Google Analytics is Changing How We Measure Success
I have been writing copy for clients for almost 30 years, including magazine articles, opinion columns, newsletter stories, web copy, ad slogans and blog posts. It has been a great opportunity to learn a little about a lot of interesting topics, interview some incredible people and eventually build my own business.
For the most part, the measure of success has been anecdotal responses after the pieces get published. When the client likes the story and then hears good things from a few people about it, then everyone is happy. Other times, the pieces are meant to motivate some kind of action or influence a decision or public opinion. Those are a little bit easier to measure, because there is a before and after, but it is still somewhat subjective and influenced by other factors not always under our control.
Today, it is a whole new ballgame. When I write for a website or email newsletter or for social media such as Facebook or Twitter, the impact can be measured almost immediately. Using a free tool such as Google Analytics, we can tell how many people read it, how long it took them, where they live and what browser was open on their computer, tablet or smart phone.
For websites, we also measure whether visitors are interacting with the site in any other way – a great way to tell if your blog post or web page motivated them to read anything else. After all, the real goal is always to provide enough value that they will want to come back and learn more.
Every social media platform has built-in analytics to give you the same types of data on readership as well as their influence and sharing habits.
The same is true for email newsletters. With print, we would mail them and cross our fingers. Now, we know everything about delivery, opens, clicks and shares.
Analytics can do more than measure success, it can also help guide decisions for future content. When you know that people are finding your site because they were searching for certain information, doesn’t it make sense to write a blog on that subject? And when you can see that 90 percent of visitors land on your home page and then leave without clicking on anything else, then it might be a good idea to review the user experience and rework your web copy.
Whether it is blog topics on your website or articles for your email newsletter, there really is no longer any excuse for delivering content that is not interesting to your readers or site visitors. When something works, do it more. If it is being ignored, write about something else.
I can tell you that it is pretty exciting to watch your email open rates jump up or watch a real-time view of your site when visitors are consuming words that you worked so hard to craft.
Marketing with content is always about matching great stories with the people who are interested in hearing them, and Google Analytics is helping us help our clients do just that.
To learn more about Google Analytics and how it can help you measure your efforts, click HERE.
Dave Fiore is the Chief Content Officer at Fiore Communications. You can follow him on Twitter and say hi.