THIS CONTENT Optimization Matrix

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
6 min read

Audit your articles and SEO with this mindtool to obtain additional from your own content marketing

One of the largest appeals of digital marketing is that it is data-driven – we are able to readily review the potency of our activities and make informed improvements. That is particularly true for using content marketing and SEO to attract and convert people to lead or sale.

Yet, the various tools that are offered within analytics to greatly help us visualize and optimize our content haven’t really changed since I am involved with digital marketing. In the event that you dig in to the Behaviour reports in Google Analytics you still see long lists of Top Content and Landing pages to attempt to interpret. Using Content Groups in Google Analytics might help simplify by grouping related content. Although it is possible to sort the lists, it isn’t an easy task to identify which content is performing well and may be enhanced and that is under-performing and which may be.

Analyze your articles as a portfolio of assets to optimize

I’ve designed our Content Optimization Matrix to greatly help marketers audit the prospect of businesses to obtain additional from their content giving a simple solution to visualize this content you should concentrate on improving to improve reach and conversion. I start to see the content types and individual content assets on any site as a portfolio where some content will contribute too much to the business, other styles much less plus some with the potential to contribute more.

How to utilize this content Optimization Matrix?

For me, content optimization is approximately making your existing content work harder for you personally. I’m a fan of applying the 70:20:10 rule in marketing (or if you like the 80:20 rule) to target time for improvement and optimization on which will make the largest difference. I would recommend spending 70% of your energy optimizing and promoting your Top Performers and creating more evergreen or cornerstone content i.e. create new content such as this. 20% of your energy is going into attempting to improve under-performing quite happy with potential to contribute more such as for example Consistent Performers and High Potential content.  Any remaining time can get into reviewing how exactly to enhance the Low Potential, Low Performance content or simply better, creating less of the content and brainstorming suggestions to create more engaging, far better content.

Before considering the four quadrants in greater detail, to utilize this matrix or perhaps a variant of it, you have to define what effective content is. THIS CONTENT Optimization Matrix can help you concentrate on which will be the best content effectiveness measures because you can only just display two value to plot content assets on the matrix (although with colour or size of circle as in the example below where bounce rate is shown by how big is the circle) it is possible to layer on more info. Here both main measures are:

  • Popularity of content – we simply measure just how many people view this content on site in line with the amount of page views. We plot this on the vertical axis so pages or content groups with page views are in the top. This article will undoubtedly be popular for a variety of reasons, i.e. it pulls organic traffic, has paid media pointed at it or it really is prominent within the client journey. Inside our case, it really is due to the fact of organic search.
  • Marketing effectiveness of content – how relatively strong may be the content at converting people to lead or sale. For transactional e-commerce businesses like retail, travel or financial services that is straightforward, it is the conversion rate on the market. For many other styles of business, e.g. B2B or B2C services businesses who don’t sell on site,  it is a lot less clear. Publishers or brands with less clear conversion outcomes may use alternative measures of engagement such as for example dwell time and energy to measure the value of content to themselves or their readers. But how can you measure lead value in Google Analytics? Long story short, you should define goals in Google Analytics that you place a value against, e.g. value per lead to enable you to view page value in Google Analytics. This won’t need to be an accurate measure since we have been simply considering the relative value of content on the matrix. See our 7 Steps guide to Improving digital marketing with Google Analytics for the facts.

Once your articles is plotted on the matrix, it is possible to identify content that’s already working out for you and then it is possible to review tactics to:

  • Position this article more prominently in the client journey to improve leads or sales e.g. feature it in relevant calls-to-action or panels
  • Update this content to create it far better for SEO (if it’s attracting good organic traffic) or even more effective for conversion (if it’s already converting well).

Here may be the full walk-through.You can view we’ve applied the well-known labels from the BCG matrix which applies an identical portfolio review to markets instead of content.

Top performing content – Stars – highest reach, highest conversion rate

This can be your most reliable ‘hero’ or ‘evergreen’ content which attracts probably the most visits because it attracts organically visits through inbound marketing or you promote it heavily through paid media. Additionally it is the very best content relatively speaking in converting visits to value measured as leads, sales or engagement. You’ll often have to work hard to obtain additional value out of this content by keeping it visible in the SERPs if this is the main traffic driver. Options to create improvements in this quadrant include:

  • Historical Optimization – updating content so that it stays fresh by updating with the most recent information or extending it so that it remains effective in the SERPs
  • Surfacing popular content – featuring this content (or products) more prominently in the client journey, for instance in panels or resources sections
  • Create related content – writing related content that build on and link back again to the primary theme

This article gives a good example of how HubSpot has used what they call ‘Historical optimization’ to a lot more than double the amount of monthly leads generated by the old posts they will have optimized, in addition they increased monthly organic search views of old posts, optimized by typically 106%.

High potential content – Opportunities – highest volume, lower conversion rates

This content is prosperous in attracting visits, but also for some reason has lower conversions and frequently higher bounce rates than Top Performers. To obtain additional out of this content, consider:

  • Improving calls-to-action – make sure they are clearer and much more compelling or just add more in-line links whether it’s a post.
  • Improving this content quality – Low conversion is actually a problem with this content itself, possibly the content is too short, so isn’t engaging. A retail merchandiser explained a good example of in which a beauty treatment product was getting great views, but lousy conversion, the reason why was simply found to become a poor product shot that was easily remedied.
  • The target audience – If none of the techniques give improvements, possibly the content is attracting the incorrect kind of audience.

Consistent performers – Cash Cows – lowest reach, highest conversion rates

This content works well in conversion, however, not in attracting visits. Options here include:

  • Increase visits using SEO – Reviewing content against SEO guidelines for on-page optimization and internal and external backlinks
  • Share content regularly – ensure it’s in the editorial calendar to talk about via social media or in e-newsletters or via partners
  • Paid media – use paid media to attract more visits to the content

Low potential/low performance – Dogs – lowest volume, lowest conversion rates

Perhaps ‘Dogs’ is overstating it, that is simply your average content, it could still impact on attracting visits through inbound marketing as long-tail content and will influence conversion, it’s not stellar, so is less worth optimising individual content, although sets of content or page templates hosting them could be improved.

How to generate this content Optimization Matrix using analytics data

At Smart Insights, we’ve adopted Google’s Data Studio for the monthly and weekly trading reports alongside the Google Sheets Add-In for the Google Analytics API which we use for pulling the info through for the RACE digital marketing dashboard. Data Studio can make the visualization needed that was hardly ever really possible in Google Analytics. Here’s a good example showing the large selection of content values we’ve for page value and page views (outliers omitted).

As you’d expect, the majority of this content is in the Dogs section, but which means that it is not too difficult to spotlight improvements from another three quadrants!

Have you seen our other content marketing audit tools?

You can easily see we’re big fans of content marketing and tools to examine and improve it. This matrix may be the third in the series that I’ve had on my mind for an extended while. Dan Bosomworth and I introduced the initial Content Marketing Matrix in 2014 which helps pick the best forms of content to aid the customer journey. Then spurred on by the shares, comments and mashups from that in 2015, I created the Content Distribution Matrix gives a top-level tool you may use in workshops to go over the review the returns you obtain from content and media effectiveness.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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