Have you ever wondered how you could use Google Analytics to enhance your content strategy? According to eMarketer, 72% of the most successful marketers in North America measure the ROI of their content marketing. If you are not making decisions based on your content metrics, you could be at a huge disadvantage.
Google Analytics is a valuable tool that allows you to transform data into actionable steps. It allows you to determine how well your content strategy is performing and identify areas that need improvement. An understanding of content marketing analytics can help you make more informed decisions about your strategy. Planning a content strategy based on data rather than intuition can help you learn more about your audience including what they want to hear from you and how to get them to notice your business or product.
Data can answer many questions, including:
Are my current marketing efforts working?
What types of content resonate most with my audience?
What pages are most effective at building traffic?
What pages are most effective at driving conversions?
The data that you can extract from Google Analytics can help you find your most popular content, which posts convert best, which organic search metrics to use to create content marketing templates for your blog, and how to utilize the relationship between content and SEO. Let’s dig deeper into these metrics.
Find your most popular content:
Finding your business’ most popular content can help you identify topics that have engaged your audience the most. It can also help you identify the least popular content and find reasons why it underperformed. The content that you find from this data can be updated to make it even more attractive to your audience. For example, you could add more images, new statistics, videos, or quotes. Content can also be used to help your websites internal linking strategy. You can reference other relevant yet less popular content on the site from these top posts.
To access popular content data, navigate to the Behavior > Site content > All Pages tab (in GA4 this report can be found in Reports > Engagement > Pages and screens). If possible, filter results to show only blog posts (most sites have all blogs in a single directory like /blog or /articles). Google Analytics will show a list of your blog posts sorted by traffic volume so you can determine the most popular content on the site. Additionally, by clicking on the Comparison icon, you can compare each page’s performance with the site’s average.
Find which posts convert best
The purpose of your content is to attract customers to your brand, position your company as an expert, and gain customers’ trust. Analyzing website performance allows you to see which content helps achieve your website objectives. From this knowledge you can test different methods of finding ways to increase conversions on poor performing content. These tests can help you develop a content plan.
To extract this data, you’ll need to set up specific goals in Google Analytics. Some examples of good content marketing goals include visits to certain pages, sign up / conversion, and time on a page. In general, your goals should relate to objectives you want visitors to complete on a page. After Google Analytics has accumulated some data, go to Conversions > Goals (in GA4 this report can be found under Reports > Engagement > Conversions) and check the performance of each page.
Utilize the Relationship Between Content and SEO
Content and SEO go hand in hand. Great, SEO-optimized content can help you rank on relevant terms within the search engine results page (SERP). On-page content is the most effective and efficient way to improve your brand’s SEO strategy. Looking at your website’s top keywords can provide ideas on what to expand on going forward and what topics may reap the most reward. With organic search driving more than half of all website traffic, now is a perfect time to take control of targeted keywords.
To find this information head to Behavior → Site Search → Search Terms to gather information on which keywords people are looking for when they visit your site (in GA4 this is found under Reports > Acquisition > Acquisition Overview). This will guide your strategy both in terms of content creation and your site’s overall structure. Once you have narrowed down your search to include the most relevant search terms, you can improve on existing content to include those terms or start creating new posts and content based on those top trending topics.
You can also use Google Search Console to view keywords that visitors are typing to get to your site from search engines. To get started, log into Google Search Console and then go to “Performance” in the left navigation. Click “+ New” and select “Page” from the drop down. From here you can enter any URL on your website and click “Apply”. If you scroll down to the Queries section, you can see a list of top queries for that URL, including impressions and clicks. Alternatively, you could look at queries for your entire website versus a specific page.
Understand Organic Search Metrics to Create Content Marketing Templates for Your Blog
So far, we have looked at three different ways to gather data on how your content is performing and which topics your customers want to see. But what if you want data on the type of format that is performing well?
If you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you know there are numerous types of blog content: articles, listicles, how-to guides, videos, podcasts, case studies, infographics, and interviews. With so many content types to choose from, you may wonder which ones are right for your audience. The good news is that you don’t need to wonder. By analyzing the performance of the content on your blog now, you can learn which types of content your audience prefers. You can then use this in future blog posts and campaigns.
To find this information in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. You are interested in organic traffic, so click “Organic Search.” At the top of the table click “Landing Page” under primary dimension. You’ll see a table that breaks down organic traffic by landing page. If your website has a URL structure that includes “blog”, you can search for that in the search bar of the table. If not, you’ll need to find the posts manually (while not available as a default report in GA4, this could be found by building a custom report).
When you find the pages that you want, determine which ones have the lowest bounce rate and highest session duration. This will tell you that the traffic that was led to this page enjoyed what they saw. If these pages also have a high number of sessions, it tells you that the search engines liked this content as well. These results can help you create content with formatting your customer wants to interact with and continue to rank highly on search engine results pages.
Investing time in reviewing content analytics is one of the most important aspects of planning your content marketing efforts. Without reviewing metrics, it can be hard to assess the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy and know when it is time to shift plans. Carve time in your schedule to do this periodically – ideally monthly or quarterly - and you will be able to bring insightful and actionable metrics to your future content strategy.
If poking around Google Analytics is daunting, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our strategy and marketing services