You have invested a great number of hours and resources to create detailed and thoughtful content that bolsters your online presence and gets your website more visitors, but there are a few questions that need to be answered:
Who is reading it?
When are they reading it?
How are they reading it?
The answers to these questions determine whether your content is hitting the mark.
With the help of Google Analytics you can determine all this and more. Even better, you can use the information to tweak your content creation and marketing efforts for better ROI.
It’s such a versatile tool that businesses have been using the data gleaned from it in many different ways. For the purposes of content analysis, following are among the most important metrics that you can uncover with Google Analytics.
Who is consuming your content?
This ‘who’ has to be as specific as possible for detailed insights into the effectiveness of the content.
We are assuming that the content creation is backed by proper keyword research and an understanding of the target audience. The content is created around the concepts captured by the keywords and promoted it in the right places.
But is your content finding the right consumers?
If not your target audience, who is consuming it? (It can be instructive to find out who in effect is consuming our content. They may not always be who we had in mind, and that may not always be a bad thing.)
With the help of this information you can further refine your keyword research, study your competitors and create content that is closer to what the target audience wants. Sometimes the problem lies not with the content but the promotion of it. Check if you are indeed investing on the right platforms and are doing so effectively.
Given the nature of the Internet, anyone in the world could be watching your videos or reading your listicles. If your business is local, you will want to be sure that your audience is within your geographical region. Adding local flavor to your content can help with this.
With the help of this metric a business can find out in which areas its content is most eagerly received and whether it is where they would want it to be.
New vs. returning visitors
You want a good mix of new/unique and returning visitors each month. New visitors indicate your content is finding more readers and returning visitors indicate the content is generating loyal readership.
This is a crucial metric because ultimately engagement is the aim of any content. You cannot convert a visitor into a customer unless you engage them first.
With the help of Google Analytics, find out:
- How long are the visitors spending on the site?
- What is the bounce rate?
- Which Web pages are getting the most attention and which ones are repeatedly being passed over?
- What kind of content is generating the greatest engagement, both on the blog as well as on social?
- What content is driving the organic search?
This information can help you understand in detail the preferences of your visitors. When you find out the type of blog posts and videos they enjoy the most, you know that is what you want to offer them in a greater number.
Similarly, the pages that are not attracting visitors, or are only leading to them abandoning the site in a matter of seconds, need to be looked into. Is that because of a broken link? Is that because of poorly-written content? Is that because the headline, which led them to the website in the first place, does not match the content presented?
Site speed plays a role in defining the user experience. Certain sites load faster on certain browsers than others.
Speed test your site for all the major browsers to ascertain the loading time of the pages. It should only be about 2 to 3 seconds at the most, not more than that.
Find out which browsers bring you your greatest traffic and ensure your website is fully optimized for them.
Which social site is generating the most traffic to your website? It could be time to enhance your presence on those networks. Invest greater effort in order to leverage this interest in your presence on those specific networks. Ensure your team engages with the users properly, depending on what you use the networks primarily for, in order to maximize the chances of conversion.
There is no need to hold on to the platforms on which you are not seeing much interaction or activity, unless you have a very specific reason to continue to be there.
Mobile is driving greater and greater traffic to businesses these days, and that is only going to increase in the coming time.
As a small business offering local services you want to ensure your visitors have a smooth experience no matter the device.
Find out where you are getting the most traffic from – desktop or mobile devices and customize your content accordingly.
What this means is that if the majority of the visitors arrive at your site through mobile you might want to invest more in that interface.
Create content that is easy to read on small devices. In conjunction with an overall smooth mobile experience, fast loading pages, jerk-free scrolling, and intuitive and easy-to-navigate layouts, you also want your videos to load fast and not buffer, and your posts appear in small paragraphs with easy-to-read sentences. Links should be easy to click on and archives hassle-free to access.
Put simply, Google Analytics is your friend. To the one who is listening, it’s amazing the extent of useful information it can provide a business with. This one tool alone can tell you whether your content is effective and whether it is reaching the right people (or bringing the right people to your website). But ultimately, one should be able to interpret the data correctly and read the underlying message to gain maximum benefit from it.
For best results, refer to Analytics reports on a monthly basis, track the performance of the above metrics, and be quick to address all the areas where the content/marketing of it has been found lacking (vis a vis the objectives).
How do you use Google Analytics to analyze the performance of your content? Any tips or insights you would want to share with our readers? Please comment and share your experience!