So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live
airs every Thursday at 1 pm EST.
In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on auditing your content. We walk through how to prioritize your content, determining what you want to be known for, and how to take action. Catch the replay here:
In this episode you’ll learn:
- How to prioritize your existing content for optimization
- How to determine your content gaps
- How often to review your content strategy
Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here: https://www.trustinsights.ai/insights/so-what-the-marketing-analytics-and-insights-show/
Christopher Penn 0:27
And we are back Happy Thursday friends today is the marketing analytics insights live show. We are talking content optimization have John here Katie is off on a well earned vacation running around the lovely state of Massachusetts. So John, let’s talk content optimization. And I figured we would use marketing over coffee since it’s you know, the site is well, a decade old over a decade old now, right?
John Wall 0:53
The perfect whipping boy, yeah, it’s really completely under utilized and neglected in many ways. I know the last time we dug in, we were actually it was pleasantly surprising things were in fairly good shape, considering the neglect for the site. So yeah, this will be fun.
Christopher Penn 1:09
So it was specifically wanted to look at our what are the pages and things that are on the site that could you some love? And what are the pages that are doing reasonably well. So I figured we’d do this in a couple of different ways. We do this with all free tools. And with just some basic stuff like spreadsheet, even though I think there are many, many, many more advanced, better ways to do content optimization, but also a lot of requires programming. And we’re not going to touch on that today. Maybe we’ll do that as an advanced chosen point. So first things first, let’s make sure that we go into our Google Analytics. And one of the most important things we can do with Google Analytics is make sure we have a goal setup, we can’t do content optimization without goals and goal values. Even if the goal doesn’t have a known monetary value, we can at least set up something so go here to newsletter sign up. And once we get to the thank you page, we gave them value $8. Do you remember how we came up with?
John Wall 2:11
I think that was? Yeah, that was poor back solving math. I think at one point, we were like, well, we make this much on sponsorships for this many listeners. And so we divide that out and we get to eight bucks. But yeah, that seems to be a very arbitrary number that I need to go back on.
Christopher Penn 2:28
Exactly. But you know, it’s better than nothing at least is somewhat semblance of logic behind it. So let’s go over to our behavior section versus we’re gonna go to site content, and just start poking around to see what pages on the site are doing something anything, I’m going to look at the last 90 ish days here, let’s go ahead and put the the side menu away. And what we see here is obviously the number of page used pages that get the pies views, unique page use, entrances, bounce rates, exit rates, and page value. Now, we probably should clarify a couple of these things in entrance, is when that’s the first page in the session that a somebody lands on, obviously, the homepage is a big one. A bounce rate is when somebody arrives on your site, goes to a page and doesn’t trigger any events and doesn’t go to any other pages, they just leave right after that. That’s that’s considered a bounce. Now, there’s a couple of challenges with bounce rate. A lot of folks like to use that as a as a content, marketing analytic metric. There’s two challenges that one, just because somebody bounces doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. If you think about how we use the internet, you’re on Facebook, you see a blog post, well, maybe nobody sees anything on Facebook anymore, that aren’t ads.
John Wall 3:47
And they’re not seeing any of those either.
Christopher Penn 3:52
That’s, that’s another show. Read the blog post. And then they and they leave, they go back to Facebook, they go back to where they were. So did your content do its job? Well, yeah, obviously, it got somebody to read and hang out there. Is it bad that it has a high bounce rate? Not necessarily. The only place that we tell people that bounce rates are bad, are on things like landing pages, like if you’re sending traffic to a page, and it’s a page where you want them to fill out a form and do something and they leave, and you don’t go to the thank you page then yet that’s that’s bad. So the thing we want to take a look at, there’s two things one, I’ll look at this time on page. one page is a good indicator that somebody is actually hanging out. So let’s go ahead and sort through this. This is a podcast to this on each of these pages. We have what we have on these pages got the audio player, we got the show notes and resources and stuff like that. So there’s enough there that you someone theoretically could hang out for 25 minutes if they didn’t subscribe to the show some other way, right?
John Wall 4:56
Yeah, definitely. Did you want to share this up too. We’re still in the two
Christopher Penn 5:01
Oh da, oh, silly me. Okay, so here’s the page. And you see, there’s the player, etc. And then the show notes. So in Google Analytics, we have our content. Right? So behavior, site content. And we have sorted here by title and page. Some of these pages like this one here. 2929 minute duration, right. So somebody went to that page actually listened like they live. Yeah,
John Wall 5:30
they run the player. Yeah.
Christopher Penn 5:32
Yep. And you see a lot of this, yeah, 2728 29 minutes, those people actually do listen to the show that way. So those are pages that I say have a high amount of engagement, right? conversely, if we sort that column the other way. These are the pages have like nobody listening to them. And these look like bots, right? There’s a lot of query parameters, a lot of other stuff going on. So I’m not too terribly concerned that there’s there’s 00 talent page. So let’s go ahead and swap back my pages we have pageviews, unique pageviews entrances, bounce rate, exit. Exit rate, I think is is something somewhat useful. Exit rates useful because it tells us when somebody is so pays that people leave the site on a lot. Now, there’s some pages that you definitely want a high exit rate on, right, like the thank you page, they’ve done something, it’s okay for them to leave now. blog posts, it’s okay, obviously love to stick around more. But if it’s a blog posts, that you know that that’s fine. And then their pages you want low exit rate on like, you don’t want to thank you, but you get the lead form pages. I rate this certain page value. So this is where when you put that dollar amount in as a goal, even if it’s arbitrary, you know, this goal complete is worth $1, even though it has no bearing it starts to try and infer the value of a page, right? Especially try and say, Okay, well, this page showed up a lot in the path to conversion. And so we’re going to assign it a, an arbitrary dollar rate. So let’s go ahead and slap a graph on those go with pageviews. And let’s go with on page values, not in here. I can’t do that as a bar. That stinks. Well, you know what? Let’s Export to Excel. So he has a Swiss Army knife. Yes, exactly. It’s funny. There’s a lot of people who like to crap on Excel for for not being, you know, super sophisticated, but it gets the job done an awful lot of the time.
John Wall 7:41
Yeah, no, there’s no easier way to do it. I think Google Docs is starting to come onto it. But I don’t know, there’s just such a rich tradition of people digging themselves out of holes with Excel that
Christopher Penn 7:51
Exactly. Okay, let’s slap a nice data bar on this and sort. So now these here are the pages where they’ve done the most to nudge people towards conversion. So John, what do we see here? What are they? What are we looking at?
John Wall 8:07
Yeah, well, I’m really excited. So kind of like, you know, all shows in the last year are doing well on that with the huge time on page as far as the Yes, or what the value is just because it’s holding the most traffic for the highest amount of time, right? I mean, these are just the most engaging stuff.
Christopher Penn 8:24
Well, so the the page value is that that page did a lot to to nudge someone towards conversion.
John Wall 8:32
Yeah, so it’s not surprising me that it’s, you know, the most recent and best shows, that’s totally what you would love to see is that the great content is actually making things happen.
Christopher Penn 8:41
Exactly. Now, one of the things that we can look at here is, so you have page value, and they have the page views, right? And you can see, there’s there actually doesn’t look like there’s a heck of a lot of a relationship between the views and the page value. So those pages that have good value, but not necessarily a ton of views. Those are pages that from a content perspective, we probably want to run some ads to make sure that we’re sharing them on social media or put them in, in the newsletter. How often does the newsletter go out?
John Wall 9:12
Yeah, monthly, you know, so that these would be the ones we would want to feature for the month because yeah, that’s a classic problem is, you know, every month I go into like, Okay, I gotta pick, you know, one of the four Which one should we feature and this, you know, would clearly tell me, Hey, you know, the more offensive stuff tagline is the one to go with for the June newsletter, obviously.
Christopher Penn 9:33
Yep. Now, the other thing that to think about here is, are there pages that have like a low exit rate? And, but have you know, low pages, can we send more traffic to those pages? So let’s do this. Let’s, let’s do some filtering here. And I want to let’s do some filters. So I want pageviews Use want to filter greater than five, right? So start with start with that just to knock out like the onesies and twosies. And then page exit rate, let’s go ahead and put a filter on that. And I want that to be less than 50%. Okay, so now, these are pages that have, you know, decent Li, you know, decent retention, let’s go to sort the smallest to largest decent retention, but relatively low views. So there’s a couple here there are really old, like really, really old, and a few others that are in the in the back issues. So one of the things that we might want to do is look through some of these older ones, like this one from Seth Godin, which is always going to be popular.
Let’s say, let’s go ahead and re feature those maybe something like a time hop section in the newsletter on this day, you know, this month, five years ago, this was a popular episode, if it’s especially if it’s a in HD, the holds up well might be worth doing something like that.
John Wall 11:13
Yeah, it’s funny, it’s just, it’s great, too, I think you can’t over. You can talk highly enough about that filtering right there. Because like, now all the bots are gone, you’ve got a whole different view of the data set here. Like that’s critical to getting to the me.
Christopher Penn 11:29
Exactly. So that’s a good first step, to figuring out what contents working, what’s not looking at things that are popular, looking at things that have low or high exit rates, low or high page value, especially here, this most popular pages, post popular episodes page, decent traffic, low exit rate, and it’s got some page value, right. So that was that was a page that definitely needs to be, you know, at the top and bottom of every newsletter on the social feed, you know, every every other day or something like that. Same for welcome message, you know if that when you set up tweets and stuff, you know, having the daily welcome message, hey, you’re a first time listener, make sure you go to the first time visitors page and check it out, you could send traffic to that and really crank it up.
John Wall 12:16
Yeah, and the good news is that stuff’s all built to there’s no extra lift to go on getting that stuff clean.
Christopher Penn 12:21
Exactly. So that’s our first stop. Our second stop is Google Search Console. So again, this is one of the things where you want to have Search Console set up for your site, do all the authentication things that you need to. And what we’re going to pay attention to here is we go to the performance section. And there’s a lot of fun stuff in here, right? There’s queries and pages and countries and all that stuff. We’ll go ahead and just do an export of this. And again, we’re going to send this to excel, because Excel is a really good tool for this particular application. And what we get is exactly the same thing, but in tabular format now, so it’s it’s a lot less mind to searing. Let’s go ahead and just crank up the visibility here. But
John Wall 13:08
know that that dumped straight to tabs by default. That’s great. I thought it was just single screen. So you get a ton of info just by kicking that there.
Christopher Penn 13:15
Exactly, exactly. So it does if you choose Excel, it comes out as tabs. If you choose CSV, then you get a zip file of individual pages. Okay, so what are we looking at here? Well, we’ve got ourselves our site URLs. Oops. There we go. We got the clicks, the impressions, the click through rate and the position in search. Obviously, let’s go ahead and just put a conditional formatting on this to make this a little easier to see. stretch this out. And you’ve got a lot of pages that are are ones and zeros. Right? There. We’ve got our impression numbers here. So some definitions and impression here means that this page showed up in a search result. So when somebody Google for something, anything, this was a page that showed up, the click is it showed up a result, and somebody clicked on that and said, Okay, that was clearly you know, something that seemed to meet their, their needs. And then the position it shows what the average ranking of that page is in, in search results. So for example, marketing over coffee, this this page here ranks 10th, rank, position for this rank position seven, and so on and so forth. And of course, the click through rate is, is nothing more than clicks divided by impressions. So let’s do it. Again, let’s do like we were doing earlier, we’re gonna do some filtering here. I’m going to filter out on clicks. I go at least, at least greater than one, so more than one click. That’s going to chop away a lot of the table. And so what we’re left with are all the pages have gotten, you know, two clicks or more And then what we want to do is I’m going to sort by a click through rate. So Are ya good? expand the selection? So some of these pages, you know, this one here, this one here, 3.78%, that’s a CMO interview. We’ve got a discussion with David Meerman. Scott from way back when we’ve got the Welcome to 2014. Post. So again, those pages that have decent clicks, like, okay, know this, we could send some more traffic to the maybe see if those those pages are meeting intent. What I think would be more interesting is if we sort this the opposite way, so what’s got the lowest click through rates? And when we look, I’m gonna go ahead and put up conditional format on this. There are pages like this one here, Seth Godin on the practice, high impressions, low clicks and a very low click through rate. That’s a page that could probably use some optimization.
Unknown Speaker 16:01
Let’s go take a look at it. Okay.
Christopher Penn 16:11
So what we’ve got here, people are going to this page for a reason. However, the reason isn’t necessarily clear, other than that, it’s about Seth Godin. Right.
John Wall 16:21
Yeah, I mean, this is his latest, you know, book. So this is current stuff from him.
Christopher Penn 16:27
Okay. six, four SEM. So what do you think? What should we do to fix this page?
John Wall 16:34
Yeah, I don’t know. You know, it’s funny, as we’re doing this, too, I was gonna pull it up in WordPress, too. So I could see if there was any feedback from Yoast in there, too. But you know, the big thing is probably to do a book summary, right in the intro, you know, have more information about the book, because that’s obviously the pole for that the practice.
Christopher Penn 16:54
Right? Okay. Let’s see what we could do. I think, since we know this page has high impressions, and not a ton of clicks, maybe we can take a transcript, right from from that episode, and put it up here. So let’s, let’s go ahead into our transcription software. This is clearly Seth himself. So let’s tag him.
Okay, so we have now a nice transcript, we’ll go ahead and export this. Let’s export as a txt file. And now, let’s put in a little disclaimer here.
John Wall 17:48
This machine generated so typos are not the fault of any human
Christopher Penn 17:52
typos are virtually guaranteed. Alright, let’s open up our text file here. But let’s take a look at our stats here. So far, we’ve got a focus keyword, Seth Godin. Right. readability, it looks fine. How many words is paid right now? So your key phrases in the first paragraph, text like 258 words, minimum of 300 words, okay. I think
we’re going to change we’re gonna bring in this transcript.
And now let’s hit update. So we went from 258 words on a page. Do we got the timestamps in this so we can figure out where they are in the show?
John Wall 19:02
Right, they can jump if they want to,
Christopher Penn 19:05
and now contains 9000. And obviously, there’s going to be a lot of additional words and phrases in this page. Now, that will really help with search. So if we go back to the post now, go to machine generated transcript. There’s a lot in here and because of the way we’ve done the transcript, you know your name, but more importantly, Seth’s name, show up a lot throughout the transcripts over optimize this page for this his name, we’ve now put a lot more opportunities for a bot to look at this and try to understand what’s in here. So that’s a page where good impressions, not a lot of clicks. Hopefully we can get we can boost its performance. So we want to take the metrics that come right out of search console and slice and dice them. Again, this is not rocket surgery here, right? This is blue, just sorting and filtering. In Excel. We haven’t even done a V lookup yet. If I don’t even need to, one of the questions that folks have is, well, how do I know what I’m missing? Right? How do I know what, like what kind of content gaps I have, that we answer in the queries tab here, which again, is right out of what’s on the website, we can look at this, right? These are the these are the clicks that we get. So we see a ton of clicks marketing over coffee, podcasts, you know, doing well marketing over coffee doing well, they start getting to obviously did different guests names, things, their marketing podcast isn’t there. So our clicks are are useful. What I’m going to do is those, I’m going to sort this by impressions. And then let’s highlight our click through rates here. And what we’ve got now, these are things that we get in, we show up in search for a lot. But we’re not necessarily getting great clicks. In fact, let’s go ahead and slap a filter in place here. And let’s filter on a click through rate of less than 5%. And let’s put a little data bar just visualize more easily. So these are the terms now that we have very low click through rates on. Right, but we show up a lot. So again, these are terms that you know, influence marketing, yeah. 1100 impressions for the term influence market, but not a single person click through. If we’re doing a podcast about marketing, we might want to do a show specific about influence market, have we done one?
John Wall 21:55
Now, as a matter of fact, we’ve got folks from up Fluence coming up in the next two weeks. So that’s like, right on the on the docket. So get lucky with that. But yeah, we should be doing more in that space. I’m just surprised to see some of these terms. And it’s crazy to have positions there. They go as deep as 100. I mean, nobody’s ever looking at the 10 page. And yet, you still you’ve got Well, they are looking because there’s 608 impressions there for newsletter marketing and 100. At the 100th position. Exactly.
Christopher Penn 22:24
Yeah, let’s talk let’s, let’s clear that. And let’s do color scale, green to red. Some of these things like this one here, obviously, your name, position five, which is good. Tim Soulo is is in their coffee mark, eating their lunch. Gets the entertaining ones in here. But there are a decent number of terms where you’re right, we are showing up for like chat marketing. So you know, who do we know anybody who want to come on and talk about that particular topic? Again, 900 impressions, not a single click on it.
John Wall 23:02
Yeah, no, it’s crazy to see how some of those topics just don’t pull it all.
Christopher Penn 23:07
Yep. And that’s probably because we don’t necessarily have a show for them. Some of them that we do. So like, for example, we have Simon Sinek. You know, he’s been on the show a couple of times now. Right?
John Wall 23:17
Yeah, yeah. It’s, you know, he’s deep in the library. And I, you know, the challenge with all that is, we are competing against, you know, his own content and somebody like him who’s putting out, you know, tons of videos and audio stuff all the time. It’s a huge challenge to try and crack through. Exactly,
Christopher Penn 23:32
but we’ve got the content. So as we did with Seth, we might want to take the top names here. And make sure that at least the their pages, their episodes have transcripts to go with them just to give the engines a little something more to grab on to
John Wall 23:47
more to chew on.
Unknown Speaker 23:49
He said what’s Quora marketing podcasts? I’m not that means.
John Wall 23:56
Let’s wait. I didn’t know they did anything?
Christopher Penn 23:58
Well, they may not. Let’s take a look and see what comes up in search for that. incognito tab here, what are some good podcasts on marketing? So core question? marketing over coffee number three, that would be why we’re showing up and the growth with core podcast and stuff. So there there are some things in how do you score for marketing? It makes sense that if we’re being mentioned in there, we might want to go niekro some of those threads to comment on just saying this. Thanks for mentioning.
John Wall 24:34
Yeah, all right, thanks. I’ll have to check it out. It’s great.
Christopher Penn 24:40
But from a content gap perspective, this is a great way to to find your content gaps to see okay, what do we what do we, what does Google semantically think we might be relevant for and people just started clicking on us. They’re just they’re just not seeing anything of relevant irrelevant search results. It could be you know, in some cases Yeah, you’re on page eight of the search results. And the likelihood of you doing well on this is pretty low. Or it might just be that there isn’t matching content. And for us, something like, you know, Modern Marketing, newsletter marketing, we should definitely do a show on newsletter marketing.
John Wall 25:17
Adding to the to do as we go here, exactly.
Christopher Penn 25:22
So those are some of the basic ways that you can start tying some data together. And, again, just going through and looking like what are the pages where you’re getting clicks, you’re getting impressions and things like that. And you can if you want, if you were so inclined, take this data, you have to do some manipulation. But you could do B lookups, for example, and match it. So you have Google Analytics data, right next to Google Search Console data, see where the pages are getting impressions. But you know, you’re not seeing actual traffic for it, or you’re getting traffic for it. But you know, it’s not coming from search. So where else are those pages getting traffic from, then go and start optimizing. So there’s two types of optimization, there’s traffic optimization, and then there’s content optimization. For content optimization, those are the pages that like we saw that have a very good conversion ratios like they, they they have good click through rates and things. But bad traffic numbers, we want to send more traffic to those pages. There’s the reverse, which are pages which have good impression data, but bad traffic, which means that we, we may not have done a good enough job optimizing the content itself. So we need to spend some more time transcripts tuning things up, maybe even you know, change the dates on the page or something just to liven things up, freshen them up. Let’s take a look here, and the other software and see what other recommendations are made for this page as being a relatively new page. We don’t have a keyword phrase, set, meta description, all image alt attributes. So some of these things are things that you can fix with plugins to just go in and say, Okay, I want to make sure that every every image at least has a, you know, a default alt attribute of you know, this is an image. Yeah, making, you know, making sure that the red things key phrase like not having one, fix those things pretty easily. Okay, so this one would be creative.
I don’t need related free system to set that face. Okay, so we’ve got a phrase set, look at our analysis. key phrase is not the first paragraph density is low on the low side, title with too long descriptions to short phrases not in the title. So we got some work to do.
John Wall 27:54
Yeah, and you know, as I’m thinking of this, and we see this, it’s like, it’s, the transcript should just become the default, I should just get a VA and give them you know, 10 bucks a week to make sure that the show is done every week. And just get that in there. Because the volume of text is just, you know, makes it here, the show notes are nothing compared to transcripts.
Christopher Penn 28:14
Exactly, and with the timestamps in them, and you can even do some light formatting on them. So, for example, here, the last 600, some episodes of the show, just stuffed them all into transcription software, auto transcription software, and now we can go through, and again, you clean things up. But ideally export it in such a way that it has, that has decent formatting to it. So there are ways you can write scripts that will take this text, and then you know, for example, make all the names, you know, heading to headings within the HTML, again, gives the struck the page some more structure and helps the bots understand what the page is about. Alright, so, to recap, we’ve take a look at how to find optimization. So in your Google Analytics data, and your Google Search Console data, these are two very, very easy, simple sources to use. They’re free, and showed some ways to manipulate that in terms of timing, this kind of optimization, ideally, you do it. Quarterly, it’d be good. If you’re, if you start seeing substantial declines in your traffic, particularly from organic search, you may want to increase the cadence, maybe do it monthly. I know some folks who are like, just hardcore, we’ll do it weekly. But at the very least quarterly audit, go and see what’s working, see what’s not, you can later on, once you’ve done the basics, start looking at more complex ways to do this analysis. So one of the ways that we talked about doing this analysis a lot is using machine learning and doing what’s called Markov chain modeling, which allows you to take a is essentially a look at what are the pages that convert the most. Now, so now instead of looking at traffic data, we’re looking at conversion data where the pages that you get the highest number of conversions. This is back from February pressured read, we do this at some point. But again, pages that have a very high conversion rate, we want to send a lot of traffic to them, as much as we can pages have a high conversion efficiency, meaning that it takes very few visits to convert, we want to make sure that those pages are well optimized. Question from Brian, do we have export and backup well Search Console data, just pull historical data when we need Search Console? Now gives you 13 months of data look back. So I find that used to be 90 days, and yeah, you’d be scraping it every 90 days to try and store it. But now with a 13 month look back? I think that’s enough. I mean, because these days, and the world we live in now, anything more than 13 months is practically a different planet. So it’s Oh, no, they need to go that much further back. Is that a bad idea to have historical data archived somewhere? Maybe? If you want to do that, I would suggest doing it using the search console API and having a piece of code do it for you automatically. That way. You don’t have to remember to do that. So any any parting thoughts, John about ways we should be optimizing our poor? shoeless child?
John Wall 31:32
Yeah, more transcripts is the biggest thing. Especially I noticed Erin clips, interview their CMO of ways, that has been a really popular interview. So yeah, that’s another one, I get to slap that transcript on him. And tune that up to go.
Christopher Penn 31:44
Exactly. And one other thing that to think about is if you’ve got regular, like blog content that doesn’t have rich media, you may want to start doing rich media just to give you stuff to feed your pages. I know. It’s funny about six months ago, I stopped doing a daily YouTube show. And I’m thinking about going back to it not because my youtube channel is doing particularly well, it wasn’t. But because it’s easier for me to talk for 10 minutes than it is to sit there and agonize over like word choice for 45 minutes to the same amount of content. And I am starting to see some of those older shows actually getting attention. So I’m thinking I may go back to doing a daily show, because every time I opened my mouth for 10 minutes, it’s about 1500 words.
John Wall 32:32
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s a huge amount of writing for anybody that’s trying to sweat through a manuscript. That’s just crazy.
Christopher Penn 32:38
Exactly. So Alright, so that is going to do it for this week’s show. If you got additional questions and things and we didn’t get a chance to chat about it here, go on over to the slack group analytics for markers we can. We can have a discussion there, but we will see you next week.
Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more, check out the Trust Insights podcast at Trust insights.ai slash ti podcast and a weekly email newsletter at Trust insights.ai slash newsletter. got questions about what you saw on today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at Trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers. See you next time.
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