By Ann Smarty published December 2, 2020 Est Read Time: 7 min

How to Create a Performance Dashboard for Your Content Team [Tools]

I see this time and again: Freelancers and in-house content creators never get to see how their efforts affect the company’s bottom line.

While it can work fine for those companies, they miss lots of opportunities:

  • Content creators are likely to produce more-effective content if they know what works best (based on various metrics, like clicks, conversions, etc.)
  • Old content can be improved when writers know which articles are falling or rising in traffic.
  • Rewards can be promoted and given to creators of content that performs exceptionally well.

Overall, collaboration nurtures more-motivated and better-performing teams, and data sharing is one of the most important aspects of cross-team collaboration.

No wonder self-service business intelligence (i.e., making data available for all the departments across the company) has become a thing. Over 60% of executives say it creates a significant competitive advantage by accelerating learning and responsiveness.

Making #data available for all departments accelerates learning and responsiveness, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Here are three easy ways to make web analytics data accessible for your content creators to make more informed and data-driven decisions.

1. Create a dedicated content marketing dashboard

Google Analytics allows users to create custom dashboards focusing on metrics or site sections managed by different teams within a company.

It is also a good idea to create a separate dashboard for your content team to clearly see their work’s impact on your site’s visibility.

Within Google Analytics:

  • Click “Dashboards” in the left-hand panel.
  • Click “Create” to set up a new dashboard and then name it something like Blog or Content Team.

Then create new widgets summarizing data types that focus on your content marketing.

Here’s how to create a widget showing the best-performing blog articles:

  1. Click “Add widget.”
  2. Select “Table.”
  3. Select “Landing pages” in the drop-down menu to show in the first column.
  4. Click “Add a filter” and set it to show only landing pages that contain a unique identifier of your content section (could be “blog,” “articles,” “insights” – any word that only appears in the URLs of your content-driven pages).

Image showing Google Analytics screenshot of how to widget showing the best performing blog articles.

Here’s the widget created:

Image showing the widget created.

As you can see, it is important that all your content-driven projects have a common yet unique element in their URLs.

Using those steps, you can create more helpful widgets showing your content creators:

  • Countries or locations where their content is attracting visitors
  • Interaction from those content-driven visitors:
    • Are they leaving right away? Add time-on-page metric to the table.
    • Are they proceeding to other pages of the site? Add the bounce-rate metric.
    • Are they converting? If you track goals, add the completion rate.
    • Are there returning visitors to the site and how are they converting? (Retention is a great way to measure customer loyalty.)

Image showing how to add widgets such as time-on-page metric, bounce-rate, completion rate, and conversion rate

#Content dashboards help your team know where the visitors are and what they do when they consume the content, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Google Analytics dashboards are highly flexible, so discuss with your writers which metrics would help them adjust their strategy.

You can integrate the dashboards directly into your site, so your writers can always see them. If you use an SEO management software, you can integrate Google Analytics dashboards for easier sharing. For example, both SE Ranking and SEMrush support such integration.

2. Create content-driven funnels using Finteza

Content is an important part of the sales funnel. Moreover, it can help at any stage – attract, engage, and convert visitors.

#Content is an important part of the sales funnel, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Understanding whether content is doing a good job in converting site visitors helps content creators develop better-converting angles and create even more effective content.

But as buying journeys get longer and less predictable, it is not always easy to understand sales funnels. Luckily, some tools make it easier.

Finteza is an independent web analytics suite with a strong focus on conversion optimization. It makes data easy to understand by visualizing it in graphs and charts.

#Finteza makes #data easy to understand by helping visualize it in graphs and charts, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent. #Tools Click To Tweet

Spend some time creating “Funnels” inside Finteza to track your best-performing content (i.e., articles that attract the most clicks). You also can go through the reports to identify content that can be adjusted to improve its conversions.

To create a funnel, log in to Finteza’s dashboard, click “Funnels” in the left-hand panel and click “Create funnel.” From there:

  • Select the article to track.
  • Select preferred action to be performed on that page (e.g., clicking on a designated link).

Image of the Finteza’s dashboard showing how to create a funnel.

The beauty of setting up multiple funnels is that you can compare any two by selecting another funnel to overlay the current graph. For example, I have generic funnels set up to track all Google traffic so that I can overlay them with data with my content-driven funnel:

Out of 12,000 clicks to the page, about 4,000 came from a mobile device. Mobile traffic seems to be performing poorer with a 0.9% conversion rate as compared to overall traffic conversions of 1.3%. Neither of these generates a good amount of direct sales.]

Out of 12,000 clicks to the page, about 4,000 came from a mobile device. Mobile traffic seems to be performing more poorly with a 0.9% conversion rate as compared to overall traffic conversions of 1.3%. Neither of these generates a good amount of direct sales.

Finteza’s funnels are fun to play with once you figure out how to overlay data (which won’t take long), and they don’t require any technical skill or background. This makes the tool great for non-tech marketing teams like content.

Both Finteza and Google Analytics let you control user permissions, so you can add your writers without accidentally editing the report settings.

3. Get weekly reports emailed to your teams

While in-depth analytics require browsing the native reports, a quick overview of the most recent numbers may be enough. This is especially true if you use those reports to motivate and inform rather than optimize the performance.

A quick overview of the most recent numbers may be enough to help your #content team boost performance, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The most effective way to ensure that your team will not forget to see the most recent traffic numbers is to email the team directly. Whatagraph is a great tool to help accomplish that.

[email protected] is a great tool to use to email weekly reports to your #content team, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The best part is that Whatagraph “translates” those reports so your team can understand them without spending hours educating themselves on what each data point means.

You can customize the data to include in each email. By default, Google Analytics reports from Whatagraph include things like:

  • Top traffic sources (where your content is received well)
  • Top landing pages (your best content)
  • Social media networks that send the most traffic
  • Top referring sites (sites where your content links are)
  • Internal search keywords (words people type before landing on your site)

Image showing what Google Analytics reports from Whatagraph look like: top social networks, social traffic, and top landing pages.

Whatagraph emails the most recent numbers, keeping you and your team updated on traffic dips or spikes (e.g., content gone viral).

See the numbers together

As the number of people working remotely grows and companies adjust to new structures, collaboration and data-sharing solutions are more important than ever. These tools will help you bridge the gap between your marketing and content creation teams and help them collaborate more efficiently.

Get the latest examples, tips, and trends to help improve your content’s performance. Subscribe to the free CMI weekday newsletter.

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).  

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, founder of MyBlogU.com and co-founder of Viral Content Buzz . Ann is the regular contributor at Entrepreneur, Small Biz Trends, and other huge publications. Ann blogs about search and social media industry trends and content marketing tools. Please follow Ann on Twitter @seosmarty.

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