Using Analytics to Give Thanks to Your Audience

This Thanksgiving, content marketers all over the U.S. will be gathering with friends and family to give thanks and celebrate the spirit of gratitude. But in addition to giving thanks to our close ones, we should take a moment to consider how to reflect gratitude to our readers as well. In our capacity as content marketers, this really comes down to the question of what readers want, and how to give them more of it. For clues, go back to your analytics data and use it to gain valuable insights into how your audience interacts with the content you create. To put together a plan for giving your audience more of what it wants, look over the past year (or several, if you have the time) of engagement data and try to pin down which pieces of content your audience found most impactful. Diving into the Google Analytics interface can be intimidating for someone who doesn’t specialize in analytics, but the following 7 metrics are a good starting point for measuring audience engagement with your content:
    • Conversions from a piece of content to the shopping cart. A conversion is a clear sign that the person found the information he or she was looking, because they were able to pull the trigger on a purchase.
    • Posts with a high number of shares or comments. For obvious reasons, these metrics showcase audience engagement.
    • Posts with the longest time spent on page. This metric usually (though not always) means that a visitor read the page more thoroughly. Though in the age of multiple browser tabs, this metric should only be used in conjunction with others to make sure lengthy stays do in fact mean higher engagement.
    • Posts with the lowest bounce rate. A low bounce rate means that a large portion of your readers found the content engaging enough to visit another page on your website.
    • Posts read by visitors who have high pages per session and/or frequency of visits stats. These metrics tell you less about the content itself and more about the people reading it. They reveal who your most loyal readers are, and you can do further segmentation to find out what content this group finds most engaging.
    • Posts read by visitors in a particular geographic location. This is particularly relevant if you have a brick and mortar location, because the visitors closest to you are the ones most likely to pay your establishment a visit. Find out which posts they prefer, and give them more of that type of content.
    • Post categories with high performance. Evaluating individual posts is fine, but if you regularly write certain kinds of posts, you should see if any predominant category shows more engagement over the others. There’s actually a way to automatically get Google Analytics to recognize post categories, but if you’re not willing to take the time to set that up, you can simply export the results into Excel and manually tag each post with a category.
  Once you’ve assembled your insights, the way forward is as simple as creating a content calendar with your new strategy in mind, and sticking to it! Content marketers, how are you planning to thank your readers this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!   [templatera id=”10396″]

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