Everyone can make good use of data and analytics – even copywriters.
I get it. You got into copywriting because numbers grossed you out in mathematics class. So why in the world should you listen to me when I say you should care about how to use Google Analytics for copywriters?
Well, it’ll help you make more money.
Hear me out.
Analytics won’t make shitty content good, but it will make good content great. The data about your content will help you find its problem areas, and it will also help you find opportunities to double down on. In other words, it will help you improve your craft. When you become a copywriting rockstar, you can use analytics to show clients and employers your success, results, and credibility. Instead of being another copywriter that farts hot air, data will help you back up your claims.
Copywriters that use analytics to strengthen their skills and showcase their abilities are more likely to score more and higher paying gigs.
See, I told you that analytics will help you make more money.
Key Metrics on Google Analytics for Copywriters
I’ll be the first to admit that the Google Analytics user interface is scary. There are dozens of reports and millions of metrics so how do you know to which Google metrics you should be paying the most attention?
Honestly, copywriters only need five metrics: the click-through rate, the bounce rate, the number of social shares, the conversion goal rate and the number of comments.
In this guide, I’ll show you where you can find these metrics in Google Analytics for copywriters, I’ll explain why they are important and how copywriters can use them to step up their games. I’ll even provide screen captures from my own website, This is Daniela Furtado. Juicy, right?
1. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
This is the superficial part of content creation.
You could be the most intelligent, hilarious and nicest person in the world, but if you look and smell homeless, not many people will give you a chance. That, in essence, is the click-through rate. It is the percentage of people that click a hypertext link to a website out of the number of people that saw it.
Clicks / Impressions x 100 = CTR%
As a copywriter, you want to write titles that make people click, and analytics will help you figure out what is working and what isn’t.
Go to the Queries subreport in Google Analytics. It’s in the Search Console report in the Acquisition section. Keep in mind that the report will show you the keyword queries and not the pages to which they are attached. You will have to match the keywords to the title or webpage on your own.
My website is pretty new, so it’s easy for me to identify which keywords belong to which webpage.
If you want to get freaky, add a secondary dimension. This will allow you to cross-analyze the information with other elements, for example, countries or mobile devices. Perhaps a title works better in one country than another.
But hold up. What is a “good” CTR?
When it comes to organic search, it really depends on where you are ranked on the search engine results page. If a webpage is ranked first on the first page, a good CTR is about 30%.
If it’s ranked on the second page, a good CTR is 4%. Here’s a reference chart from Moz.
2. Bounce Rate
I went to a massive university where getting lost on campus was a normal occurrence.
Every once in a while, students would find themselves in the wrong class. Five minutes into the lecture they would get up and bounce.
The same thing can happen to our websites. Visitors click a hyperlink thinking it was one thing, and as soon as they get to our websites, they realized it wasn’t what they expected.
This is called the bounce rate. It is the percentage of people that leave your webpage without interacting with it what so ever. They don’t scroll down the page or click anything on the website. Typically, these sessions have a duration of 0 seconds.
To check a website’s overall bounce rate, head over to the Overview Behaviour report in Google Analytics. If you want to check the bounce rate of a specific webpage, go to All Pages under Site Content.
Usually, we want to have a low bounce rate.
As a rule of thumb, a “good” or low bounce rate is between 26% to 40% however it also depends on the webpage.
If your home page is the gateway to the rest of your website yet it has a high bounce rate, a big red alarm would go off in my head. That suggests that there is something so wrong with it that people don’t even want to bother spending another second looking at it.
However, if we’re talking about a single-page website or a blog post, then it’s quite normal to have a high bounce rate. In this case, you’re showing everything you have to offer, and at a glance, people can make a quicker decision of whether or not your website can help them.
As a copywriter, what are some things you can do to reduce a high bounce rate?
First, take a look at your meta titles and meta description. That’s nerd talk for, look at how the webpage appears on Google. Perhaps the title or description isn’t true to the content and misleads people. If that’s the case, consider changing it to fit people’s expectations.
To check how a webpage appears on Google, search “site:[link to page].”
Second, take a look at the format. Is your content easy to read? Do you make good use of headers, photos and colours? Is it pleasant to the eye? If the content is created without scannability in mind, people are more likely to say “screw it” and bounce. This is especially true for mobile users.
3. Social Shares
The best way to know if visitors really love your content is if they share it with their dear friends and relatives because let’s be real; no one is going to share ca-ca content.
How do you know if your writing sticky content? Do you have a pulse on what is shareable?
Finding the number of times people shared your website on Google Analytics requires some configuration. You will have to either use Google Tag Manager or connect a third-party plugin like Shareaholic to Google Analytics. Honestly, this is an advanced feature, however, if this the route you want to take, I strongly recommend using Google Tag Manager.
Otherwise, install a social share plugin in WordPress or check on BuzzSumo. These tools require you to check the number of social shares manually on each webpage. They aren’t always accurate, but they will give you a ballpark estimate.
4. Conversion Goal Rates
The difference between a good website versus a kickass website is one that converts.
The conversion rate, or conversion goal rate, is the percentage of visitors that complete a desired goal out of the total number of visitors.
For an e-commerce website, a goal is making a purchase, and for a marketing or lead generation website, a goal is submitting a contact form. For a blog, a goal may be signing up for a newsletter. When a goal is completed, it’s called a conversion.
A high conversion goal rate is the symbol of a successful website and business.
Is your copy turning readers into customers or email subscribers? Is your writing helping the business achieve their goals? Is your call to action effective? Does it grab people’s attention?
To check which webpages visitors are converting the most, go to Overview Goals report in the Conversion section.
If you go to the Audience and Acquisition reports, you can also see the conversion goal rates of specific demographics or channels.
Heads up! You’ll have to configure a goal in the administration section beforehand.
Nowadays, people don’t comment on blog posts as often as they used to. With that said, if you do get even a small handful of comments, it speaks volumes about the quality of your writing.
People comment when they feel comfortable engaging with you.
Writing with passion, speaking directly to your audience and inviting them to engage will increase your chances of receiving more comments.
Like social shares, measuring the number of comments on a webpage on Google Analytics is an advanced feature. You’ll have to add an event tracking code to your website then set up an Event as a new Goal.
Or go the easy route and check the number of comments directly on your website.
Although using Google Analytics for copywriters can be intimidating, the key is to focus on your needs. Ask yourself what you need to know and then look for metrics that can answer those questions.
Before I wrap this up, I’ll leave you with a pro-tip.
Create a custom dashboard or report on Google Data Studio and configure it to show you only the metrics you need and want. That way, you won’t be bogged down with the excess of information and you’ll save time on the platform.
*Looking for more information on understanding Google Analytics, SEO, and creating great content? We’ve got a course to help! Join ‘How to Use SEO & Content to Rank on Google and Reach More Clients’, today!
Daniela is a digital marketing freak, hardcore foodie and language junkie from Toronto, Canada. She helps businesses with their website user experience, SEO and online advertising. In her spare time, she writes and questions digital marketing practices on her blog.
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