5 ways to use analytics to find content marketing opportunities
These are the stereotypes that come to mind when mentioning statistics or those who love digging through analytics. I may get the strange look from the occasional stranger, (maybe it’s my rugged good looks?), but I’m far from being the poster child for the Revenge of the Nerds movies.
With so many ways to find ideas for effective content marketing, we often forget to check the hard data. Sure, we look at it to see how many visitors we get or how many widgets we sell, but many overlook the goldmine of content ideas laying in analytics.
With such a limitless source of information, it’s hard to condense it all in one space, but I am going to give you 5 of the top areas to consider when looking for content marketing ideas through your analytics.
5 Ways Analytics Gives You Content Marketing Opportunities
If you’re looking to generate more visibility and top ranking searchable content, the keywords section of your analytics is one of the first places to look. Here, you analyze what’s working and what isn’t, while finding other opportunities you may not see in your current SEO efforts.
For instance, finding out your site ranks high for the term “writing for tribbles” may excite or confuse you. I personally like a good tribble post, but to each their own.
To find out what keyword phrases people use to get to your site and how they can help you with creating content, consider:
- What keyword phrases attract the most traffic to your site? Does content surrounding those keywords bring in more traffic to your site? I smell a topic to focus on here.
- Do you have high conversion rates of pages with high-ranking keyword phrases? There’s opportunity for products, services or more content in them search results.
- Do a search on keyword phrases that show consistent traffic in your analytics, but add “how to” or “how do I” in front of them. Do you see even more opportunities here?
2. Top Content
Now, not everyone will hit a home run on every piece of content they produce, but it’s better to have a winning percentage than the alternative. To key in on the winning content from your site, look at the top content area in your analytics and ask yourself these questions:
- How long does a reader stay on a page in this category?
- Does a reader bounce from this page or click-through to additional content in the site?
- What elements are common with the top content? Headline? Subheads? Formatting? Keyword phrase rich titles? Photos or video? Links from or to other sites?
3. Bounce Rate
In web analytics, bounce rate is the percentage of site readers who enter your site on a particular page and leave without clicking through to other site pages. In other words, it’s a very important statistic to look at when you’re analyzing your site for content marketing opportunities.
When you look at which pages have lower or higher bounce rates, consider some factors to pull out for creating new content:
- Where did they come from? (No, not on a intergalactic sense, but what site did they come from?) Was it a search engine? What did they search for?
- How long did they stay on your page before they bounced out?
- Is the bounce rate higher or lower for new vs. returning site visitors?
- What pages have lower or higher bounce rate? What type of content or keyword phrases did you optimize those pages for?
Just remember this: higher bounce rates are usually considered bad. This isn’t always the case; it just depends on the type of content or purpose of that page. If you have a high rate on a squeeze page with no conversions, then, yes, you need to go back and see what’s causing that behavior.
Now, if you’re doing a good job at promoting your content, not only will you get high positioning in search and social, but others will link and talk about you on their own sites.
No, I’m not talking about your cousin’s extreme shopping cart demolition video extravaganza site or your Dad’s bass fishing blog – I’m talking about those sites who are relevant to your content.
For optimal results and if you were in, say the content marketing arena, you would want top sites referring traffic to you like highly respected sites, like seocopywriting.com.
So, when you’re looking at your analytics, look at what referrers send you traffic and how you can use those stats to create your own content.
- What’s the focus of that site? Is it relevant to your site?
- What specific information did the referring URL cover? Was it optimized for specific keyword phrases? What was its ranking on that keyword phrase?
- Was the referrer a blog? Did that page have lots of comments? Did they answer the comments? Look at some ideas in the comments.
- Did the referrer have a hook to it? Great headline, video or some sort of interactive element?
Do you have an email newsletter? Do you create email content to a targeted list? If you do, there are valuable statistics in your email marketing.
Now, I have my own email marketing campaigns and I find loads of valuable information in how my readers interact with those messages. Although my Sponge Bob for president fan club email list (it’s really for my kids, not me!) may have different behaviors, look closely at:
- Look at open rates – how many people opened your email? What was the topic? How about the subject line? Did you link to your site or keep them just in email?
- Who opened your email? Are they consistently opening every message you send? What elements get them to open your emails? This is an opportunity for possible list for different content for different members of your lists.
- What’s your click-through rate from email messages? Do they bounce from that click-through page or go deeper into your site? What was the common element?
Content Through Analytics
When you’re looking for ideas to create some kick butt content, statistics and combing through data isn’t boring – it helps you create opportunities
If you identify each opportunity to create new or enhance existing content, you will have a limitless amount of inspiration for your content marketing efforts.
George Passwater enjoys helping businesses succeed with online marketing strategies.
Great information, George and presented in an easy-to-understand post. Definitely agree and have seen so many keywords that people are searching for from published posts. And it’s interesting to see where people come from. I’ve had some from email where I didn’t send anything out so I know someone out there is sharing my content and I’m grateful.
Thanks for the kind words, Gabrielle.
It’s funny how something as simple as looking at keyword phrases and referrers in analytics can help you generate LOTS of content marketing ideas. :)
Great advice George for both my personal marketing blog, and moreso, the corporate blog I write. It’s easy to forget that we use analytics to not only measure results, but also to tell us what works and doesn’t work. Being kind of a numbers junkie, I realize this, but have not always put it into practice. Thanks for the reminder!
I appreciate your kind words. Analytics is essential if we’re to figure out where we need to go and where we came from.
With so many things to consume with content and online marketing, sometimes we forget things. I like to keep a list near me in Evernote or on a pad of paper of things I need to look at each day – including my analytics. This post was inspired by a item on a list before.
You won’t rank for keywords that aren’t on your site.
I love seeing the bizarre search terms that bring some people to my (or my client’s) sites. Google keywords are just estimates, they don’t even begin to tell you the breadth of what people are using to search.
Blog often, keywords are fun.