How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Content Marketing 101

Looking to Google Analytics for reporting and metrics is a cornerstone of any content marketing strategy. While most marketers rely on this solution, Google Analytics is not known for being particularly user friendly. However, it is a free tool and one that you can learn how to leverage. In this post, we’re sharing how to use Google Analytics to improve content marketing return on investment (ROI).

Why Is Google Analytics Vital for Content Marketing?

Data provides you a guide to better decision-making as a content marketer. Google has already amassed a large amount of data about your brand’s online presence, and you can use Google Analytics to transform that data into action.Google Analytics can improve content marketing by helping you answer these questions:

  • Is your current content effective?
  • Are there any quick wins you’re missing?
  • What content are users exiting from quickly, and how can you fix it?
  • What do your trends look like?Are you getting better at content marketing or worse?What types of content generate the most traffic?What channels have the best referral rate to content?
  • To leverage Google Analytics so it can improve your content, it must be part of your content strategy. Your content strategy should define how you’ll use content to grow and scale your business. Here’s how to integrate the tool into your content strategy.
  • Develop a hypothesis about your content’s performance
  • Define a question to support the hypothesis
  • Create a report to answer it with data
  • Take action post analysis
  • Measure your results

This is a very methodical approach to using Google Analytics, but it also gives you the freedom to test new content. When you do, you’ll be able to measure its performance to know if it resonated with your audience. If it didn’t, then you can move on to a new campaign. This is especially helpful in oversaturated markets where an enormous amount of content already exists.

Let’s look at some ways to use Google Analytics to improve your content efforts.

Always Use Goals

Setting up goals in Google Analytics is relatively easy but often overlooked. You can set up four types of goals:

  • Destination: a specific location (i.e. landing page thank you screen)
  • Duration: sessions on a page that last a specific amount of time (i.e. someone spending over five minutes on your demo page)
  • Pages per session: users view a particular number of pages in a session (i.e. five pages have loaded)
  • Event: an action defined as an event occurs (i.e. video play, ad click)

Goals provide you with insights on how users are responding to content and how they move through your funnel.

Use On-Site Search Queries

Your website is always growing with new content. When you have a massive library of content, users may not be able to find what they need quickly. Providing a search feature on your website can help. Plus, it provides you more insights. Google Analytics has an on-site search terms report.

The report identifies keywords searched for, which can provide great insights. This knowledge enables you to generate more content on popular terms and spot any content gaps. If you see that a blog that has high engagement from internal search, you can use it in a campaign, add internal links on lower-performing pages to high-value pages, or turn those pages that are popular into featured posts.

Understand Your Audience and Personalize Content

Personalized content has become a top priority in content marketing. As you develop your understanding of your audience’s needs, motivations, preferences, and challenges, the more relevant your content becomes. Tap into Demographics and Interests reports to learn more about who your audience is.

Beyond just knowing gender and ages, you can look into the interests of each group. From this data, you’ll be able to find high-value users. From there, you’ll be able to segment and target better based on who your audience is.

Prioritize Searcher Intent

When a user begins to search on Google, he or she has an intention and an objective in mind. The intent could be transactional (looking to purchase), informational (seeking answers), or navigational (going directly to a site). You can understand searcher intent better by investigating your Acquisitions tab in Google Analytics.

Focus on organic traffic and see the breakdown by keyword. Additionally, information like volume, bounce rates, and average pages per session is shown. Understanding where searcher intent falls for each keyword can inform your next content marketing project. Maybe you have lots of navigational traffic but little informational. Try blogging more consistently around high-volume keywords to boost your informational acquisitions.

Google Analytics can be complicated, but it delivers a wealth of knowledge for content marketers. Use these tips to ensure you are leveraging the solution to its fullest potential.

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