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February 24, 2020 (Updated: March 8, 2023)
Content analysis is an important part of a content marketing campaign because it allows you to monitor your campaign’s success and find gaps in your marketing strategy. If you’re hoping to perform content analysis on your own brand, it’s important to understand the metrics to look at and the benefits they can have on your business. In this guide, we discuss:
Image via Unsplash by Lukas
Content analysis is the process of analyzing content to see how it’s currently performing. You can conduct an analysis of your own brand to see how your current content marketing strategy is working. By doing this, you can see if you’re meeting your content goals and if you need to make any improvements.
You can also analyze your competitors. Understanding how your competitors’ content is performing can help you make more informed decisions about your content marketing campaigns. For instance, through a content analysis, you can see if there are any keywords your competitors rank for that you don’t. You can then create new content around those keywords that help improve your website’s organic traffic.
Read more about it: What Is a Content Gap Analysis?
Content analysis is essential for marketing for several reasons, including:
Conducting a content analysis can help you understand the effectiveness of your content. This can include measuring its traffic numbers, the number of backlinks created, and where it ranks on search engines. You can also focus on your conversion rates. The conversion rate measures the number of website visitors that complete a desired goal. This can include making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a white paper or eBook.
The goal of many companies is for their content to convince readers to complete their desired goal and increase the rate of conversion. With these numbers, you can see what content is most popular with your readers and if there are any blogs or articles that are currently lagging. If there’s any underperforming content, you can find new ways to improve your SEO strategy or syndication to enhance its performance. If there’s content that’s popular, but outdated, you can update it to improve your conversion rates and attract more customers to your brand.
Content analysis is a great way to discover trends that help your brand better resonate with audiences. For instance, you might notice that your research articles and blogs are outperforming your videos. Using that information, you can increase the production of your written content to continue engaging with your customers. You could also focus on new ways to improve the performance of your video content to target new audiences.
Content analysis tools are great for finding gaps in your current strategy. This is especially effective when you also examine your competitors. Some may rank for certain keywords you’re not targeting. If those keywords perform well for others, you might target them right away to increase your organic traffic. This can help you gain a share of the target market.
Related reading: Is Content Analysis in Scaling the Key to Marketing Success?
Before you analyze your content, it’s important to understand your key performance indicators (KPI). Essentially, you need to know what gives the most beneficial information for your marketing campaign. For example, if your new content campaign created an additional 100,000 visitors a month, you may consider this a huge win. However, if your company’s main KPI is sales, and you didn’t see any new transactions from the 100,000 additional visitors, your content wasn’t as effective as it could have been.
A great way to analyze your content is to make your analysis goal-oriented. That means you should focus on what you want your content to achieve and what information determines if you’ve been successful. Here are some metrics for which you can consider setting goals and analyzing during your content marketing campaign:
If you’re hoping to increase your sales through your content marketing, one way to test that is by looking at your revenue. See how your current content marketing strategy has affected your sales numbers and overall income. Has it increased, decreased, or stayed the same? If it’s increased, your content might have a positive effect on selling your products and services. If it’s stayed the same or decreased, you might need to find better ways to improve your conversion rate and complete your sales through it.
Another way to measure your content sales goals is through remarketing campaigns. Remarketing is a form of advertising where you target users with ads based on their previous internet activity. It allows you to position ads strategically in front of people as they browse Facebook, Google, and other sites. This not only increases brand awareness but helps you remind potential customers about your products and services, which can help you significantly increase sales. Look at your remarketing campaigns and analyze whether that content is producing sales and generating additional revenue.
Read more: What To Know About Google Remarketing
If you’re hoping for your content to increase your website’s traffic, it’s important to look at your search engine rankings. The higher your ranking on Google and other search engines, the more likely it is for people to find your website and content. This often requires companies to optimize their pieces for certain keywords. Then, when people use those keywords in search engines, your content appears.
As you analyze your website, check to see where it ranks for certain keywords. If some of your content ranks high, check the conversion rates for those pieces. If some content isn’t performing as well, see if there are ways you can optimize it to increase its ranking. It can also be helpful to target niche subjects your competitors aren’t ranking for.
One way to analyze the effectiveness of your content is by monitoring users who visit your site multiple times. You can do this through customer relationship management (CRM) tracking and lead scoring. Using a CRM tool, you can track a visitor every time they visit your site by using a tracking cookie in their browser. The cookie marks every page they visit on your site and when they leave and return. The cookie stays with the user’s browser until they clear them.
Lead scoring allows you to track your visitors’ behavior and determine their level of interest in your products or services based on what they do. After users interact with your social media or content, the CRM gives them a score based on their interests. You can then see the scores and focus your resources on customers who are most likely to make a purchase. Using CRM tracking and lead scoring, you can determine whether your content encourages users to visit your site multiple times and whether it produces high-value leads.
Every time someone loads a page on your website—whether on mobile or a desktop—that page receives a page view. However, if a visitor to your website finds your site from Google, clicks to different pages, and then hits the “back” button until they leave the website again, every time they view a page, that counter goes up.
This means that a single web user could account for, potentially, an unlimited number of page views. The solution to this is to track unique page views instead. Unique page views only count the number of times a user visits a single page within one session: a single 30-minute period. While your unique page views are a lower number, they tell a more accurate story about any improvements you’re making to your website traffic.
This metric is useful because it gives you a powerful indicator of how much your website visitors like your content. That said, it can give inaccurate information by how it calculates the time on the page. Google calculates the time users spend on the page by the next action they take on your site. That means if a user spends five minutes reading a post on your site and then clicks an external link, taking them off your site, Google calculates this as zero time on your site because they navigated away from it. So the page the user was on is now an exit page, which Google doesn’t account for when determining time on the page.
That’s why optimizing your content is so important. It helps direct people to other areas of your business, including product purchases or downloads. As you create content, it’s helpful to direct customers to these areas of your website using internal links and CTAs.
Bounce rate measures the percentage of website visitors who enter your site and then leave without taking further action. A high bounce rate is generally not good, although it depends on your website and the time that users spent on it. Ultimately, you want visitors to move through your site and read more content.
However, let’s say they visit a piece of content on your site, spend a long time reading it, and then bounce away. That often means the reader is getting what they’re looking for. So, that bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad. But it’s also important to pursue those bounces and see how you can turn them into conversions. You want visitors to land on your site, read your content, and then take some sort of further action. That includes making a purchase, opting into your email list, or downloading additional content.
Once someone lands on your content, the goal is to get them to engage with it. Some ways they can engage with content include leaving a comment, giving it a thumbs up, or sharing it somewhere else on the internet. When people engage with your content, it’s a sign that they feel connected to it and have become invested in what they’re reading. They can help drive more customers to your site by sharing your pieces. Engagement looks different depending on the site you’re monitoring, but these are the most common types of engagement:
Here are some steps you can follow to analyze your own content:
Data is the best source of information to help you analyze your content. This includes the type of content you’re publishing, how often you’re publishing it, and how it affects or benefits your audience. But it’s also important to review other information, such as how many visitors the content receives, its current outgoing links, and its overall conversion rate. A great way to gather this information is through a program like Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool that helps gather and display important information about your website, such as:
If you haven’t already, connect your site to Google Analytics to start tracking the data. If you’ve already connected the program, use it to gather the data you need for your content analysis. Use the Reports snapshot feature in the main dashboard of Google Analytics. From here, you can access a lot of helpful information about your site’s pages. This includes your most viewed pages, the average time visitors stayed on the page, and its overall bounce rate. In these sections, you can also view which pages aren’t currently attracting many visitors to your site.
Talking with your audience is a great way to understand immediately what they like or dislike about your content marketing. Send out questionnaires through your email newsletters or post surveys at the end of your blog articles. Ask your audience questions, such as:
Once you gather your data, it’s important to organize it so you can analyze it more efficiently. Use a spreadsheet to track your highest-performing pages and record their content type, page visitors, bounce rate, conversion rate, and any other data you think might be useful for measuring your content marketing goals. Then do the same thing for your pages that aren’t performing well. Over time, expand your spreadsheet to include all your content, not just the highest and lowest-performing pages.
Then, add the data from your audience surveys. See how the information compares to the performance data. For instance, let’s say some of your pages receive a lot of visitors. Check to see how your audience responded to those pages. Did they receive positive reviews? Or were they hoping to see something different? Use that information to change your marketing strategy. Develop more blogs, articles, and white papers that you know your audience wants to see.
Once you have your data organized, you can better understand what’s working and what’s not. For example, let’s say you have a few pages that generate a lot of traffic, but don’t have a great conversion rate. That means your content might not be as effective as you originally thought. With this information, you can make the adjustments you need to improve your site’s performance. To help your conversion rate, you can increase your content’s readability and add more appealing calls to action within the piece.
You can also focus on improving other areas of your content, correcting broken links, and optimizing page load time. It’s also a good practice to name images so that the filename and the alt text on the image include the keyword for which you’re trying to rank. This makes your website and content more accessible to all users. It also helps Google further understand what your content is about and improves its ranking in search results.
Free eBook download: How To Analyze Your Content and Craft a Winning Strategy
Here is a list of steps to help you perform a competitive content marketing analysis:
When you compile a list of your major competitors, manage and analyze the information more easily by using a spreadsheet. Add the names and domains of your top competitors. This includes your direct competitors and indirect competitors. Your direct competitors are any company that sells the same products or services that you do. For example, let’s say your business sells fancy pens with refillable ink. A direct competitor might sell pens very similar to yours.
Indirect competitors are any company that sells products or services similar to yours, but not exactly the same. Most often, your products and the competitor’s products will each solve the same customer challenge. For instance, if you sell fancy pens with refillable ink, an indirect competitor might sell mechanical pencils with refillable graphite. It’s not the same product, but they both meet similar consumer needs.
Your target audience and your competitors’ target audiences should be relatively the same. One way to find their audience is by looking at their website’s title tag and meta description. You can find both by searching for the company on Google. The title tag is the blue heading that hosts the link to the website. The meta description is directly underneath in gray text. Here’s an example of the title tag and meta description for the business, Fahrney’s Pens:
Image via Google
As you can see from the image, the title tag lists the company’s name. Because the name includes the word “pens”, it doesn’t need to explain their business much more in the title. The meta description underneath gives additional information about the company and what it’s trying to accomplish. It’s important to look at these elements for your competitors because they illustrate what type of customers those businesses target.
If your competitor is an e-commerce website, a Google search might also list some of its most popular pages or products. For example, underneath Fahrney’s Pens’ main website, when you search for its business you see links like these:
Image via Google
Seeing your competitor’s top product and service pages can help you discover what copy and content produce the most traffic. Look at the format of those pages and how each company defines its products. Does the company style its pages in a way to target a specific audience? How does it describe its products or services in a way that’s engaging to its customers? By reviewing your competitors’ websites, you can have a better understanding of how to attract your target audience and improve your company’s site and content.
Read more: Target Market and Target Audience: What’s the Difference?
There are many metrics that make up a business’ SEO, including organic traffic numbers, top-performing keywords, top-performing pages, and backlinks. When comparing this information to your own website, you can find areas to improve and also find potential gaps in your content strategy. Gaps in the strategy include keywords you’re not ranking for and domains that might syndicate your content.
To gather your own SEO metrics, you can use tools such as Google Analytics to find that information. However, to learn more about your competitors’ SEO metrics, you might need a more powerful analytics tool. CopyPress has a proprietary content analysis tool that compares your domain with your top competitors. Request your content analysis today and start improving your content marketing strategy.
Looking over your competitors’ content is a great way to see what they’re producing and what their audiences are interacting with. Browse their websites and see what type of content they’re creating. Some content to look out for includes:
On your spreadsheet, note how much content they generate for each category and how often they post. This can help you better understand the content marketing schedule and size of their marketing team. For instance, if a company shares 10 quality blogs a week, it might have a large team of writers or help from a content marketing company. Also, track their audience engagement. See how their customers and readers respond to their content. A great way to look at this is through their social media pages. How many viewers share their content, comment on it, or like it?
If they host a blog, check to see if there’s a section for comments or ratings. How many readers leave a comment praising or rejecting the content? What do the general blog ratings look like for each competitor’s site? Examining the engagement can help you understand the quality of a competitor’s content over its quantity. If the company has a lot of content with brief engagement or negative engagement, its content might not be helping its audience.
Take your list of content for each competitor and compare all of them. See if each company follows a similar content strategy. For instance, do most companies focus on creating blogs versus video content? If so, are those companies more successful or less successful compared to the others? When you compare the content of your competitors, you can find common strategies your company might want to follow.
You might also find potential untapped audiences to target. For instance, let’s say you notice that most companies generate more traffic per blog than they do per video, but their primary focus is video creation. Focus on developing more high-quality blog content to attract a larger audience to your site.
Read more about it: How To Use Competitor Content Analysis to Create Your Strategy
Image via Ahrefs
Here are five of the best tools you can use to help you analyze your brand’s content:
CopyPress offers a free content gap analysis tool that digs into your current performance to uncover the opportunities your brand should be targeting. Here are the insights you’ll get when you request your analysis:
The tool also shows you the best opportunities for your content marketing efforts. These “low-hanging-fruit” keywords are the terms that competitors are ranking for within the top 100 results—but you’re not. With these suggestions, you’ll be better equipped to adjust your approaches for improving rankings, traffic, and lead conversions.
Google Analytics, as mentioned previously, is an excellent tool to help you gather data about your website. It can give you information about website traffic, your most popular pages, and their bounce rates. If you run an e-commerce website, Analytics can also give you other detailed reports on:
You can use the tool to learn more about your audience. Analytics provides information on your audience’s interests, demographics, behavior, and the technology they use to view your content. This can help you create better blogs, articles, and white papers that are more attractive to your target readers.
Search Console is a service that Google offers to help monitor and troubleshoot your site’s presence on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). This tool is helpful to see what keyword searches display your site on Google, confirm that Google can find your site, and see which domains link to yours. By seeing which keywords bring people to your site and knowing which pages other domains link to can help you develop a stronger content strategy.
For instance, if you know which pages bring the most people to your site, you can focus on building better conversion rates. That includes creating more CTAs and delivering high-quality content to your audience.
SEMrush is an SEO analysis software that businesses can pay to use. The program allows marketers to analyze different parts of their websites and find new content marketing strategies. Using tools, like keyword research and tracking, the software can help companies find new topics to target. Those new topics can help them rank on Google search results and increase their organic traffic. It also comes with other functions that can help you manage your social media accounts. You can purchase a SEMrush plan monthly or annually.
Ahrefs is another paid SEO software that can help businesses monitor and develop their website. The program can examine your site and give you crucial information on your website’s links, content quality, and overall performance. It also has tools to help you with other areas of your content marketing, including:
Performing a content analysis on your website and brand not only helps you find gaps in your content marketing strategy but also helps you find popular trends and better understand your target audience.
Looking for even more ways to understand your website’s content? CopyPress has a team of creatives who know how to analyze your current content and find gaps in your marketing strategies. Schedule a call with the team today to learn how our services can support your business goals.
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