Justifying your content investment with analytics

Without the right insights, it’s easy to talk yourself out of investing in quality on-site content and even easier for your boss to cut your budgets. The key to ensuring you have a clear understanding of how and where your content is adding value lies not in producing in more content, but in developing a bespoke measurement plan. Without this, sustained and successful investment in content strategy is likely to be unfeasible.

Understanding exactly what your content is doing for your business, how every article, every guide, every video and every image is impacting the path to conversion is vital for any SEO or content specialist to understand.

Building on our previous articles on content performance, I’ll talk through a few of the bespoke reports our analytics team build and how exactly you can use those insights to produce better and more profitable content for your site.

1. Evergreen content analysis

‘Evergreen’ is a term now so overused it’s become almost meaningless – partly due to the fact that not many content managers have reporting set up to understand whether their content really is evergreen.

Many content managers label a piece of content that can stay relevant over a period of time as evergreen, but evergreen shouldn’t just be about consistent relevancy over time, it should be about consistent performance over time.

This is where collaboration with your analytics team comes in. If you’re truly interested in understanding the sustainable value of evergreen content, you can set up reports that measure the value of that content over time by measuring average daily views from publish date.

Pulling all data since publishing, rather than looking at isolated months, means you can understand the sustained or diminishing return on that content, and whether the value truly is evergreen. This is brilliant for getting away from the jargon around evergreen content and understanding if your piece was valuable at first but quickly dropped off, or if it stood the test of time and deserves more investment.

Evergreen Content Analysis

In terms of efficiencies, this helps you prioritise which topics to invest time in. Just because a piece only performs excellently for a month doesn’t mean it’s worthless, but it might be worth distributing your time proportionately towards content you know is going to be viewed and engaged with consistently over time.

2. Word count vs. engagement

Understanding how much copy you should be producing, and whether there is value in creating long form pages on your site is extremely important when understanding whether you are investing in the right ways.

Good copy needs investment, and investment requires proof of worth.

By working with your analytics team to implement a tailored engagement tracking plan, you’ll be able to actively measure how people are interacting with your content and whether there is value in producing longer pieces of content.

Bounce rate can give you an indication as to whether a page is engaging your audience, but there are more accurate and in-depth ways to measure how engaged your audience is.

Scroll tracking is a good way to get an understanding of how far down the page your audience are going. This is particularly interesting if you’re looking to understand long-form performance.

However, this isn’t quite enough to truly understand how interested your audience is in your content.

Things get much more insightful when you compare scroll depth to time on page, to give yourself a clear profile of behaviour on the page. Scroll depth will tell you how far your audience are scrolling, but align that with time on page and you’ll be able to decipher whether people are consuming the content you’ve produced.

Pair that with the content journey to conversion tracking in section three and you’ve got a clear understanding of how your consumers are engaging with content, and how that engagement is contributing to conversion.

3. Editorial dashboarding

A proper editorial dashboard is a collaboration between content and analytics. For your analytics team to put together an editorial dashboard they need to understand your priorities, and for you to brief your dashboard in properly you need to understand the measurement and tracking potentials.

How much you want to invest in editorial dashboarding will vary hugely depending on website size and traffic, but here’s a bit of inspiration to help you think about what you might want to measure:

editorial dashboard

When built and used properly, an editorial analytics dashboard reviewed on a regular basis can feed a reactive editorial strategy centred around performance.

Particularly in fast paced industries, being reactive is essential. However it’s also dangerous as you can end up rushing into investing time in the wrong places. Investing time in a reactive dashboard means that even if decisions are made quickly, they’re made based on sound data that you can trust.

4. Content journey to conversion

Again, this is utterly essential information for any marketer responsible for content.

Gaining knowledge around how people have been led from content to a conversion, and what type of content has influenced them should be the bedrock of any content strategy.

As per any other reports, building this will need close collaboration with your analytics team but broadly you should be able to answer questions like:

5. Tracking clicks on jump links

A very quick bonus tip here: it may seem obvious, but it’s an often-forgotten part of content tracking! Many long form posts include jump links to help audiences reach the most relevant part of a page quickly, this is something we use often in our resources section.

Don’t forget to track clicks on these links! Not only does this give you an understanding of how people are using the content, it gives you clarity on any areas of significant interest to your audience that might benefit from more content.

Hopefully you’ve found these tips useful, but if you take anything away from this piece it would be to set up a meeting with your analytics team and get collaborating on measurement right away. Measuring the true value of content is vital, but it’s also complex and takes varied skillsets.

By driving collaboration between content and analytics, you’ll be able to achieve superior results by making decisions with data you can trust.

Despite this being a no-brainer, so many brands are trailing behind when it comes to content performance tracking so get ahead of the game and get in the room with an analytics team!

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