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How to Use Google Analytics for Content Marketing

google-analytics-content-marketing

Table of Contents

How to Measure Content Marketing

What to look for in google analytics

How to measure content marketing ROI

What to measure in google analytics

How to read google analytics? 

What are the most important metrics to follow for Content Marketing?

What are KPIs for Content Marketing? How is content ROI calculated?

Content marketing: what are metrics of success

How to create a content marketing strategy with Google Analytics Insights + Narrative BI

How to perform a content marketing audit with Google Analytics?

How to Measure Content Marketing

Google Analytics is the most popular analytics tool and it has always been related to SEO and Google ads.

And for that reason, it is sometimes overlooked by content marketers. But the tool can be quite helpful to improve all content marketing efforts.

In order to achieve your digital marketing and business goals, by deploying a successful content marketing campaign, it's necessary to be able to measure it. To do it, you need to understand your content marketing metrics and content analytics by using the right content marketing analytics tools.

Some content marketers still have the idea of “more is better”.

But, creating dozens of pieces of content and waiting for one to magically hit is a complete waste of time.

Instead, leverage Google Analytics to analyze your content marketing analytics and improve your strategy.

What to look for in google analytics

There are different ways to evaluate your marketing performance by using Google Analytics.

Here are some of them:

  1. Page Views
    You probably already knew this, but we can't leave it out.
    It tells you which pieces of content are the most popular and which ones are better as landing pages or supplemental pages on your website.
  2. Page Views by Source
    Which marketing medium is best at attracting visits?
    Which ones are doing well in social vs. organic?
    What can be improved on existing pieces to get more traffic?

    These are some of the questions GA can answer.
  3. Page Views by Title
    Which titles are getting the most clicks?
    Lists? How-Tos? Statistics?
    Figure out what headlines work best and create more content around them.
  4. Referral Visits
    How many visits are you receiving from other websites?
    This can be a great way to help measure the content pieces that best resonated with others since they were willing to link to it.
  5. Social Referrals
    It’s really helpful to know what types of content get shared across different social media platforms.
    Knowing what is working well in the various networks will help you target and segment content even further.

How to measure content marketing ROI

Content marketing ROI (return on investment) measures the revenue your business earns compared with what you spent on your content marketing efforts.

Calculating it can be difficult because the journey from content to revenue isn’t always straight or quick.

There are several categories you can use to measure content marketing ROI.

Some of them are:

  • Subscription sign-ups.
  • Newsletter sign-ups.
  • Lead generation form-fills.
  • Link clicks (useful if you want to track outbound affiliate clicks).
  • Any other event that matters to your business’s bottom line.

What to measure in Google Analytics

It’s essential that you analyze your content performance and to do that, you need to understand your content analytics.

14 events you can measure in Google Analytics:

  1. Users.
  2. Sessions.
  3. Pages per session.
  4. Devices.
  5. Source/medium and social media platforms.
  6. Pageviews, unique pageviews.
  7. Average time on page.
  8. Landing pages.
  9. Bounce rate.
  10. Audience Location.
  11. Audience Engagement.
  12. Mobile Traffic Behavior.
  13. Traffic Sources.
  14. Social Media Traffic.

How to read Google Analytics?

Google Analytics has the power to collect a lot of great data. But it can’t highlight what is important for your business.

You may want to know how people are reaching your website.

They can arrive at your website from a search engine or via links in emails, social media, ads, or other websites.

The Channels Report, found under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels, is where you'll find the answer.

How do you know if your marketing activities are leading to valuable actions on your website?

First, you need to learn that there are 2 types of conversion in  Google Analytics, goals and transaction. 

A goal can be any action on your website that provides value to your business.

Basic types of goals you can create within Google Analytics: 

  • Destination.
  • Event.
  • Duration. 
  • Pages per session.

A transaction is a purchase on a website.

You can see all this data in the Conversions columns in many of the reports.

Save your favorite reports for easy reference.

The save button at the top right of the Google Analytics interface allows you to name a report and save it.

It will be available under the Customization menu in ‘Saved Reports’.

What are the most important metrics to follow for Content Marketing?

The most important metrics to follow for Content Marketing are:

  • Traffic Metrics.
  • Navigation Metrics.
  • Organic Search Metrics.
  • Conversion Metrics.

Let's break them down.

Traffic Metrics

The main goal of content marketing is to generate more traffic to your website. 

The Google Analytics traffic report shows you the pages with the most views. 

This data delivers insights about what type of content performs well and how long are users staying on your site.

Look at time on page and the bounce rate to determine if the content was relevant to the reader. You want time-on-page to increase and bounce rates to decrease.

If this happens, you know that type of content works. So you can create more similar pieces.

Navigation Metrics

The navigation summary provides an overview of page views over time. 

This data delivers more insights into user behavior. 

You’ll learn how people are navigating to that page from within your website, where they are clicking, where they go next, among others.

It can also offer insight into your call to action (CTAs). How they are performing and if the content led to a conversion.

Organic Search Metrics

Your main aspiration with content marketing is to be the best answer to your audience’s questions on Google. To measure this goal, you have to determine if your content is performing well organically.

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.

Conversion Metrics

Every content marketer needs to know if the content leads to conversions. This data lets you know if you’re hitting your goals and analyze whether you need to change or double down on your strategy.

By looking at the conversion rate (percentage of conversions by dividing the number of conversions by pageviews.), 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, and linking to these pages from other content on your site with high page views.

What are KPIs for Content Marketing? How is content ROI calculated?

In order to find the right KPIs for your campaigns, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. 

Once you set specific content marketing goals, you can match those goals with the right metrics and KPIs.

Here are the KPIs for the four most common campaign goals:

Increase brand awareness

  • Article views.
  • Social shares and engagement.
  • Audience engagement.
  • Inbound links.
  • Follower or subscriber growth.

Generate more leads

  • Click-through rate.
  • Cost per lead.
  • Number of downloads.
  • Number of subscribers.
  • Form responses.

Increase conversions

  • Conversion rate.
  • Length of sales cycle.
  • Revenue generated.

Boost engagement

  • Average session duration.
  • Referral traffic.
  • Social media likes, comments, shares.
  • Follower growth on social media over time.
  • Content click-through rates.
  • Average time on site.

How you measure it depends on your objectives, but you can apply the standard ROI formula to get a rough idea of how your content impacts revenue generation. 

Calculate the cost of producing your content, add the cost of distribution, and subtract that total from the top-line profit made over the same period.

Here's an example:

If you spend $300 on creating content and acquire leads worth $1,500, your ROI is 400%.

(Return) $1,500 – (Investment) $300 = $1,200

$1200 / $300 = 4

4 x 100% = 400% (ROI)

How do you know if it’s worth it? 

Well, if you spend less on producing content than you earn in sales, then it’s worth it.

Content marketing: what are metrics of success

These are the most important metrics you should be measuring with your marketing data:

  • Social Shares. 
  • Customer Retention. 
  • CTR (Click-Through-Rate).
  • Post Engagement (Comments).
  • Backlinks. 
  • Time on Page. 
  • Bounce Rate.
  • Unique pageviews.
  • Average time on page.
  • Pages/sessions.
  • Organic traffic.
  • Click-through rate (CTR).
  • Number of leads.
  • Conversion rate.
  • Follow growth and subscribers.

How to create a content marketing strategy with Google Analytics Insights + Narrative BI

We've seen how important is content marketing for your business.

We've talked about which are the most important metrics and how you can measure your campaign's performance utilizing the right content marketing analytics tools.

But, how do you create a content marketing strategy with Google Analytics in the beginning?

Follow these steps:

Step 1 - Set goals

What do you want to achieve with your campaign?

Increase brand awareness?

Generate more leads?

Increase conversions?

Get more engagement?

Whatever your goals are, make sure you define them clearly.

Step 2 - Define KPIs

We previously talked about the KPIs for the most common campaign goals

So, for instance,

If your goal is to generate more leads your KPIs can be CTR and CPL.

Make sure your KPIs are aligned with your end goal.

Step 3 - Know your target audience

You are not creating content for everyone who uses the internet.

You need to specify who your target audience is in order to create content specifically for it.

You want them to feel you are talking directly to them.

So, how do you do that?

Use GA to Collect Demographic Data such as Age, Gender, Education, Income.

Step 4 - Choose content channels

In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition » Social » Overview to see the main social networks where your content is being shared and double down on those.

Step 5 - Distribute your content

Create a content schedule and distribute each piece of content to the different channels.

Step 6 - Measure results

Remember the KPIs you set earlier?

It's their time to shine.

Analyze them to know if you are hitting your goals or not.

To do that you can check Google Analytics to see how your content is performing.

But, there are a few issues with this approach:

  1. GA is difficult to navigate if you are not familiar with it. And it will take weeks to understand it. Especially if you aren't a techie.
  2. GA shows you metrics and results but doesn't tell you what's going on. You need to read the analytics and make your assumptions. Which sometimes can be wrong.
  3. GA doesn't alert you when something abnormal happens. 

We struggled with this issue once.

And that is why we created Narrative BI.

It solves all the problems above and more:

  • It sends you personalized Insights - Easily add your KPIs, goals, and milestones to the tool.
  • Not only notifies you about the predefined set of metrics but also proactively finds anomalies and outliers and provides actionable recommendations. 
  • It generates a feed of natural language-generated narratives, which are easy to understand.

Want to give it a try?

How to perform a content marketing audit with Google Analytics?

A complete audit will lead to an effective content strategy. Which will enable you to achieve better performance.

There are four informative reports that Google Analytics can produce for you:

  1. Landing Page report.
  2. New vs. Returning report.
  3. Site Search report.
  4. Behavior Flow report.

1. Landing Page report 

It shows you which landing pages, content categories, and topics are the best performing.

2. New vs. Returning report

The new vs. Returning report shows audience retention.

Let your audience know why they should be coming back for more content.

3. Site Search report

If your website has an integrated search function, the site search report will show what users have been looking for while on your site.

You can use this as a good guideline for what you should write more about or what are the gaps in your content.

4. Behavior Flow report

This report informs which pages have the highest number of sessions and which ones have led to conversions.

You can use this information to understand which landing pages and which content, needs fixing.

Now you know how to successfully create, measure, and improve a content marketing strategy.

Join us at Narrative BI to help you understand your data and make better marketing decisions that will grow your business exponentially.

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