The Gist

  • Free analytics tools. Businesses can use free tools within each channel (such as Google Analytics 4, LinkedIn Analytics and Twitter Analytics) to start examining content data and tracking performance.

  • Identify optimization goals. To identify the best path for content optimization, businesses should start with their overarching goals and target audience, then use this knowledge to determine the metrics that work best for analyses.

  • Monitor stats regularly. Identifying patterns and documenting any changes made to content will lead to clearer insights about performance optimization.

CMSWire is holding its upcoming conference, CMSWire Connect, May 10 – May 12 this year in Austin, Texas. The conference will host speakers from various domains within customer experience and the digital sphere. CMSWire is running Q&As with featured speakers leading up to the conference.

The world of customer experience is rapidly evolving, and it's important for organizations to stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive. As technology grows, digital analytics is becoming an increasingly important aspect of marketing.

Businesses can use this growth to access patterns and study them more easily. By monitoring content performance regularly, identifying anomalies and documenting changes made to content, businesses can continually improve and provide more value to users.

Brian Piper, the director of content strategy and assessment at the University of Rochester, highlights the importance of data-driven decision-making in content strategy and optimization. Businesses that can effectively track and measure the impact of their content optimization efforts will be better equipped to demonstrate the value of their data-driven initiatives.

Piper recommends that businesses start examining their content data using free tools within each channel and track metrics that show progress toward meeting their business needs. He also advises identifying suitable tools by starting with strategic goals and users, figuring out the actions users can take to reach those goals, and determining the metrics needed to track the effectiveness of those tactics. By understanding the metrics that matter, businesses can make informed decisions and invest in the right tools to meet their strategic goals.

In this article, CMSWire holds a Q&A session with Piper, who is leading the breakout presentation, "[Breakout] Optimize Content Performance and User Experience Effectively through Data Analytics and Insights" at the CMSWire Connect conference. 

Using Data Analytics to Optimize Content

CMSWire: Can you provide an overview of the key data analytics tools and techniques that businesses can utilize to effectively optimize content performance and enhance user experience?

Brian Piper: Some of the best tools that we can use to start examining our content data are the free tools that we have access to within each channel. Google Analytics 4, Google Search Console, Looker Data Studio, LinkedIn Analytics, Twitter Analytics, etc. The key is knowing which metrics are the most impactful in showing progress towards meeting your business needs. Once you start tracking and measuring performance, you’ll begin to understand which additional tools could be added to your stack.

Related Article: CMSWire Connect Q&A: Cutting-Edge Strategies and Technologies for Enhancing Customer Experience

Identifying the Best Tools for Content Optimization

CMSWire: With a myriad of platform analytics tools available, how can businesses identify the most suitable tools for their specific content optimization needs and goals?

Piper: The best way to identify the right tools and platforms for your business is to start with your strategic goals and your users. Then you can start figuring out what actions your users can take that will help you reach your goals. Knowing where you want to go and how your customers can take you there is the first step. Only then should you start looking at the tactics you should employ to reach your goals and determine what metrics you should use to measure the effectiveness of those specific tactics. Once you know the metrics you need to track, that’s when you should start identifying tools that can provide that data and then test out several of those tools to determine which ones can provide the insights that will be the most useful.

Related Article: CFO Buy-In: Making It a Marketer's Advantage

How Data-Driven Insights Can Lead to Significant Improvements

CMSWire: Can you share some examples or case studies that demonstrate how data-driven insights have led to significant improvements in content performance and user experience?

Piper: When I first started at the University of Rochester, I noticed that our Newscenter was only getting around 20% of its traffic from search. We launched an SEO initiative and invested in some tools to help us optimize our website content, and we doubled our organic traffic in the first year. We now train our content officers on how to do their own keyword research, and have increased organic traffic almost 500% in the past six years, and more than 70% of our current traffic comes from search.

Along with tracking typical content performance data, we also add custom metrics to our tracking. For example, we tag our content based on the primary strategic initiative that each piece of content supports. So now, we can look at our content across all our channels and determine what content performs better on what channels and put more of that content on those channels because that’s what those users are interested in, and we’ve seen our performance and engagement increase across our channels.

Learning Opportunities

Common Content Challenges and How to Overcome Them

CMSWire: As businesses strive to make effective changes to their content, what are some common challenges they face in implementing data-driven strategies, and how can they overcome these obstacles? 

Piper: The biggest challenge that businesses face when looking at their content data is not understanding which metrics will actually indicate if they’re making progress towards their strategic goals. It’s great to drive more traffic to your website, but if your goal is to increase revenue, and that new traffic isn’t converting into sales, you need to look at other metrics to figure out what changes to make to your content.

Related Article: Creating a Clearly Articulated Data Strategy

Monitoring and Analyzing Content Insights

CMSWire: How can businesses effectively track and measure the impact of their content optimization efforts to ensure continual improvement and demonstrate the value of their data-driven initiatives?

Piper: Monitoring content performance regularly and identifying patterns and anomalies will lead to insights about what content performs well and what doesn’t. Once you identify those insights, be sure to document the changes that you make to your content so that you can start watching to see if you’re improving the effectiveness of your content and providing more value to your users.

Optimizing Content and Enhancing Customer Experiences

Brian Piper is one of many speakers at the May 10 – May 12 CMSWire Connect conference. You can take a peek at his speaking engagement: [Breakout] Optimize Content Performance and User Experience Effectively through Data Analytics and Insights.

Want more details on the conference? Click here to visit the CMSWire Connect site.

Check out the full list of CMSWire Connect panel topics, and don't miss the full list of CMSWire Connect speakers.