Gauging Content Performance: How Often to Do a Content Analysis

For content strategists, the key to having great content is the ability to constantly refine and improve the content to meet your team’s goals, and that requires regular content analysis. As with all elements of content strategy, content analysis takes time—time that could be spent on other things. So, the question for content strategists is: how often should you perform a content analysis?

Before we answer that question, though, let’s talk about what content analysis is and why you should do it in the first place.

What is Content Analysis?

Content analysis involves correlating your individual pieces of content—blog posts, landing pages, gated content such as whitepapers—with your content marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).

A critical part of your content analysis will come from Google Analytics, which will tell you exactly how your content fares over time using metrics like:

  • Organic search sessions
  • Bounce rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Lead conversion rate

Before you perform a content analysis, you need to determine your content goals and KPIs for the different types of content on your site. Is the goal of your blog posts to drive search engine traffic? Or to get visitors to sign up for a newsletter? Do you want more people to reach out to your sales team?

(Not sure how to measure your content in Google Analytics? Check out our latest publication, the Content Measurement Handbook, which will give you an in-depth look at using Google Analytics to make the most of every piece of content you produce.)

It’s important to set the goals for your content before you perform your content analysis. The goals will help you determine what numbers matter in your Google Analytics report and which ones are just distractions.

Why is Content Analysis Important?

Content analysis will show you where your strengths and weaknesses are in your content strategy. Good content analysis will not only tell you whether the words and images you’re producing are having their desired effect, but will take things a step further by revealing issues with the user experience (such as common landing page errors that reduce sign-ups) or search engine snafus that keep your posts off page one.

When you have good command over your Google Analytics and a deep understanding of your goals and KPIs, you can reap the benefits of a content analysis. These benefits include:

Determining the Effectiveness of Your SEO

Organic search is the holy grail of content marketing—a much more sustainable and affordable approach to marketing compared to pay-per-click, according to The Upper Ranks. Well-constructed content that is mobile friendly and informative will help you outrank your competitors.

Without content analysis, you can’t determine which content search engines like Google reward or punish. And since Google is constantly tweaking search algorithms, you can’t assume top-ranking pages will stay that way without maintenance.

New Topics

There are numerous ways to come up with new content topics, but diving into Google Analytics for a content analysis can help you come up with targeted content for keywords that you know drive customers to your site. It can also show you gaps in your content that need to be covered in the future.

Discovering What Works

Your top-performing content shouldn’t rest on its laurels. Take your top-performing blog post and expand it into a gated whitepaper to drive more newsletter sign-ups. Or convert it into an informative video to get more engagement on social media.

Find what’s working in your content and capitalize on it until it doesn’t…

Fixing Low-Performing Content

With content that’s no longer working, you can turn your attention to fixing low-performing posts, including those pages that have high bounce rates or low engagement. SEO—and your customer’s experience, has a lot to do with the quality of the content. Bad content (i.e., short pages, bad UX) should be updated or removed, depending on the volume.

So How Often Should You Run a Content Analysis?

In our opinion, content analysis is an ongoing evaluation and an integral part of the content creation process—there’s no need to wait to check how content is performing. For good measure, formal content analysis should be done on a quarterly basis at minimum to help you optimize and create an effective long-term content strategy.

If you’re looking to kick your content strategy into high gear, get started with our Content Measurement Handbook. You’ll learn exactly how to define and measure your content strategy goals while getting a deep dive into using Google Analytics to gauge content-specific metrics.