Periodically, all writers, blog authors, face a creative crisis. For many, this topic is well known.
Selection of new, interesting, top topics for blogs is not an easy task. Being engaged in this for several years, it seems that all relevant problems have already been addressed. Probably, it would be much easier if users themselves advised topics that interest them. In fact, the way it is.
Web analytics is an effective way to measure the quality of content, which allows you to understand the way people think. At the same time, it is also an unsurpassed tool for assessing user needs, including with content that users consider valuable. In fact, they let you know exactly what interests them, every time they go to the site. All we have to do is just listen to them closely.
Below are the most popular and effective ways to identify topics that interest readers with the help of analytics.
Tags and categories
Carefully plan your site navigation. This will make it more convenient, useful and facilitate the process of analysis. Using the navigation based on the thematic criteria, you get the opportunity to understand what issues are relevant, and, therefore, either remove uninteresting or work on new ones in the future.
As a rule, the blog has a list of links, distributed by tags and categories. When readers visit this or that page, they give us to understand that this topic is important to them.
Analysis of post views by categories can be performed using Google Analytics:
In the above example, communications is the main topic, followed by creation, usability, and analysis. This list gives a good start in the process of analyzing topics of interest to your readers. Conversely, the topics that are at the bottom of the list by the number of views do not really interest your audience and you should pay more attention to more topical issues.
In addition to categories, you should also analyze the popularity of tags in a blog. As mentioned earlier, categories point to broader topics that are popular with your readers, and tags specify them.
However, information on categories and tags is not a final assessment, it just needs to be used as part of the analysis. In the example that we cited earlier, the category strategy occupies one of the last positions. The reason for this may be either an incorrect keyword or a bad placement.
If posts are more popular than the categories to which they belong, then the problem is most likely in inappropriate keywords.
Having identified potentially relevant topics using this method, you can proceed to a deeper analysis, using the methods below. In addition, you can analyze such traditional parameters as the number of bounces and the time spent on the page, in order to understand whether readers are getting what they expected when they visit this page.
To facilitate the grouping process, you can set up permanent links (links) to the blog. In evaluating tags and category pages, we recommend creating and using a URL structure that supports the grouping feature.
By including the words “topic” or “category” in the address of the link, you provide your readers with descriptions of the addresses of the pages, as well as make it easy for you to group them for later analysis.
High performance blog posts
After analyzing high-performance pages, you get a clear picture of exactly what topics within your blog subscribers are interested in.
Sort the blog pages based on the number of views they see, while considering the topics, as well as the category pages and tags that relate to them. Particularly noteworthy combinations of topics. Suppose analysis showed that the most popular are messages that cover two directions at the same time – communication and social media.
External and internal search queries
When site users search for something using the search bar on its pages, they also give you a hint about what topics they are interested in at a given time. But, not all site visitors understand how to formulate a search query correctly, therefore, not all of what they enter should be taken literally – you need to dig deeper.
Analyze the search phrases that users entered in the search bar on the site. This will give you an understanding of whether the search results and queries match. This can be measured by examining whether users remain on the page they received as a result of a search or leave the site and stop searching.
The same method is applicable to external search, which is performed by search engines. What topics and keywords, phrases attract traffic to your resource? This approach is focused on potential readers. Look through the search words, phrases, to understand what topics will help you attract new users to your site. Will you be able to increase traffic if you publish new, relevant information? You should pay less attention to specific search terms, and more work on the topics to which they belong.
Evaluation of referral traffic by category
Based on our own experience, we can note that referral traffic as a metric is greatly underestimated, because it provides an opportunity to analyze who your subscribers are and what their interests are all about.
Who is responsible for directing traffic to a resource? Analyze popular referral sites, including Twitter, Facebook and other affiliates. Highlight those sources that are different, or have not previously met. Who are they? What topics are they working on? Conduct an in-depth analysis to identify resources that do not refer directly to your source, but that show increased interest in its content.
Explore which topics and posts, noting you, refer users. Having understood which of the subscribers makes a link to you, determine what content they are interested in. Perform an analysis of the leading topics in the pages that link to them. This will give you an understanding of which topics are particularly popular and relevant. What are the new users referring to? Which links are most frequently used.
Analyze outgoing links. This will give you the opportunity to understand what other resources and questions are of interest to your subscribers. Mostly, most analytical tools do not track outgoing links, but you can enable this option manually or install the appropriate plugin. One of the most popular is Google Analytics for WordPress. For ease of tracking, the service automatically highlights such links.
Again, analyze current topics. Which related resources are popular with your readers? Does it cover topics that can be useful and attractive to your audience?
Reader engagement is one of the most important aspects in assessing the quality of blog content. The number of comments is the most significant way to measure this parameter. Analyze what percentage of your subscribers comment on your posts. However, this is not all: determine which topics are commented more often, which problems are most relevant to your target audience.
Together with other ways to assess the popularity of posts, the number of comments helps the author to rank those that are most relevant to your subscribers.
Analyzing the number of comments, you should also examine what percentage of your subscribers repost your posts in social networks.
What topics and tags do your readers most often share? The number of reposts is an indicator of the “caliber” of a particular topic. For example, a large number of them speaks eloquently about the qualitative significance of the problem concerned.
Look for inspiration
When you start working on a new blog post, you may experience a lack of inspiration. Your thoughts are occupied with how to make the newly created content to be attractive, informative and interesting for the reader, and how long he can hold it. I am glad that the answers to most of these questions are on the surface.
The analyst cannot be called the only right way to assess the real interests and intentions of the readers, but it is a really good point of reference. A formal and informal qualitative analysis (user reviews, feedback, etc.) will help to complete the picture.
Understanding what specifically your users are interested in will help you in creating a dynamic list of relevant topics, as well as get rid of the crisis in creativity.
What analytical data do you use to effectively evaluate blog content? Do you use (and if so, what?) Qualitative and quantitative methods do you use when selecting a topic for a blog?