Sometimes, as digital marketers, we’re guilty of measuring content marketing metrics without remembering why. You see the numbers go up and you think, ‘ah excellent, we’re doing well.’ Your boss gives you a pat on the back, your CEO is delighted that you’re increasing traffic to the website and your ego is well fed for another month.

Wait. Before you close Google Analytics, stop right there! Yes, it matters that your content marketing strategy is performing well but what matters more is ‘why.’ If you never get to they ‘why’ of your progress, or your lack thereof, you’ll never improve your content or make your customers obsessed with your brand (and make no mistake about it – obsession matters).

Here’s What Understanding the ‘Why’ of Content Marketing Analysis Can Help You Achieve:

– You’ll understand what draws customers in and makes them read your content.

– You can learn how to move them to action (to make them click, download or share).

– You’ll identify the types of content they’re proud to share.

– You can discover the types of content that helps them learn better and come back for more.

– You’ll become a better content marketer (oh, now you’re listening, right?)

Below, we’ll show you how to analyse 4 important components of your content and explain how to use these insights to improve your content marketing strategy.

1. Unique Page Views: Am I Piquing Their Initial Interest?

Measure Page Views

Why Measure Unique Page Views?:

Unique Page Views is an effective metric because it helps you assess your prospect’s initial interest in your blog post. It helps you assess how many individual people clicked on your article. This is good for helping you determine how interested your target audience are in your topic type, how engaging your headline and meta description is and how enticing your featured image is. After all, these are the only elements that your readers are introduced to before they make the decision to click.

Allows You to Identify Topic Trends:

You won’t initially know why your audience clicked on your post – that’s why it’s important to try to identify trends. We outline the steps below to show you how to isolate your blog traffic and view the posts that are bringing the most traffic to your blog. Export these as a spreadsheet in Google Analytics when you’re done and try to identify popular topic types. Once you have a list of popular topic types created in Excel you can upload your spreadsheet to a word cloud tool like TagCrowd. It will generate a word cloud for you that transforms your most popular topics into huge text and your least popular topics into tiny text so you can easily identify what’s working and what’s not.

Enables You to Form a Basis for Testing:

You can conduct some testing to identify trends if you change your headline style or image style, for example. To do so, dedicate a period of time to one element only – for example, decide that you’re going to test a fun and engaging headline style for a quarter and then the next quarter you can test a more concise and to the point headline style. Compare them both after to determine which style works best.

How to Measure Unique Page Views & Find Your Most Popular Posts:

To isolate your blog traffic in Google Analytics and find out which pages are bringing your blog the most traffic, follow the steps outlined below:

– Login to your Google Analytics account.

– Click Behaviour and select Site Content from the dropdown menu.

– Click on All Pages.

– To analyse your website traffic for a specific period, click the date box (located on the upper right-hand corner), define your chosen date range and select Apply.

– Click the search box at the top of the table and enter the term ‘blog’ to isolate your blog traffic (and remove all other web pages) and click the search icon.

– Click Unique Page Views to reveal the blog posts that bring in the most traffic (these will appear at the top of the table).

2. Shares: What Content Are They Most Proud to Share?

Shared Content

Why Analyse Social Shares?:

A social share is much more than a nod of approval. It shows that your audience is proud to share your content – it’s your job to work out why. Some simple analysis using a tool called BuzzSumo will help you figure out what types of blog posts are bringing in the most shares.

Allows You to Identify What’s In It For Your Customers:

Remember, people only share a piece of content when there’s something in it for them. If you can identify the blog posts that bring in the most social shares you can, of course, identify popular topic types. However, the best part of identifying popular topic types that get shared is that it allows you to solve that ‘what’s in it for your customers?’ puzzle. For example, say you discover your target audience love to share posts about content marketing, try to determine what they get out of this. Are they proud to show their peers that they’re continuously learning?

Allows You to Identify What Social Channels They Share on & Why:

Average Shares by Network

By identifying the most popular social channels your audience share content on it allows you to gain an even deeper understanding of ‘what’s in it for your customers?’ For example, if you discover that most of your social shares come from LinkedIn, your audience might want content that helps them appear smart and clued-in to their industry – they’re trying to impress peers, colleagues and potential employers. However, if most of your shares come from Facebook maybe it’s their friends they’re trying to impress It’s your job to find out how your post helps them impress or entertain their friends. Please note: you can find this information located in the content analysis section of your BuzzSumo account.

How to Quickly Identify Blog Posts That Bring in the Most Social Shares:

– Create a free BuzzSumo account and sign in.

– Enter your blog’s website address into the box provided and select Search.

– Choose your date range on the left-hand side.

– You will receive a list of your most popular blog posts in terms of shares for that period (the blog posts that received the most shares appear at the top).

3. Popular Topic Types & Length: What Types of Content Can They Not Get Enough Of?

Social Shares by Content Type

Why Analyse Content Topics & Types?:

Identify Patterns In Your Readers’ Thinking:

Analysing popular content types and length helps you understand the kind of content your readers want and like. By running a quick BuzzSumo content analysis check on your blog you can discover your most popular topic types (for example, if you blog about digital marketing you might find that your most popular topic type is content marketing). You can then investigate whether this correlates with your previous research on most popular posts in terms of page views. You will will very quickly begin to identify patterns in your readers’ thinking and preferences. Use this insight to redefine the mission of your content strategy.

Gain Competitor Content Marketing Insights:

You can also find out the length of posts your readers prefer – this helps you determine whether your strategy should be based around long form or short form blog posts. The insight here comes from whether your readers respond better to concise and snappy articles or if they prefer in-depth, thought leadership pieces.

Top tip: Run your competitor’s blog domain under the BuzzSumo analysis tool to see which topic types and length readers are sharing most and make a note on this in your content strategy.

How to Identify Popular Topic Types & Length:

Domain Content Analysis

Follow the steps below to discover your optimal content topic type (for example, if you blog about digital marketing you might find that your most popular topic type is inbound marketing). You’ll also find out whether how-to articles or lists perform better.

– Login to your BuzzSumo

– Click on the Reports tab and select Content Analysis.

– Enter your blog’s website address into the text field and select Search.

– Choose your date range (top left hand corner of the screen) and select Update.

– Your average shares for that period will display on the top right hand corner of the screen.

– Scroll down to receive a charts of your most popular topic types and lengths of content in terms of social shares.

There’s Always Another ‘Why’:

The above content marketing analysis tips are merely the tip of the iceberg. There’s always another ‘why’ you can ask when you discover a trend or stumble upon a key metric. Absolutely do ask yourself if your content is performing well but then ask ‘why’, ‘why’, ‘why’ until you get to the heart of your consumer insight. Growth charts don’t help you become a better content marketer – data-driven insights do.

Zara Burke

I'm a digital content marketer/writer based in Dublin and I love what I do. I've enjoyed working in a variety of content-focused fields, including digital marketing, journalism & PR. Nothing inspires me more than a good story, the chance to learn and a well-brewed cup of tea.

All articles by Zara Burke

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