cruise that’ll make your mind bend after a few repeats but great article none-the-less. Shows you the differences in SEO practise from 2010 to now.

User-centric vs. Maker-centric Language: 3 Essential Guideline Another recent report from NNG advocating the use of plain English. Our George would be proud…

And lastly, thinking of adding a bit of prankvertising to your content marketing mix? Heard about ExFEARiential? You will do…

Actually, a little something else. Those that know about me and this blog know that I am slowly losing all musical credibility and revisiting bands from my early childhood. This week I discovered I’ve actually been an Iron Maiden fan all my life after watching this video.

So to celebrate, I thought I’d include a performance from their 1988 tour in this week’s links. AMAZING.

PS: the guy playing the guitar riff at the beginning left the band the following year. He complained the band were bashing through the songs way too fast. Such is the life of a rock n’ roll star. Now apply this story to your content strategy in some shape or form and, as they say, UP THE IRONS!

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