Content has become a key piece of most consumer and B2B websites, with companies investing significant dollars in user friendly content to drive SEO performance, and customer engagement. Providing value to customers, and ensuring the investment is worthwhile can be a challenge, but with Google Analytics, you can assess and improve your content plan. Review these key reports regularly to ensure your content is paying for itself.
Content grouping is a relatively underused feature in GA, and can take the place of a lot of tedious reviewing, sorting and filtering of URLs, leaving you more time for analysis.
Create a Grouping for your blog, your whitepapers, your gated infographics - whatever fits your business. Now, within each grouping, create multiple Groups - maybe take 5-8 key topics you usually blog about, and group them - for Search Engine People, this might be "SEO", "PPC", "Analytics", "Content" etc. You can set this up from 'settings' for any view of your data.
You can create rules based on URL parameters, or custom rules. But once set up, you can review the aggregate data for a specific set of content without downloading all your landing pages, sorting them etc. Each content grouping will also be available as a dimension in your GA reports.
Traffic And Conversion
Most GA content related tools are now grouped under the "Behavior" tab. One of the quickest analyses you can do is to compare traffic to conversion and see if there's a disparity. Is your highest traffic group (topic group as set up in GA) also your highest converter? If not, why? Are there clear calls to action? Can someone easily convert if your content convinced them to do so? Or, if a conversion doesn't seem appropriate within that content group, perhaps it's not worth your time to continue writing on that topic.
Alternatively, if you have a piece of content that converts well, but has very little traffic, perhaps you want to consider promoting it through paid channels, like social or display on contextually targeted or managed placements.
Bounce And Exit Rates
Take a look at your content pages or groups and investigate not just the bounce rate, but also the exit rate. Check all your pages, and use GA's "compare" button to look at your bounce rate (gives you visibility on people who were dissatisfied with your content after arriving from an external link) vs. your exit % (the people who arrived from an internal page, but then left your site based on this content).
Are you meeting expectations, or is your content disappointing and causing people to leave the site? If it is, is it truly a problem with the content, or did you describe the content inaccurately, or over-promise?
Devices And Site Performance
Check the performance of your highly trafficked content with the site speed tool, as well. Maybe a technical problem or a slow loading image is causing impatient viewers to leave the page. If you think the content is great, but the bounce rate is high, this could be why.
If your site isn't mobile responsive, you should also check your bounce and exit rates by device type and determine if this is contributing to low performance. Is your site's mobile traffic increasing year over year? If so, content that isn't mobile friendly may be under-performing and bringing down your averages. Check the Audience / Mobile / Overview report to get a pulse on how important mobile users are to your site - it has likely grown exponentially over the last 1-2 years.
Finally, the Behaviour flow report lets you see where visitors started on the site, and where they went next. Does the reality align with the ideal conversion path you had in your mind when you created all that content to nurture them down the path? Probably not. But that's ok. Are they at least finding your high value content? And do they convert after viewing certain types of pages more than others? The visual representation in this report can be useful for you to identify pages worthy of deeper digging and more assessment. You can also hover over many pages for more detail.
Using the Analytics data available to you specifically around content lets you investigate the value of your investment. Finding potential improvements is relatively easy, and just takes the discipline to review the data. Of course implementing changes based on the data...that can be another issue!
One thought on “Google Analytics Insights For Content Creators”
Nice post. Google analytics is useful tool to find which content items are performing the best and search traffic growth. Return visits told us that there was enough content for our users to continue coming.
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