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Writing Wednesday: Google Analytics and Creative Writing: Oil and Water or a Match Made In Heaven?

Transcript below:

Hi, everyone, and welcome to Perfectly Planned Content’s Writing Wednesday video series, where we dive into the power of words and the many ways writing impacts your business. I’m Lauren Keller, Director of Content and Strategy, and I’m thrilled to bring you a monthly video series completely dedicated to the craft of writing.

Let’s start off with some questions.

What makes a novel a best seller? How does a blog garner thousands of readers? Why are some news stories so compelling?

The answer is pretty simple. The author knows their audience—and writes for them.

How can you be better attuned to what your audience wants to read?

Leverage your Google Analytics. 

Analytics and creativity aren’t that distantly related. A good writer uses the valuable tools at their disposal to create the best work. 

Let’s see how Google Analytics can help get your creative juices flowing.

What’s Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a tool that tracks and reports website data. With the platform, you can see how many unique visitors reached your website, where they came from, what they did while there, how long they stayed, and more. 

This type of analytics can be a goldmine for content creators. 

What Metrics Should You Pay Attention To?

It’s easy to get lost in the minutia of the numbers, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for. 

Use your content goals as a guide to determine which can offer the most enlightening insights. 

If your primary goal is to boost website traffic, check out

  • Number of new visitors and the percentage of traffic from new visitors
  • Where your visitors come from/traffic channel (social media, email, organic, ads, etc.)
  • Keyword rankings

For those honing in on more robust engagement, look for

  • Bounce rate
  • Most popular/trafficked site pages
  • Average time on page/session duration

For gleaning more tangible info on your top readers, turn your attention to

  • Audience demographics
  • Interests (yes, you can track this)!
  • Location
  • Device (desktop or mobile)

Pro Tip: Prioritize data that can inform actionable insights. If 50% of your audience comes to your website via social media—consider putting more effort into your social campaigns.

Analyzing data isn’t a one-time event. You should check in on your site’s performance quarterly to give you more quality information.

How Can Analytics Help You Write Better Content?

Analytics gives you access to your top-performing posts.  

What posts have performed the best and why? Break your most engaging posts down to their studs to see why they worked so well and how you can create more like them in the future.

  • Assess the subject matter + goal of the piece
  • Review your title + subtitle
  • What keywords and meta descriptions did you use?
  • Was the post short or long?
  • Did it answer a specific question?
  • Was it simple or more in-depth? 

Take time to compare and contrast the above elements with posts that didn’t do as well to isolate some similarities, differences, and other trends. 

You might find that your audience tends to stick around when you write about more technical topics or when your blogs are a bit shorter. Or maybe they love when you write about timely issues and don’t mind sticking around for a few thousand words if it’s a subject they care about. 

Let Data Help Inform Your Future Content Strategy

Orbit Media found that only 30% of bloggers consistently use analytics to check their blog’s performance, even though it’s proven that bloggers who use analytics see better results.

Analyzing your blog and website data can help you learn more about your audience’s engagement with your brand. The more you focus your blog on serving your audience’s needs, the more likely you will find success.

Analytics can’t replace a high-quality blog, but it can help content creators everywhere pen posts with purpose and intention.

Until next time.