Creating original content can be a very time consuming task, so knowing which techniques, topics and styles appeal to your audience will allow you to write more compelling posts. InboundWriter is highly effective in identifying keywords and top phrases to make your content stand out in the crowd; in fact, the application even scores your content on its findability on the web. But what additional analytics can you consider in measuring the effectiveness of your content strategy? Before crafting your next piece of content, take a look at these ways of measuring your most effective writing techniques and learn how you can use this data to make your content more powerful in reaching its target audience.
Google Analytics — Every content marketer knows about Google Analytics, or at least they should. Google Analytics lets you analyze important metrics like visits, bounce rates, page views and traffic, plus it even has a handy content section that lets you specifically investigate information about your “Site Content.” This section contains reports designed to help you improve the content on your site to meet the needs and expectations of visitors by highlighting the most visited pages on your website, as well as common landing and exit pages. With this data you will be able to determine your site’s strongest and weakest content as it appeals to your audience, allowing you to know what works and what doesn’t.
Social Shares — Remember those pretty social share buttons you wired into your blog and web pages? They’re not just for looks, they’re there so readers can easily share your posts! Looking back to see which content has been shared, tweeted, liked, pinned, etc. the most will give you a clear understanding of the types of content your readers find valuable enough to share with their friends. If your target audience likes “how-to’s” over infographics, or prefers a laid back writing style versus a more professional voice, go with the flow and give the people what they want.
Comments — Commenting takes time and initiative from readers, especially if sign-in or account creation is required, so similarly to social shares, focusing on which posts garnered the most interaction will highlight which type of content interests your audience. Although positive feedback is ideal, remember that opposing user viewpoints still count as interaction. In fact, dueling opinions tend to add fire to the conversation and there’s nothing wrong with a little controversy now and then to stir things up!
Short Link Tracking — The main reasons to use URL shorteners are to make very long site links shorter and sharable or to track link clicks. Some URL shorteners allow link customization and special analytics, but the main goal here is to know which links are being clicked (and hopefully read!). Not only will tracking short links allow you to see which content is being clicked, but it will also give you feedback on your headlines. For example, if you’ve shared a message that says, “Do You Know How to Tame a Lion?” and it was only clicked 100 times, while another message reading “My Pet Lion: How I Tamed the King of the Jungle” received 3,000+, it’s safe to say your audience likes the latter.
Crowd Sourcing — What’s the best way to answer a question? To ask it! Whether it’s in the form of a poll, survey, contest or a direct question, asking your audience what they want is a simple and efficient way to harvest insights. Plus, not only will you get the answers you’re looking for, you’ll likely receive great ideas for future content as well.
Keeping an eye on these metrics as well as implementing changes to ensure your content is in line with the types of posts your readers want is the first step to growing a larger audience. After all, the goal of an article, blog post or web content in general is to have it read, not for the interwebs to suck it into the abyss of abandoned online material.
Images courtesy of sixrevisions.com.