We have so much data available to us, but not enough hours to make the most of it. Here’s an annual task I’m going to strongly encourage you to do. In Google Analytics – assuming you have 4.0 set up, right? If not, work with what you have and ask us to help you set up 4.0. View “Behavior > Site Content > landing pages and switch the view to the past year to get a great picture of how people arrived at your site and where they first arrived. You may be very surprised. Have you kept track of content you’ve promoted in your advertising, marketing, promoted posts? This will be helpful to understand why some pages are more popular than others.
To get a more complete story, you can also look at the Behavior > Behavior Flow for the same period which tells you once they got there on the landing page, where did they go next? How long did they stay? How much further did they go? And, also, where did they come from? Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium. Now you have a collection of valuable information to make immediate decisions.
I’m converting a website from a proprietary CMS to WordPress. We are converting it to a marketing site. The site has been around since 1996 and has grown into a valuable asset for the new parent company. But currently, they are adding content to both sites. It’s time to stop the wasted efforts and pull the Band-Aid off by setting up new landing pages and a ton of 301 redirects for the top 100 pages of the past year. Once I put the list together there were some surprising results. There are some very valuable pages going back to 2008 with very current keywords, but the parent company site hasn’t updated these powerful pages with the long history. Old dates are good for credibility, but if you are updating the information regularly, but not the date, it can appear that you are relying on really old content. MODIFIED dates are helpful. It will show the original publish date AND when you last revisited the page to update it. This adds value to your company as you don’t just toss content up there and never think about it again. Don’t you hate it when you go to a site because of search results on a relevant topic only to find it was from 2010 and has never been updated? Why not use these strong pages – the ones that are at least in the top 50 of your analytics as a tool to drive content to the rest of your site?
If you had a report on IT salaries from 2007 and it is still hit all the time because your headline is “IT Spending, Staffing, and Salaries” – if you archive the one from last year with a permalink of IT-spending-staffing-and-salaries-2021 and the new one remains IT-spending-staffing-and-salaries it will always be current, and you build a history of being a valuable resource.
If you retire a report, do you have a new place you can send them on your site? Why not update the retired report by adding: “As of Dec. 31, 2022 we have retired this report, but are now publishing an update report called…..” ” and link it.
If your landing page is SUPER popular, do you have a clear call to action for them after they read the report? Perhaps the post or report is paid and they have to login to view, or you want to offer them incentive to buy the full report. Consider a “taste” of the full report to build trust. Remember, if you update these annually, the landing page must be the most current and then archive the past issues so that your links will rank higher in search and be more valuable rather than data from 2010.
Of course, the number of ways you can compare the data are endless, but this is a good start. If you want help with this plan and executing it, let me know. I love this type of analysis and making the most of your strongest content, and perhaps adding strength to some overlooked content from the past.