It is a common conversation in marketing agency in discussing what topic or content to add on a site, newsletter, blog, etc. I’m sure true journalists would hate such discussions, since we’re talking about adding content based on what your audience would want to read instead of what you think they should know.
Web analytics could tell you which of the content on your site is popular based on traffic coming from different sources. With enphasis on search engine marketing, I’d like to discuss several different options for you to determine the content demand from your audience.
Traffic coming from search engines would obviously involve some keywords that users searched on Google, Yahoo!, Live, etc. Search engines would serve relevant content based on their complex algorithms and indexed pages (search engines’ inventory). The majority of web analytics applications would be able to tell you what keywords users used to arrive to your site or pages. If you segment your traffic from search engines and view top content, you’ll be able to see which of your site content has the most traffic from search.
If you’re trying to use web analytics applications to determine what content to add or write about in the near future, I would be careful about few things. First, web analytics and referrals from search is only based on the pages that are available. Second, web analytics applications won’t tell you the content demand, popular search keywords don’t equate to a lot of people are searching for those topics.
To shed a little light on web analytics tools, perhaps you have a page writing about topic A, but you may coincidentally have many keywords within that page related to topic B. In that case, you could be lucky in a sense that users searching for topic B could end up on your page about topic A. Bounce rates for it could be high, but I would keep an eye on this aspect.
So what content should you add? Obviously, you’re goals and objectives would be different when willing to add content on your site. Your goal or objective could be:
- Writing a blog (I would recommend you to keep on writing based on your passion and goals)
- Determine content to add on newsletter to avoid fatigue and increase consumer interests.
- Increase site traffic by adding relevant content for your audience.
- Simply out of idea, and want to know where to start.
- Increase traffic from the long-tail aspect of keywords from search.
Since this article enphasizes on search engines traffic, I would like to state SEO (search engine optimization) as a relevant method to increase traffic for current and upcoming pages. There are several tactics to consider if you’re thinking about adding content to increase traffic from search engines.
1. Obviously, SEO. Make sure your SEO due diligence are well executed (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Linking across internal pages, seeding pages on social networking sites, update your site map xml for better indexing, etc.).
After doing the basic SEO practices, I was able to double (even more for some sites) site traffic from search. Be aware of black-hat methods and stick to the basics first. Tweak your site little by little and you’ll notice the difference soon.
2. Run surveys, polls, quizzes, etc. Your users would be able to tell you what they like and what they don’t like. Depending on how you question your users, they can tell what they want to know more about.
It’s amazing to hear directly from your users, it can’t get better than raw voices. This may be limited to the way you ask your users, but it would be a tactic you want to execute.
3. Research online. There are so many ways to research and even know what to research on. However, leverage what’s available online to see what topics are hot in your industry, has buzz, sites with many traffic, etc. This can inspire you on what to write next and generate new traffic opportunities. Seasonal or annual events would be great way to look at in order to guess what users would be searching for and want to read.
4. Utilize tools available from search engines. I personally love Google tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Insights, Google Trends, and advance search filters on Google. These tools would definitely open your eyes on keywords that could potentially give you an idea to new topics/content to add on your site.
Google webmaster tools would allow you to mitigate your duplicated page titles or meta descriptions, and understand what keywords your site is showing up, but not getting many click-throughs, etc. Additionally, Google Search Insight would give you raising keywords related to the terms you’re researching on.
5. Add content and measure. Track what kinds of content are available and understand what you added or wrote on your site.
That spike in traffic could be that new article you wrote on XYZ. Maybe you can write more about that to give more contexts and opportunities for your reader to think and comment.