In this article, we’re going to talk about how to optimize your internal content to draw in as much traffic as possible. Your site’s media content, coupled with its SEO techniques, is one of its biggest magnets in attracting wayward shoppers. And because content’s effectiveness depends on the individual preferences of your average customers, Google Analytics eCommerce data allows you to hone in specifically and maximize its effects.
Let’s talk about which metrics are the most helpful, how to tell which type of content works best, and what your demographic data can suggest for improving your content marketing strategy.
The 3 Most Important Google Analytics eCommerce Metrics
The best place to start is with the 3 most revealing Google Analytics eCommerce figures: Pageviews, Avg. Time on Page, and Exit Percentage.
When considering these three factors for each of your content pages, you’ll be able to see which ones have the biggest impact and why. Spend enough time in Google Analytics eCommerce and you’ll start to recognize patterns that help you determine what kind of content to develop in the future.
All three of these metrics are found in Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. This data sets work on all pages of a site, too, not just content posts.
Of the three metrics, Pageviews is the simplest, but also the vaguest. This makes it great for giving quick and somewhat accurate first impressions, but it requires additional data before you can make concrete assessments.
Page views are the amount of times the page has been viewed, including repeated visits by the same shopper. (Unique Pageviews are the number of sessions in which the page was viewed at least once.) Successful pages always have a high number of page views, and floundering pages always have a low number.
The difficult, though, is that pages with a lot of page views aren’t always successful. Clickbait, for example, can have a high number of views, but the visitor bounces almost immediately when the content disappoints them. That’s why it’s always important to cross-check a post’s page views against the time on page and Exit %.
Avg. Time on Page
Essentially, the average time on page statistic measures how interesting a post is. The longer a visitor stays on a page, the more engaged they are. This metric is perfect for separating quality content from clickbait or trap titles.
You can even calculate whether or not they read the entire post. According to Marketing Land, 200-250 words per minute is a safe estimate for the average person’s reading speed. Compare the post’s word count to the time on page to see exactly how much of the article most people read. Then, try to replicate the elements that made the post intriguing by looking at what all popular posts have in common.
One other note about avg. time on page: sometimes it indicates navigation problems. If a visitor lands on the page in error or as a result of confusion, they’ll quickly exit the page, sometimes to retrace their steps, or else just abandon the site. Once or twice shouldn’t affect the average much, but it the problem persists you’ll be able to notice a difference here.
Measuring the amount of times visitors leave the site after viewing a page, the exit % adds another critical layer to analyzing a post’s success.
Like the Avg. Time on Page, it can determine whether or a person arrived on your site in error. If landing pages have a high exit percentage, it means they’re not as effective as they should be. Exit % can show you which squeaky wheels need the most grease.
The exit % can also be a loose indicator of how interesting your content is. Good, engaging content makes people want to stay on the site and continue reading posts. Poor content makes them leave the entire site faster.
Putting it All Together
Considering these three factors on each post, you’ll be able to see the most effective posts for attracting visitors and keeping them interested. You’ll be able to make smarter decisions on areas like:
- Post Length
- Best Times to Publish
- How Frequently to Publish
- Format of Content (blogs, infographics, videos, etc.)
- Best Content Creators
- Topics for Content
However, the post’s performance in relation to other posts doesn’t speak much about how it’s helping your site’s overall strategy. Producing content that people enjoy is one thing, but is that content actually aiding your sales? For that, you need to look at conversion data.
Google Analytics eCommerce Data for Conversions
Google Analytics eCommerce allows you to organize your data according to how it suits your site’s individual goals – which you can also customize. The entire Conversion section is dedicated to this, with the eCommerce subsection handing sales and financial figures, and the Goals sections letting you set your own metric for success.
Use the eCommerce section for a straightforward account of where your money’s coming from. In terms of content strategy, this shows you simply which products are more valuable and in-demand so you know what to mention in your posts. You can read more about how to use this data in our previous article on how to use Google Analytics eCommerce data directly to increase sales.
The Goals section, however, is more useful for hands-on management. Here you can set your own metrics for success, and Google Analytics eCommerce will automatically calculate how well your pages meet that goal. Because you choose your own goals, it enables you to be more creative in your marketing strategies and stray from the norm with less risk.
For some inspiration, here are some worthwhile goals to examine on your site aside from finances:
- Checkout completion
- Email signups
- Downloading a certain items
- Video plays
- Image views
- Spending over a certain amount of time per session
- Spending over a certain amount of money
- The number of items in a cart
- The number of items viewed
Of course, these are just suggestions. Think outside of the box yourself to implement some original strategies that incorporate conversion goals.
Just like the other content marketing data, isolate the factors and patterns for the types of posts most effective at accomplishing your site’s goals, whatever they are.
How Demographic Data Influences Content Marketing
In our previous article, we explained the actionable uses for demographics data for your eCommerce site. For example, younger visitors prefer less text, women are more responsive to email marketing, etc. We don’t want to retread our same points here, but we will mention that this demographic data works just as well on your content strategy.
While the age and gender can give you a broad direction for the type of topics to post about, serious content marketers will want to pay more attention to the Affinity Categories (Audience > Interests > Affinity Categories).
This area breaks up your shoppers into interest groups, such as “movie lovers” or “technophiles.” This data was initially created to determine which types of products an online store should focus on, but the information works equally well in deciding what topics to discuss.
Pay attention to what your typical shoppers are interested in – in other words, but kind of posts do they want to read or watch? Like other data sectors, this area also shows the secondary data like conversion rate and money spent, so you can target the most lucrative interest groups along with the most popular.
One of the great parts about having a Google Analytics eCommerce report handy is that you have more freedom to experiment and try new strategies. If you have a new idea for an unconventional post, but are unsure whether or not it will work, these statistics will show you clearly how it compares.
The more detailed statistics can even show where you went right or wrong – for example, high pageviews with a low time on site meant the idea appealed enough to get clicks, but the content failed to deliver what the shopper expected.
Remember to keep experimental posts controlled, though, so the data reflects the quality of the post and not some secondary variable like the time it’s posted or how its promoted.
While we’re discussing content strategy and attracting users to your site with your internal pages, we would be remiss is we didn’t mention how Google Analytics eCommerce data works with SEO.
The basic method shows the number of organic searches that ended up on your site, and the keywords that lead them there. You can see this by first going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels, and then clicking on “Organic Search.”
Here you can see not just a list of the most common search terms that lead to your site, but also how visitors who used the individual terms perform. For example, maybe the keyword “affordable beauty products” brings the most people to your site, but the keyword “organic skin cream” leads to the most sales. Now you know to favor “organic skin cream” in your SEO strategy, or perhaps make some changes to the customer journey for “affordable beauty product” searchers.
The SEO data from Google Analytics eCommerce can also be used to check your progress on your current SEO strategy. Areas like SEO don’t always go as planned, so you’ll need to constantly monitor real traffic data to know how close you are to the mark.
Of course this is just basic information. If you want to explore SEO with more advanced, top-tier data, add Search Console for Google Analytics eCommerce. This add-on provides exclusive SEO figures including the number of URL impressions in search results and post-click engagement for bounces or conversions.
Before it begins collecting data, though, you need to add your site to the Search Console registry. Google Support outlines the easy steps for this here.
What are your favorite Google Analytics eCommerce data for your content marketing strategy? If you don’t use analytics, how do you gauge your success? Add your opinions and advice in the comments section now.