In our free Social Media and Google Analytics guide, we share our four favorite Google Analytics reports related to social media. These reports help us understand:
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Have you taken a look at all of the pages on your website recently? How about the depths of your Twitter account? Chances are there’s a page lingering somewhere in the dark corners of a drop down menu that hasn’t been updated in a while. In this post, we’ll take a look at four different ways to assess the freshness of your content.
“Freshness” can refer to content on your website, blog, or in your email and social media channels. Why does freshness matter? It sends a signal both to your audiences and to search engines that you’re still there and that you care enough about them and your business to keep your content up to date.
There’s nothing worse than showing up at a restaurant only to realize that the hours on their website aren’t accurate, and that they’ve changed for the summer. Or to be working on a policy issue…that’s already passed through Congress.
Here are four ways that you can ensure that your content is fresh:
Look for Ghost Towns
Checking for Ghosts: When’s the last time you updated your Facebook page? How about your blog? The first step in the process is to see if you’ve posted anything in a while. Are you active, or is it a ghost town?
If you’re not sure what to talk about, think about the top pages on your website, and pull a fact, quote, or statistic from that page to share on your social media channels. Your blog is a great place to answer all of the questions that your clients are asking. Your email inbox might be a great source of blog post ideas.
Look in the Back of the Content Fridge
There's Something Scary in the Back of Your Content Fridge: Okay, so let’s say you are pretty on top of updating your website and social channels on a regular basis. What you might want to do is to go page-by-page through your top-level navigation, and check to make sure that the most visible pages on your site are accurate and up to date.
Pay particular attention to facts, such as dates, hours, addresses, and staff names and emails.
Google looks for a consistent name, address, phone number, and URL for physical locations featured in local search. So if your business or organization has a brick-and-mortar location, you might want to check those facts a second time to make sure that they are formatted identically.
Look in Google Analytics
Google Analytics has a wealth of information on your content. One report that we like to look at regularly is Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. This report will give you a nice look at the most popular pages on your website.
But if you click on the column labeled “Pageviews” it will also let you look at the least visited pages on your website. If one of your least visited page is pretty important, you may need to think about ways to make it easier to find on your site. (User experience designers call this “surfacing” content).
If it’s a blog post that hasn’t been viewed in a while…it might be time to share it again through your social networks. Looking at blog post metrics over a longer period of time, might yield some insights on topics that are more popular, or less popular.
You can also rewrite a post, taking a slightly different angle or approach, such as turning a fact-heavy article into an infographic. Repurposing content leftovers are a-ok in our book.
Speaking of which, if you want to look at content metrics in a single area (also called a directory or folder) of your website, here’s a handy trick: go to Behavior > Site Content > Content Drilldown and then click on the directory that you want to look at.
This makes it easy to look at the content metrics only for your “blog” or “about” section. In the below example, I see the directories for my homepage, and my blog.
Look in your Social Media Management Tool
Get Social with Your Metrics: It’s a good idea to look at your top posts. We recommend doing this on a monthly basis. We like to look at our top 5 posts sorted by reach, and then by engagement.
When looking at engagement (which is a catch-all term that describes likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.) it's important to keep in mind that if a post reached few people and the engagement rate is very high, that bit of might not be as helpful to you as seeing the stats on a post that reached more people but had slightly less engagement.
Our top five social media posts often give us ideas for future social media posts or even blog posts topics.
Below, is an example from a report we pulled in Sprout Social for our client Clergy for a New Drug Policy.
Why aren't we talking about the bottom five? We often look at those posts too, but if there's a clear reason that a post may have gotten less reach (such as a Facebook boost not being approved, or spending less on a boost), that’s less interesting to us than seeing the posts that really resonated with our audience.
Keep it Fresh!
We hope this gives you some great ideas to keep things fresh! Let us know if you have questions about content freshness in a comment below.
For more tips on making your social media content work harder, check out some of the other posts in our social media audit series.
We talked to entrepreneur (and client) Derek Notman of Intrepid Wealth Partners about why it's so important to have talking points for your business.
Similar to an elevator pitch, talking points are a set of 3-5 bulletpoint statements that explain what you do, who you do it for, and what the main benefits of what you do are for your customers.
Tell us about what you do.
As a certified financial planner I specialize in working with entrepreneurs, from startup through exit, on their financial planning to help them realize their hopes, dreams & goals.
What did it used to feel like, when you had to introduce yourself and your company, before you had talking points?
I have struggled with this over 11 years. I used to try and avoid talking about what I did for a living. Not having organized talking points resulted in me telling each person I met [what I do in] a slightly different explanation and it always felt like they didn’t quite understand what I was talking about!
How has having talking points changed your experience of introducing yourself and your company?
It has boosted my confidence. I am much more comfortable explaining what I do and who I do it for. It comes across as clear and concise, people understand what I do and who I do it for and will even ask additional questions to learn more.
How do you use your talking points? How have you been using them on your team?
I use them in person and in my digital communications. Regardless of how they are being told, they are telling the same message across all channels. My team is also using them and we have modified them depending on whether we are talking about ourselves or the overall firm.
Do you think that other business owners should have talking points for their business too?
It is a must! If you have a business, then you are selling something, whether it is a service, product, widget, whatever, you much be able to tell your story quickly and concisely to get people’s attention and keep them interested.
If you don’t have talking points then do you really know your own business and what you do? If you can’t clearly explain it, then how could you ever expect your potential customers to ever know what you do or what you sell, and how it may benefit them?
Is there anything else that you took away from our work together to develop talking points?
It was simple and a quick exercise, but absolutely necessary! It has helped me better pitch my business via a multitude of mediums, all while telling a consistent message.
This video from entrepreneur Marie Forleo has some really excellent advice on shifting the focus of your website copy away from yourself, to focus on your customers' needs and wants.
You can head over to Marie Forleo's blog to read her full post.
Our Approach to Content Strategy
When we start working with a client on content strategy, we advocate taking a similar approach. We often start with the following types of exercises:
Outcomes of Foundational Content Strategy
Once you have a set of talking points or key messages you can use them in a number of different ways: you can use them verbally, when you are giving interviews or an elevator pitch about your business.
You can use them in headlines and other prominent places on your website. As Marie Forleo suggests, this work can also influence the labels you use in your website navigation. You can also use them when you're describing your business in a press release, and so much more.
Case Study: ONVI
When we started working with ONVI on the creation of a marketing system to promote their innovative Prophix toothbrush, we started with these exact exercises.
A year later, we found that the results of these simple exercises were still helping us write focused, consistent copy for everything from packaging design, to a booth at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Putting Your Customers First
Whether you decide to tweak your copy on your own, or work with a consultant like us on your content strategy, putting your customers first and tying their needs and wants back to your products and services is the best strategy for increasing sales or other conversions, while also fostering trust with your customers.