Using Google Analytics to Improve Your Content Marketing

How Google Analytics Can Improve Your Content Marketing

Leverage Google’s Free Content Analytics And Make An Impact

Hundreds of millions of Internet users take new photos, create videos, and write blog posts on a daily basis. With so much content available online, it’s become even more important for marketers to use a more personalized approach to reach the right audiences. That’s why marketers take advantage of content analytics tools like Google Analytics.

Sharing relevant and valuable content at the right time of the day enables you to engage with the right audiences regularly. If done correctly, this strategy can drive consistent, quality traffic to your site. In the long run, it should improve brand visibility and increase consumers’ trust in your brand.

The Importance of Google Analytics in Content Marketing

Google Analytics is an invaluable tool that transforms big data into actionable steps. Plus, it’s available for marketers worldwide at no cost. It’s not exactly the easiest tool to navigate as it comes with a bunch of reporting options that can surely overwhelm any novice. But that shouldn’t stop you from using it to improve your online campaigns.

Analytics collects huge amounts of data about your brand and your audience. It enables you to determine how well your strategy is performing and identify the areas that need to be improved.

By learning how to interpret the data captured in Google Analytics, you can create data-informed decisions and improve marketing strategies across the board.

Not to mention, Google Analytics provides answers to some fundamental questions about your marketing efforts.

  • Is my current content marketing strategy effective?
  • Are my efforts producing positive returns for my business?
  • What areas are generating the highest returns for my business?
  • What current keywords or conversation trends can inform my existing strategy?
  • What type of content is the most effective at driving traffic and converting customers?
  • Are my content marketing endeavors improving?

Take note that the more data you gather, the more likely you are to get actionable insights that can significantly improve your content marketing strategy.

Using the Scientific Method

The scientific method has been around for millennia, and ever since, we’ve been using it to make sense of the world around us. Today, you can even use it to gain a better understanding of your brand and its place in the digital era. You can use the process to create better content that will surely engage audiences.

Below you will find a summary of each step and how it applies to your content marketing efforts.

Formulate a hypothesis

Google’s content analytics tool lets you come up with a hypothesis about the effectiveness of your content. Let’s say your audience likes watching branded videos. You produce a particular video that you think they will like. And you believe the telltale sign of your content’s success is an increased number of social media shares.

Ask a question

Now that you’ve got a hypothesis, you must formulate a question to support it. For example, you can ask yourself:

  • Why is the video going to be well-received by your prospects?
  • Why is releasing the video appropriate for this particular moment?

Answer the questions with data

Once you’ve published the video online, you can start to monitor real data to answer your question(s). You can keep track of your data to see how well your video performed on all your channels. You can identify the channels where your video performed well and where it didn’t.

Take action

You can use the valuable insights you’ve gained from your analysis to determine the next course of action. Let’s say your video didn’t receive the kind of attention you’d hoped for. Based on your analysis, you learned that it was a little too long for your audience’s liking. You can make your next video shorter.

Measure results

Measure your results to understand if your marketing efforts are improving and to determine if they’re generating a return on investment.

Establishing Your Goals

As previously mentioned, Google Analytics provides several tools for measuring your content marketing effectiveness. You don’t always have to use everything they offer, and that’s where it can get overwhelming. So, how do you choose the best tools for your existing strategies?

For starters, you can establish your goals.

A goal measures how well your strategy can fulfill your objectives. It represents a fulfilled action or a conversion. It can be the number of web pages you want your visitors to view in one session or the amount of time they spend on your site. Once visitors perform an action that classifies as a goal, Analytics counts that as a conversion.

You can choose among four different types of content engagement goals in Google Analytics:

  • Destination: You can use this to track specific URLs. Whenever someone visits that URL, they fulfill a goal. You can apply this to thank you and confirmation pages.
  • Duration: If you want to monitor how many visitors stay on your website for a particular amount of time, you can use this goal. You can even use it to track visits that don’t reach a certain duration.
  • Pages/Visit: This is pretty similar to a duration goal. But instead of tracking the amount of time people spend on your website, it keeps track of the number of pages that prospects view in one session.
  • Event: An event goal is more complicated than the other three, but it’s more comprehensive. It enables you to monitor anything you want with Analytics events, including downloads, widget usage, external links, and time spent watching videos.

Note that each of your goals can come with a monetary value, so you can determine how much a conversion is worth.

Setting Up Site Search

This content analytics tool lets you determine the extent to which visitors used your site’s search function. It helps you identify the keywords they used to look for content on your website. In addition, it tells you how effective the results were in engaging audiences.

You can compare the keywords they used with the ones you used. It should help you determine what type of content you need to create to drive traffic and increase engagement.

Here’s how you can view on-site searches:

  1. Log into your Analytics account.
  2. Find the Behavior reports section on the left-hand sidebar.
  3. Click Site Search.
  4. Select Search Terms.

You should be able to review all unique search queries and their exit-rate percentage from your dashboard. Having a high exit rate could suggest that clients aren’t satisfied with the results that pop up for that search term. If so, you may opt to create new content to meet their needs.

google analytics site search report

Google Site Search report – It shows the keywords that users used on the websites built-in search function.

Making Your Platform Mobile-Friendly

Consumers are spending more time on their mobile devices now more than ever. This year alone, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated from mobile phones.

That’s why you should ensure that your site is mobile-friendly.

Here’s how you can check your site’s performance on mobile devices:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account.
  2. Proceed to the Audience report section found on the left-hand sidebar of Analytics.
  3. Select the Mobile tab.
  4. Click on Overview.

google analytics device breakdown

Mobile Overview – showing all the details of desktop, mobile and tablet users.

Aside from monitoring your website’s performance on mobile devices, your report should reveal conversion rates as well as your total number of goal completions for particular periods of time

Note that Google has implemented a mobile-first indexing approach. That could affect your strategy especially if you haven’t optimized your platform for mobile. If your site’s desktop version outperforms its mobile version, your platform isn’t mobile-friendly.

Check out your reports and figure out if you’ve got to fix a mobile-wide issue or a problem with one particular operating system.

Improving Site Speed

In the digital era, consumers are more informed, and thus more empowered to make demands. And marketers who can deliver what their audiences want will reap the benefits.

Speed is one of the factors that consumers expect from businesses. When consumers feel like brands can’t deliver that, they will abandon the site in a heartbeat.

Here are two good reasons why you should think about improving your site’s speed:

1. Speed affects revenue

Google says that more than half of the world’s total web traffic comes from mobile devices. However, mobile conversion rates aren’t as high as desktop conversions. That’s because consumers prefer platforms that can display their content under three seconds, but most brands go beyond the nine-second mark.

2. Page speed is now a ranking factor

Today, a slow website not only kills your potential to generate more revenue but also lowers your chances of ranking high on a search engine results page. Since July, Google has been using page speed as a ranking factor in mobile search results.

Each page on your website will come with its own unique page speed. To figure out which pages need improvement, you need to monitor their performance using content marketing analytics.

Here’s how you can use Google Analytics to improve page speed:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Go to Site Speed menu.
  3. Select Page Timings.
  4. Review all of the pages that are grouped according to page load time.
  5. Check individual pages within each category.

content analytics page load report

Callout #1 – Showing the Average Page Speed for the whole website.

Callout #2 – Showing the Average Page Speed for each page.

This way, you can find and work on the pages that need the most attention. Aside from that, you may use a couple other tricks to gain actionable insights.

  1. Select the Speed Suggestions report under Site Speed to get valuable suggestions.
  2. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights, a free content marketing tool designed for optimizing page speeds.

Getting to Know Your Target Audience

Knowing who your audience is and what they expect from you enables you to tailor your content to their preferences. It should improve audience engagement and increase revenue.

Here’s how you can use Google Analytics to understand your audience:

  • Affinity reports: Using this particular tool, you can monitor all your affinity groups. You can figure out which groups have high traffic and conversion rates on your platform.
  • Audience reports: This provides relevant insights into the characteristics of your target audience, including language, location, interests, and technology. You can use the data you gathered to create buyer personas.

google analytics country breakdown

Audience Reports – If you can understand where your primary audience is located, you can tailor your content marketing efforts towards that demographic.

Google’s Free Content Marketing Analytics Gets The Job Done

There’s no doubt about it—content marketing is important in this day and age. A lot of businesses and marketers are doing it, but not everyone is very successful at it. But with the help of content marketing analytics, you can gain insights and data that should guide your strategies as a marketer.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can be quite overwhelming for beginners. But it’s worth all the trouble. You can sign up for free and gain access to vast amounts of data about your website, which you can then turn into actionable insights that can move your business forward. Best of all, you can keep track of all your content marketing endeavors for free.