Content marketing is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining consumers. It may need time and resources, but it increases value traffic and strengthens your authority over time. It’s also highly targeted, allowing you to contact clients at every point of their journey.
To gain profitable outcomes from your content initiatives, you must thoroughly understand your target audience. Where are they seeking information, how are they searching, and what devices are they using? More data equals a better understanding of your consumers, which allows you to make more educated decisions that generate sales and profit.
So, where do you obtain all that information?
Most of us have obtained it via Universal Analytics (UA) for the previous decade, but its impending death means everyone will have to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
If you’ve already made a move, you’ll note that the UI differs significantly from Universal Analytics. Once you get the hang of it, GA4 makes analyzing your website data more accessible and manageable than UA. In this post, we’ll look at the essential changes in GA4 that affect your marketing data and how to use GA4 successfully for content marketing success.
What Sets GA4 Apart from Universal Analytics?
Google Analytics 4 is the next step in online analytics. Unlike Universal Analytics (previously known as ‘Google Analytics’), GA4 offers intuitive insights and more accurate data.
GA4 is more intelligent than its predecessor, allowing you to monitor a user’s interaction with your content across numerous devices. You’d have to obtain a new version of GA to merge distinct data streams originating from applications and websites in Universal Analytics.
GA4 also lets you customize data by providing several helpful and efficient perspectives. Google employs upgraded machine learning technology, enabling content marketers and producers to gather and forecast new insights effortlessly.
Another significant shift is that GA4 is organized around events. Website activity in Universal Analytics is largely tracked using sessions and pageviews. Plus, with events-driven data, you may access the same information plus additional metrics such as engagement time and active session per user.
The most significant thing is that GA4 provides a slew of fantastic default events upon configuration, so you’ll have meaningful data even if you’re not experienced in using Google Tag Manager to build custom events. You had to construct each event you wanted to track with Universal Analytics.
You may further categorize events like add to cart, product clicks, scrolling, pageviews, video views, downloads, shares, sign-ups, and other actions. This new approach also allows GA4 to follow users’ behavior as they complete an event rather than waiting for a user to access a new page to compute the statistics from the previous page. This component is hazardous since the data might be lost if the user closes the browser or leaves the site.
Key Distinctions Between GA4 and UA
Mobile Device Tracking
To get statistics on people coming from mobile applications vs. websites, you have to utilize separate versions of GA with Universal Analytics. GA4 collects and displays data from mobile (Android and iOS) and online apps and websites in a single interface.
Google Analytics collects data from several sources; it must all be consolidated to examine and evaluate the data effectively. Therefore Google included events. Including events allows you to track and measure specific user activities, regardless of whether they use the web or an app. You may also configure various events, such as when a user clicks a link, loads a page, or completes a checkout.
Pathways provide a comprehensive picture of the consumer journey, allowing you to understand better how they engage with your site. It also demonstrates how visitors explore your website’s pages. You can quickly observe how users get to your place, which pages they visit, and where they go before converting or leaving your site. You may then utilize this data to develop a hypothesis that you can use to enhance or adjust those stages and improve the user experience.
GA4 Reports and Explorations
Google Analytics has always had reports. However, with GA4, they are easy to grasp and generate a bespoke piece. Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 includes several reports that pull the data marketers most want to see.
GA4 now has a new analysis portal where you may see data in a more personalized manner. Seven “exploration” choices precisely define what data will be shown and how. You may analyze in a way that matches your needs reasonably fast and easily.
Developing Your Content Marketing Strategy Using GA4
Let’s now discuss how to harness the power of GA4 to improve content marketing outcomes.
Define Your Objectives
Producing content with a defined aim will help your website or business. It is not a plan to post content and hopes for traffic. You must understand the objective of each piece of content you develop and how it relates to the larger company picture. It entails setting well-defined goals.
Consider the following quantifiable content marketing objectives:
- Increase the average engagement time or the amount of time your website was in a visitor’s focus.
- Boost organic traffic
- Increase the number of online conversions (sign-ups or purchases)
- Boost brand awareness
- Increase the number of backlinks
- Increase ROI
After you’ve decided on a goal, you may develop a content strategy. Any material on your website should be founded in your expertise and specialization to assist a potential customer or client solve a problem. It should always serve as the foundation for your themes. If you manage an auto repair business, for example, focus on articles that are relevant and beneficial to your consumers, such as how to increase car performance, car maintenance recommendations, or warning signals of specific problems.
Google’s Helpful Content update includes guiding questions for determining authority and focus, such as:
- Is the material related to the main aim of your website? Is it consistent with your brand?
- Will the information be created by a subject matter expert or someone with firsthand knowledge?
Examine Your Audience
Understanding your audience entails more than just recognizing their demographics. This data type is essential for targeting adverts, but websites are different. The pain points of website audiences help to define them.
You may learn more about your readers by reading their comments on your site, or you can go above and above by reading reviews and comments about your competition. You may also discover more about them by analyzing Google Analytics 4 data.
The User Metric feature in GA4 allows you to examine the overall number of people that visited and engaged with which content on your site. You may also check if they accessed it through a website or an app, allowing you to adjust your content strategy depending on the data. It will enable you to determine whether your present material provides enough value to keep your visitors interested. You’ll also see how readers engage with the information.
Views by Page is another measure to keep track of. This indicator displays which of your pages receives the most traffic and views. Use this data to determine which material your audience finds fascinating and valuable, then try replicating that success.
For example, auto maintenance is the most popular topic on your car repair business website. In that case, your visitors are likely interested in learning more about maintaining their vehicles in good shape. They are also likely to be interested in more money-saving and expense-prevention strategies.
The data from GA4 provides insight into what material resonates with your users and suggestions for future themes.
Make a List of Your Target Keywords
Keywords are essential in content development since they assist your material in reaching its intended audience. Choosing the perfect keywords also helps search engines comprehend what the website is about, allowing them to rank it appropriately. Having the proper keywords will allow you to publish more focused content or information that meets the search intent of your target user.
It is why keyword research is essential for content marketing. Learning how to locate keywords is an important step in the process. If you want to avoid hiring a content marketing service, there are several methods to assist you in finding keywords on your own.
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner: While this is designed for Google’s paid advertisements, it may also be used for general keyword research. It’s a free tool that requires only a Google Ads account.
- Utilize a free or trial version of an SEO tool like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz.
- Connect Google Search Console to GA4 to access keyword data directly from your analytics panel.
Google Search Console isn’t a keyword research tool, although it might be handy if your site already has content. Once linked to GA4, you can see the top searches for which you rank and the page that ranks for that phrase.
You may then strive to generate content that enhances your ranking for keywords you already rank for or material that will help you start typing for relevant queries you aren’t currently matching. After your keyword research, it’s important to categorize your questions and arrange them into groups based on search intent. Search intent defines why the user seeks that keyword; it is concerned with determining the objective of the search.
Another method for locating keywords is to use Google Trends. It may help you find current trending subjects and examine how a keyword’s volume or popularity has evolved in your location.
Select the Appropriate Content
A company blog is an exceptionally successful tool to attract potential consumers, yet, blogs are only sometimes the ideal choice for each stage of the funnel. Creating different sorts of content is helpful for different phases of conversion. Long-form, evergreen content (material that will be relevant for years to come) can help to establish thought leadership. These might be extensive articles or guides that users can use as references. Case studies, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, checklists, videos, and templates are all available.
You may utilize GA4 to determine the best content and even the perfect length of material to create. For example, are your most popular pages big listicles, brief “how-to” entries, or in-depth “what” articles?
Go to the Pages and Screens report to determine which material works well. Then, examine reports for the most popular sites and content with the longest scrolls. GA4 can also assist you in analyzing video views, video playtime, and downloads. For example, if you sell ebooks on your website, you may know how many people have downloaded the content by enabling PDF tracking.
Go to your admin dashboard and select Data Stream (under Property). Then, under the advanced measurement section, click the gear icon. By enabling this, you may collect data from links or videos on your website. It’s easy to understand how this functionality can benefit content marketers.
GA4 includes numerous everyday events for tracking activities on your website when people interact with your content, but you may also create your own. To create an event, go to Reports, Engagement, and Events.
Make a Content Calendar
As content marketing is an ongoing activity, several things influence its success. Research, strategy, content development, monitoring, and optimization reap more returns when done regularly and correctly.
A content schedule will allow you to maximize your efforts, which is especially important for small company marketers with other responsibilities. Consistency is essential. Once you’ve found something that works for you, stick with it. If a particular sort of content is attracting your target visitors, continue to create material that provides the same value.
Similarly, posting on a consistent schedule will give your readers a cause to return to your website frequently. More visits imply more data to use in future content planning.
How to Configure Google Analytics 4
If you still need to set up GA4, Google is constantly adding tools that make it simple to transfer your UA settings.
- Sign into Google and navigate to https://analytics.google.com/.
- Start measuring by clicking the button.
- Fill out the account information. The account name is generally the corporate name.
- Next, enter a name for the Property. Property is the name of the data you wish to gather. If you desire, you can create numerous properties.
- Select a time zone and then click Next.
- Give all of the relevant information. Choose your sector, business size, and how you want to utilize Google Analytics.
- Click the Create button. A new window will appear. Accept the conditions to proceed.
- You may begin collecting data streams once you’ve created a property.
- Select a data stream.
- Data streams are resources that will manage your data. You can use the web, an Android app, or an iOS app. For example, we’ll go with the web.
- A pop-up box will open, prompting you to enter the website URL and the stream name.
- Enable Enhanced measurement to track metrics, including page views, scrolling, outbound links, site search, video interaction, and file download. By clicking on the options button, you may modify this.
- When you’re finished, click Create Stream.
- When you click on one of your data streams, you will notice that the GA4 Property has been generated.
- You have successfully established and activated a Google Analytics 4 account.
Content Strategy That Uses Data to Improve Performance
Standard Universal Analytics will no longer trace online traffic on July 1, 2023. GA4 will be required to continue gaining insights from your website data. A new system might be intimidating, but Google Analytics 4 is easy to use, flexible, and configurable. And you still have some time until UA goes out of business to get acquainted with the new analytics tool.
As privacy regulations get harsher and web browsers adopt more privacy protections, data collecting becomes more constrained. GA4 is intended to address these issues with granular data and flexible tracking. GA4 will help you make more informed selections when developing a successful content marketing plan.