Many marketers struggle developing content. After all, knowing your organization needs quality content is different than knowing what topics will resonate with your audience, convey your expertise, and inspire action (like a phone call or whitepaper download).
If you’re struggling to develop content, your site’s Google Analytics (GA) data is a great place to find topics for your digital marketing efforts. Below are five Google Analytics metrics you can use to generate content ideas:
- Behavior: As one of GA’s most powerful features, you’ve probably spent time looking at your most-popular pages, or how visitors move through your site. Dive a little deeper into GA to study your “middle of the road” pages (those outside of your top ten), using Google’s “Compare To” option. What’s changed? If you notice a “trending topic,” expand upon it. Write a follow-up article, blog post, or case study. Don’t forget to optimize these pages for conversions. Include an e-newsletter sign-up form or a related articles feature to keep users moving through your engagement funnel.
When you’re logged into GA, select Behavior from the left menu. Choose the date range you’re interested in. Then, enter “Compare To” dates.
If you find an increasingly popular page on your site, create content around that topic. For example, we noticed an increasing
interest in website design. In response, we wrote a blog highlighting the best B2B website design trends of 2015.
- Demographics and Interests: It seems like everyone is excited about the partnership between “big data” and marketing. The truth? Most marketers won’t learn anything about their customers by downloading databases filled with information about millions of people. You will, however, learn something about your actual visitors from the interests and demographics data in GA. Maybe your customers love movies or travel. Or perhaps most of your visitors are millennials. Keep this information in mind as you're developing your content. For example, most Northwoods visitors are millennials with interests in technology, news and business. We used this information to inform our promotional efforts on social media, focusing on channels popular among this demographic and posting on days and times popular among this group. These techniques connect your organization and clients in a new way, while humanizing your brand overall.
Find your audience's demographic information by selecting Audience then Demographics.
You can also look at your Audience's interests in the same location.
- Segmented Audience Interests: Much like the “Compare To” option within the Behavior data, you can segment your audience interests. For example, to enhance organic traffic, determine those users’ interests, or demographics, by adding an Organic Traffic segment.
If you're targeting organic search traffic, find out about those users and then develop content matching their interests and/or demographics.
Goal Conversion Points: To effectively measure your digital marketing campaigns, tie content to specific goals in GA. When someone subscribes to your blog, for example, it should be recorded as a completed goal in Analytics. Review this data, focusing on completions and areas where users aren’t converting. Identifying topics driving conversions can provide direction on the content you should develop next. At Northwoods, we focused on one of our primary goals (aimed at keeping visitors on our site for a longer period of time) to determine which pages those users were spending time on. Since users are interested in that content, we developed plans to expand it as part of our digital and content marketing efforts.
Compare completed goals (pictured in green) and the goals that aren’t being met (pictured in red). Focus on the page content driving goal completion.
5. Site Search: SEO is all about getting visitors to your site. However, users continue searching once they’re there. What are they looking for? Use Google’s site search report to find out. This is a great way to discover content topics visitors are literally asking for. (Remember, you have to configure your site search in GA before you can access this data.) In the Northwoods example highlighted below, we found that our visitors were interested in catalogs. As such, we developed a more robust catalog page to meet these needs.
Use your site search results to find out the topics users are literally asking for and develop content around those interests.
Analytics and measurements should be a central part of digital marketing. However, content development shouldn’t end with GA data. Don’t forget to use day-to-day interactions with customers, prospects, co-workers, and your sales team to generate content ideas as well.