We need to have a little talk about your analytics.
You see, we’re way too focused on visitors and average time spent on site and bounce rates and pageviews.
I will concede those are important metrics to track for the mere purpose of making certain everything is on track, but they are not going to tell you what you need to know.
In fact, James Ellis (aka Content Ham) says averages are lies.
Think about that for a minute and then go into panic mode.
Averages are lies.
You see, some people come to your site and spend 10 seconds or less and others hang out for a really long time.
The people on either end create the average and we focus on that number instead of on the people who hang out for a really long time.
So how do you get past the averages?
Get Past the Averages
Here I want you to figure out:
- Where people who stay the longest come from;
- What did they read that made them more likely to stay;
- What content led to the most sales; and
- What pieces of content made them stay for more.
I’ll do this for Spin Sucks for you, so you can see what I mean.
Where Did They Come From?
For the 30 days in September, we had 4,971 people who stayed for more than four minutes and 42 seconds, representing nearly 19,000 pages viewed.
They came from:
- Direct (meaning they typed “spinsucks.com” into their URL bar);
- Facebook; and
What Did They Read?
Of the top 10 posts for the most engaged visitors, six were mine and four were guest posts (I clearly need to work on my game!).
- Five Must-Have Free Visual Marketing Tools (by Jess Ostroff)
- Six Tips to Be More Productive and Get Things Done (by me… interestingly, this post is from May)
- Kiss Your Video Marketing Fears Goodbye (by Laura Petrolino)
- The NFL is Missing the Cardinal Rule of Crisis Management (by me)
- Build and Maintain Your Online Reputation (by me)
- Free Google Penalty Checker Tool (by Kate Finley…from July of 2013!)
- How to Avoid a Canva Fail (by Kara Jensen)
- Advice to Those Who Want to Build a PR Firm (by me)
- The Traits of Managers vs. Leaders (by me)
- Twelve Grammar Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes (by me…from September of 2013)
What Content Led to the Most Sales?
This is a hard one for us to track because, while most of our prospects read the blog and decide to work with us because they like the way we think, it’s impossible to track which content made them pick up the phone.
Those of you, though, who sell online have a distinct advantage here.
What Content Made Them Stay for More?
We have our content categorized in five easy buckets so it’s easy to tell where someone goes after they read one blog post.
Our pieces on communications are first (which makes sense because our target is communications professionals) and then social media and entrepreneur.
To get even better data, you could do this exercise for a full 12 months. So I would do October 1, 2013-September 30, 2014.
Then you have trends on where your most engaged visitors are coming from (spend more time distributing content in that way) and what types of content are most popular (create more of that).
If I look at just the past 30 days, I can see things such as “free,” “mistakes,” “advice,” and “time management” work really well for our audience.
Now I’m better educated (using data instead of instinct) and you’re happier because we have a plan to deliver more content that you really love.
Then the goal becomes increasing those really engaged visitors from 4,971 to 10,000 or 100,000 or one million. All through content.