Can analytics improve content management?

Analyzing customer data and behavior using tools such,as Google Analytics provides content managers with insight into the kind of content that site visitors want.

Content management isn't easy. That’s the bad news. Dealing with a wide range and high volume of content, especially in this age of increasing demands on organizations to be able to provide anytime, anywhere access to the right information on demand, can be daunting. But analytics can provide insights that improve content management. That’s obviously the good news!

Even tools such as Google Analytics can be a strategic plus. For example, it's not unusual for a small percentage of a site's page hits to pull in most of the site's traffic. Google Analytics is great way to track website traffic and determine what content is effective and what's not. How much time viewers spend on a page is another, the keywords that brought them there and the webpages they came from are also discoverable via Google Analytics. 

Those are all pretty basic metrics, but Google Analytics also offers more nuanced reports. 

It can measure bounce rate, the number of viewers who leave the site after only a single page view, which can indicate that a landing page is not engaging. Google Analytics can also measure the geographic footprint, which indicates potential markets as traffic to the site expands. Content managers can use geographic footprint data to parse those markets. Google also provides the ability to filter and sort almost all the metrics by the ‘form factor’ (size of device), such as tablets and smartphones vs. desktops and laptops. Thus, a Content manager can prioritize mobile versus desktop development.

Further, a Content manager can also use the operating system and version (ex. Windows, Mac OS, iOS, etc.) to view the data so visibility of any particular trends affecting engagement based upon more users being more engaged through a Windows desktop that show up for instance, can guide both greater focus on optimizing that experience as well as pointing to potential challenges with how Content is presented and consumed in the other operating systems.

Behavior flow is another metric available in Google Analytics. It tracks site visitors' viewing patterns and suggests what Google believes to be their search intent. The examination of these sources can indicate what types of advertising work best, compared to organic page views. 

Google Analytics is only the beginning when it comes to analytics improving content management though. Whether using Google or some other analytics tool, it is possible to automatically elevate, or reposition, popular content within a site. News and “aggregator” websites frequently employ this strategy so that the more hits a piece of content gets, the higher up on the homepage it appears. 

While not available within Google Analytics, predictive content is another valuable analytics tool in content management. Predictive content uses customer data to try to determine how receptive new content will be with customers. This functionality isn't something that works ‘out of the box’ though, and generally requires a customized implementation and high interoperability in the (CMS (Content Management System). 

Predictive content tools aggregate all site traffic data over time then apply machine learning to that data. While it's important to look at specific patterns within site traffic data, it's even more useful to examine overall trends in site usage. For example, this type of analytics tool can tell you how the behaviors of viewers have subtly changed since the last time they were analyzed, as well as the trending of those changes and a deep dive into what is causing them. 

Content managers can use predictive content tools to find useful insight to gauge the direction of viewer interests as they change over time periods. It also enables them to better fill the pipeline with appropriate content ahead of time, ensuring maximum viewer interest and engagement.