Content Marketing can seem to be a beast of a thing.
Often it can seem like we are just throwing up content on the altar of public opinion or Google, not really sure how our offering will be received.
Most business owners I know
- Complain about doing it
- Feel rushed when they do share content
- Feel like it is a waste of time
- Worry that their content is not good enough
- Are unsure if it is actually doing anything revenue related.
But all of them know that they need to do something to promote their business in the online space, to build their brand and continue to keep awareness of their business high with their audience.
One of the very first things that I want to know when I work with a client who is struggling with what to say online, worried about what to write or just generally worried about the online face of their business is to
SHOW ME THEIR NUMBERS
And I don’t mean their bank account.
I want them to look at these numbers
- Website Traffic
- Website lead generation
- Traffic from what sources - ie social, email, direct, referral or paid
- Most popular pages on their website plus
- Their social footprint
Before we change anything, or bang our head against the wall thinking it is all too hard, we need to look at what is actually occuring.
I was at a seminar this week talking about planning for 2018. And the key takeaway for me is measurement.
We talk alot about it, but we don’t actually do it….
We are all guilty of this, me included.
How can we make good decisions, often hard decisions about where we spend our precious time and money if we have no idea what is actually working online.
What is the point of a large social media footprint on say Instagram for your online store, when you know you aren’t getting people onto your email list from it. It’s no point having 3000 people like your Facebook page and you know noone comes over to buy from you. There is no point blogging madly on lots of different things, if you don’t know what people are actually reading or how they ended up there in the first place.
So as we all get sorted for year end, take a pause and then get going again in 2018, I have some helpful tips coming your way to make sure that you get your bearings before you set off again.
Get out that Digital Compass, find you where are on the map and then set off.
Part One is focussing on some specific items inside Google Analytics. Not an exhaustive list, but an important one.
- Go into Google Analytics and review last year’s traffic compared to this year.
Write it down. Are you seeing green arrows or red ones?
- Then go into Behaviour and Site Content - All Pages.
You can export out all of your page visits here. A good tip is to enable also capture a secondary dimension - like Page Title - particularly useful if you have a few landing pages, sales pages or webinar sign up forms in your mix to pinpoint exactly what you are looking at.
Maybe one of your actions for 2018 might be to review your page titles as what you see here might be a jumbled mess and not really speaking to your customers?
- Review your top pages.
Surprised by the results?
Often when people get disheartened by a lack of conversions, they don’t realise it’s not a conversion problem, rather it's a traffic problem. But until you know what the real problem is - we can’t make adjustments.
People didn’t buy your widget? How many people actually went to your widget page first?
People didn’t sign up to your list? How many people actually went to the sign-up page vs how many people then actually signed up.
Spending a lot of time blogging but not sure you are reaching people? What blogs are actually being read and what isn't being read. Identify your top 10 blog posts from 2017 and review topics, length, headline, traffic sources for that post.
Maybe one of our actions for 2018 might be to write some blog posts that fill the gaps for your customer questions and your product offer?
- Check out your GOAL completions
Are you specifically tracking people landing on lead generation pages? Think about your newsletter page, your checkout page, your request a quote page, your contact us page. You should not only be tracking people landing on these pages, but also people completing the actions. What is that conversion rate?
Maybe one of your actions for 2018 is to set up some GOALS so that you can easily track these pages at a glance?
- Check out where people are coming from.
Are people coming directly to you (and this could be from emails if you don’t tag links correctly)?
What about from social channels? Paid Search vs Organic Search?
What about referral links?
You can find all of this inside Acquisition - Overview.
Then I want you to think about the effort you are putting into various parts of marketing your business and see if you can see this reflected in this data. Spending all your time in Facebook is great if you are seeing a good proportion of people coming to your website from Facebook.
I am not saying stop this activity if you are not seeing traffic, rather make informed decisions on where you are spending your time and identify if this helping your sales funnel.
Maybe on your actions might be to set up UTM tagging for your business so that you can better track where people are coming from and what campaigns have driven that action?
- Run your website through an SEO checker tool to determine if your good SEO tools continued all year.
I use Raven Tools (the paid plan) but screaming frog has an excellent FREE tool and this is something you need to do regularly to help you create good seo habits. Do you have unique page titles on every page, do you have page descriptions, are you using heading tags correctly, are you focussed on your keywords for each page. Another really helpful tool is SEO Audit tool by found. This is another freebie worth a look.
Maybe one of your actions for 2018 might be to book a time in with me to run a full seo audit report and plan of action with you to sort out your seo woes. Just a cheeky thought :)
In my next post in this series of how to review your content from 2017, I am going to be walking you through what you need to do in your social channels to see what worked and what tanked.
Finally will then lead you through how you interpret this data and what you should be thinking about for 2018, using my results as the basis.