Improve Your Content Marketing with Google Analytics Events
When it comes to content marketing, most people focus on using Google Analytics to reveal what isn’t working. The idea is, if you’re not seeing any improvement in traffic, bounce rate, and other standard metrics, something needs to change.
The question is, what? Many marketers proceed blindly, attempting to find the answer through trial and error. But they’re missing out on one of the most powerful features that Google Analytics has to offer: Events. With Google Analytics Events, you can get additional insight into how visitors engage with your content, tracking more specific actions to pinpoint what you’re missing or doing wrong.
How Event Tracking Works
Because they require familiarity with Google Analytics tracking codes, Events are an advanced feature, best suited to experienced users. For the purposes of this article, let’s skip the technical jargon and focus on broad strokes.
First, you’ll add the latest version of the Analytics tracking snippet to the code of your website, which you can find by visiting the Admin panel on your Google Analytics dashboard. Then, you’ll create specific Event Tracking codes, indicating what site elements you want to examine, what kind of interactions you want to track, and how you want to measure those interactions.
After you’ve crafted an Event Tracking code, you’ll add it to the code of the webpage you’re interested in measuring. Once that’s done, all you have to do is head to the Content tab of your Google Analytics dashboard, where you’ll see an Event Tracking section with data on your chosen events.
For a more in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of Event Tracking codes, check out Google’s guide for developers.
Event Tracking for Content Marketing
Now let’s look at a few examples to illustrate how you can use Event Tracking data to improve your content marketing.
With Event Tracking for videos, you can monitor specific interactions like plays, starts, and stops to determine whether your videos are commanding users’ attention and adjust your content accordingly. For instance, if lots of users visit your post but never hit play, you probably need to adjust your video’s title, description, or screenshot to something more enticing. If users are playing but not finishing your videos, you may need to shorten them or rethink their content. You can get further insight on this by looking at stop times–that is, if many viewers are stopping the video around the same time, you may be able to pinpoint the section that’s turning viewers off and change or cut it.
When it comes to written content, there are a variety of events worth tracking that can help you make your blog posts more engaging. For instance, the more pages visitors consume on your site, the more chances you’ll have to win them over and capture them as leads. With Events, you can track interior links in the body of your articles that lead to other posts on your site. If users aren’t following these links, you may need to change the anchor text to make them more clickworthy.
Finally, you can use event tracking to see how much of your blog posts visitors are reading by monitoring how far down they scroll on the page. This will give you a wealth of data you can use to adjust your structure and improve your writing. If, for instance, users never scroll at all, you may need to rewrite your introductions to hook more readers in. If users are scrolling all the way down but not taking any further action on the page, you probably need to adjust your call to action to clarify what visitors who like your content should do: subscribe to your email newsletter, post a comment, download a guide, etc.
Want to learn more about improving your website and driving visitor engagement with Google Analytics? Check out our eBook: An Introduction to Google Analytics for Real Estate.
Published on October 9, 2013