By Dianna Huff published June 30, 2010

How to Find Content Ideas in Your Web Analytics Report

Did you know that your Web analytics application is a wealth of information when it comes to generating ideas for new content? If you are like many people I know, you may look at the top 10 or 20 keywords to give you a good macro view of the search phrases people used to find your site. However, looking at many more of the keywords that people use to get to your site can provide a a lot of ideas.

I use Google Analytics, and I export the keyword report for the top 500 keywords for a given time period (i.e. the last 30 days, 60 or 90 days), print it out, and then spend a good hour analyzing the report.

I usually come away with at least a half dozen ideas for creating new content. Here’s what to look for with your own keyword report:

Combinations of search phrases around a specific topic

Because I’ve written a couple of blog posts about why I don’t like Facebook and Facebook for B2B, I now have numerous people clicking through who are looking for information on how to deactivate their account or examples of B2B Facebook fan pages. (If you have a good example, send it to me please!)

Some of these phrases include:

“I don’t like facebook” (and variations thereof)
“facebook b2b examples”
“I want to delete my facebook”
“facebook for b2b”
“how to use facebook for b2b”
“b2b facebook”
“b2b facebook pages”
“b2b facebook campaigns done right”

These search terms can be developed into all kinds of interesting content, such as these examples:

  • An e-book of how to use Facebook for business
  • Blog posts of some really fine examples of B2B Facebook fan pages
  • An interactive Webinar that shows people how to use Facebook for B2B
  • A presentation that you invite customers  to view during lunch or a breakfast, which you can film and then upload the video to your site.

Questions / phrases that need answers

The best thing about Google is that you can find an answer to almost anything you need to know. Just type, “How to . . .” and your query, and you can generally find what you need.

To learn the questions your prospective customers are asking, look for questions in your keyword report. In my own analytics reports, I’ve seen the following:

“I’m not getting any sales on my website, what is the problem?”
“What is the difference between b2b and b2c?”
“How do I calculate marketing ROI?”
“What is the benefit of seo b2b?”
“How do I download wall postings on my facebook business page?”

You can write the answers to the questions in your newsletter articles, FAQ pages or blog posts. Or, consider developing an e-book, special guide, or even an animated video.

Look for non-relevant search phrases

Often you’ll see search phrases that are just not relevant to what you do (i.e. the searcher was looking for a specific person and stumbled upon the blog post where you mentioned him or her).

However, I often get keywords that make me pause – such as this grouping of interesting search phrases:

“benchmark average B2B campaigns”
“benchmark data for lead generation conversions”
“benchmarking marcom b-to-b”
“benchmarks for qualified lead generation”

Although I don’t have the resources to produce benchmarking data, these search phrases reminded me that people do call periodically to ask for this data.

Brainstorming very quickly, I (or a small company like mine) could do any number of things including:

  • Writing blog posts reviewing reports from other companies that contained benchmarking data
  • Becoming a content curator for benchmarking data
  • Partnering with another company to deliver reports that contained benchmarking data.

Have you developed content based on information gleaned from your Web analytics? Please share!

Author: Dianna Huff

The founder and president of Huff Industrial Marketing, Inc., Dianna Huff creates and implements thoughtful marketing strategies that help small, family-run industrial manufacturers grow and succeed. She's also the co-author, with Rachel Cunliffe of Cre8d Design, of 101 Ways to Market Your Website, a guide for small business owners, consultants, freelancers -- anyone with a website. You can follow Dianna on Twitter @diannahuff.

Other posts by Dianna Huff

  • http://www.malgordon.com/ Mal Gordon

    What a fantastic article, thanks for sharing. Some of the search terms people have used to find some of my content never ceases to surprise and amuse me.

    • Dianna Huff

      Mal,

      Thanks for the nice words. And I agree, I am continually amazed (and amused) at what I find in my Web analytics reports.

  • http://www.netstrategies.com Laurie Dunlop

    Studying keywords and search phrases is a wonderful suggestion. I recommend every content writer take the time to complete Google's Conversion University to gain a basic understand of Analytics. In addition to keywords, a writer can analyze what pages work best on a site and focus a series of blogs around that specific topic.

    Laurie :)

  • http://www.jesseluna.com jesseluna

    Nice post Dianna! There's so much gold in analytics it's overwhelming. I believe Ford motors actually uses search data to feed into its product development cycle. That's taking content creation to the extreme.

    I did a blog post on visualizing keywords using Wordle.net. It's a great way for non-SEO folks to see what people are searching over to get to their sites. http://www.jpluna.com/wordpress/2010/05/05/a-po

    The drawback of the Wordle.net visualization technique is that it only displays keywords, not key phrases. The keyword phrases, as you show in your post, give a much better picture of what a user is looking for.

  • Dianna Huff

    @jesseluna — I agree about finding an abundance of gold in analytics.I have relied on Google Analytics for years now in terms of creating content as well as other marketing decisions. Don't know what I'd do without it! :-)

    @Laurie — Thank you for the wonderful suggestion about Google's Conversion University. I will check it out.

  • Mary

    Great post, thank you. I'm a former print journalist now trying to navigate her way to a successful career as a corporate journalist/content marketer. This is a great idea!

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Snell Chris Snell

    Thank you for this article. This is fantastic!

  • http://www.marketingscrolls.com/effective_b2b_marketing_tools.php B2B Marketing Tools

    Nice way of approaching the social media for the marketing promotion…good work.keep sharing.

  • http://sita.bhatt.wordpress.com Sita Bhatt

    This is so timely and appropriate – thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.dhcommunications.com/blog Dianna Huff

    Mary, Chris, Sita, and B2B — I'm glad you found the article informative!