Measuring your content’s success is key to knowing your audience—and giving them what they want
Online marketing is essential for businesses to find and engage meaningfully with customers. You’ve spent time developing, writing and posting, but it’s not enough to have content if it’s not utilized to its fullest potential. Analytics tools can help you get there. Now it’s time to study the metrics and see what’s striking a nerve and what’s striking out.
So, how do businesses and brands measure content performance and why does it matter? In this quick guide, we break down the key benefits of tracking content analytics and provide some of our some of our go-to tips for translating analytics into actionable improvements.
1. Get Audience Insights
Your audience is constantly dropping clues about what matters to them. One of the simplest ways to determine what your audience responds to is to look directly at how they interact with and discover your posts.
- What are people looking for when they find my content organically?
- What types of posts on social media are resonating enough to get the audience to click through to my website?
Google Analytics is a great starting point for answering these questions. When integrated with Google Search Console, Google Analytics can generate metrics that demonstrate how long people are staying on your website for and which content is leading them to your website.
For social, metrics such as reach, comments, shares, “likes” and retweets are great indicators of the type of content that resonates with your target audience. Use this information when deciding which content to focus on and slot into your content calendar.
Best practice: Explore the analytics sections of your social platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all offer personalized reports on how well your posts are performing. Email newsletter platforms such as Constant Contact and MailChimp break down analytics the same way social media platforms and Google do. Look for metrics such as “open rate” and “click-through rate,” and take into account how long readers are keeping your message open.
2. Strengthen Your Content
Once you have a feel for how your audience responds to different kinds of content, you can start making more informed decisions about what you post.
Look at some of your well-performing posts:
- Are they centered around specific types of content?
- Is there a common theme among the topics?
Uncovering these larger trends gives you a better idea of who your audience is and what services they are turning to you for.
Best practice: Search engine optimization, or SEO, is key to maximizing meaningful audience
engagement. Use analytics tools to see which search terms are pointing people in your direction, then tailor your text to strategically feature those words. Analytics tools like Moz, SEMrush and Google Search Console can help you determine your most powerful keywords and discover opportunities to improve your content.
3. Time Your Posts Like a Pro
You’ve worked hard creating and improving your content, so it’s important your audience actually sees your posts. Fortunately, several analytics tools can give users insight into the most-optimal days and times to post, down to the very minute your customers are most likely to be online and ready to engage.
When studying your analytics, ask yourself:
- When is your audience using social media?
- Are they using different platforms at different times of the day?
Timing data generated on Google Analytics and social networks help provide a more personalized perspective into when and where your audience is most plugged in. Other resources such as HubSpot and Sprout Social offer general guidelines for the best times to post content, like during the morning or evening commute.
Best practice: Create an editorial or social calendar that reflects what kinds of posts do best at which times of the day, focusing on how different kinds of content lands with your audience in the morning versus in the evening. This can help build audience expectations and brand loyalty while better tailoring your content timeline.