Marketers in Progress: What you need in a content analytics tool
- By Jessica Navarro - Sep 29, 2023 Marketers in Progress Web Analytics Content Experience Digital marketing
Content is taking on a new role in marketing these days.
When I started copywriting in 2015, content was viewed as an on-demand service center for sales. Need a landing page? A graphic for social media? Update a one-pager?
But customers' buying habits have shifted. Sales are not the primary source of information. These days it’s more likely potential customers will contact a sales rep after first researching a product and brand extensively.
This is a double-edged sword. Now, marketing teams are expected to step up and deliver tangible numbers that tie their content to revenue.
So, fellow content creators. To help us deliver better content experiences, campaign performances, and document our results, we have to turn to data.
Don’t drown in data. Finding a tool that works for every kind of marketer
But as I’ve learned firsthand, more is not always better.
A lot of analytics tools on the market are made for specialists, like data analysts and performance marketers.
They give you a wide view of the data. That’s great if you’re on the marketing ops side of things, but very overwhelming if you’re a content creator who wants to know how their content is performing.
When the product team at Siteimprove announced they’d made a tool with a specialized view for content marketers like me, I was excited to try it out.
Here’s my take on what makes the Siteimprove Content Analytics feature worth your time.
Live analytics for a clear overview of who is viewing our content
When I’m tasked with improving my team’s content performance, I’m looking at two main areas: 1) who is viewing the content and 2) how people are interacting with the content.
Siteimprove’s Content Analytics offers exactly that in one place. Let’s talk about the first area: who is viewing our content.
By harnessing the power of live analytics, content creators can gain a better understanding of our audience, enabling us to tailor our content strategies and get the most out of the content we put our time and efforts into.
For example, you get real-time information about your website visitors like where in the world they are, what device type they’re using, and which channel they’re coming from, such as search engines, social media, direct traffic.
Sidenote: This is how I learned about a search engine called Ecosia I’ve never heard of before, but which apparently brought in a total of over 400 referrals to our page.
I can see live analytics being especially useful to track whether a new high-visibility campaign is gaining traction or not. I also want to explore how I could use these analytics to track spikes in traffic.
Another fun feature is the live heat map. It’s eye-opening to see what areas of the web page are gaining a visitor’s attention.
Tracking how visitors interact with our content
Just as important as knowing who is viewing your content is to learn how they’re engaging with it.
One of the features I’m most intrigued by is the event tracking.
If you know a little bit about web analytics, an event is defined as interactions with the content. In the Siteimprove platform, these events are structured by category, action, and label. So a category, for instance, would be a CTA, a form, or video. An action would then be a click, a submission, or a play, respectively.
You can get even more granular by adding labels to specific interactions you want to track, for example, if you want to see the plays a certain video gets, you can label it with the name of the video so you can easily track specific pieces of content.
I’d be interested in using this feature to track how visitors on siteimprove.com are exploring our content. Is there a certain CTA, page, or downloaded content they favor? If so, is that something I should consider sharing with my teammates on the demand gen team?
Track key metrics and report on KPIs
Again, the key to this targeted view of content analytics is to avoid feeling overwhelmed. To help content creators keep their focus, Siteimprove’s new Content Analytics view lets you track key metrics.
From what I can see in the Siteimprove platform, these key metrics can get pretty granular. You can track specific events like the number of clicks on your main call-to-action button and set a weekly, monthly, or yearly target.
You can group key metrics into one KPI, which can give you a high-level view of results that you can report to management. For instance, I can create a KPI labeled “Lead generation” which contains key metrics for all our website’s points of conversion, such as submitting a contact form, requesting a free website audit, or engaging with one of our website checkers.
When it comes to data, keep it simple
People overcomplicate data (I can say that because I used to do it too).
The whole point is that data should help you make decisions faster and easier. But having too much data, or data scattered across multiple sources, can be a huge decision-blocker.
If you’re not sure how to start being data-driven, start with what goals you want to achieve. Because analytics without a clear plan will, in my experience, leave you feeling very defeated.
Us content creators have a tougher job than ever. Balancing the creative side with the analytical side is the newest hurdle, but the moment you can start demonstrating your content’s performance, that balance becomes much easier to find.