Happy new year, everyone!
It’s finally 2014 and if you’ve been following my posts over the last few years then you’ll know just what an unpredictable industry search marketing can be.
2013, for my money, was probably the most challenging year brand owners and webmasters have ever faced as they had to navigate a bevy of Google algorithms, the mobile landscape, and much more besides.
And if you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground then you’ll probably understand what a big part content marketing has to your online success in 2014…
…It’s always had a huge part to play.
Creating attractive, engaging, interesting content which is posted and shared consistently with your visitors increases exposure and gets you in the mind of potential customers.
As I’ve mentioned before putting all your eggs in one basket (hint: keyword rankings…) will never get you the success you need.
Your site needs the perfect mix of creative online marketing methods to boost its profile and give visitors a reason to return and tell their friends about your existence.
Putting your faith in content
So why are so many experts pointing toward content as the number one marketing medium for 2014?
From a technical point of view many search marketers have jumped on the content bandwagon because of Google’s Penguin and (mostly) Panda algorithms.
Panda being such a scourge on poor-quality content that it’s encouraged millions to buck their ideas up and create something editorially worth sharing.
As a link-building measure too you’re more likely to get great links back to your site by creating something unique, fascinating, and in tune with your target audience.
Content, to many, is the fix to a number of Google-centric problems.
But as I say content marketing, like every other tactic in your locker, should be part of a mix aimed at offering your customers and potential visitors something different, something that no-one else can offer.
What’s your perfect marketing mix? What are your ratios of content, social, PPC, and other tactics? Let me know what works best for you in the comments below!
How to analyse your content’s performance
I’ve already written about how to create a voice for your content and set up an editorial calendar for you to plan ahead.
But like everything with marketing you need your content to get you results.
It’s up to you what those results are, of course. Whether you want your content to have more of a cultural impact or help generate leads to products you need to keep an eye on the performance of each post and use that information to refine your content strategy for the future.
Of course I’m using Google Analytics as the standard here. But what statistics should you be looking at to gauge your content’s success?
1: What are the people that matter reading?
So what should you be looking for? First we need to enter Analytics, look at the Standard Reports menu on the left, and click on Behaviour.
We then need to click on the Site Content dropdown and click on All Pages. This gives us a great breakdown of each individual post and its popularity.
2: Organising your statistics
First of all set a date range for your content which can be customised at the top-right corner of the screen.
It’d be wise to choose a quarterly field or dates covering approximately six months. That gives your content adequate time to share its way across the internet and see how your well your overall editorial strategy is performing.
Chances are you’ll be posting regularly so if you can collate all your information onto one page that’d make your life a lot easier.
Look towards the bottom at the button that says Show Rows. There you can choose how many results to display on one page.
What analytics do you concentrate on most to ascertain your content’s success? Let me know below!
3: Who are the people that matter?
There are a number of columns to sort you’re the results by, but what you’ll want to concentrate on are your Unique Pageviews – the number of individuals that have viewed your content.
Now, take a look at your posts. Which are the most popular? Are there any common factors associated with the most popular? Are they all top 10 lists, offer ‘how to’ advice, or have they been written by the same author?
Use that information to refine your strategy for the future to help increase traffic and give your current visitors more of what they want.
4: Bounce rates and referrals
The lower the bounce rate the better. If one person visited your page and the bounce rate read 100 per cent, that means they’ll have likely left your page the instant they arrived and aren’t exploring other pages.
A lower bounce rate means people are staying on your site, find your content interesting, and are more likely to hang around to make a purchase or enquiry.
A high bounce rate? Use that info to improve your site. Decrease loading times, improve calls to action for other pages, link to other relevant areas of your site…
Analytics also lets users compare bounce rates for new visitors and returning ones by clicking Overview in the Behaviour dropdown. New visitors with a low bounce rate? Keep it up, you’re doing something right!
Sharing a lot of your content over your social networks and want to know which referrals are the most effective?
The Acquisition menu on the left of the page has a Social dropdown, which houses Network Referrals.
This will show you which social sites your content is most popular on and which pages are getting all that traffic. Are certain posts doing better on a certain social network than others? It may be worth altering your editorial calendar to take advantage of that information.
Click on All Referrals on the Acquisition menu will also show you other areas around the web that are linking back to your content.
Starting your own content adventure
This is just the beginning. The above are the most basic statistics you should be looking at if you really want to dive into content marketing for the long-term.
In-page analytics for instance can show you more detailed information such as which links people are clicking on in your content and more. Whatever you do with that information to refine your strategy is entirely up to you!
But that’s a blog for another day. The year of content marketing’s only just begun, after all!
Want to know more about how content marketing can help your site in 2014 and beyond? Contact Webpresence today to find out more!