Google Analytics is perhaps one of the most important tools for developing website content. Far too many bloggers and business owners install Google Analytics on their website, but many of these same people don’t get the full use of this valuable tool.
We wanted to take a closer look at Google Analytics and see how this information can prove useful for people who want to create better content for their website. It all starts with understanding your expectations and what metrics you should track to produce the best content for your audience.
Look at stats based on your goals
Anyone who has ever opened Analytics for the first time was likely overwhelmed. There are full pages of data and charts, and all of it seems daunting at first glance. However, once you think about the type of content you want to create – and the endgame of your content marketing –strategy you can develop high-quality blog posts your readers will love.
The two goals that business owners and bloggers look for when creating content is obtaining more visitors on the site and getting more engagement on their content. Both of these goals are important, but you should understand the stats associated with each goal so you can change your marketing strategy as needed.
If you're in the camp that wants to get more traffic, you're going to want to look at how many new visitors are coming to your site, the percentage of people that fall into this category, and your overall impressions. These three Google Analytics numbers will help you determine where you stand now, where you stood one month, three months, or a year ago, and will help you determine the best course of action for growing your audience.
On the other hand, you may want to keep the readers on your blog for longer and encourage them to engage with your posts. In this case, you're going to want to look at things like the overall time users spend on your site, bounce rates, session time and the number of users on your site.
Learn from your published popular content
Another great way to write better content for your website using Google Analytics is to look at your individual page information. Pick out your most popular pieces of content and try to figure out the common thread that made them hits.
In most cases, you'll find that they have a similar topic, the same "voice" (if you have multiple writers, or it fits a certain content category (think short, fact-based articles versus long, detailed pieces). It's also worth checking to see if these pages share similar SEO keywords. You'll be able to determine if your content is driving the traffic based on the words or phrases used, which can be valuable for websites that cover broad niches with many keywords.
Google Analytics has a handy comparison feature that lets you look at the stats from two pages at the same time over the time period of your choice. This allows you to analyze multiple pages and keep notes. When you've finished analyzing your popular pieces, make a final list of common threads.
Evolve with your audience
Let's face it, at the end of the day the content we publish is designed for our audience. You have to learn what your audience likes, and gear your marketing and content efforts in that direction. If you're looking at your Analytics and notice that most topics on your website have dwindling viewers while one topic is generating a majority of your traffic, you may have to make a subtle change in direction as it relates to the content you’re publishing.
As you create more content, you'll learn what customers want by checking your analytics. You can fine-tune your content marketing strategy around your readers for more conversion, more traffic and higher quality leads.
There's no doubt that Google Analytics is an essential tool for business owners and bloggers alike. The sooner you get to know this deep system, the better. Take some time to look through your analytics data. Understand what each section means and how each statistic can play a valuable role in creating excellent content for your audience.