No need to over-analyse

December 1, 2011

There are such a vast number of metrics now available with which to measure the effectiveness of your content, that is can be easy to get overwhelmed.  Speaking as someone who is into words and not overly smitten with numbers, it’s all about drilling down on what’s important and leaving what’s not, when it comes to analytics.

It’s important to focus on the numbers that have the biggest impact on what you are doing. These will vary slightly between businesses and perhaps across some campaigns, but the vital ones for most of us, include:

  • Traffic sources: This metric enables you to see which websites, advertising, email campaigns or social media spaces the majority of your traffic is coming from, so you can increase your engagement in those and measure returns on paid online activity.
  • Keywords: What words people are using most frequently when they find your content in search engines is also important to note so that you can make sure that you are using these terms frequently in your content. You may also identify gaps, or lost opportunities and be able to add some other words into your site for better results.
  • Most popular content: Have a look at what pages on your website or blog are getting the most traffic and look to create more content on those subjects or repurpose the content to drive people to other things. You must also especially make sure this content stays up to date, as it is getting more eyeballs.
  • Exit pages: If you notice a particular page on your site has high numbers of people leaving from it, it might pay to start testing some alternative content to see if you can stop losing attention spans there. Try different headlines, or calls to action and monitor the numbers to see what works.
  • Consistent time comparisons: Establish a baseline and then look for growth, but make sure you are using a consistent measure… month over month, quarter over quarter or year over year – whatever is most meaningful to you. This gives a simple, overall measure of whether what you are doing is working.