Use Google Analytics for Better Content Marketing

Published March 19, 2014

A common question in content marketing is "What content should we promote?". If your site or blog has a lot of content, and you are looking to put some advertising behind it - or promote it in some other way - its important to choose pages that stand out. Google Analytics can help with that analysis.

Content Marketing

Find your best content

Your most compelling content may not be the pages that get the most views. In Google Analytics, you can use the Avg. Time on Page metric to see which content your visitors are taking time to actually read.

Start with the Pages report under Behavior >> Site Content >> All Pages. Click on the Avg. Time on Page column to sort it in descending order. This will show you the top pages in terms of Avg. Time on Site. But, there is typically a problem. Most of these pages don't have a lot of pageviews. In the example below, the top 3 pages have 56, 22, and 5 pageviews each. This is for a site with over 35,000 pages and over 780,000 pageviews in the past week. So, these high ranking pages aren't really representative. By statistical chance, a few visitors may have lingered on these pages, but that doesn't mean that they are appealing to a wider audience.


Filter out the low traffic pages

To correct for this problem, we can use Google Analytics' Advanced Filters. Click on the "advanced" link and create a filter for Pageviews > 1000. That will throw out the statistical outliers and focus on pages that have been viewed at least 1,000 times.


Now, the report shows those pages that get a reasonable amount of traffic and that visitors find compelling. Chances are that these pages contain content worth promoting.


Adding the top content table to a Megalytic report

The Megalytic Page Traffic widget also lets you filter out low traffic pages, so that you can include a "top content" table in your reports. Use the the "Exclude Traffic" selector to specify how much traffic to filter out. Here, we are excluding pages that get less than 0.5% of the site traffic.


The result, with filtering turned on, is shown below. The left column provides a graphical representation of the Avg Time on Page and the right column shows the total Pageviews.



When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.