Larry Carillo

Online Marketing Strategist

Using analytics and wordpress to measure content engagement and effectiveness

According to an article on searchengingland.com, although many blogs are written well and receive praise, tweets, shares, and +1’s, reader engagement is not always there.

The next step beyond basic Google Analytics is going beyond the search and keyword into how those keywords bring the visitor into content they either read or don’t read.  Many in the industry believe a fast bounce from your page back to the search results is the user basically saying, “this isn’t what I wanted when I entered this specific query.”

According to the article, investigating user behavior in order to reduce bounce rate is a great way to increase the chances of a nice ranking for any given phrase.  Nice ranking plus amazing user-pleasing content equals goal achievement.

According to the article, having good content is key to increasing visitor engagement and retaining the visitor as a regular.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a good tool to use when tracking page engagement.  An article written by Justin Cutroni and one found on Savio.no describe setting up event triggers on a non-WordPress site as a user scrolls to or past a certain point on the page.

Rating Events

The article suggests creating either a button at the end of the content that contains a simple thumbs up or thumbs down voting capability or using a star rating system.  If the reader scrolls down to the buttons and clicks either one, that could trigger an event in the Google Analytics dashboard – notifying the owner of the website that the reader at least scrolled down the page.

Pagination Of Content

Putting event tracking on “page 2” of an article can reveal insight as far as how many people are reading at least to the bottom of page 1, according to the article.

In-Page Analytics

According to the article, in-page analytics is something to keep an eye on.  If more than one link goes to the same page from the page the reader is looking at, every link to that page reports the same number.

WordPress

While there are plug-ins and other content management systems that many people use to create and update their blogs, I am strictly a WordPress user. If you use Drupal or Joomla, sorry, I can’t help. I have found there are some great WordPress plug-ins that can help you track content engagement; some even report that right into the events section of Google Analytics; and, all are free.

Google Analytics Suite

The Google Analytics Suite reports page views, scroll depth, page speed, downloads and AdSense links as events.  According to the article, Google Analytics Suite is simple to set up and it hooks in easily to a Google Analytics account.

Below is a chart that shows scroll depth in Event tracking just a few hours after installation.

SEL_4-2-13_scroll_depth

Google Analytics For WordPress By Yoast

Google Analytics Plugin by Yoast de Valk allows for the ability to track exit links and affiliate links.  If a reader links out to a lot of sites, it shows up as “exit links” as opposed to exit pages – where the visitor just disappears.

Outbound clicks are tracked as page views, so they are easy to isolate in the Analytics dashboard under “Site Content” and “All Pages.”

SEL_4-2_outbound

According to the article, knowing how users interact with pages of any given website is as important as knowing users are getting to the pages. Understanding how users behave once they land on any page of an individual’s site gives the site owner the tools to  write the content that best suits their needs.

According to the article, it is difficult to understand user behaviors without analytics.

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About Larry Carillo

I'm a proud husband and father. Faith and family are most important to me. I'm an Online Marketing strategist who loves to help businesses build a community of followers so they can grow revenue. I'm an avid Denver Broncos fan and love spending time out on the golf course.

Connect with me on Google+ or Follow Me on Twitter @larrycarillo