Content Marketing is all the rage right now. Digital marketing blogs boast on the regular that if you create amazing content the traffic will follow. But how does one know what the right content is? Google Analytics can help.
First, in order to get the ball rolling on super awesome content generation, you need to understand how many people are visiting your website and drill down to discover who your audience is. Head on over to the “Audience Overview” section of Google Analytics. There, you’ll be able to view how many visitors were new and returning. Make a quick note on what content you think brought in new visitors and what retained the old ones.
You’ll also be able to check out how many sessions there were, how many users accessed your site, as well as how many pages per session and pageviews there were. How much time was spent on the site and bounce rate are important too. Many people don’t place too much attention on bounce rate but it does indicate whether people come to your website and stay a while or ultimately, bounce. If this number is in the red take notice of the content and adjust accordingly when you’ve taken inventory of your best performing posts.
Once you’re done with the “Overview”, dig a little deeper by navigating to the left side of the dashboard. Under “Audience” you’ll find “Demographics” and be able to break down the age and gender of your visitors if you’ve enabled it. A blog post on the best designer heels won’t do well if most of your demographic is 65% male between the ages of 25-34. In the “Interest Category”, you’ll also be able to view what kind of content your demographic is interested in. For example: 5.95% are interested in Sports/ Individual Sports/ Running & Walking, not female footwear. Further more, when you select country, you’ll be able to see what countries are visiting your website. If the top five are the USA, Canada, the U.K, Australia, and Poland, you can do some valuable research on these countries and tailor some blog posts targeted specifically to them.
The next area of Google Analytics that’s worth mentioning is “Acquisition”. Here’s where all your traffic sources will be unveiled, whether it’s mostly social, organic Google searches, direct or referral traffic. When you select “Source” it’ll detail exactly what platform the traffic came from. This can help you determine where your content is most viewed. If Facebook is dominating your traffic, then you now know where to promote your content more efficiently.
“Behavior” tells you what’s being read and what types of content works. “All Pages” will uncover the best performing article, whereas “Content Drilldown” will disclose what categories do the best. For example, your article on “A Guide to Beard Grooming” may be your most popular post. This tells you that you were right on target with the male demographic we stated earlier. “Content Drilldown” however, shows a different picture perhaps. This demonstrates what categories do best as a whole. Depending on what industry your in, It might be surprising that your readers enjoy recipes and videos most if you’re in the lifestyle space, for instance.
“Landing Pages” and “Exit Pages” are also important. Landing pages demonstrate where your visitors enter and is a good way for you and your organization to figure out how you can convert these readers in to sales, leads, or, depending what your goals are, create more engagement. “Exit Pages” show you where you’ve lost them. What can you do on these pages to keep your readers or customers there longer?
Another interesting aspect of Google Analytics is “AdSense”. Hopefully you already use AdSense on your website as it adds additional income when users click on an ads published by Google AdWords. After you’ve connected AdSense to Google Analytics you’ll be able to view what content generated the most income via “AdSense Pages” and do more of that.
Lastly, “Site Terms” (under Behavior, Site Search) will help you narrow down what users are looking for when they come to your site. This is a gold mine waiting to be explored. When you see what they are searching for, you can tailor your content to match those items most searched for.
There are many more aspects to Google Analytics that can help you write killer content: “Goals”, “Custom URLS”, and “Events”. Are very helpful tool that will allow you to measure outcomes. When you dust up on your knowledge, you’ll be creating stellar content in no time, and have the analytics to prove it.