Why Use Google Analytics To Help With Your Content Marketing

Content Marketing Blog 20th Aug 2014

Hi there. Today we’re going to be looking at using Google Analytics to help
improve your own content marketing efforts. But before we get into that, a
quick question. When it comes to your own content marketing efforts, how
are you reporting on it? Are you using a variety of platforms and software?
If you are, think about the following questions. How much is it costing
you? Are you getting the right source of metrics? And how long is it taking
you to compile that data and that information?

Because the good news is that Google Analytics is free. You can get a lot
of data, and it’s very quick and easy to use and set up. And that’s what
we’re going to look at today. We’re going to look at a top-level overview
of the different things that you can look at.

Now here at Koozai we split that into metrics and KPIs, and insight and
data. Now the way that we get our metrics and KPIs is that we set up custom
reports, and the way that we get our insight data is we set up custom
dashboards. For more information on any of that, please get in touch and we
can speak to you and consult with you on how to set those up.

But today let’s start with just that top level overview of the types of
things that you can look at. So the best place to start in terms of your
own content marketing efforts and reporting on it is referring site data
and referral traffic to content. Now there’s a fundamental difference
between the two.

The top one referring site data really refers to any content that you’ve
produced that’s actually offsite, offsite of the site that you’re looking
to promote and optimise. So let’s say that could be a guest contribution.
It could be a press release that you’ve pushed out. It could be any kind of
PR outreach. And what you effectively want to do is you want to see the
amount of traffic that’s driving from those pieces of content towards your
site. Referring site data does that.

In addition, referral traffic to content actually looks at the pieces of
content you’ve created on site and where and which the traffic from various
others sites is directed towards that content. So you’re looking for links
and traffic.

In addition to those two metrics, we have visits and goals. This is one of
the key fundamental goals that you want to be looking at when it comes to
your own content marketing efforts. Basically, visits it stands to reason
is basically how many visits you get to your particular piece of content.
But by setting up goals you’re actually able to look at how that piece of
content has contributed towards an action. Now those actions could be
something like setting up or downloading a white paper, email signups. It
could be a contact us form submission, that type of thing.

The beauty of this is this can all be set up within Google Analytics. So at
the start of the campaign just make sure that you’ve got a good overview of
the types of things and the goals that you want to be achieving through the
content that you’re creating.

Now likewise, if you’ve got an e-commerce site, you can set up e-commerce
tracking to help deliver and help understand more information on what your
content is doing and how it’s achieving those goals, those e-commerce goals
that you’ve set up. You’re able to actually create and give a monetary
value to the pieces of content that you’ve created. You can actually do
that with goals themselves. You can establish a monetary value to let’s say
what a contact us form submission would cost. However, it’s only as
accurate as the data that you’re willing to put into it. It’s only as
accurate as let’s say a contact us form submission you’ve put a value of
say five pounds towards that. It’s as accurate as that.

Whereas e-commerce tracking and e-commerce goals actually give you the full
monetary value of any transaction placed on that site through your content.
That is really effective and very, very good for you to be able to report
on when it comes to reporting internally or to your clients.

Page flow is effectively treating your piece of content as the first
landing page, and what it then tells you is where the user goes on
afterwards, after they’ve hit that page and they’ve landed on that piece of
content. The reverse of that is the reverse goal path. So what this does is
it actually shows you what the end goal was, and actually looks at where
your piece of content has contributed within that user journey.

So all this information, which is free and available within Google
Analytics, helps to give you fantastic reporting methods when it comes to
showcasing this either internally or towards your clients.

In addition to this and these custom reports that we’ve set up, we have
customised dashboards. These dashboards tell us a rich amount of data and
insight, and it helps us to tweak and develop our content marketing pieces
and strategy so that we’re able to enhance them and really help optimise
and attain these key performance metrics.

So the way in which we do this is we report on some of the following.
Social stats. This basically tells us how popular each piece of content is,
and not only that, it tells us which sites that it’s most popular on, so
which social platform it’s most popular on.

From this data, we are able to decipher and establish the ways in which we
want to create content moving forward. So it might be that a particular
piece actually works really well on Twitter, whereas another piece might
just work well on Google+. And again, it gives us that insight and that
deeper level of understanding of what we’re doing and how we can help
promote and push our content to achieve these metrics.

Time on page is another fantastic insight. So with this data what we can
see is if we’ve written and created a really long piece of content, that it
would take any normal human being 5 to 10 minutes to read, if we noticed
that the time on page is only a very short time, so let’s say something
like 30 seconds, we know that we need to go back into that content to tweak
it to keep people actively engaged with that piece of content.

Bounce rate and exit rate, Quite similar, but do have a key fundamental
difference. The bounce rate treats your piece of content as the first
landing page. Now we find that with blog content and so on and so forth the
bounce rates are generally quite high. But what we can do is, if a piece of
content actually has a very high bounce rate, but we actually want the
intended purpose of that piece for users to actually read and travel
further within the site, deeper within the site either to a product page or
a service page. Again, we can see the bounce rate. If it’s high, we can go
back into the content and see what we’re doing wrong. Are there enough call
to actions? Are there enough links to those products and those services or
other pieces of content?

Now exit rate treats your piece of content as the last page within a user
journey. Very much in the same way that we would look at bounce rate to
tweak our content, again we would look looking at exit rate to tweak our
content. If we’re not satisfied that the last piece of content that people
see is the content that we’ve created and we actually want people to move
on further within the user journey, again we will look at the piece and
establish whether there are enough call to actions and links to other
pieces of content.

Then finally, we have some really cool key demographic and fantastic
resourceful information on location, demographics, and device. Now what
this basically tells us is, it stands to reason, location, demographics, and
device, but let me give you some examples. So if we have a client that
we’re working on or you guys are working on a business that’s operating
within, let’s say, the Birmingham area, but you actually find that there’s a
huge demand and less traffic towards your content from, let’s say, the London
area, what this enables you to do is actually give you an idea of how to
kind of diversify and actually create content specific to other areas.

And likewise demographics, you might have a nice clear idea of who your
target audience is. Right at the start of the strategy phase you might have
done your buyer personas and your target audience research. But what
demographics actually does is it tells you things like age. It tells you
gender. It tells you interests, and you might unearth a complete new target
audience that are actually interested in your content.

Then finally device. Not only does this tell you things like whether they
are using a tablet or a desktop or a laptop or a smartphone, it actually
drills down and tells you the make and model of a particular smartphone or
tablet. That’s quite detailed information. But in any case, just to know
that more people are actually accessing your data or your content through
smartphones and tablets, it might make you want to think about how you
actually create that content and how well that content is visible on those

So that just gives you a top level overview, as I mentioned before, the
insights that we get and how we can report on metrics and KPIs.

If there’s anything you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in
touch or leave a comment below. And that leaves me just to say thank you
very much for watching. For more information, please visit our social
profiles coming up now.

What do you think?

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