I think we can all agree that Google and other search engines are putting a very large emphasis on content development in 2013 and beyond. Better stated; want to show up better in search engines? Write more content!
Once that has started, we’ll need to begin tracking results including: engagement, traffic, and in-page analytics (navigation).
Let’s assume you are already tracking your content portion of your website, whether it’s an article directory, blog portal or just specific website pages. Just note that if your content piece of your website is a subdomain, you always have the ability to track all of your content in a separate web property within Google Analytics. For example, we track our blog subdomain independent of our main site in Google Analytics.
When it comes to any content development, the main goal is to engage and entice the website visitor. We don’t want some one to look at the content, not like what they see, and bounce off your site. We’ve all seen studies proving the longer time someone will spend on your site, the higher the chances they become a customer or a return visitor.
Within Google Analytics, we want to keep an eye on the Engagement report. This report can be found under Audience and then Behavior. Let’s take a look at an example report.
In the above screenshot, you’ll notice that 92 percent of all visitors are only on the site for duration from 0-10 seconds. And then 1-2 percent of visitors spend some time on each increment below that. So, for this company, the engagement levels are low. Ideally, this company will want to test some new content styles and delivery to increase the overall engagement. Overall, this is a good report to keep an eye on!
There are a few reasons you want to check out the traffic reports for your content pieces. Let’s talk about two important ones -- search engine optimization (SEO) and partnership building.
For SEO, we want to determine what keywords are bringing traffic to your specific content pieces. Under the Sources > Search > Organic report: take a look at your results. What keywords are at the top of your list? Do they align with your content goals? If yes, then you’re on the correct content path! If no, take a look at your content and begin adding in your desired keywords to future pieces and check back!
On partnership building, navigate over to Sources > Referrals. What websites are on the top of your list? If they are sites you’re already aware of, then we’re good. Better yet, are there sites you’re not aware of? These are sites that are promoting your content! Let’s reach out to these sites and see if there are any other opportunities for some win-win content partnerships.
Once you’ve landed a website visitor, are they following your desired path to meet your desired outcome? There are a few different methods in determining the answer to this important question, but let’s quickly discuss the most fun method -- In-Page Analytics.
Navigate over to Content > In-Page Analytics. You’ll see a pretty cool, interactive look at your website and specific web pages. Consider the screenshot below from our blog portal.
In the header view, you can see where people were clicking, based on percentage of overall visitors. This report is another great test of determining if your content is driving potential customers to the desired spot(s) on your website and completing your desired actions!
And that's a wrap for this article! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. I’ll have more Google Analytics articles coming up. Happy New Year and Happy Analytics!
Editor's Note: Interested in more of Bob's tips on Google Analytics? Check out his Google Analytics Series