Thursday, 3 December 2015

5 ways to use Google Analytics to find social media topics

Here's how you can use Google Analytics to come up with interesting and relevant discussion topics that will resonate with your target audience on social media.
Coming up with new, interesting topics for posting on your blog or social media channels can be challenging when you’ve been at it for a long time. That seemingly endless stream of ideas can run low and topics can feel stale after a while. When this becomes an issue, Google Analytics is a handy tool for getting inspired and basing your ideas on data.
Here are five reports in Google Analytics that you can use for generating new topics.

1. SEO keywords

The terms people use to find your site can tell you a lot about their interests, especially the longer-tail keywords. A great place to start is by looking for questions among the keywords. Start off questions with phrases like:
  • "What is...?"
  • "How to...?"
  • "How can...?"
These types of queries can tell you the exactly what answers searchers are looking for when they land on your site.
However, you don’t have to just stop at questions. Look for other terms frequently used by searchers to understand what they are most interested in.
Let’s say you’re a high-end furniture store selling everything from sofas and armchairs, to rugs and decor. You may notice that a high number of people are coming to the site when they search for terms related to coffee tables. By writing about coffee tables - with topics like the merits of different shapes, sizes, and materials, how a coffee table can tie the room together, or what type of coffee table best fits your lifestyle - you know you are hitting on a subject that is of interest to your audience. 
Where the find the report: Acquisition >> Search Engine Optimization >> Queries

2. Site search

Similar to the SEO keywords, you can look at the terms people are using once they get to your site, to learn more about what interests them. However, the thing to keep in mind here is that these users are already on your site, and they are digging in further for more information. Oftentimes these terms will be more product or service specific. But you can still gain insight into which products or services are more popular and, in turn, make for interesting content topics.
Where the find the report: Behavior >> Site Search >> Search Terms

3. Interest categories

If you’ve enabled demographic insights in Google Analytics, you can learn some pretty fascinating things about your site visitors. One especially insightful report for developing content is the Audience Interests report.
As you can see, there are several different interest or behavioral categories that your audience fall into, like:
  • Movie Lovers
  • Home and Garden
  • Travel Buffs
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Real Estate 
Use these categories to help you match your products or services to those categories to find content topics. Going back to the home furnishings example, if you see that a large portion of your audience are also movie lovers, you could write a post about how popular movies have used furniture and decor to set a tone, or pick a furniture designer and list every movie their pieces have been shown in.
Where the find the report: Audience >> Interests

4. Pages with most engagement

See which pages on your site are being viewed the most and for the longest time. This goes for static pages, such as categories, products or resource pages, as well as blog posts. Notice if there are any themes of interest across these pages. Are the pages getting the most engagement all about coffee tables or different type of furniture? Is there one particular blog post that continues to receive a good deal of traffic months or even years after posting?
Creating other pieces of content based on these popular topics allows you to write about things you already know are interesting to your visitors. If it’s blog content we’re talking about, think about how you could repurpose that content into other formats. A top 10 blog post could be turned into an infographic or video, or you could expand on each item and come up with ten new blogs in one go!
Where the find the report: Behavior >> Site Content >> All Pages

5. Links from other sources

When other blogs or social media posts link to your website, it’s called a Trackback in Google Analytics. By viewing trackbacks, you can learn what other bloggers think you are credible enough about to link to, and you can also see how many people click those links to visit your site. Note what these blogs are about, and why and how your site is mentioned within the article to determine if these would make for good content topics on your social media channels.
Where the find the report: Acquisition >> Social >> Trackbacks

To sum up

Brainstorming topics for social media content can’t and shouldn't stop with a white board. Google Analytics is great resource for providing inspiration and validating that these topics will be of interest to your customers.