Using Web Analytics To Determine What Is or What Isn't Working....
How Do I Know If My Content Is Working?
Use Your Web Analytics
One really nice benefit of marketing online is the fact that the ROI is very easily trackable. You can utilize FREE programs like Google Analytics or utilize more sophisticated programs that are all inclusive, like Hubspot, that focus only on THE RIGHT Analytics. The old adage is the same here, "you get what you pay for". Here are some of the specific ways that you can tell if your content is effective or not.
1. Blog Analytics
If I have convinced you that you should blogging and assuming that you are now blogging, you can can analyze some simple signals to see if you are resonating with your targeted audience.
Number of Links To Your Articles
The number of links is will tell you 2 things; Your article is good enough to be considered by someone else as great content and that your article is good stuff.
Links will quickly build up the authority of your website and if you are getting links to your articles, you know that you are headed in the right direction.
Comments can be a guage, but in reality most people don't comment on blog articles. If you are getting lots of comments though, it is a good sign that you are creating content that your audience loves.
The number of views is a good down and dirty look at popularity of your articles. I often look at this 24 hours after I write an article to see how it compares to others that I have written.
I know that if I have 20-25 views in the first 24 hours, I have likely created a great article. If this is a trend you see (everyone's will be different), then you utilize that information to create more articles along the same lines.
Reach is the overall measurement of the size of your network. If you just have a website, don't participate in social media and don't blog, then your reach is likely 0.
Reach is the aggregate measurement of your online following. Reach looks at the number of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter followers as well as blog subscribers and leads you have generated from your site.
By monitoring your reach by the month and by the year, you can begin to see the progress and effectiveness of your content generation. A steady increase over time is the best strategy for increasing your reach.
3. Monitor Your Competitors
Look at what your competitors are doing. By monitoring your competitors sites, you can get an idea of how they are doing marketing themselves online. Ask the following questions:
Are they steadily increasing indexed pages?
What is the grade of their website? Is is staying steady?
What keywords are they using?
Where are their inbound links coming from?
By monitoring your competition, you can get a good idea what they are up to. You can also use the information to spot where they are not doing anything which equals an opportunity for you.
4. Sources of Traffic
Sources breaks down where your web traffic is coming from. The most important metric here is the organic traffic coming to your site. Depending on the type of content you are creating, the other types of sources may play into your strategy.
Organic traffic means that someone types a term into a search engine, your business comes up in the results (hopefully first page...), they choose your result which brings them to your website. You have to rank for the keyword phrases to come up in the results which is the purpose of creating content around keyword phrases that make sense for your business.
If your content is resonating and effective, you should see a steady increase in organic traffic over time. By analyzing the traffic, you should be able to determine what keyword phrases are bringing visitors to your site, how many visits are a direct result of that keyword phrase and where the leads are coming from.
Referrals are websites that gave their visitors an option and the visitor clicked on the link to your website. This can be considered a link. This measurement is very important if you are working with a joint venture partner and want to see how much traffic you joint venture partner is sending your way.
This is the number of times that your domain url was typed directly into the web. You could use this as a measurement of the effectiveness of a call center campaign or even a direct mail campaign. If you see a spike in the number of direct visits around the time of a campaign, you can measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
This measurement should tell you what social media source is driving the most amount of visits. You would use this information to determine which social media platform you should be spending the most time on.
You can also do this early on by testing different strategies within each method of social media and see the direct results from that effort.
What is the most popular page on your website? At times this may surprise you, but looking at the number of page visits should be an indication of where you should be focusing your content efforts.
With this information, you could look at building more content around long tailed keywords related to the most popular pages on your site.
Look For The Trends
You may not be an analytics expert, but you don't need to be one either. Simply by reviewing the data I talk about above, over time you will see some trends. Building on your trends will help to direct your content strategy and you will be able to utilize this data to more specifically address customers and problems.
Want To Learn More About Analyzing Your Content?
Confused with all the data? Not sure what to look at? I wasn't sure at first either. But after watching for a few months after I started, I was able to see some trends and begin building on those. As I continued to build, my traffic gradually began to grow. This is only one of the factors you need to consider with a content strategy.
I have taken what I have learned in analyzing my own analytics and show you how it all ties together in this FREE E-book.