At ZetaHub, we use business rules to filter your content so that your users get only what’s most relevant to them. These rules form the overarching filters through which your content flows. Business Rules may be global filters or meta filters. Global filters are similar to meta filters, but instead of segmenting content, they pull the content out of circulation for you. Global filters are generally static, and configured for you by the ZetaHub team. Some common global filters:
- Has Thumbnail. We use this rule to avoid recommending articles and products without images.
- Blacklisted or Not Available. This rule helps us remove any pages or articles on your site that shouldn’t be seen (e.g. special events that have recently passed, events that haven’t happened yet, etc.).
- Published Date. This rule ensures that we’re providing the freshest content for your users. For example, you may only want them to get content you’ve published in the last month or week. This rule comes with caveats, which we’ll cover below.
Finally, we’re back to meta filters. We saved it for last because good tagging and smart business rules are key components of good meta filtering. Some additional tips to follow:
- Make sure you have enough content to back up the segmentation. If you’re a sports site that caters to Utah sports fans, you probably won’t want to create a filter and section specifically for Utah Jazz. There won’t be enough content in the off-season, and you’ll end up with unrelated articles for your users. A healthy amount is at least 200 unique pieces of content per filter. When you can’t reach that number consistently, you’re better off making the filter slightly more general.
- Set expiration dates for content. There’s a fine line between having enough fresh content and having enough content at all, but you almost always want to show users the newest stuff you have.
- Know your audience. (For example: it’s probably not a good idea to send an article to a user about how her rival baseball team just won a game.) Beyond simply knowing your users’ interests, it’s important that you understand their habits. Do they like to read their emails at night or in the morning? Are they likely to share your content? Will they appreciate multiple shorter emails, or one large email?
- If there’s not enough content in your filters to meet our quality standards, we’ll revert to recommending your most widely popular pieces of content. This way, your users will always have quality content to read, even if the exclusion filters you’ve set turn out to be too restrictive.
- If one of your filters isn’t producing the results you expected, definitely feel free to get in touch with your Solutions Consultant—he or she will help you get to the bottom of the issue.
Why are all global filters not the same as meta filters?
Because global filters are more efficient. For example if we know that you’ll never want to recommend blacklisted content, then we should simply exclude it. You lose flexibility, but gain efficiency.