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9 Ways to Track Content Marketing ROI Use Google Analytics

November 27, 2018

One of the most important parts of any good marketing campaign is measuring the success of it.

This can come in many shapes and forms, but ultimately, you want to be making measurements in order to:

  • Minimize waste
  • Perfect what works
  • Ditch what doesn’t work
  • Convert more leads
  • Build brand awareness

When it comes to measuring content marketing ROI, there are a few tools and tips you absolutely need in order to make sure you are looking at the right information in order to tell if your content is effective or not.

In this guide, we will dive into some of the best ways to measure content marketing campaign success. Let’s get started.

What Content Marketing KPIs You Should You Be Tracking 

Now that you have successfully installed Google analytics to your website like a total Pro, it’s time to sit back and relax and let Google do all the heavy lifting, right?

Well, not entirely.

While Google collects all the data on your website visitors, it is up to you to develop a basic understanding (or complete understanding) of the various metrics it gauges, and how they are indicative of trends within your audience.

I won’t get too advanced in this article, but rather, will outline the most essential metrics in Google Analytics, what they mean, and how to properly track them.

There are dozens more metrics to track on Google analytics, but I think that these are the 9 Most Important Metrics for Google Analytics Beginners to Know:

1. New Users

Knowing the amount of users you have on your site is extremely important. This figure can further be broken down into new users, and returning users.

Google analytics does this nicely for you in the audience tab:

google analytics expert guide 2018

To get to this report, click Audience Overview.

Once here, you can track your user statistics through anytime, since your website has been linked to your Google analytics account.

By default, this is set to weekly, however you can very easily change this date range in the top right corner:

When tracking users, it is important to understand the difference between sessions and users. It is also important to understand the difference between unique users and users.

2. What is the Difference Between Unique Users and Users?

This one is pretty straightforward, unique visitors are those who come from a different IP address. Users accounts for the same users who have come to the site multiple times.

Oftentimes with new sites, owners and developers are visiting the site multiple times a day in order to make changes and check on progress. This can often skew statistics when starting out.

One easy way to take care of this is to go into your Audience tab and select User Explorer:

From there, it becomes pretty obvious who your most common users are, and by selecting the highest users, you can see the dates and times they are on. If these dates and times match you and your developers, you can safely assume these users are you.

From here, you can delete the user which will allow you to have more accurate reporting right off the bat.

3. What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a percentage that is associated with users who enter your site and leave very quickly.  Usually, this is within 10 seconds or less.

Many factors can lead to bounce rate, such as broken links, poor site load speed, or poor targeting.

The important thing to know starting out, is that bounce rate is something you want to try and reduce at all costs with your website development and content marketing efforts.

If you are looking for ways to improve your site speed, I wrote about that here.

Once you have made the technical changes in order to assure that broken links and site load speed are not a problem, you should focus on your targeting, relevance of content and user experience to reduce bounce rate.

Bounce rate is one of the content marketing ROI measurements that you want to pay attention to the most, especially with new pieces of content.

If people are showing up on your articles or pages and leaving almost immediately, it can be a hint that you are doing something wrong. Perhaps there is a disconnect between what they clicked on and what you are providing.

4. Identify Your Best and Worst Performing Pages

From the home page, you can scroll down and find your pages report:

analytics measurements

Clicking on this link will take you to the following dashboard:

what should i do in google analytics

Remember earlier when we talked about unique users versus users? Page views are exactly the same.

You can switch from page views to Unique page views easily from this page as well.

From here, you can begin to understand how each one of your pages plays a role in your website’s traffic, and which ones are performing well or not so well.

You can see your average time on page, entrances, bounce rate and exit percentage for each page.

By tracking content marketing efforts in this way, you can gain more awareness on what topics your audience wants to learn more about.

This can give you new content ideas. It also can help you to repurpose your content in order to bring even more traffic to your site, or upgrade your old content in order to rank higher in the SERPs.

5. Behavior Flow

This feature goes hand-in-hand with understanding your pages and how they are performing.

You can access Behavior Flow by clicking on the behavior flow tab underneath Behavior.

Once here, you will see this dashboard:

how to use google behavior flows

Though it looks confusing, after taking a look for a while, you will see that it is a visual representation of the past people have taken while on your website.

This is an amazing tool for getting a more in depth look at how people navigate through your site. Having this knowledge can help you guide your leads through the sales funnel by offering them proper calls to action, landing pages, and more personalized content on your site.

Behavior flow not only allows you to measure your content marketing efforts, but continually fine tune them in order to become better at conversions over time.

6. What is Exit Percentage?

Exit percentage is another pretty straightforward metric, it is the percentage of users who left your site on a given page.

This can be very helpful when trying to identify which pages are successful in terms of conversion, and which pages may need some tweaking on either the visual or the contextual side of things in order to guide users towards the desired action.

When tracking this content marketing KPI, you want to try and get users to not exit from certain pages.

Perhaps you find one of your blogs has a high exit rate. So, right as people go to leave, you provide them with a last ditch effort to get some information on them by offering a free e-book for their contact information.

Another example of how to use exit percentage to your advantage would be to find landing pages with high exit rates and optimize them in order to lower this figure.

Over time, even the slightest improvement on these numbers can make a huge difference in your lead generation and conversion. This is why measuring content marketing ROI on Google Analytics for these major KPIs is a must for companies looking to maximize the success of their content marketing efforts.

7. What is Average Time on Page?

The average time on page is an aggregate of the time spent by your users on each page divided by the total number of visitors you have.

Again, if your site is new and you have been editing it often, it is important to remove your data from the dataset in order to get a more accurate representation of your audiences traffic on your site.

If people seem to be leaving certain pages very quickly, it may be indicative that you are not grabbing their attention well enough.

Also, when you do make changes to the content or visuals of your site, it is important to measure the change in these statistics in order to understand the effectiveness of your edits.

8. Referrals vs. Social vs. Organic

Undoubtedly, you make efforts on a multitude of channels to drive traffic to your website.

While the ideal goal is to have most of your traffic coming from organic search traffic, it is also important to maintain a healthy percentage of website traffic from social, paid, and referral sources as well.

While in the Home tab, scroll down to your acquisition report.

Click the acquisition report button in the lower right corner, and you will be brought to this dashboard.

From here, you can analyze all the data on how your users get to your site. The transition of inbound vs. outbound marketing in this day and age is switching up the entire way marketers look towards traffic sources online.

You can even click on the individual channels themselves to get a breakdown of exactly how people found your site:

google analytics comprehensive guide

This is especially great for social traffic, organic search, and paid traffic because it helps you identify what channels they came from, what keywords they used, and what ads they clicked on.

9. Create Goals on Google Analytics 

One of the best things you can do for your business on Google Analytics is to create goals for your content marketing campaigns.

These goals can be anything from: 

  • How long someone visits your website
  • How many pages someone visits on your site
  • Contact forms being filled out
  • Content being downloaded
  • Conversions sent to a certain destination
  • Social shares for the content
  • Etc…

Depending on your level of experience with Google Analytics, goals can be a powerful tool for understanding your users’ flow on your site, and how effective your content marketing campaigns are.

content marketing google analytics guide

Be sure to take some time to familiarize yourself with goals and how they work in order to maximize your content marketing ROI.

5 Tips to Get Better Results on Google Analytics

Throughout your travels as a content marketer, there are a few tips you will want to be sure to follow in order to get the best results from your content marketing efforts.

1. Retargeting Campaigns

At the end of the day, your content will only be effective if you are consistent and persistent. A few people may come to your site a few times in order to check something out periodically, but most of them will leave and never return. Unless you do something about it.

Retargeting campaigns allow you to use cookies on your site in order to track your users, then retarget them with paid ad campaigns later. 

This is a great way to make sure that people who are qualified leads are reached again and convert more. It is also a great way to make sure that you are getting contact information for the people you consider to be great leads.

2. Optimize and Repurpose Your Old Content 

While no one wants to do it, optimizing your existing blog content is one of the easiest ways to get results instantly while using Google Analytics.

This is as simple as taking the time to go back and dig a bit deeper in your analytics data to find out what pages are performing well, and give them a little upgrade. Upgrading content has been shown to improve click through rates, conversions and rankings.

You can also maximize your content marketing campaign effectiveness by repurposing your blog content into different formats. This is a great way to appeal to a larger audience and reach your existing audience on multiple platforms, and also get the most out of your existing content.

3. Improve Your Site Speed and On-Page SEO

Improving your site speed will help you to get better rankings from Google, and less bounce rate over time from people who do not want to wait for a web page to load.

Improving your on page SEO will also help you to get better results in search console. 

This can be a lengthy and complicated process at times, but it is worth it. We wrote a comprehensive guide about how to improve your on-page SEO here.

4. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Traffic

In 2019, almost 80% of the traffic on the web will be mobile based. You absolutely need to be putting mobile first into all of your web design. This means not only making it look great, but making it work great as well.

Often times, load speeds suffer on mobile. There are ways to get around this. Try to focus on improving user experience and load time. This will give you the best chance to succeed in this mobile first environment.

5. A/B Test Your Important Pages 

A/B testing is the art of taking a page and trying multiple renditions of it over and over again until you find the right fit. The beauty is, you can use Google Optimize to split your traffic into segments, sending one percentage of them to one page, and some to other pages.

Over time, this allows you to collect data on which layouts, wording , color schemes, calls to action, etc… work best, and which ones do not. This really allows you to tweak your site as time goes on to get the most out of your Google Analytics console.

Working With Content Marketing Experts to Improve Your Web Presence

We covered a lot here today, we installed Google analytics tracking code to your website to allow you to get unbelievable real time analytics data on your website traffic.

We discussed and defined 8 of the most important Google analytics metrics the beginners should understand and try to utilize.

I know that at first, all the power Google analytics gives you can seem overwhelming. But, I can promise that if you are willing to spend the time to continue learning how to improve your Analytics data analysis, it can have an incredible impact on your website’s performance and customer knowledge.

If you are a business owner who simply does not have the time to learn analytics, and how to use it to improve your online presence, it is strongly recommended that you seek out a Google analytics expert to help you build your online content strategy.

To work with an experienced team of content marketers, give us a call, or fill out our contact form.

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