Last updated on March 9th, 2016 at 08:21 pm
You’re probably well-versed on how to use your marketing metrics to come up with better and new content for your B2B content marketing programs. Did you know you can also use analytics for your content audits too?
Yes, it’s true. You can use the same tools to identify successful content and copy on your website, help you create a better editorial calendar, and focus on different audience segments.
Let’s take a closer look to see how to retool your website analytics for your content audits.
Part 1: The content audit components to look at
As we previously talked about, content audits are the single best way to understand the content your audience responds to. You’ll see what topics they like and dislike, how they like to read your content, and more.
When it comes to the analysis part of your content audit (remember, it’s made up of the content inventory + content analysis), break down your content into these five information blocks:
- Type of content: Is it a graphic, text, or a mix of both? (like an infographic)
- Source of content: Is it original content or curated from a third party? Ensure that all references, links, and curated content sources the original creator.
- Source of audience: Where does your audience come from and how does it relate to the marketing channels you’re invested in? (that’s everything from email, website, social media to paid search and more.)
- Content performance: These are the usual analytic numbers, such as bounce rate, time on site, CTA clicks, etc.
- Information currency: Just how current is the information in your content? Is it up-to-date or a while out of date? Remember, audience demands change over time, so it’s important to keep the information updated according to their tastes and search habits.
Part 2: Mapping your analytics to content audit components
Now let’s define the analytics to use when analyzing your content audit components, so you’ll be able to identify the success of a particular piece of content.
Website analytic numbers
- Unique visitors: See how many unique visitors (per IP address) go to each page on your B2B website.
- New vs returning visitors: This number tells you how good and popular the content is both on first publication, but also on-going. Beware of these numbers and ad hoc content created for a specific time-sensitive event. Those numbers may be high at the start, but then taper off, especially after the date in question. Perhaps create a separate category for that type of content.
- Bounce rate: High bounce rates indicate the content isn’t strong enough to keep readers on the page for long.
- Referrals: Particularly useful for targeted inbound campaigns on social media or emails, the referral numbers can be a good indicator of your most valuable referral channels.
- Web page load time: Page load times are directly related to bounce rates, since people don’t have a lot of patience today. Identify the pages with higher load times, and streamline your website to make it more user-friendly. Pay special attention to the mobile load times too, since many visitors are accessing your site on mobile devices.
- Keywords and ranking: Evaluate your web pages to see how they’re performing for the keywords you’ve identified for your B2B business, industry, and the page itself. Try to target the highest volume, lowest competition keywords you can, to achieve a good pagerank.
- Outbound links: Backlinks are important for SEO, but they’re also a good indicator for how well-regarded your website is. Cultivate relationships and links with reputable external websites to give your site the best exposure to additional audiences.
- Conversions: Always track your conversions, whether it’s through sign-ups, clicks, or opt-ins. If a page leads a reader to a secondary page, like a subscriber sign-up page, you should be tracking how well both the link to the secondary page is performing, as well as how many people actually complete the action you’re asking them to do.
- Location: This metric is an indicator of the success of your geographically-targeted programs and channels. For some B2B businesses tracking the location of inbound prospects and visitors isn’t as necessary for their inbound programs, but for those in highly-regulated industries, it can be a telling number. And it can help explain low bounce rates or low returning visitor numbers. There’s no reason for those visitors to stick around or come back, since the content doesn’t apply to their location.
Measuring these nine metrics in your content audit can tell you which content is performing well and which isn’t.
You’ll be better prepared to map your effort to your B2B KPIs, and create more effective reports for upper management. It’ll also help guide your future content investment and development.
Putting it all together
Content audits aren’t always fun, and usually take longer than you think. So repurposing the data you discover can be a great way to sell it to upper management, as well as the resources actually doing all the aggregating and researching.
These metrics help you quantify the effort you’re putting in to your website and other online content, increasing the value of the assets.
You’ll also gain new insights into your audience without having to attend any trade shows or in-person meetings. Simply mine the website analytics you’re already gathering and apply them in a slightly different way to your content.