Using Google Analytics to Guide Content

Do you have Google Analytics installed on your website? If not, do yourself a favor and visit right now. Seriously, right now. I’ll wait.

Since I’m assuming that you’ve taken a look at the website now, I’m not going to go into great detail defining Google Analytics. In short, Google Analytics allows you to track your website’s traffic. Simply add a profile for your domain to your Analytics account, and install the provided code on your site. This might sound complicated, but Google does a great job walking you through the steps when you sign up for an account. I promise: If I can do it, you can do it.

Last week, I installed Analytics on the WordPress site for Charmed Weddings & Events, the wedding planning business I co-own. Within 24 hours I had all kinds of data! I had no idea how much traffic our little website was getting. If you had asked me a week ago how many people visit our site within a five-day span, I might have guessed 10. But in the last five days, has had 112 unique visitors.

Among other surprises, I learned that:

  • While I would have thought our most-viewed content to be our most recent blog posts, it’s actually our older posts about wedding trends that are getting the most traffic.
  • The keywords most used to find us are related to wedding trends as well. Other keywords are related to wedding photography.
  • The majority of our visitors aren’t clicking links posted on Facebook or Twitter, but are coming from search engines.
  • Much of our content features Michigan wedding venues and vendors. I would have thought that most or all of our traffic would come from within the state, but Michigan and California are tied for our top feeder. Other visitors come from all over the United States–some even from outside the country!

In just a few short days, Google Analytics has shown me that it’s not the content tailored to Michigan brides that carries the most weight. In fact, the broader topics like wedding trends are much more popular. Our “Fall 2011 Wedding Trends” post was published in November 2010, and it’s our most visited post by far. Our hope is that will be a resource for Michigan brides, but also provide important information to potential clients. To keep our traffic steady and eventually see more clients as a result, we’ll have to keep publishing content that’s appealing to brides everywhere.

How can Google Analytics help direct your website’s content? It only takes a few minutes to get started.

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