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How to use Google Analytics for content marketing

Although Google Analytics truly is a powerful tool, knowing how to use it is essential for achieving top results with your website.

Google analytics

Although Google Analytics truly is a powerful tool, knowing how to use it is essential for achieving top results with your website.

If one doesn’t know what they are looking for, they can easily get distracted and lost, rendering the Google Analytics useless. In order to learn what to look for, ask yourself the right questions, but also look for the answers in all the right places.  To make the most out of the content you produce, go for quality, rather than quantity – something many marketers easily disregard, thus making a huge mistake.

Consumption Metrics

Being in constant fear of having to produce a performance report can turn out quite crippling. The panic of not knowing what you are looking for and how to find it can often be the reason why you fail to successfully utilize all the benefits of Google Analytics. Basic metrics deal with consumption, and let you know how many people have accessed and viewed your content. Google Analytics provides the total number of unique visitors to a particular page on your website, records how many times a specific page has been viewed and unites page views generated by a specific user during the same session. These three benefits are combined into useful information for your content marketing.

Page Views

By using Google Analytics, you can answer questions regarding the overall popularity of individual pieces, as well as distinguishing which ones are better as supplemental pages or landing pages on your site. Nevertheless, instead of strictly looking at page views, applying some content groupings based on subject matter or author can go a long way in improving your use of this tool.

Page Views by Source

Here are some good questions: “Which marketing medium is the most efficient in attracting visits to my content pieces?”, “Which ones do well in organic and which ones do so in social?”, “What can I improve on my existing pieces to get more traffic?”
Google analytics
To answer them all, drill down to the tabular data that you are interested in to avoid mixing your homepage and other landing pages with your content pieces into the equation. Naturally, a lot depends on your website architecture – you may need to tweak your table filter a little bit further by using advanced options. What you now have before you is a list of your URLs in one column and the medium in the other one. Don’t forget to select Medium as the secondary dimension! This is how a serious content marketing agency uses Google Analytics!

Page Views by Title

Selecting Page Title as the primary dimension and going through the data is the best way to find out which titles are getting the majority of clicks.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics include session duration, or dwell time, page depth and social chatter, helping you find out whether people are interested in your content and willing to interact with it. Depending on the type of your company and your business goals, engagement metrics vary in importance – some entrepreneurs value speaking engagements and training projects, while others focus on comments per post and the like.

If you know how to use it, Google Analytics can do wonders for your content marketing strategy. Learn how to answer the right questions and get in touch with the metrics your company’s website truly needs. Evaluating the performance of your content marketing is crucial for the success of your business, and simply focusing on page views is considered short-sighted and fairly inefficient.

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Marcus is an Australian IT support professional. He’s running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

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