One Writer Boldly Going (a bit) into Content Analysis
Image Copyright: rolffimages / 123RF Stock Photo
You write and write and write content and you’re happy as a clam*, submitting your work for others to publish … and sometimes you think, “Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s really working?”
I’ve got analytics for my own site, of course (thanks bunches for checking out the bit about writing newsletters, by the way). But sometimes you get curious about how the work you’re submitting for others is hitting home.
Lately I’ve been asking more often for feedback not only on qualitative data (do you likey?), but quantitative data (how many of your readers likey?). When a client doesn’t track it themselves I sometimes ask them to share admin access to Facebook Insights and Google Analytics.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a digital marketing analyst. No, Sir.
What I am is a professional writer interested in making an impact, not just hearing the sound of his own voice (you know, in the literary sense … reading the sound … I mean, seeing the text of his own … whatever, you get the idea).
With the permission of Farmhouse Creative, one of my partners providing the social media management, graphic design, website building and maintenance that I don’t do myself, I share here a few of the discoveries we made when we took a look at our content marketing performance.
(We discussed this a bit on FC’s weekly Facebook Live webcast, “Marketing Monday”.)
Part I: Pre-launch Prep, or “Damn it, Jim. I’m a Writer, Not a Content Marketing Analyst”
To get started, we made a plan to:
- Define a 16-month period
- Measure each post’s effectiveness using criteria from two sources:
- Facebook reach (eyeballs) and engagement (clicks)
- Google Analytics reports of website sessions the week of each post
- Categorize posts
- Analyze the results
Part II: Gazing Into the Monolith, or “It’s Full of Numbers”
We discovered a couple things.
Facebook told us our most successful category was Niche; that is, content targeted to specific audiences like doctors, for example. Only about 8% of our content was in the Niche category, but gave us almost 21% of our entire reach for the period.
Google Analytics said our most successful posts were in the Print (products/services) and Content Marketing categories. Our site had 34% more sessions the weeks Print category articles were posted compared with the overall average.
Part III: Discoveries, or “Soylent Green is Made out of Complex Algorithms and PEOPLE!”
A digital marketing analyst would probably have loads more thoughts, but we came up with a couple takeaways for just about any business blogger.
Takeaway #1 – People like content geared specifically to them. Direct some content fairly often to a specific audience (maybe a certain profession, or social club, or neighborhood, etc.) and expect lots of likes and shares on social media from people who can relate.
Takeaway #2 – Google likes content with popular keywords. We think those posts that had broader appeal probably got us a little higher in the search rankings, which boosted our sessions.
Impress Google’s “bots” with broader content and people see you; impress real people with what matters to them and they’ll come back and eventually buy from you.
Of course the most important step in content marketing is the first: just do it. Post to your blog. Do it consistently. If you can’t keep up, talk to a writer like me about helping to carry the load.
Just remember to stop and see how you’re doing every once in a while. Make sure this one small step into content becomes one giant leap in generating serious leads.
(*Because the shell looks like it has a super wide smile, right? Or is it the pearl inside? It can’t be that it knows how delicious it is when deep fried.)