5 GA4 Tactics for Boosting Your Content Marketing Results
Ask an entrepreneur or business owner about his organizational assets and he’ll tell you about his employees, unique market approach, or close-knit relationship with clients. Few – if any – will ever include data in their answers.
Yet data is one of the most important resources of any organization. (If you’re still having trouble with collecting, interpreting, and making the best use of data, feel free to schedule a call to see how we could help.) Today, we’re going to help content marketers generate new content ideas to drive up their organization’s content marketing results.
If you’re a content writer, you’ve surely found yourself in a situation where you ran out of ideas or topics about what to create next. Wouldn’t it be cool if you had a genie you could always call in to help you out with what’s hot in your niche? A genie that would give you enough insights to creata an entire content calendar of hot-hot-hot content that your prospect’s just can’t get enough of. We’re talking content inspired by the needs, desires, and expectations of your market. Lucky you, GA4 could be that genie.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Analytics aren’t necessarily familiar territory for content writers. Quite the opposite. It may look downright scary. But don’t worry, I’ll show you how to tame the beast and how you can use it to:
- Generate high-performing content fast
- Understand why some topics are performing better than others
- Scale up the power of qualitative research to generate actionable insights
By the time you’re done reading this, I’m pretty sure you’ll be itching to start using what you’re about to discover here.
So, what do you sa’? Are we doing this? Let’s go!
How to Use GA4 to Scoop Up Valuable Content Insights
Setting up your custom groupings
GA4 is a goldmine for content idea generation. The only problem with it is that it’s overwhelming – IF you don’t know where to start. Unless you’ve got a clear direction, you may soon find yourself lost in a labyrinth of confusion and unanswered questions. Not good!
So, the goal here is to show you precisely where to look for insights so you can spend the minimum amount of time inside GA4 and then move on into more familiar territory – writing.
Now, let’s assume we have this blog. It’s already populated with a few dozens of posts. However, our objective is obvious – grow it as much as possible. So, where do you start off?
If you’re thinking about analyzing the success of all the previous posts, you’re on to something. Howeveeeer, looking at page-long reports and hundreds of lines is both tiring and boring. I’m sure you agree with me on this, right?
What’s more, going so granular with your analysis right off the bat may not necessarily give you a strategic understanding of what’s truly going on in your blog.
So, my first suggestion to you is to come up with a few big topic clusters around which you’re going to build your posts.
Let’s see how we do things at GrowthSavvy. Our three big topics we concentrate on are: data analytics, conversion optimization, and advertising. Grouping our content into these 3 big topics makes it a lot easier to understand how each of them is performing. Plus this structure represents our content strategy.
If you’re not doing this for your blog, we recommend grouping your content into a logical structure that reflects on how you think about your content strategy right away.
Grouping your content as such helps you analyze results from top down.
First, you get a clear image as to what the blog brings to the business. Then, you can get into analyzing how each category performs. And finally, you can go granular and see which blog post from which category generated the most interest.
For example, from the image below, you only need a few seconds to see that our Data Analytics cluster attracts 30% of our blog readers and generates about 50% of our leads. Now that’s a big insight, wouldn’t you agree?
This brings up the question: are some data analytics articles performing better than the others? Let’s see.
To get our answer, we need to add a Page path – a standard dimension all GA4 accounts have by default. I do that, and, as you can see in the image above, almost 80% of our leads come from just 3 articles.
Next up, it’s time to see what these articles have in common and then build up more content like them.
Now, the setup for your content groupings inside your GA4 account depends on your website and its URL structure. You can find more details about this on support.google.com.
Once you’ve implemented them, you’ll find the by going to Reports -> Engagement -> Pages and screens.
Are content groupings default? No.
How do you find the report? Easy.
What’s really cools is you that once you’ve set up your content groupings, you can analyze them by any standard GA4 dimension such as: country, city, age, device, and so on.
Custom Dimensions – discover your readers’ specialization and interests
Now that we’ve found content grouping helps you reach insights about what blog pieces have the most impact on your website, it’s time to shift our focus to uncovering your readers’ wants.
We do with the help of custom dimensions.
Skills Planning to Improve
There’s not much to say about custom dimensions. In fact, they’re pretty much the same to GA4’s default ones – country, city, device, etc. The only difference is that you have the power to create custom dimensions yourself. Which is pretty cool. Not to mention useful.
Again, let’s see a real-life example of how we, at Growth Savvy, use custom dimensions to learn more about the people who consume the content we build.
As you’re probably aware, we like helping people like you navigate their way around the murky waters of digital marketing. In doing so, we always try to include a valuable piece of content which our readers can get for free by adding in their email address at the end of most of our blog posts.
Naturally, we’re interested in finding out more about who these people are. Now, as a side note, always remember you’re not allowed to track any personally identifiable information inside GA4.
However, more general stuff like Company Role is totally fine. Here are the company roles of some of the people who downloaded a Data analytics resource from our blog.
This information is not only useful for future targeting purposes, but also for coming up with more meaningful content for them since we can make a pretty good assumption about their responsibilities and job struggles they face on a daily basis.
How did we get this info? We just asked for it in the fill-in form that comes up for people interested in downloading our content upgrades.
However, we didn’t stop there. We also took this opportunity to find out even more about them. So, we also asked them to tell us what digital marketing skill they’re looking to improve. After all, it makes perfect sense as it’s a win-win situation. We discover more about the topics that interest our readers the most, and they get the resources they need to further their careers.
Going back to our Custom dimensions – it’s worth noting they’re not a default feature. And it makes perfect sense for it not to be. Each business tracks different custom dimensions depending on the information they collect.
Once you’ve implemented your custom dimension, you can start using it in most of your default GA4 reports – or you can also build your own custom reports using custom dimensions.
Ok, let’s do a quick recap about what we’ve covered so far.
Content groupings are super useful for helping you understand which content pieces perform best. Custom dimensions help you dig even deeper into discovering more about your readers’ needs and interests.
Now, let’s carry on with the next golden nugget of GA4 wisdom for content marketers.
Website Seach Box
Looking at what people type in your website’s search box is another way of identifying their interests and desires. Are they mostly searching for topics you cover, or are their interests related to something you never even thought of? If the latter is true, you’ve just found yourself a content gap – one that you’re going to want to fill out sooner rather than later.
It’s those heavily searched topics that you’re going to want to focus on and include in your content strategy.
Now, let’s see how you get to the data stored inside those search boxes. For starters, you’ll be glad to know that search boxes are tracked by default IF you’ve enabled the Enhanced measurement feature.
To see what people type in those boxes, head to Reports -> Engagement -> Events – just as you see in the GIF below.
Now, scroll all the way down to the table, type in ‘search’ -> ‘view_search_results’, and look for the Search Term card.
Here’s how our Website Search box looks like.
Moving on to the next item on our list, we’re now going to be looking at what readers are looking for before landing on your website.
Think of this as an expansion of your website’s search box. When you integrate the Search Console into GA4, you’re virtually opening up a mirror in time that shows you the queries and keywords readers use before they get to your landing pages through an organic channel.
Pretty cool, right?
Even though the Search Console isn’t integrated into GA4 by default, doing so is easy and only requires a few clicks.
Once you’ve integrated it, you’ll find the Search Console queries by accessing Reports -> Seach Console -> Queries.
And, here’s how ours look like:
Besides helping use understand more about our readers’ needs and interests, these results are of particular interest for SEO specialists – for obvious reasons.
Almost done now. There’s just one more tactic I’d like to share.
Now everything I’ve shared so far is, without a douby, useful. However, I’m well aware that not all the tactics apply for all types of blogs. For instance, if your readers don’t have a form to fill, there’s no way of getting those Custom dimensions from them.
Worry not, though!
This last tactic is something that allows you to scale qualitative insights by leveraging GA4 and Hotjar.
We do this with the help of targeted surveys which we’ll use to ask our audiences questions that will help us deliver them more valuable content.
Hmm, but what does this have to do with Google Analytics 4?
Well, those targeted surveys I mentioned above are enabled by GA4 or Google Tag Manager. Let’s see how this works, shall we?
We’ll assume we want to show a survey on Data Articles to new blog visitors who spend more than 2 minutes on the blog.
We’ll use Hotjar as our survey tool. GA4 will identify new visitors, communicate this info to Hotjar, which will then show the survey to the audience you want to find out about.
As for the implementation part, we’ve got a separate article dedicated to implementing personalized Hotjar surveys. It also includes a nifty little custom template you can use to get your targeted surveys up and running in no time, so make sure you don’t miss it.
At the end of the day, the overall opportunities are immense. Beyond giving you a clear picture of the performance and effectiveness of your content marketing efforts, these tactics will also help you gain a deeper understanding of how your audience interacts with oyur content and what they look for.
The website seach box and the search console help you identify areas for improvement as well as new content opportunities to explore.
I assure you, implementing any of these tactics will work wonders for optimizing your content marketing strategy and improving the return on investment for your efforts.
And it gets better – GA4 can also help you leap ahead of your competitors by arming you with insights into industry trends and audience preferences. By staying-up-to-date with these trends and adjusting your content strategy accordingly, your content will always stay relevant and engaging.
That’s the power of data!