google analytics screen

Using Google Analytics to Improve Content Marketing

Dayton, Ohio - Google Analytics provides remarkable analytics tools to help marketers get more insights into their audience and improve their marketing efforts.

With so many tools to choose from, it can be overwhelming to learn and use them to inform your campaigns.

Fortunately, we’re here to discuss Google Analytics to help get the most from these tools for content marketing.

How Does Google Analytics Help Content Marketing?

Data is used to guide marketing strategy. Fortunately, Google has a huge collection of data related to your audience and your business, so you can use these insights about how your campaigns perform and how you can correct or improve them.

It also helps you answer questions about your content marketing strategy, such as:

  • Is my content marketing effective?
  • What opportunities am I missing with my content marketing?
  • What are some of my trends?
  • Are my efforts more or less effective?
  • What content types perform the best?
  • What are the gaps I missed?

The more in-depth data you compile, and the more questions you can answer, the better insights you gain to inform your strategy.

By using a methodical approach of reporting and metrics, you can determine if something is or isn’t working and why. You also have the ability to analyze site traffic and audience to determine how customers interact with your business.

You can also decide if your content marketing is worth your investment, or find areas that are performing well, but can still be improved.

Here’s how:

Define Your Goals

As we’ve discussed, Google Analytics has plenty of resources to measure performance, but defining goals is the best way to customize this process.

Four different goals that can be used to monitor marketing strategy are:

  • Destination: a specific page or section of your website or blog.
  • Duration: time on site.
  • Pages/Screens per session: a user viewing a specific number of pages or screens.
  • Event: a predefined action is triggered.

Use On-Site Search

Websites can grow rather quickly, especially with a blog. With so much content, it can be difficult for customers to find what they’re looking for unless they get there from Google directly.

Fortunately, you can help your customers find your website and stay there with a search bar. This not only gets them to the page they’re looking for, but it also gives you insights and data through Google Analytics’ on-site search terms report.

With an on-site search terms report, you’ll discover the keywords most searched on your website and compare them with those you’ve targeted. You may find that your content should be updated with new keywords and new content to gain better engagement and more traffic.

You may notice a lot of traffic to a specific page within the search, which can be used to:

  • Target specific pages with marketing campaigns.
  • Link pages with high traffic to low-performing pages.
  • Redesign the site to improve visibility of popular pages.

To perform this search in Google Analytics, log on to your account and go to the “Behavior” reports. From there, choose “Site Search” and “Search Terms.”

This takes you to the dashboard of your on-site search terms.

Optimize for Mobile

Mobile devices are used more by consumers than ever before, so it’s important that your site works well for mobile visitors.

To review mobile accessibility, log on to Google Analytics and find the “Audience” tab on the left side, then find the “Mobile” tab. Expand it to choose “Overview” to determine how well your site performs on mobile devices.

If you’ve defined a goal related to mobile traffic or conversions, it can be included in this report. On the right side, select the goal completion to display with mobile performance. With this information, you’ll be able to look at the conversion rate and goal completion over a time frame.

If you find that your mobile site version performs poorly in comparison to your desktop version, you will need to do more to optimize your mobile site.

With Google’s recent mobile-first indexing policy, it’s vital your site performs well on mobile devices to make your content marketing efforts effective.

Optimize Site Speed

Most sites load too slowly, meaning they fall below the three-second benchmark for load times..

As the page load time increases from:

  • One second to three second, visitors leaving your site increases by 32 percent.
  • Up to five seconds, the abandonment rate increases by 90 percent.
  • Up to six seconds, the abandonment rate increases by 106 percent.
  • Up to ten seconds, the abandonment rate increases by 123 percent.

This information matters for two reasons:

  • Speed affects site abandonment (bounce rate).
  • Google factors page speeds into ranking factors.

So, having slow load times has a detrimental impact on search engine ranking and traffic. Before fixing this problem, however, you need to diagnose it. It may be a site-wide problem, or it could just be a particular page, so you can identify the particular pages and make improvements.

In Google Analytics, you can find this information under “Site Speed” and “Page Timing.” This report shows the website pages and their respective load times, allowing you to analyze specific pages.

You can also find a “Speed Suggestions” report, which provides recommendations for how to improve the speed of different pages.

Know Your Customers

Gaining an in-depth understanding of your customers is critical for personalizing content marketing efforts. By tapping directly into your customers’ needs, you can increase your sales and profits.

Google Analytics Affinity Category reports can help with this. Log on to Google Analytics and find the “Audience” section on the left side. Here you will find “Affinity Categories.” Clicking here shows which affinity groups have high traffic and low bounce rates or high conversions on your site.

For instance, you may find you perform well with unexpected segments of your audience. This information helps develop targeting for future marketing campaigns.

Another helpful report is the “Audience” report. You’ll find this under the “Audience” section, but you’ll choose “Overview.”

While the overview doesn’t give you in-depth information regarding your customers, it will help you target broad interests like devices and locations.

Final Thoughts

We hope these tips help you gather the information needed to inform your content marketing campaigns. B63 Line has worked with numerous clients to develop a data-driven content marketing strategy, improving engagement and sales outcomes. Getting started with any content marketing approach is often intimidating, but using data to help drive smart marketing decisions helps take much of the guess work out of the process. Learn more about content marketing here and here. Contact us today to learn how we can work with you to develop content marketing campaigns that drive success.

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