Join David Booth for an in-depth discussion in this video Measuring content performance, part of SEO Foundations.
- Measuring the performance of your content is essential to determining the success of your SEO efforts and to help guide your content strategy. By looking at how your content performs, you'll be able to understand what your visitors want and provide more of it to them in the future. When you evaluate your content's performance, it's important to ask these questions. What content are our visitors looking at? What's our most popular content? Are our visitors engaged with our content? Are they sharing our content with others? And ultimately, is our content generating the quality business results we are after? You probably already have a web analytics tool on your website, and there are many good ones out there that can collect the data you need to help you get answers to these questions.
For this course, we're going to use the popular tool, Google Analytics, but if you're using an Adobe, IBM, Webtrends, or other enterprise analytic solution, you'll find very similar reports there as well, and if you're not familiar with Google Analytics, then check out the Essential Training course here on Lynda.com, where you can learn more about the reports and features that we're about to discuss. First, figuring out what our customers are looking at can be measured by something simple like page views. In Google Analytics, you can head over to the site content reports, and you'll see a list of the most popular pages of your website for the date range that you're looking at.
If you want to find out which were your most popular pages as landing pages, or the first page that a visitor sees on your site, you can head over to the landing pages report. And if you're an advanced user, you can even use advanced segments to look at only visits that came from organic search or even specific search engines. And while it's good to know which pieces of content got the most page views, that doesn't tell us anything about how well that content was received. Writing content is easy, but writing content that will provide value and leave an impression on your visitors is much more difficult, and we're interested in finding out about visitor engagement.
There are three metrics that can help you quickly tell how visitors are engaging with your content. Pages per visit, average time on site, and bounce rate. Visitors are considered more engaged the longer each of their visits to your website is, and this can be measured in part by both average time on site and the number of pages that they viewed during their visit. The bounce rate is a measure of how often a visitor lands on your website and then leaves without seeing any other page of the site. Generally speaking, the lower the bounce rate, the more your visitors were enticed by your content to dive deeper into your site.
to dive deeper into your site. Next, let's look at whether or not our content is being shared online. While you can use a slew of social media tools to measure how often your tweets, posts, pluses, and shares are reshared throughout your social networks, tools like Google Analytics can also be configured to track interactions that are happening both on and off your site. Google Analytics, for example, can track how many times people are clicking on your social media sharing buttons, leaving comments on your blog, and it can even go out and find the public posts across a number of different social networks that have been used to share content on your site.
that have been used to share content on your site. Of course, the flip side of this is that when content is shared via social media, the recipients of those tweets and posts can come back and visit your website. You can use campaign tagging and Google Analytics Traffic Sources reports to see how many of your visits are coming from all of this sharing. Perhaps the most important question of all is whether or not all this content production is driving our business goals. A properly configured web analytics tool is focused not just on counting pages but associating all of that data with business outcomes.
Did the visitor who came to our site, as a result of a particular piece of content, end up buying something? Did they call us? Did they submit a lead form? Did they download a white paper or sign up for a product demonstration? Did they follow us on a social network or share our content with others? Did they sign up for our newsletter? Each and every one of these goals has real business value, and by understanding what content drives these conversion actions, we can answer the biggest question of all. What did we get back for all of that investment in SEO? Whether you use Google Analytics or any other analytics tool, monitoring and measuring the performance of your content will help you understand the value you're creating and help you plan for continually improving the content you'll be focusing on next.
the content you'll be focusing on next.
This course is part of a Learning Path approved by the American Marketing Association.
Gain the skills you need to become an AMA Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) in Digital Marketing by using the industry-leading courses and resources in the Learning Path. Take the AMA certification exam to show that you have what it takes to lead the digital transformation.
- What is SEO?
- Understanding how search engines index content
- Researching keywords
- Using SEO tools
- Optimizing pages for keywords
- Optimizing code and site structure
- Building links to your content
- Optimizing nontext components of a webpage
- Analyzing content quality
- Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
- Promoting your content via social media
- Measuring SEO effectiveness
- Setting up Google+ Local
- Optimizing ecommerce sites for search
- Configuring sites for mobile