Content marketing is one of the most critical pillars of your marketing efforts. You want to connect with your customers, providing them with valuable content that will help solve their pain points and help establish your business as an expert in your field. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your content marketing efforts are working for you. By using these methods, you can more effectively assess the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Google Analytics provides you with an excellent study of how your content marketing methods are working for your business.
Strategy #1: Ask the Right Questions
What is your content marketing accomplishing? To fully understand what your content marketing can achieve for you, it’s important to understand several key things. Start by defining what you would like to accomplish through your content marketing. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Bring more customers to your site? Raise sales of a specific product? Once you’ve clearly defined your content marketing goals, you can use Google Analytics to more effectively determine whether or not your content is meeting your goals. Not only that, you can set your goals in Google Analytics to more effectively understand how your content marketing is helping you reach those goals. As you watch progress toward your goals, you will be able to understand better how your content marketing is working for you.
Strategy #2: Define Value
The best content marketing strategies don’t just involve the creation of random content. Instead, you’re attempting to determine which types of content are most beneficial to your readers. This might mean, for example, deciding which titles get the most page views or which pieces of content acquire the most referrals. How do you define the value for your readers? This might be the content that customers come back to repeatedly to understand it better, or it might be the content that they’re most likely to send to other potential customers to help answer their questions. If you want your content to work for you, it’s important to know how to define value clearly. What do you want your content to accomplish? Should it:
- Answer critical questions for your customers
- Provide customers with the information they need to move through the buyer’s journey
- Answer pain points that are related to your industry
To be valuable, content doesn’t necessarily have to generate sales immediately. Relevant content can also raise trust in your brand, show your expertise in your field, or help to define your brand image. Make sure that you clearly explain what you want your content to accomplish so that you can check out the right metrics and use the proper testing mechanisms to determine its effectiveness. Sometimes, page views are more important than conversions. Other times, you might track the effectiveness of your content by identifying how many customers are willing to sign up for your email list or provide additional information. Without that understanding, you may find that you’re tracking the wrong metrics, which can, in turn, decrease the perceived effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.
Strategy #3: See Where Visitors Originate
Where do visitors find out about the content provided on your page? Are they coming to you via social media, through Google search results, or through another method? Your content marketing efforts aren’t just about the actual piece of content that you’ve created. It’s also about how you market that content. Are you highlighting it through your social media platforms? Working to raise your SEO so that it will be more likely to appear in search results? Google Analytics will show where visitors originate when they come to visit your site. This can tell you both where you are flourishing–for example, if you have high numbers of visits from social media sites–or where you need to put in more effort–for example, if you have poor search ranking for several critical pages that should have high page views. Learning where visitors originate can also help you track referrals, which will allow you to see what content you’re creating that visitors genuinely want to look at and will share with others.
Strategy #4: Examine Your Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is not the most effective tool in your arsenal, but it can tell you a great deal about the effectiveness of your content. When customers visit your website, how long do they stay? Do they remain on the site and visit other pages, or do they visit only the specific page and leave again? It can also be helpful to know if particular pages are most likely to send your customers away from your website. Content that doesn’t inspire customers to read more isn’t doing your site any favors–and it may be decreasing your reputation and leading to a reduced appreciation for your business.
Bounce rate, or the time a user spends on your page before they close the page to visit another website, is separate from time spent on page, which is another valuable analytics tool. When you use Google Analytics to define the time users have spent on your page, you’re able to see whether they have spent enough time on the page to examine your content or if they’re taking a brief glance before deciding to move on. Page visits are meaningless when your visitors don’t spend actual time on the page–and in some cases, this can seriously harm your search engine ranking, since Google penalizes sites that have low amounts of time spent on the page.
Developing a solid content marketing strategy is an ongoing process. It doesn’t start with merely creating the content; instead, you must be aware of how your content is working for you and its overall effectiveness. By carefully evaluating how your content is performing, you may be able to better shape your future content marketing efforts for a higher return on your investment. Do you need more help with your content marketing strategy? If so, contact us today to learn more about how we can enhance your content marketing and ensure better overall performance.