Measuring Content Marketing Success in Google Analytics

 

This post is in the conjunction with the post: The Geek Guide to Measuring your Content Marketing Efforts where I have outlined the definition of great contents and how this greatness can be measured in monetary terms. I would strongly suggest you to read this post (if you have not already) to get the most out of my present post. Today I will take you one step further in your analysis of content marketing. Say hello to: ‘Profit Index’.

 

What is Profit Index?

It is an index (i.e. database) of web pages on your site which were most frequently viewed prior to goal conversions or e-commerce transactions or both. Profit index can also be the inventory of best selling product items on your website.  The idea behind profit index is to sell what is selling and sell even more. Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your sales comes from 20% of the products.

So what you need to do is, to determine those 20% and work relentlessly on them. You can’t sell each and every product of your client in each and every location of your country, so why spread your marketing efforts and resources too thin by trying to be visible everywhere for everything you sell.

 

For example:

Let us suppose that total number of web pages on your website = 30,000

Let us suppose that out of this 30k pages, 23k pages are getting traffic. But do all of these 23k pages have the capacity to trigger conversions on your website?  You can answer this question by determining the number of web pages which are in the Profit index of your website i.e. the number of web pages that have the capacity to trigger conversions on your website.

To determine the number of pages in the Profit index, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Head to ‘All Pages’ report (under Content > Site Content) in your Google Analytics account and note down the number as shown in the box:

So here we have got 23,636 pages which are getting traffic on the website.


Step-2:
Create following advanced filter on the reporting interface of ‘All Pages’ report:

 

 

Create the filter: Include | Page Value | Greater than| 0 as shown below and then click on the ‘Apply’ button:

 

Note: Any web page which has a ‘page value’ of 0 is not adding any economic value to your business bottomline and as such can’t be a part of your Profit index.

 

Step-3: Once you have applied the filter you will see the following similar report which is your Profit index:

 

So here we have got 2,217 web pages which are in the Profit index. These are the pages on your site which are adding value to the business bottomline.

 

Optimizing Profit Index

You should focus on improving the ‘page value’ of the pages which are in your Profit index as these are the most profitable pages of your website. You can do this by:

1. Reducing the click distance (i.e. the number of clicks it takes to reach to a page from the home page) of your most profitable pages. You may need to make some changes to your site architecture. People must be able to find these pages easily and in least amount of time. This is because when people land on these pages then they are most likely to convert.

2. Improve the site internal linking structure so that more link juice pass to these profitable pages.Remove/block all those pages which consistently don’t add any value to business bottomline. Don’t hesitate sacrificing the number of pages in the Google index to improve Profit index.

3. Get external links to these pages through link building so that more of the pages can act as landing pages and attract higher traffic than usual. Remember these pages are most frequently viewed prior to conversions or transactions or both. So when they act as a landing page your probability of getting conversions increases by several folds.

4. Reduce the bounce rate of the pages which can act as the entrance pages.

5.  Improve the user experience of the pages through surveys,  A/B testing and multivariate testing.

6. Create Profitable Sitemaps – profitable sitemaps list only those web pages which have your target page values or at least have page values of greater than zero. You want to make sure that these pages get indexed and remain in Google index as they are the most profitable pages of your website.

Note: Don’t measure the success of a piece of content only on the basis of page value. Also look at the total economic value added by the content to the business bottomline.


Start your analysis from the pages which have the highest ‘Page Value’ and then go all down to the pages with lowest page value.  Create a chart to monitor page value and unique pageviews trends over a period of say 2 to 3 months:

The page value of your web pages must increase over time. This is a sign of profitable content marketing campaigns. Higher the page value, more profitable your web pages are and consequently higher will be your conversion volumes and sales.

 

Also focus on bringing more and more pages in your profit index. Larger the size of your profit index, higher will be the conversion volumes and e-commerce transactions carried out on your website. You should monitor the size of your profit index over time by creating a column chart in Excel:

 

 

Note: In case of very big websites, the size of your profit index will most probably be a very small fraction (like 1/10) of the size of your Google Index. This is perfectly normal. But you should always aim to increase the size of  your profit index.

 

Segmenting Profit Index and Profitable Sitemaps

If you have tens of thousands of web pages or millions of web pages in your Profit index then you need to segment both Profit index and your profitable sitemap. You first priority should always be optimizing the most profitable pages on your website. So for example, if the 100 most profitable pages on your website have ‘page value’ of greater than $1000. Then you should segment and monitor this high value profit index separately.

You may need to create several profit indices based on the size of your profit index and page value ranges you want to target.  Unfortunately you can’t create such profit indices through advanced segments, custom reports or filtered profiles in Google Analytics. The only way I have found so far is through advanced filters on the reporting interface.  You should target profit indices in decreasing order of their page value range. For example:

 

By segmenting your profit indices you will be in a better position to prioritize your marketing efforts esp. if you are dealing with a very big website.  I would also go ahead and suggest creating a separate sitemap for each profit index and prioritize your SEO efforts accordingly.

Related Post: Optimizing Contents for Sales and Conversions through Profit Index


Other Posts you may find useful
:

Building Super Advanced Keyword Performance Dashboard in Google Analytics & Excel

Measuring Content Marketing Efforts – Understanding Great Contents

 

 

About the Author:

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  • Ramesh Singh

    Hi Himanshu,

    This is defiantly a great read. Just wanted to know what will you suggest to do this exercise for ecommerce site where products gets phased out or not in trend in just 1-2 months.

    • optimizesmart

      you need to remove all such pages from the Profit Index.