How to Improve your Content Marketing using Google Analytics

July 22, 2015 | Content Marketing

Content marketing serves more than one very useful purpose. Not only does it provide website visitors with relevant information to their needs and the industry in general, but it keeps those same visitors coming back for more. With a loyal group of blog followers and email subscribers, you can bet that your website’s traffic will be blowing up, translating to strong leads that need little more nurturing before being passed to sales.

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But how do you know what content is working for your site? Which articles on your blog are shared the most or have the most comments? Better yet, which keywords did your readers use to find your page at all?

With Google Analytics, the content marketing game only gets stronger. When used correctly, Google Analytics will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your website and content marketing strategy, including how many visitors are coming to a single page, which keywords are getting them there and how convincing a landing page truly is.

If you’re looking to improve your content marketing game, check out our complete guide to using Google Analytics to improve content marketing. Once you learn how to use the tool to its fullest extent, there’s no telling how your content marketing campaigns might take off.

Demographics/Interests – Judging Your Blog and Website Content

A company blog is usually the main source of content marketing. The articles posted are relevant and timely, and they serve one of several functions for readers. Blog posts are likely to:

  • Explain a new development in the industry.
  • Teach readers how to do something efficiently or quickly.
  • Advise them on making a decision and help them weigh the pros and cons.
  • Provide an expert opinion on an industry-related topic.
  • Review a product.

One way or another, your blog posts should serve one or a combination of several of these functions, but which ones are best for your audience? What do your audience demographics tell you are working best? Google Analytics can help you determine this.

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Go to the All Pages report and go down to Behaviour. Choose the right filter to include only pages with blog posts on them and decide how you want to set your metrics. Remember, simply judging your pages by how many readers landed on the page does not necessarily mean that those with the highest viewer rates are the most popular. You have to look at other factors as well, such as bounce rates: A high bounce rate means people quickly clicked back after landing on your page. Even if there are a high number of visitors, a high bounce rate means they didn’t stick around.

Set a Goal based on the amount of time a person spends on your blog pages. Make sure you leave a bit of time for this Goal to give you an accurate statistic.

Once your page loads, look at the rankings of your blog pages and ask yourself some of these questions to determine your audience’s demographics and interests:

  • Which style of blog post got the most views?
  • Which style got the fewest amount of views?
  • Was there a specific topic or a few similar topics that were in those top-viewed blogs?
  • What topics did not fare well at all?

Now that you’re seeing where visitors on your blog are going respectively, what conclusions can you draw, if any, about your audience’s demographics and interests? What common factors link the two? Now that you know what your audience needs or finds interesting, you can work on creating content around those topics.

If there are certain topics that visitors don’t seem to find interesting at all, you can either create a new way to approach those topics and rebrand them to make them more interesting. Analyse what techniques made your other blogs so successful and try to mirror those techniques with this content.

Traffic and Channels – Assessing Websites and Landing Pages Effectiveness

Of course, website copy counts as content as well, and knowing which pages are getting the most visits could help you decide which topics to focus on in the future. You also need to know where your visitors are coming from – search engines, emails, social media – in order to decide how you want to promote your content. If more visitors are coming in through Facebook than Google, then perhaps you should focus on Facebook advertising rather than Google Adwords.

Go back to the All Pages function and go back down to the Behaviour menu once more. This time, limit all pages but the blog ones and set your desired goal, similar to what you used for your blogs. Now look at your rankings among pages and assess which pages are getting the most views.

To get the most out of your assessment, you have to cross-check the assumptions you made with data from the other pages on your site. If visitors to your property development company blog mostly commented on posts about a certain neighbourhood development and your most visited pages were of houses in that neighbourhood, then it stands to reason that a lot of people are interested in that neighbourhood. Maybe they want to know about school districts the number of minutes it takes to get to the nearest town.

You can then provide more information about the neighbourhood specifically on its page, but you should also beef up your content on other neighbourhood pages. Knowing what your audience likes about one topic can help you strengthen the other less popular topics and promote them to the right audience.

You can also focus your content marketing efforts more heavily through a certain channel when you learn which channels are the best for your target audience. Google Analytics breaks up its channels into mediums – Direct, Organic, Referral, Email, Paid Search (CPC, PPC and Paid Search) and Social (SocialNetwork and SocialMedia).

By tracking these channels, you’ll be able to see where most of your readers are coming from. Once a visitor comes to your site, Google Analytics will track the medium as well as the source. The source is usually a web address, such as Google.com or Facebook.com.

To view this data, go to Google Analytics Acquisitions and click Overview and Acquisition. Once there, go to Channel reports. Now look through and view the mediums and sources that are most popular. Remember to take your bounce rate into account and see what is working best for you.

Organic Keywords – Which Ones Are Best?

The best way to build brand awareness and ensure that your content makes it to the right audience members is through keywords and keyphrases. When using Google Analytics, you can track which keywords are most helpful to your brand and explore new ways to attract even better keywords.

To hone in on the keywords relevant to a specific landing page, go to the Behaviour reports and go down to Site Content. Select Landing Pages and select the dates you want to monitor. Once you set your perimeters, you’ll be able to see all the traffic that your landing pages attracted throughout the duration of the period you set.

Now choose a particular landing page, one with either a high or low bounce rate depending on what you want to know. Go to Primary Dimension and change it from Landing Page to Keyword. Once done, you view the keywords that were most used to get to that specific landing page. Using these lists will help you think more like your audience members and anticipate how they might search for your content.

A few terms to know that will be listed on the report:

  • Not Provided: Google protects the privacy of its own users, so if Google users were logged into their accounts, then you will not be able to tell what they searched for.
  • Not Set: This is the number of searchers who got to your website by means other than a search engine.

Google Analytics can also help you prepare for launching a new product or service. If you go to the Traffic Sources option and go down to Organic, you’ll be able to see which search terms were most effective in getting visitors to your site. You might use these keywords to optimise a blog post about your new content so you can be sure that your content will appear to those most likely to come to your site.

Now that you have a rough idea of how your audience searches, you can go back through your pages and optimise them to fit those keywords and keyphrases.

With these great Google Analytics tips, you’ll be ready to build a strong content marketing strategy and promote your content in the best way possible. Keep track of your pages and make adjustments when necessary. Keyword trends and content preferences are always changing, so keep up with your audience, and your site will always be flooded with visitors.

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Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden. Social Garden specialises in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies’ revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia. Mike is an influencer in the social media marketing & Facebook advertising space and contributes to Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Yahoo! Business Advisor and most importantly, the Social Garden blog.

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