How to Use Google Analytics to Enhance Your Content Marketing
Content marketing is now seen as the most important part of any digital marketing mechanism, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Whatever content marketing strategy you have in place, it is important than you can determine what works for your brand and what doesn’t.
There is no magic formula for creating engaging content that your audience will love and share. Consumer behaviour can be unpredictable, but when you have your target audience in place your content strategy can be moulded around them.
Data analytics can be very useful when you need to measure the results of your content marketing and gain some actionable insights. Google Analytics is a popular tool already used by the majority of marketers, but it can actually really help out content strategists and community managers too.
Here are a few different ways you can use Google Analytics to enhance your content marketing:
By working out which pages are most popular with your visitors, you can determine which of your products or services are of most interest to them. From this you can then focus your content strategy on boosting less popular pages and covering topics of interest in your blog posts.
The best way to find this data is to choose the “All Pages” report under “Site Content” in the “Behaviour” menu:
This screen will show you a range of metrics, but the main ones you need to pay attention to are “pageviews”, “bounce rate” and “average time on page”. All three of these metrics need to be considered when looking for popular topics, as a page with lots of views but a high bounce rate doesn’t necessarily mean it is popular, whereas a page with a low bounce rate and good average time on page has obviously interested the visitor.
Using the site search function in Google Analytics will allow you to discover what type of content users are looking for on your site. To set this up, click on “View Settings” within the Admin panel and make sure that the “Site Search Tracking Slider” is turned on:
Once it is switched on, you need to enter your Query parameter. To work out what this is, you just need to make a search using the search box on your site and work out what the letter, or string of letters, before the equals sign is.
Here you can see our Query parameter is “?s”
The audience widgets on your dashboard will give you some great insights about your audience. The returning visitors pie chart will tell you how many of your visitors are new and how many are returning to your site, and the demographics section will give you an idea of their age range and gender.
Google Analytics will even give you a good indication of what your audience’s interests are:
You can also find out the main locations that your visitors have come from using the “visitor location” widget, so you can then tailor your content by factors such as language use and cultural concepts.
The “day of the week” widget shows you exactly when your audience are engaging with your content, and allows you to publish it or promote it through social media at influential times:
It is important to see how users engage with your content so that you can make sure it is optimised for conversions. The best way to do this is using the Page Analytics Chrome extension, as this will show you exactly which clickable elements your users are interacting with.
By analysing the amount of clicks various elements on your site are receiving, you can work out where different widgets work best and what’s important as part of your blog layout. Focus on elements that are important for conversions, such as your CTAs, to ensure they are more likely to get clicked on.
Social Media Reports
A big part of content marketing is of course social media. Once your content has been published, it is important that it is being seen and shared. Using Google Analytics, you can find out a lot about your content and the social media channels you are promoting it through.
You can access the Data Hub through the “social” tab under “Acquisitions” on the left hand side of Google Analytics. This section will show you not only who is posting links to your website, but also what they said about the links. This hub will really help you identify any brand advocates you can build relationships with.
The Trackbacks section, just a couple down from the Data Hub, will show you any pages that are being shared on social media that contain a link back to your site. This means you can identify potential new offsite content prospects and check that any guest posts you have written are being socially shared. If a site has already linked to you, then get in touch and start building up a relationship with them.
Being data driven is crucial in the marketing industry, and where better to get your data from than Google Analytics? By mentioning data in your content, you will boost the quality and credibility of anything you publish.
There are tons of different ways to use data to supercharge your content including backing up any facts, showcasing success levels and demonstrating changes over time. For more ideas you can read a previous blog post of mine called 6 Ways Data Can Supercharge Your Content Marketing.