Content is one of the most important facets of your website marketing strategy. Google Analytics can help you determine which content attracts the most visitors to your website, what content drives your visitors away, and what topics your visitors are most interested in once they’re on your site.

Use these insights to fine tune your content strategy. Create more of the content that keeps visitors engaged, and eliminate content that fails to add value. The following article will demonstrate exactly how to use Google Analytics to create better website content.

Get to Know Your Top Pages

How to Use Google Analytics for Better Website Content - Top Pages

If you haven’t already done so, follow these steps to set up Google Analytics on your website. Once Google Analytics has had some time to track visits to your website, you can find out the most popular pages or blog posts on your site.

Once you’re logged in to Google Analytics, go to the “Content” section, click “Site Content,” and then click “Pages.” This will show you the pages on your site with the most page views, within the last 30 days. You can also see related data about your top pages, including average time on page, bounce rate, and exit percentage.

You can use this data in a variety of ways including:

  • Optimize Conversion: Look at the pages that get the most visits on your website. What can you do to optimize your conversion rates on those pages? See if you can add calls to action or incentives to get visitors to purchase a product, sign up for a mailing list, or complete your other website goals.
  • Create Similar Content: If you notice that the top pages on your website are all referencing a particular topic, then you might want to consider creating more content on similar topics. This way, you will have additional content that attracts even more visitors.
  • Lower Bounce Rate: If the bounce rates on your most visited pages are high, you might want to see what you can do to keep visitors on your site longer. For example, you could add a “Related Topics” section, which shows visitors that there is complementary content elsewhere on your site.

Discover Your Highest Exit Pages

How to Use Google Analytics for Better Website Content - Exit Path

The flipside to your top pages are your exit pages, or the most common pages from which your visitors leave your website. To find out the highest ranking exit pages on your website, go to the “Content” section of Google Analytics, click on “Site Content,” and then click “Exit Pages.” Chances are, you will discover that some of your website’s top visited pages are also your most exited pages.

Depending on your website’s goals, exit pages are not necessarily a bad thing. For example, if one of your top exit pages is the one that contains your company phone number or lead form, then it may mean visitors have contacted you and then left the website. If this isn’t the case, then you will want to take steps to lower your exit rate on your top exit pages, perhaps by adding more links to other pages on your website that visitors might like.

Another thing you might consider is whether the content on the page satisfies visitors’ needs. If the focus of the page is the top ten tips for gardening, then you might want to consider whether these tips need to be revised or expanded upon to keep the visitors’ attention longer.

Find Out What Your Visitors Want on Your Website

How to Use Google Analytics for Better Website Content - Site Search

Does your website have a search box? If so, you are sitting on a potential goldmine of untapped information. Using Google Analytics’ “Site Search,” you can find out what people are searching for on your website. No matter how visitors arrived at your website, Site Search will tell you what they’re looking for once they are there. And with that information, you can determine what kinds of content would best serve your visitors.

To set up Site Search for your website, click on your website’s profile from your Google Analytics home page. Next, click on the settings wheel icon, located in the top right corner of the orange toolbar for your website’s profile. Under the “Profile Settings,” there is a section for “Site Search Settings.” Change the selection to “Do track Site Search.” To find your query parameter, run a search on your website. For example, if you search keyword on this site, the search result’s URL is http://sproutsocial.com/insights/?s=keyword. In this case, s is the query parameter. Then click the “Apply” button.

To view your Site Search data, go to the “Content” section, click “Site Search” and then click on “Search Terms.” This will show you the words that people are searching for on your site. It will also show you the number of pages people viewed after making their searches, the percentage of people that exited after their searches, and other related data. This should give you a better idea of the type of content people are expecting to find on your website. If you do not have content that corresponds to the keywords that people are searching for, you might want to consider creating content on those topics.

Editor’s note: This article references the new Google Analytics Beta, Version 5.

[Image Credits: furkan demirtas, Tacker, Atibens, Jeffrey Beall]