There’s a lot of reasons why content marketing is becoming such a popular tactic to connect with audiences. For one, content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders.
But how do you know your content campaigns are paying off? Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful tool, and it’s not just for SEO. Here are six GA data points you can use to drive content campaign success.
One of the first data points you can use to develop an effective campaign is demographics. GA can help you learn more about the people who already actively use your site.
To access this data, go to Audiences > Demographics > Overview. Then you can explore information about your current audience, including age distribution, gender distribution and interest categories.
Demographic information can help you develop the buyer personas you want to target with your content campaigns. It can also help you figure out if you’re targeting the wrong audience with your current efforts.
2. Blog post engagement
Not all content is created equally. It’s important for your content campaigns to know which content is the most popular, so you can create more like it.
In GA, you can do this by going to Behavior > Site content > All pages. You’ll then be taken to an unfiltered report of your site pages based on pageviews. Click the “comparison” button in the right-hand corner of the report.
You’ll see a data visualization showing each page’s traffic compared to the site average. This makes it easy to see which content is carrying the most weight. You can create the same report using other engagement metrics as well, including time on page, entrances, bounce rate, % exit and Page Value.
You might find that a few pieces of cornerstone content are responsible for the bulk of your traffic — in that case, I would recommend thinking of ways to incorporate them into more campaigns. Or it could be that certain topics draw the most engagement. If so, you can create more content about those topics to improve your strategy.
3. Traffic channels
A successful content marketing campaign draws in traffic from a variety of sources. Take a look at your traffic channels in GA, and you can see which ones are the most effective for your strategy. Do this by going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.
You’ll see acquisition, behavior, and conversion data for your default channel groupings. Click on one to get more specific data, such as which social channels are bringing in traffic.
4. Performance by platform
User experience (UX) matters a lot for content marketing success. In fact, mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a task if the site isn’t optimized for mobile. In GA, you can get a feel for possible UX issues you might have with your site and content by comparing your performance by platform.
Do this by going to Audience > Mobile > Overview. There you’ll see the Mobile Overview report, which shows you how much of your traffic is coming from mobile, desktop and tablet. But the real insights kick in when you click over to the Comparison View. You can see your audience’s behavior on each platform compared to the site average.
5. Content groups
I mentioned how to analyze content engagement above, but if your blog has a lot of content, it can be difficult to know what types of content have the biggest impact over all. But if you create content groups, you can easily assess performance based on content categories, tags or any other rules you set to analyze content.
To create these rules, go to Admin, then under View, click “Content Grouping.” You can start creating content groups using a tracking code, extraction or rule definition. Once you create a content group, it will appear in your reports.
If you want, you can even create a content group for a specific campaign to analyze that content’s performance in isolation.
6. Conversion goals
Drawing traffic and getting engagement are important goals for content campaigns, but at the end of the day, you’re still trying to encourage site visitors to take action. This could be:
- Filling out a contact form
- Downloading gated content
- Subscribing to your blog
- Making a purchase
- Something else entirely
You can see how well your content campaigns drive any one of these behaviors by setting up Conversion Goals. Do this by going to Conversions > Overview > Goals. Then click “Set up goals.” Create goals that reflect the desired behavior, such as viewing the “Thank you” page after making a purchase.
Once you’ve set up some goals, you can use the Goal Flow report to visualize the journey people take through your site to complete the goal. With it, you can see problem areas on your site where people tend to drop out of the sales funnel (abandon the goal). You can also see which content played a powerful role in helping them convert.
Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with IBM, Ford, LG, Unilever and many more of the world’s largest and most recognized brands, to grow their revenue. See more from Agius at …