content marketing

Measuring your output: the right analytics for content marketing

shutterstock_314440679 Your team may create the best content in your category, but who’s measuring its effectiveness? It’s time to get started using analytics tools to assess your content marketing efforts. Find some of the best ones at your fingertips.

Being effective at content marketing isn’t just tied to hiring the best creators, developing a strong editorial calendar or loading up your social channels with great content. Your effectiveness is more about measuring your content output in relation to your audience’s wants and expectations. Using analytics tools for your content marketing is the best way to learn what they need.

Any content marketer today has to know the ins and outs of analytics. Your content budget may come with parameters for building leads, conversions, traffic and business, so it’s best that you know how to deliver the numbers to your executive team.

Using analytics tools

Fortunately, there are free and paid analytics tools available to start using today. Many professional content marketers rely on Google Analytics. This data juggernaut is free to use, offers customized reporting, includes an analytics API and, most important, gives you deep insights on which of your site’s pages are drawing big traffic and click-throughs. This tool is almost a necessity. More than half of the world’s largest websites use it.

Using Google Analytics is easy but mastering it is trickier. Knowing what you need to measure, finding it and relating it to your content efforts will take some effort. For example, if you want to measure your blog traffic, you should measure these KPIs (key performance indicators): unique visitors, page views, pages per visit, social shares, average time on site and bounce rates.

With these KPI measurements, content marketers can use the data to boost a site’s content opportunities, leads and conversions and overall user experience. You can gauge content performance by page views, page views by title, page views by content grouping and more.

You will also find value in Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). This tool will help you see if Google search is finding your content, if your site has any critical SEO issues that prevent Google from finding and ranking your content, and if Google fully understands your content.

Automation is key, too; rather than pulling reports, have them delivered to you. For example, set up a daily alert on your Google Analytics account to see which of your site’s pages are getting the most traffic. Sometimes traffic patterns on your pages emerge from a solitary tweet or other online mention that can kick off content promotion opportunities.

Your takeaway is this: If you’re creating content marketing campaigns, you need to measure the effectiveness of this work. Using analytics tools will help you understand which parts of your content are working, which parts aren’t and how to better promote distribute and share your content on the Web.

Some numbers to consider:

  • 55 million: Number of websites that use Google Analytics (another source uses 53%)
  • 63%: top percentage ranking given by LinkedIn Tech Marketing Community for importance of Web traffic and/or visits as a key content marketing metric
  • 55%: Percentage of bloggers who regularly check analytics
  • 50%: percentage of business to consumer marketers who told CMI that measuring content effectiveness was one of the top challenges for this year