If you are like me, you probably will not like the word "analytics".
I don't like anything with statistics or analytics. It sounds technical and hard to understand.
Can I tell you a secret? Will you promise to keep it to yourself? Ok, thanks.
I had low marks in Mathematics while at School.
The numbers were just too much for me to remember. Lol.
Now back to our topic.
I thought I could avoid using analytics because of the fear of analysis. I tried doing that for years. I was just creating contents nobody wants to read. I don't even know my audience. When I got tired, I quit.
Since then, I have been reading topics like SEO, analytics and content marketing. They are strategies you will need to master in order to make notable impacts in content marketing.
So, here, I am going to simplify it for you. I will break it down into simple steps that will fascinate you. Are you ready, let's go!
A lot of marketers measure their content marketing by the amount of traffic they get. That is a tiny part of the analytics, which is not sufficient enough to determine your ROI.
Again, content marketing success is not dependent on the amount of contents you create. It might interest you to know that over 1,400 posts is created every single minute. That is a lot of content!. How many of these posts are actually read? How many of them are successful?. Very little!
A major factor in content marketing success hinges on creating content that your target audience loves. This is the only way you can get them to interact with your post, share it, get subscribers and turn them into paying customers. How will you know which of your content is performing well? The simple answer to this question is by using a web analytics.
It is reported that 41% of marketers confirm that they receive positive ROI in their content marketing strategies. Do you want to belong to this group of people? Then, you need to produce targeted content that will bring a great return on your investment.
In this post, you will learn how to use a free tool, Google analytics, to measure your success in content marketing. Although, there are better tools that can go deeper than Google analytics, such as Kissmetrics. You can still make do with Google analytics for now. It is the best free web analytics on the internet so far. It is very popular, more than 28,365,107 websites are using it.
Setting up your google analytics tool is not as difficult as you think. If you are not currently using it, you can sign up for it using your gmail address. Then, connect your website to your google analytics account. It is pretty easy!
Once you have it connected, check out the following features and use them effectively.
1. Google analytics goal details
Online business owners should have a goal of what they want to achieve on the web. There is no way you can measure your content marketing success without setting business goals in place.
You can set goals to:
- Track visitors who viewed a landing page or a post.
- Visitors who clicked a button, filled a form or download a free e-book on your website
- New subscribers to your blog
- Subscribers who opened your email and clicked through to your website
- Webinar registrations
- Sales made over-time, e.t.c
You don't have to set lots of goals. Infact, Google analytics only permit you to set a maximum of 20 goals. Every goal you set will appear in your reports. If you have too many goals, it will look clumsy. You can start with a few goals to get familiar with the report you want to generate.
Now, let's start.
We will create a goal to track how many people views the "thank you page" for your email newsletters page. You will want to know how people get to this page, where do they start from and what content lead them to it. This will enable you to have a better understanding of the content marketing strategy that works and then leverage more on producing such contents to get more leads.
Below are the steps you need to take to achieve that:
- Log into your Google analytics account
- Click on "Admin"
Then click on "Goals" in the third column (under "All website data)
Click on "new goal" as shown by the red button in the pic below:
On the next page displayed, under the goal description (2), type in the name of your goal, and specify the type.
For this example, we will choose "destination" because we are setting the goal for the email newsletter subscription.
So click on Destination and then "continue".
This is the last page of goal setup. Now, here under the "destination" section, type in the url of the page you want to track. For our example, we will track the "thank you page".
If you want, you can set the value of your goal in monetary term. That way you can see what each visitor that signs up is worth to your business.
You can verify the link you supplied to make sure it is working by clicking on "verify this goal"
When you are done, click on "create goal button"
Click on "savings".
There you are! Goal number one created. Now, go and try to create measurable goals for your business.
2. Average Time on page
Measuring the time spent by your visitors on your website will let you know what kind of content they love to read. The page that receives the highest number of views is also telling you that - visitors love the content.
To check out this data:
Click on "report" at the top of your page
Click on "Behaviour" , then "Site content" and then "All pages"
Click on "average time on page" to sort out the highest time spent on the page, followed by the lower ones.
With this report, you will know which of your posts visitors are spending time reading. Your content is not useful to your readers if most of them leave after 3 seconds.
One of the parameters Google uses to rank websites is known as the dwell time. When a visitor comes from Google and spends 5 minutes on your website and another one comes from a different website and spends 5 seconds, Google calculates it as dwell time. If visitors are spending more time on your website, they assume you have useful content that is beneficial. If, on the other hand, they can't wait to leave, they know something is wrong with your content.
A good example of this is two restaurants located in the same environment. The first one is always filled up, while the second one is always empty. If you look at it closely, you will discover that the quality of service or food on display is different. People love good things and that is why you need to create content that your readers will fall in love with. They will always come back for more.
If your content is able to fulfill your business' goals, then it is termed successful.
Then, you can create similar posts to increase conversion. This will give you a targeted focus that will increase your ROI on your content marketing efforts.
3. Reverse goal path
At the beginning of this guide, I made mention of setting goals for Google analytics for tracking. If you have goals in place like we did at the beginning, you can check the "reverse goal" feature to find the post or content your visitors read before they subscribed or take the action you specified in the goal.
The goal path is the steps your visitors take to reach the goal. It shows three steps that users took before completing the set goal. Here, you will know the type of content that motivated them to subscribe to your email list or take a particular action.
To use this feature, click on "Conversion", then "goals", "reverse goal path". (see it below)
Choose the goal you want to track from the drop down list here
In the pic below, the goal was set for contact form subscription. If you look at no.6, you will discover that the visitor was on about us/contact page, then moved to the blog and then went to "why lunametrics" before they subscribed.
This report will show you that the content is more compelling to visitors and inspires them to act. Therefore, there is a need to create more content on the benefits of lunametrics.
You can put the newly created content in prominent places on your website where visitors can have access to it.
4. Referral traffic
Referral traffic report shows you where your website visitors are coming from. For instance, if a visitor clicks on one of your links on Facebook and they get to your website, it is counted as a referral traffic because Facebook referred the visitor to your website.
To measure your referral traffic, click on "acquisition", "All traffic", then "Referrals"
This report will show you how your content is being distributed and promoted online. Most likely you will have where you are sharing your links e.g. email, content curation websites, social media networks, e.t,c. If your content is useful and beneficial to your audience, they will share it. As they do that, you will see the list of your referral traffic increasing. So, the level of referral traffic you see is the level of your effectiveness in promoting your content.
Once you know the websites that are giving you the most traffic, you can increase your level of participation on those websites. For example, in the image above, best-seo-software.xyz, business2community and getfreesocialtraffic are the three websites bringing in the traffic to the website (although, there is no much content promotion on the website). So, what you can use the report to do is to promote more on the websites bringing in the most traffic.
5. Social referrals.
You can also check the social media platform that is giving you the highest number of traffic. Scroll down in the dashboard to "social", click on "overview" and you will see the chart displayed as shown below:
From the picture above, you can see that Facebook is bringing in more traffic than the rest of the platforms. Like I said earlier, the website used for this analysis is fairly new and there has not been much promotion on it. For this website, there is a need to increase the level of participation on Facebook and Linkedin. They are the one bringing in the most traffic.
This will enable you to focus on the social media that is working for your niche.
6. Page views
Page views show the number of visitors that visits a particular post on a page. This number depicts your readers' interest in the content. This will show you how popular and useful your content is. You can then produce content on topics that have higher hits to get more views.
You can check the page views in different ways:
i. By views
ii. By source
iii. By title.
So move up to the "behaviour" feature, click on "All pages". You will see the post with the highest number of views.
You can create more content on the most viewed posts.
7. Demographic reports
You need to know the demographic of your website users. This will enable you to create a perfect buyer persona for them. You will know what they like and dislike. To get this data -
Go to the "audience" section, then click on "Demographics"
Click on "overview" and you will see the data
This report will show you the number of users who are men or women and their ages, the engagement and conversion rate.
Recently I used this information to run a Facebook ad. When setting up a Facebook ad, there is a place where you will choose the age, gender and interest of your audience, you can use this data effectively to generate good ROI for your advert.
From the overview page, you can change the little drop down from session to:
% New sessions to help you see if you attracting the right demographic audience
Avg. session duration - to know which gender and age stays longer on your website
Bounce rate: to show the gender that can't wait to leave your website
Pages/session to see who is engaging more with your content.
You can see how interesting it is to use Google analytics data to produce better content for your audience. It is time to stop churning out contents and start analysing what you already have. When you do that, you will save a lot of time, money and energy in creating contents that no one wants to read.
If you've been using Google analytics, share your experience below.