Content marketing has remarkable abilities in providing great value to a particular brand’s audience. While content marketing is not a new concept, the recent changes to Google’s algorithm require the digital marketers to rethink their idea of creating and publishing contents online. Nowadays, digital marketing is not complete without adjusting and reacting to the insights of analytics. Here are the most common mistakes content marketers do without knowing it.
1) Measure for conversions
Oftentimes, we approach content creation and promotion based on the results of direct responses without focusing much on creating contents that should drive conversions. Other times, we focus too much on the bottom of the sales funnel (sale-sy contents and over-promotion), thinking that if the readers find your content useful then why they are not buying from you.
What to do: Think of different contents differently. Each content is warranted for its engagement and conversion purposes. The contents should be about the people’s felt and immediate needs and how your brand can help them so they may engage with the contents actively and then become a customer.
Engagement must be your first measure followed by conversion. Determine if people are discovering your website (visit). Next, determine if they are enjoying it (bounce rate, time on site and page views). Are they loving your contents (hitting favorite button and/or becoming fans, follower or subscriber)? Are they engaging with it (like, comment and share)?
The key is to optimize to delight your readers first. If the content has enough actively-engaged traffic, this is the right time to optimize the engagement into conversion.
2) Treat engagement in aggregates
Most of us is guilty with this. We have a tendency to compare traffic by merely looking at Google Analytics dashboard, comparing traffics from different sources. What we did not realize is the fact that our websites and each of its pages are unique. Thus, the nature of engagement for each page varies. Products page will certainly receive more traffic and time on site than the blog posts.
Engagement results will be completely different for traffic sources driving traffic to the products page and to the posts more so when comparing figures such as page views, bounce rates, average session lengths, etc. The same holds true even when different traffic sources achieve optimal results.
What to do: Resist the itch beyond the dashboard. In understanding the website’s performance effusively, comparing the traffic sources based on the engagement parameters is critical. This should be done for each page. Through this, you will be able to create page performance benchmarks and draw the appropriate conclusions. Determining which sources drive the best engagement results will be then possible.
Another thing, when you compare traffic sources, discard all those pages that receive less than ten views. The process enables you to focus on comparing areas or web pages that attained minimum engagement. These are the pages that matter most.
3) Define social engagement ONLY
Don’t take it wrongly, but social signals and social proofs are critical nowadays. These are great measures if you are writing contents for the social platforms. It’s a different story if you are not. Customer behaviors vary from one demographic profile to another despite communicating with them using the same branding voice and tone.
What to do: Social sharing is important for any digital business. Thus, publish made-for-social contents. These contents are shorter, more precise, more visual and often have catchy titles. Traditional engagements, on the other hand, must be measured for longer and more in-depth contents especially those you publish on the corporate blog.
4) Compare CTRs between platforms
Again, plenty of digital marketers are disposed to assessing the paid media platforms’ perceived effectiveness through comparing the ratio between who views the ads and who clicks them. Since we are not looking at apples to apples quantities, it will only yield inaccurate insights.
You can only compare platforms by ensuring that they all function in a way that they promote the same contents and advertisements. That’s it. Even Google and Bing treat page and ad views differently, so you should too. In this essence, we can say that search engines define click through rates (CTRs) differently as well.
What to do: Most paid media platforms provide CTR benchmark for various categories. Based on these benchmarks, compare and judge how you are faring against your competition on each platform. The basis of your comparison should be comparing platforms driving traffic to the similar pages of your website.
Look at the conversion and engagement relative to the cost of the platform as well. You will know whether the PPC investment is returning the expected yield or not.
5) Regard bounce rates out of context
Let’s admit it. We don’t fully understand bounce rate as a key performance indicator. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of the total number of visitors who get to visit a page and then left. If for anything, bounce rate only indicates as ‘someone visits your website’ and leave it immediately as if the visitor should not be there in the first place,’ right? Well, that’s an oversimplification.
What to do: Bounce rates must be approached in relation to time on site. Google Analytics defines bounce rate as the percentage of single-page visits. Change it to more precise definition related to your website such as the percentage of single-page visits where visitors stayed on the landing page for less than 10 seconds.
With this, you can separate ‘good bounce’ from ‘bad bounce.’ Good bounce indicates high engagement while bad bounce is indicative of fly-by traffic or those who come to the website and leave quickly.
In content marketing, there are no hard and fast rules. Nonetheless, there is the undying need to measure the right KPIs. We should stop developing strategies (creating content included) that have arbitrary numbers as the basis. It may be true that we are still in the nascent phases of effective content discovery. So, we have to think critically which is the epitome of a genuine digital marketer that we should all be.
About The Author : Cris is a blogger and currently working as a freelance writer in Optimind Technology Solutions, a digital marketing agency that provide SEO in the Philippines as well as web design, social media marketing, Facebook apps and mobile app development.
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