The DataHero Blog

Use Data Analysis to Plan Your Content Strategy

June 12th, 2014

Update (2014/12/16) – Although you can still use the following method to automate your Google Analytics reporting, you can now do this directly by using the direct connection to Google Analytics in DataHero!

We can all easily monitor our blog traffic by each post through Google Analytics. However, what we’re not really able to do in Google Analytics is analyze how our content is performing at a higher level; by category. Your content strategy likely needs to execute against a few different goals to be successful.   In this post , we’ll walk you through how to pull your content data out of Google Analytics, import it in Google Drive, categorize it, then analyze it to help you make better data-driven decisions in your content strategy. By using this example, you can plan your future content strategy based on data, instead of guessing what your readers want.

Here’s the simple strategy:

To begin, pull sessions by blog post out of Google Analytics and into a Google Spreadsheet. Next, categorize this data by blog type in a separate column. The result will look something like this:

Finally, import that data into DataHero and start analyzing your content strategy.  Where do I begin to analyze my strategy you ask.  Starting with questions like what sources drive the most traffic by category or which blog category drives the most traffic tells us what readers are interested in.

What sources drive the most traffic by category?

The chart below shows how the top four sources contribute to each category.

In this example, we see that organic traffic contributes the most to tutorials, meaning this company is doing a good job of structuring tutorials around topics that people are already searching for. Also, considering the fact that the category is tutorials, it follows that Twitter would not drive as much traffic to these blogs, as people predominantly use Twitter for social interactions, less to seek help.

What blog category drives the most traffic?

Look at this metric both from an average and sum perspective. The average will allow you to see how each category is performing on a per post basis. The sum will allow you to see how the category is performing as a whole.

The chart below shows total visits by category:

We can see that tutorials have the most visits, followed by infographics and event promotion. However, if we look at the average number of visits by category, we see different categories that perform better:

DataHero Average Visits by Category

Contest promotion gets the highest average number of visits per post, followed by tutorials.

This is where higher level content strategy factors into your analysis. If the overall goal of a category is brand awareness, focus on categories that have higher average visits. If the goal is to become a thought leader, focus on tutorials and trending pieces in your industry.

It may make sense to analyze these categories by bounce rate, acquisitions, or social shares as well. Breaking this information down by category can allow you to see how your content fits into the overall marketing strategy, whether it’s raising awareness of your company, driving traffic to sales, generating leads, etc. Now with DataHero we have a way to quickly and effectively analyze your content data by category and fit the pieces of your content together into your larger marketing plan.

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By Kelli Simpson

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