Posted by great scott!

The avalanche-like flow of special guest Whiteboard Fridays continues this week with another installment featuring our beloved London SEO expert, Richard Baxter (anchor text, y’all). Last week Richard helped us all learn how to get our fresh content indexed licketty-split, and this week he’s back to help us learn how to identify which areas of our sites are working hardest for us.

Whether you have multiple types of content on your site (maybe a blog, tools, articles, etc.), or you have limited content types across different topics (blog posts about cats, kittens, evil cats, ninja kittens, evil ninja kitten cats, etc.), wouldn’t it be nice to know which content types or topics bring you the most and best traffic?  Never fear, Richard’s here to explain his handy-dandy system to do just that!  By the end of this video you’ll know exactly which stats to pull from your analytics to create a so-shiny-it’s-practically-chromed spreadsheet that will let you peer deep into the inky black heart of your site and know the stars, the slackers, and the shiftless hobos among your content.

Wow! It’s like the future is now! And, since thinking of the future always makes me think of ‘Flash’, and thinking of ‘Flash’ reminds me that those of you without Adobe Flash can’t watch the video, I’ll try to summarize Richard’s bard-like musings on content segmentation and performance analysis.

In order to track and analyze the performance of your individual content, you’ll want to segment out your analytics data by content type. This is really, really easy to do if you have good, clean site structure (which you have, right? RIGHT?!). You can just pull Richard’s data points (below) for the different sections or subfolders of your site. If you were lazy and thought the best way to organize your site was to throw all of the pages into a virtual bucket, dump them out, name them by throwing your keyboard at a stump, and call it a day, you’ll have to get a little more involved with how you filter your segments. No matter what though, you might consider segments like all blog posts (perhaps a ‘CONTAINS /blog’ filter), all tools, all content written by Belverd Needles, III (/authors/belverd), etc. 

Once you have your segment filters in place, you just need to pull the data that Richard suggests and you’ll be able to see exactly how Belverd’s content compares to that of his bloggitty arch-nemesis, Marmaduke Huffsworth, Esq. (/authors/marmaduke). What data you say? This data:

1. Number of Pages per Segment  Richard advocates crawling your site using something like Link Sleuth to get this number; you’ll use it for all sorts of fun calculations. Yes, calculations can be fun. If you don’t believe me, just ask these racially diverse, embroidered youths.

Math is Fun, so say these thread children

2. Number of Keywords Sending Traffic  You can pull this from your analytics. Don’t worry so much about the words themselves here, you just want to know how many different keyword terms are delivering one or more visits to each segment.

3. Number of Pages Getting Entries from Search Engines  How many pages within the segment received one or more visits from a search engine (pick an engine, any engine, or all of them, whatever matters to you…so Google, basically).

4. Total Visits from Google Search Engines  Like it says on the tin, this is just the total number of visits to the segment from search traffic.

5. Percentage of Total Visits that Performed a Conversion Action  This will require that you have some conversion actions setup in your analytics, but it’s a key data point if you want to figure out your strongest content.

So what can all of this stuff tell you? LOTS! By tracking these numbers, you’ll be able to quickly identify which content is working hardest for you. You’ll be able to know whether Marmaduke or Belverd is better at drawing high-converting traffic. You’ll know which subjects and content types are most deserving of your precious time and the investment of your hard-bilked pennies. You’ll know who put the bop in the bop shoo bop, who moved your cheese, and why birds suddenly appear every time I’m near (it’s because my pockets are full of birdseed). You’ll be 12.7-29.4% awesomier than you were before, and you’ll smell delightful ALL THE TIME!

Now aren’t you glad Richard stopped by and shared his magic secrets with you? Thanks, Richard!

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