Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just think of amazing content ideas all the time, without any effort? In the beginning, it feels as though this is the case. The concepts are flowing, the topics are varied, and you can’t believe how creative you feel. But everyone starts to flounder eventually, and coming up with things to say gets harder. That is just the nature of burn out.
Once you start reaching this point – and even before – it is a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve. A personal favorite of mine is looking to analytics to jump start the content brainstorming process.
Monitoring how your past work has gone over is probably the easiest way of dictating what you will write about in the future.
But how to use analytics data to create your future content strategy, especially if you are not a techie? Here are a few ways:
Monitor Your Traffic Sources and Engagement
No matter what platform you are using, you should have a traffic source option in your analytics program. This feature tells you exactly where your traffic is being directed from. That means knowing what keywords brought up the most engaging search results, which led to them clicking on your site in the first place.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics offers an array of features allowing you to identify best converting content, including most obvious ones (time on page, bounce rate, etc.) and a few more advanced ones like Funnel Visualization and Goal Flow. Playing around with all of those may take hours which I highly recommend doing:
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another nice way to monitor your keywords and topics that are able to bring traffic. To use, verify your site, give it some time to collect data and click through to “Performance” report. Then enable “Position” and “CTR” tabs to find queries with highest CTR:
This data will regularly change, so I would suggest checking out your traffic sources at least a few times a month. With trends changing over time, your demographic is going to evolve in their interests. Keeping up gives you a boost to your relevance, which has an impact on your engagement.
Identify Topics Behind Your Old Content
Seeing what type of audience and what topics your current content is optimized for will give you lots of ideas moving forward. By understanding whether your content was aimed at the specific audience (you planned for) and being able to evaluate actual on-page engagement – combining the two data points will help you make more informed decisions going forward.
3. Text Optimizer
Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis platform that analyses any page content, extracts underlying concepts and identifies which type of audience it was created for:
Furthermore the tool helps you to better optimize your old or new content for the type of audience (search intent) you have in mind. TextOptimizer is a great tool to create higher-ranking more engaging content, as well as identify why your existing content is not performing as well as you think it should
Just knowing who is reading your content is another good way of finding out what to write. For example, a political post aimed at an audience of middle aged readers is going to look very different from a post that is aimed at sparking up interest in the political process in teenagers.
Analytics platforms will track the demographic data of your largest readership. That data includes age, gender, location, and sometimes other target interests. Not only can you customize content for your largest audience, you can choose to target a different audience.
If you want to start appealing to a different group, knowing who is currently reading is a fast track to doing it.
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides a solid demographics report that you need to enable for it to start collecting the data.
Keep Track Of Your Authorship Around the Web
Anyone not writing regular guest posts are missing out on a huge opportunity. Guest blogging gives you access to a new readership, establishes you as an authority, and spreads links to your own site around the web.
But it is also a good way of seeing who likes what outside of your immediate network or users. Monitoring the results of your guest posts is important. Social networks offer a simple way of doing this, such as searching for your posts on Twitter, or monitoring how many shares it has on different sites.
To identify your most shared content around the web, use Buzzsumo authorship search, for example [author:ann smarty]:
[From there you can sort results by number of shares across different social media channels]
There are also quite a few free plugins that will help you identify most shared content on your blog.
We all know that not all shares are created equal. Yes, it is wonderful to have individuals sharing your post with their friends and family. But such interaction only goes so far. Much better are shares by social influencers who have a large number of followers that regularly check out or re-share their content.
When you are searching through your shares, both on your site’s content and outside columns, start making a list of anyone who is an influencer and has shared it. Then begin interacting with them, building a relationship.
Content analytics is a great way to monitor your progress, and brainstorm for future work. It gives you all the data you need to make informed decisions, and so will impact both the content itself and the way you promote it. Just imagine being able to provide directly targeted posts that are sure to boost your readership, while making the already avid readers happy.
Do you have any tips for using content analytics for brainstorming? How have you used the method yourself? Let us know in the comments.