Having spent considerable time in the research, planning, creating and promoting phases of your optimised content marketing journey it is of paramount importance that you take the time to analyse the impact of your efforts.
“Impact” can be measured in many ways and each Web marketeer has their own interpretation of success having articulated their business goals into clearly definable objectives during phase one of this journey.
So now is the time to measure the success of your content marketing against these original KPIs which may come in the form of:
Alternatively, you may have been more concerned with improved customer service/retention or perhaps the creation of more “sharable” content which will attract those all important “social signals” such as likes, votes, recommendations, shares and +1s.
Whatever your objective, there are a multitude of tools out there to measure the success of your content marketing strategy.
Google Analytics is a free and very useful tool which can tell a Web master all manner of things in terms of where their traffic has come from, how visitors interact on a site and ultimately whether these visits convert into “useful behaviour” as defined by site owner.
It is crucial to creates “goals” within your Google Analytics account so that you can gain intelligence in terms of converting keywords, traffic sources and content.
It is very simple in most cases to set up these goals and the process is clearly explained in the Intergage Google Tools workshop run by Lorna O’Brien.
Once this process is complete, Web masters will be able to create custom reports to measure the effectiveness of certain traffic sources such as search engines, blogs, forums, social platforms and referring sites in both the levels of traffic that they deliver to their site and the percentage of that traffic that converts into “useful behaviour” such as sales, leads or downloads.
For marketers who are more concerned with analysing their search engine rankings, Google Analytics provides some very valuable keyword reports which will allow you to compare month on month fluctuations in traffic from certain keywords.
This is a far more valuable way of analysing the success of your rankings when compared to the traditional methods of manually checking your listings on a search engine.
Both local and personalised search have rendered manual ranking checks highly unreliable. What one person may be served as a Page 1, Position 1 ranking could well be entirely different to what his or her neighbour next door may see.
Following several years of algorithm updates – one thing has been made very clear: the search engines are craving “sharable content” more than ever and have introduced a wide array of trust measurements by which they rank content.
If an increased level of content engagement is at the top of your wish list then the Social reporting section of analytics will be invaluable to you.
Use this selection of reports to understand not only which platforms are sending the highest levels of visits to your site but more importantly, which pieces of content are triggering conversations on sites such as Google+ , Blogger and Digg.
By creating a custom report, you will be able to find out which pieces of content sparked the most “signal signals” in terms of votes, shares, likes and more.
So having journeyed from Step 1 to 7 on your optimised content marketing strategy you may be forgiven for putting your feet up and taking a break from the tedium of keywords and content.
But for the truly committed Web marketer, there is no such luxury as a break.
It is now time to assess the impact of your efforts so far and feed all intelligence gained back into your content marketing strategy in order for you to take stock, reassess and decide on whether a new direction is needed or just a continued drive along the same route – follow the Yellow Brick Road to optimised content marketing success!
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