Content Marketing
The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics for Content Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics for Content Marketing

November 24, 2020
4 min read

Content marketers shouldn’t fear Google Analytics. It’s true it provides a lot of data, which can be overwhelming.

But it has some amazing nuggets of wisdom for content teams to leverage.

To help you navigate Google Analytics for content marketing, we’ve put together this handy guide you’ll want to bookmark.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Content marketers should embrace data to improve the performance of content.
  • Focusing on four key areas—traffic, navigation, organic search, and conversions—is imperative to find meaningful insights.
  • Being actionable with what you learn is key to leveraging the true potential of Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a critical platform for every aspect of digital marketing. With so many data streams and ways to analyze, it can be intimidating just to dive in; however, there are four main areas to focus on for content marketing insights.

Traffic Metrics

A central objective of content marketing is to generate more traffic to your website. Your website is your most important digital asset and a medium that you own entirely. So, looking at traffic analytics is critical to carrying out a successful content marketing strategy.

How to Find the Report

To isolate traffic data, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Once there, set the time period to view. The last 30 days, the previous six months, or by quarter are options.

Why Traffic Analytics Matter

The Google Analytics traffic report shows you the pages with the most views. Additionally, you’ll see time on site and bounce rate. This data set matters because it delivers data-driven insights about what type of content performs well and how long you can expect users to stay on your site. Further, the bounce rate can determine how quickly viewers are leaving your site.

Image: MIG

What Can You Do with This Data?

Are the pages driving the most traffic effective? You must play detective to understand this. Look at those pages and ask questions about messaging and optimization. If you can improve or update them, do so.

Look at time on page and the bounce rate to determine if the content was relevant to the reader. If time on page is increasing and bounce rates are decreasing, you can make this assumption. This might lead you to add more related topics to your content calendar.

Navigation Metrics

The navigation summary provides an overview of page views over time. You can see dips and spikes.

How to Find the Report

While in the traffic report, click on any page, then select the option for Navigation Summary.

Why Navigation Analytics Matter

This data delivers more insights into user behavior. You’ll learn how people are navigating to that page from within your website and see where people are clicking. To get the granular click data, you’ll need to add the Google Page Analytics extension for Chrome. This data can inform your buyer’s journey.

This video courtesy of the amazing Andy Crestodina.

What Can You Do with This Data?

It helps put all the clues together on how users land on a page. Understanding this process can offer more context. You can also look at where they went next. This next step could indicate they still have questions and need more information. It may also offer insight into if your call to actions (CTAs) perform well and if the content led to a conversion.

Organic Search Metrics

A chief pillar of content marketing is to be the best answer to your audience’s question on Google. To measure this goal, you have to determine if your content is performing well organically.

How to Find the Report

Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. At this point, you’ll see all the channels driving traffic to your website. Then, select Organic Search, then Landing Page. To look at traffic for a specific page, paste the page into the search box.

Why Organic Search Analytics Matter

Understanding the pages that are powering organic search drives better decision-making in content. You’ll want to work to maintain that organic advantage as well as find opportunities for optimization improvements.

What Can You Do with This Data?

First, you want to continue to boost visibility in distribution channels for those pages that are ranking well. You also don’t want to make any significant changes that could cause Google to lower your rank. You can consider using these pages as a framework for future content.

For example, you might have a pillar page on a general topic with questions as subheaders followed by answers. If this page is doing well organically, replicate it with other subjects.

You can also extend what you know by using an SEO tool like Semrush. You can paste in the URL of the page and then find the top organic keywords for that page. If the page is about video conferencing software, you may find that people arrived on the page by typing in “video conferencing for business” or “solutions for virtual meetings.”

Image: SEMRush

Whatever the keywords are, your page should address those within the content. You may also find some mismatches. Keyword searches that lead to your page may be irrelevant. In the example above, the company’s focus is on video conferencing platforms for business, so searches using words like “free” or “video conference with friends” don’t align with business goals or the audience it needs to attract.

Conversion Metrics

Every content marketer needs to know if the content leads to conversions, whatever they may be—email signups, event registrations, purchases, etc.

How to Find the Report

To track and measure conversions, you need to set up Goals in Google Analytics. See the video below!

Why Conversion Analytics Matter

This data lets you know if you’re hitting your goals and the percentage of conversions by dividing the number of conversions by pageviews.

What Can You Do with This Data?

By looking at the conversion percentage, you can get a good idea if your CTAs are working and if your offers are of real value to your audience. Get the pages with good conversion percentages more exposure by optimizing for organic, distributing across channels (social, email, etc.), and linking to these pages from other content on your site with high page views.

Data-Driven Content Marketing

Content marketing has become a data-driven field. Creativity is still vital, but leveraging data helps you plan better and achieve goals. If your goal is to accelerate content marketing, we can help.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Our new PRO level includes paid promotion for guaranteed traffic AND goal creation in GA so we can help you track conversions as well.

Get a Free Consultation
for Content Marketing

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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