Site Search in Google Analytics – With or Without Query Parameters

Google Analytics comes with a lot of features “out-of-the-box”, but one of the reports that you will need to configure is the site search report. If you haven’t used this feature yet and you have a search box on your site, keep reading!

The site search reports provide data on what type of content people are looking for on your site. Having site search data is like reading the minds of a subset of your audience. You can easily see what they’re looking for, the words and terminology they are using and how quickly they found what they were looking for (or if they did at all).

For most websites, you can set up the site search reports entirely within Google Analytics, without needing to modify anything on your website.

The Site Search Reports

You will notice that the Site Search report is located under Behavior in the left-hand navigation and not Acquisition, where organic and paid search data is located. That’s because these reports are related to internal searches only – a behavior someone can perform on your site that returns results pages that are also on your site.

Site search tracking is not automatic like pageview tracking because there’s a wide variety of site search engines that function differently and because not every site has an internal search or wants to track that!

How you will set up your site’s search analytics will depend on what type of website you have and how it behaves. This may involve a simple one-click process, an advanced view filter, or a bit more configuration with on-page code or Google Tag Manager.

Find Your Search Term

Before heading into Google Analytics to update your settings, you’ll need to locate your keyword. The simplest way to do this is to go to your site and perform a search for something, anything! On the following page, take a look at the URL – do you see your keyword?

Most site will fall into one of two categories: query parameters or page paths.

Query Parameters – appear at the end of a URL following a question mark. You may see your keyword in a pattern that looks like the following:

Page Paths – appear in the middle of the URL, with no query parameters, and can look like the following:

Site Search with Queries

If you’ve identified that your search keywords show up in the query parameter portion of the site, you’re in luck! This is the easiest way to set up site search.

Site search settings are view-level, so they are located under Admin > View [the view you would like to configure] > View Settings. Below the AdWords settings, there will be an option to turn on the site search tracking. After switching it on, an empty field will appear titled ‘Query parameter.’

The next step is to go to your website and perform a search. Look for a question mark in the address bar as well as your search term. In the examples below, the search query is ’s’, though the actual query used will vary from site to site. Some other examples you may see are ‘q’, ‘searchTerm,’ ‘term’, and ‘keyword.’

It is easy to identify the query when there is only one parameter on the end of the url, but keep in mind that some sites have multiple queries for other purposes, so our keyword may show up somewhere else in the URL after an ampersand (&).

Once you have identified the query where your search keywords show up, you can then go back to the site search settings, fill in the search query (in this case, ‘s’) and you’re done!

This field must be populated in order to turn on the site search reports. If your site uses page paths or another method, you will still have to enter a ‘dummy’ parameter here. Any string or letter can be entered, just make sure your site isn’t using a parameter that matches this for other purposes.

In  most cases, you will also want to check the box to strip these queries out of the URL in Google Analytics. Keeping them will split views to the search results page into multiple rows in your page path report. This adds bloat to your report, and also is unnecessary since we will be able to see the individual keyword data in the site search report.

Page Path Search Terms (No Queries)

Another common behavior of site search, specifically with Drupal, is to have the terms appear within the page path instead of as a query. Neither is better or worse than the other, it will just involve different configuration in Google Analytics.

To track this type of site search, an advanced filter should be used for the views where you will be using these reports. First, navigate to Filters > New Filter under your view.

After choosing the filter name, select ‘Custom’ and ‘Advanced’ in the filter’s settings.

Next, we will choose ‘Request URI’ for Field A since we are getting the information from the URI, or page path. Your site’s page path goes in the text box, so for this example, it would look like below:

When we do this, we are telling Google Analytics to look at this page path and extract the characters from within the parentheses. The dot and asterisk are regular expressions representing any character and any number of characters- so we are storing anything after the slash.

Field B will be blank since we are only concerned with extracting from the page path and nowhere else. The next field, ‘Output To’, is the one we are interested in. Now that we have stored the keyword from the URI, we need to output it to the correct dimension.

In the dropdown menu, select ‘Search Term’ and type ‘$A1’ into the input box. This tells Google Analytics to grab the user-defined value from Field A and output it as a search term. For the checkbox options below, only ‘Field A Required’ and ‘Override Output Field’ need to be selected.

Once you are done, the settings should look like the following:

After you save the filter, your site search should be ready to start tracking. However, with this set-up you will still see the search keywords show up in your content reports and split your search results pages. If you have a site with a lot of search activity, this could potentially created hundreds of additional rows.

Stripping Keywords from the URL

Remember the setting we used to strip queries out of the URL? We can emulate that by using another filter.

In the same view where you implemented the advanced filter for site search, add a new filter. Select ‘Custom’ and ‘Search and Replace’ in the settings. The field dropdown should be ‘Request URI’ and in the first input box, type in the page path for your site searches along with the regular expression signifying ‘anything’.

In our example, this would be ‘/search/site/.*‘. The second input box is what we want to replace the former page path with. Since we are just stripping out the keyword after the slash, we will type in the page path without the keyword – ‘/search/site/‘. This will aggregate your search results page into one row in the content reports.

Benefits

Once you have this tool, you can start to analyze internal search data and begin asking questions like:

  • “Should we take another look at the usability of our navigation? More than 10% of people are using our site’s search engine.”
  • “A lot of people from organic channels are looking for terms not related to our business. Why we are ranking for non-relevant keywords?”
  • “We are seeing trends of certain keywords. Should we feature this content more clearly on the site?”

You’ll notice that these reports will be relevant not only to your web analysts, but also to SEO, UX and even your design team.


Stay On Schedule with AdWords Management Calendar

Optimizing and managing an AdWords account takes a lot of time. There are a lot of moving pieces in the AdWords puzzle and getting them to work together as a well-oiled machine takes regular maintenance.

In fact, one of the most common questions we get in a LunaMetrics AdWords training is, “how often should I perform certain tasks in my account?” Which is always quickly followed with, “what should those tasks be?”

Don’t fret! We’re going to help you prioritize your day-to-day management and get you on the right track fast by breaking down the bare necessities and providing you with an AdWords management calendar.

Use our AdWords management resources: Jump to Calendar Now

Daily AdWords Management Tasks

Review campaign budgets

Review your account-level spend and individual campaign budgets. Check to ensure that you are pacing currently for your given quarterly/annual budget and look for areas of optimization.

Review top performing keywords

You should take the time to label your top performing keywords. These will be the ones that most regularly meet your KPIs, so it’s a good idea to keep a close watch on these to guarantee that your are receiving adequate impression share, traffic and conversions.

Do you notice any swings in performance? Take action!

Check average positions & CPCs

Take a look at where your ads are serving in search results and at what CPCs. You should ensure that you are being competitive enough and at the right price per click on a daily basis to stay a step ahead of the competition.

If you notice declining positions, then take action so long as the new bid is one that you are comfortable with.

Take a few minutes to learn

One of the most important tasks that an AdWords account manager can do is simply keep themselves educated about the latest trends, features and tools available in today’s marketing sphere.

Research more strategies and tactics that can be useful in managing your account. Read cases studies from companies similar to yours.

You’re already on the LunaMetrics blog, so it looks like you’re well on your way to success. Check out the Inside AdWords blog, too. This is where Google makes all of its official AdWords product announcements.

Weekly AdWords Management Tasks

Conversion analysis

Take a look at a week-over-week or year-over-year conversion comparison. Are you on pace or are there changes in performance that require a deeper dive into the data? Make edits when applicable or begin to ask other questions about what may have cause performance changes.

Impression share analysis

Take a look at your impression share at a campaign level. Are your ads displaying every time they are eligible or do you have budgetary or ad rank-related restrictions? You can’t drive conversions without garnering impressions first, so remember to take a look at the reach of your ads frequently.

Conduct competitive analysis with auction insights

Staying one step ahead of your competitors is instrumental in achieving your goals. Use the built-in features provided by AdWords to gain insight into your competitor’s activity.

View the Auction insights report to see how your ads stack up. Is there one competitor that tends to outrank you every time? Are there competitors that you wouldn’t expect to see in this report? Use these insights and evaluate your keywords.

Deduplicate keywords

It’s important that your account is organized correctly to maximize performance. Duplicate keywords across campaigns with similar targeting can cause unwanted conflicts with how your ads serve.

Take a few minutes to identify these areas of concern using the built-in duplicate keywords tools in AdWords Editor.

Bi-Weekly AdWords Management Tasks

Keyword match type cleanup

This starts by reviewing your keywords, then running a search term report. Do you see a lot of your broad match keywords being triggered for their exact match queries? If yes, this means you have some work to do in order to improve the structure of your account.

Start thinking of keywords as “targeted queries” and add those relevant search terms to your campaigns as exact match keywords. This is a simple and great way to boost the quality of your account.

Expand targeted keywords & refine campaigns

Let’s continue to look at that search term report…

Keep your eyes peeled for new concepts and opportunities to refine your campaigns even further. It’s important to stay on top of the language that your searchers use to find you, so take any concepts you might have found in the long-tail of search queries and run these through the Keyword Planner.

Also, take this as an opportunity to review how your keyword concepts are organized within an ad group. Do you see a lot of overlap between keywords at the search query level? Maybe it’s time to restructure and breakout your ad groups into more thematic groupings to improve the relevancy of your ads.

Research new negative keywords & review funnels

Still looking at that same search term report…

Add new negative keywords to your campaigns and/or ad groups as you see them. The last thing you want is to spend precious ad dollars on irrelevant clicks. Also, take another look at how search query concepts overlap. Are there particular queries that should be triggered by a keyword located elsewhere in your account? Take this opportunity to create “negative keyword funnels” to ensure that you are serving the most appropriate ad at the most appropriate time.

Reporting on your tests

At this point, you’ll have made a considerable amount of edits across your campaigns. It’s time to take a few moments to compile a report and compare your changes versus the previous period. Always remember to review your performance following optimizations because you may need to backpedal on your previously made assertions.

Monthly AdWords Management Tasks

Ad copy testing

Always be testing and only make decisions based on significant data. Ad copy and landing page testing is one of the easiest ways to optimize for CTR, conversions and quality score.

Review the performance of your ads. Does one ad clearly outperform the others?

Pause your worse performing ad and write a new rendition. Remember to test only one part of your ad – the headline, the description, the call to action – in order to maintain control of the experiment.

Ad extension analysis & optimization

Just like ad copy testing, review and optimization of your ad extensions, like sitelinks, call extensions, callout extensions and more, can be an easy way to improve your campaign performance. Remember, ad extensions directly impact your ad rank.

If your ad extensions aren’t contributing to positive performance you need to take action. Think about how you can improve your ad extensions. For example, you could improve your sitelinks by reviewing which pages on your site are typically interacted with on the path to conversion in addition to your landing page.

Review bid strategy & adjustments

Take a deeper look at your bidding strategies. It might be time to test performance and make the switch to ECPC or CPA bidding (given that you have enough conversions to do so). You might also choose to experiment with flexible bid strategies to add an element of automation.

Also take a look at the bid adjustments applied to your geographic targets, mobile targets, ad schedules or audiences, if you’re using these targeting methods. If you notice areas of poor performance apply a reduction to your bid adjustments or vice-versa for positive performance.

Reporting & analysis

Wait a day or two to collect all of the data. Now pull campaign performance from the previous month. Compare performance against the previous month and/or previous year. Look for areas of optimization, then dig into your campaigns in the UI to gain greater insight.

Ask yourself: Which campaigns outperformed the rest, and why? Where did campaigns suffer the most, and why?

Quarterly AdWords Management Tasks

Review mobile tactics

It’s no secret that mobile traffic has grown significant over the past several years, and there are no signs that it will be stopping any time soon.

Take a few moments to evaluate your AdWords account and your website. Does your site utilize adaptive design? Are you taking advantage of mobile bid adjustments in your account? Have you applied mobile preference ads and sitelinks?

There are a lot of opportunities on the mobile front, and you should regularly review and update your account and website accordingly.

Understand search funnels & MCFs

AdWords and paid search is just one part of your marketing equation. Don’t forget that!

Remember to take a look at your search funnels reports in AdWords to gain a better understanding of how your keywords and campaigns work with one another. Then jump into Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel reports to gain a better understanding of how your paid search campaigns with your other marketing channels.

You may be surprised what you find out from viewing these reports. Maybe AdWords, more often than not, assists conversions from other sources. With information like this in hand, you might strategize your account differently.

Landing page optimization

Testing and optimizing your landing page is just as important as optimizing your AdWords account itself. The destination page is what ultimately transforms a searcher into a customer, so you should strive to make your conversion points as fluid and painless as possible.

Make sure your content supports the keywords you’re targeting. Remove any unnecessary content and present only the information a user needs to make a decision. Test different page layouts and how they affect conversion rates.

Finally, remember that the experience of your landing page is one of the key factors in your overall quality score.

Quality score analysis

Quality score is important to understand in the sense that it reflects the overall quality of your ad experience. Don’t harp on it, but review it regularly to see how the changes you have made over time affect your campaigns.

Consider prioritizing your keywords around this to find areas of improvement. If you have high CPCs, maybe it’s due to poor quality keywords. How might CTR optimizations like match type additions or ad copy testing affect those quality scores? How might landing page improvements affect those lower than ideal qualities scores?


If you need some assistance getting all of these tasks organized – you’re in luck! We’ve created a calendar linked below to help set you straight.

We’ve also created a free PDF download that you can use as a bookmark or tape to the side of your monitor!

Use our AdWords management resources:

Add Google Calendar Now

What tasks do you do most often? Think about setting up a few automated rules to help out!


The 8-Step Content Strategy For 2019 [Template Included]

The 8-Step Content Strategy For 2019

Today you’re going to learn exactly how to create a content strategy in 2019.

In fact:

This is the same approach I used to grow my blog to 392,441 visits per month:

Analytics – Sessions

Let’s get started.

Step #1: Choose a Content Topic

Your first step is to find a topic.

But not just any topic…

A topic that your target customer is interested in.

Here’s exactly how to do it:

Competitor Blogs

First, head over to a popular blog in your industry.

Backlinko – Blog

And look for posts that tend to get lots of comments and social shares.

Backlinko – SEO Strategy

For example, a while back I looked at what content performed best on the Moz blog:

Moz – Blog

And I noticed that content about “site audits” tended to do REALLY well:

Moz – SEO Audit

So I created a blog post called: “The Ultimate SEO Site Audit”.

Backlinko – SEO Site Audit

Because this post was based on a proven topic, it was a huge hit on day 1:

Backlinko – SEO Site Audit – Social

And quickly cracked the first page for my target keyword:

Google:

Pro Tip: If one of your competitors has a podcast, check out their episode list on iTunes:

iTunes – Podcast

This can reveal some killer topics that you’d be hard pressed to find any other way.

iTunes – Podcast episode

Online Communities

Online communities are GREAT for finding burning questions that your customers have.

For example, when I head over to the Paleo subreddit, I notice lots of questions about dessert:

Reddit – Paleo dessert

Why is this important?

Most people ask questions on Reddit because they couldn’t find their answer on Google.

Which means there’s a HUGE opportunity for you to swoop in and answer that question with your content.

You can follow this same process using Quora:

Quora – Paleo

If you want to scale this technique, check out Answer the Public.

Answer The Public – Paleo

It’s a free tool that hands you popular questions that people have around your topic:

Answer The Public – Paleo Questions

Pro Tip: Check out conference agendas in your industry. People are literally paying (and traveling) to see these talks. So you KNOW these topics are in high demand.

PaleoFX schedule

Ahrefs Content Explorer

Ahrefs Content Explorer is very similar to BuzzSumo.

Ahrefs – Content Explorer

You type in a keyword…

Ahrefs – Content Explorer – Search

…and get a list of content that people recently shared and linked to:

Ahrefs – Content Explorer – Results

Nice.

Your Best Content

Here’s where you double down on what works.

First, log in to Google Analytics and go to “Behavior” → “Site Content” → “Landing Pages”:

Analytics – Landing pages – Menu

This shows you which pages on your site bring in the most traffic.

Analytics – Landing pages

Then, identify what those pages have in common in terms of:

  • Format
  • Topics
  • Author
  • Writing style

Finally, outline your next piece of content based on what you find.

For example:

Last year I noticed that definitive guides brought in a ton of traffic:

Definitive guide traffic

So I decided to publish more definitive guides:

Backlinko Guides

And those new guides helped increase my blog’s traffic by 29.63% compared to the year before:

Analytics – Organic Traffic

Which leads us to…

Step #2: Find a Keyword

Now that you found a topic, it’s time to find a keyword that people use to search for that topic.

Here are 3 easy ways to do it:

QuestionDB

QuestionDB is a free keyword tool that generates lots of question-based keywords.

QuestionDB

To use it, just pop in a topic that you found in Step #1:

QuestionDB – Search

And after a second or two, you’ll get a list of untapped keyword ideas:

QuestionDB – Search results

Pretty cool.

Google and YouTube Suggest

This an old school keyword research strategy that still works GREAT.

Just type your topic into Google…

Google search:

…and jot down the terms that Google suggests.

Google Search – Suggest

And I recommend doing the same thing on YouTube:

YouTube – Search

Bing:

Bing – Search

DuckDuckGo:

DuckDuckGo – Search

And if you run an ecommerce site, Amazon:

Amazon search

Google Image Tags

This is a cool little tip that’s GREAT for finding long tail keywords.

Just search for your keyword in Google images:

Google Image Search

And take a look at the tags at the top of the search results:

Google Image Search – Tags

These tags are terms that people search for when they’re looking for information on your topic.

And all you need to do is add these tags to the end of the keyword you typed in.

For example, look at what comes up when you search for “content marketing”:

Google Search – Content Marketing

All you need to do is add these terms before or after “content marketing”:

Create long-tail keywords from Google image tags

And you have a solid list of long tail keywords to create your content around.

Step #3: Choose a Content Structure and Format

In other words, here’s where you decide if you’re going to create a:

  • Blog post
  • YouTube Video
  • Native video (for Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter)
  • Lead magnet
  • Ebook
  • Infographic
  • Podcast
  • Interactive content

The key here is to choose the format that works best for YOU.

Are you an awesome writer? Go with a blog post.

Do you shine on video? Make a video.

Or maybe you’re an amazing designer. Whip up a piece of visual content.

I think you get the idea 🙂

In fact:

You can cover the same topic using multiple different formats.

And they can all do REALLY well.

For example, a few years ago I published this guide to building backlinks:

Backlinko - Link Building

Which did GREAT.

So I made a YouTube video on that same exact topic:

And it racked up 65,541 views:

YouTube – Link Building views

The big takeaway?

There’s no “perfect” content format for any topic.

So choose a format that you can CRUSH… and move onto step #4.

Step #4: Publish Something Amazing

Let’s face it:

It’s harder than ever for your content to stand out.

According to WordPress, there are 2.49 million blog posts published every day:

There are 2.49 million blog posts published every day

It gets worse:

Even though content supply is increasing, content demand is flat.

In fact, WordPress reported that pageviews are down for the first time in 12 years:

WordPress traffic

Bottom Line?

If you want to succeed with content marketing in 2019, your content needs to be AMAZING.

Here’s how to do it:

Awesome Design

There’s no way around this:

If you want people to read and share your content, it needs to look GREAT.

Which is why I go the extra mile to use high-res screenshots:

Screenshots

Visuals:

Visuals

And custom-designed guides:

Guides

Insanely Actionable Tips and Techniques

This is important.

No matter what industry you’re in, people want information they can use right away.

For example:

When I was doing research for this post, I read a lot of posts out there about content strategy.

And they were full of fluff advice like: “Develop Content Ideas”.

But they never showed you HOW to come up with ideas.

That’s why I went the extra mile to make every step in this post super actionable:

Backlinko post sample

Real Life Examples

When it comes to content, there’s one thing I’ve found to be true almost 100% of the time:

People looooove examples.

When you hear the words “for example” your brain breathes a sigh of relief. That’s because research shows that examples make learning easier.

That’s why I include TONS of examples in every post:

Collage examples

Does adding examples take more work than simply saying, “do this”?

Sure.

Is it worth it?

Definitely.

Written By an Expert

In other words:

Publish content from people that have actually done the things they’re writing about.

Or as I like to say:

“If you want an article about how to unclog a toilet, don’t hire a freelance writer.

Hire a plumber.” ( Click to Tweet this )

For example, Nerd Fitness quickly grew to be one of the most popular blogs in the fitness space.

NerdFitness

How?

Steve wrote about his personal experience of trying different diet and workout routines:

NerdFitness – Beginner's Guide

And he filled in any gaps in his knowledge with research from nutrition experts:

NerdFitness – Beginner's Guide – Experts

Content UX

When most people think “UX”, they think “Software”.

But content has a user experience too.

For example, look at this post:

Wall of text

The text is all squished together. Which makes it REALLY hard to read.

That’s bad Content UX.

On the other hand, this post uses big font with lots of white space:

Backlinko – SEO Hub

Which makes it easy to read and skim.

That’s good Content UX.

And Content UX isn’t just for text content.

If you have a podcast, good UX is clear audio.

If you’re making a video, good UX is that video’s production value.

In short:

Make it EASY for people to consume your content… and it will perform MUCH better.

Step #5: Optimize Your Content for SEO

Next, it’s time to optimize your content around a keyword.

Specifically, you want to nail the basics of on-page SEO:

  • Include your keyword in your title tag
  • Optimize your title tag for CTR
  • Use short URLs
  • Add internal links to other pages on your site
  • Use external links
  • Format your content for readability

Here’s a video that walks you through each of these steps in detail:

Step #6: Promote Your Content

There’s no two ways around it:

If you’re serious about squeezing every last drop of value from your content, you need to actively promote it.

And when I say “promote”, I don’t mean sharing your content on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

(Even though that can help)

I’m talking about strategically sharing your content in a way that maximizes traffic, backlinks and social shares.

How?

Let’s take a look…

Email Newsletters

This is HUGE.

An email list is the #1 content promotion tool on the planet. Period.

In fact, there isn’t even a close second.

Remember:

Your subscribers are made up of people that LOVE your stuff.

In other words:

They’re people that are very likely to spread the word about your content.

That’s why I share most of my posts with my email subscribers:

Brian email

As you can see, my email doesn’t look like a stuffy corporate newsletter.

In fact, my email looks like it could be from a friend.

This is EXACTLY how you want your emails to look.

So, how did it do?

That single email generated 14,067 total visitors:

Aweber email visitors

Nice!

Content Roundups

In case you’re not familiar with them, roundups are posts that curate (or “roundup”) awesome content from the week.

The best part?

There are roundups in almost every niche.

For example, this is a roundup from the wine niche:

VineSpring - Blog

Here’s why promoting your content to link roundups works so well:

Your pitch actually makes their life easier (yes, really).

I’ll explain…

Roundup curators struggle to find content to include in their roundup.

And when you suggest your new post, you deliver awesome content on a silver platter.

Which means there’s no arm twisting required to get a link.

For example, here’s a roundup that recently linked to me:

Blogger Roundup

This short video goes into the step-by-step process:

Paid Content Promotion

Specifically: Facebook Boosted Posts.

I’ve spent thousands on Facebook ads over the last few months.

And the #1 lesson I learned is this:

Retargeting is LEGIT.

For example, I recently boosted this Facebook post:

Facebook post

And because I targeted people that recently visited Backlinko, I only paid 67 cents per click:

Facebook post cost

Nice.

Step #7: Track and Measure Performance

Now it’s time to see how well your content strategy is working.

The question is:

How do you know if your content “worked”?

Take a look at these key metrics:

Traffic

At the end of the day, the point of content marketing is to get more traffic.

So if your content only brings in a handful of visitors, it’s time to switch things up.

That said:

Content marketing and SEO can take time to kick in.

For example, look at the traffic numbers from the early days of Backlinko:

Analytics – Backlinko early traffic

As you can see, it took about 6 months for things to really take off.

And if I gave up early on because content “wasn’t working”, I wouldn’t have seen the huge traffic spike that got me going:

Analytics – Backlinko early traffic spike

Backlinks

Sometimes you publish content for the sole purpose of getting backlinks.

(In other words: linkbait)

For example, last year I published this voice search SEO study.

Backlinko – Voice Search

My #1 goal with that post was to get more backlinks.

So even though that post doesn’t bring in much traffic…

Analytics – Voice search traffic

…it’s been linked to 1,280 times to date:

Ahrefs – Voice Search

Including some heavy hitters (like Forbes):

Forbes – Voice search

And these backlinks help boost my rankings for all of the other pages on my site.

Backlinks to a subpage improve ranking of all other pages

Speaking of rankings…

Google Rankings

This is pretty straightforward:

If you create content designed to rank for a specific keyword, it should rank for that keyword.

If it doesn’t, then something’s off.

It could be that the keyword is too competitive.

Or it might be that you don’t have enough links.

Either way, I recommend checking your rankings once a week.

SEMrush – Traffic

Social Shares

In some niches (especially in B2C), content is sized up based on how many people share it on social media.

Conversions

ROI.

Business goals.

KPIs.

Whatever you want to call it.

Basically, you’re answering the question:

Is content helping us get more sales?

Now:

You can directly measure conversions in Google Analytics:

Analytics - Conversions

And if you see conversions moving up, it’s probably a sign that your content marketing is working.

That said:

It’s sometimes hard to track content’s indirect sales impact.

For example:

My conversions that come directly from YouTube are super low:

Analytics - Conversions – YouTube

And if I ONLY looked at Google Analytics, I’d probably say: “YouTube is a waste of time”.

But when I dig a little bit deeper, I can see that my YouTube channel is a HUGE driver of subscribers and sales.

First of all, according to YouTube Studio, my videos reach 142,000 people every month:

YouTube viewers

Do you think all of those views help my bottom line?

Of course.

But more important than that: customers cite my YouTube channel as a main reason that they decide to make a purchase:

FPV survey – YouTube channel mentions

Which tells me that my YouTube videos are paying off.

And now it’s time for our last step…

Step #8: Scale Your Content Marketing

At this point your content is bringing in more traffic, leads, and sales.

So the logical question is:

How do you scale?

Well, I DON’T recommend pumping out a million blog posts.

Yes, the goal of scaling is to publish more content. But you want to maintain the same level of quality as you scale up.

For example, I’ve only published 63 total posts on the Backlinko blog:

Backlinko – Published posts

And those 63 posts bring in 392,441 visitors every single month:

Analytics – Sessions

With that, here are three ways to scale up your content marketing efforts… without sacrificing quality.

New Content Formats

Repurposing content into different formats is the easiest way to scale.

Why?

Because you don’t need to start from scratch every time you want to publish a new blog post, podcast episode or YouTube video.

For example, this video on my channel has racked up 355,187 views to date:

So I decided to repurpose some of the tips from that video into a blog post:

Backlinko – YouTube Subscribers

And it worked!

That post now ranks #3 for my target keyword:

Google search – YouTube subscribers

And has generated 15,748 visitors in only 3 months:

Analytics – YouTube subscribers

Organizing The Content Process

In other words:

Create a process that you can use over and over again.

You can just copy the exact process in this post.

Or tweak it to fit your company.

Either way:

The more organized you are, the easier it is to create awesome content.

That’s why I recommend writing down a repeatable, step-by-step process. You also want to have an editorial calendar to help plan your upcoming content.

Scaling Quality

Scaling doesn’t always mean MORE content.

You can also “scale” content quality.

For example, a few years ago I published this search engine ranking factors study:

Backlinko – Search Engine Ranking

This was a big departure from list posts and case studies that I was used to putting out.

Not only that, but I couldn’t do it myself. I had to assemble a team.

That team included a project manager, developer, data scientist, graphic designer, multiple software companies, and more.

And it was A LOT of work for everyone involved.

In the end, the study did really well.

Not only did it result in a huge traffic spike:

Analytics – Search engine ranking

But our study has been linked to from 2,650 different domains:

Ahrefs – Search Engine Ranking

Pretty cool.

Conclusion

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which tip from today’s post are you going to try first?

Do you want to try repurposing content into new formats?

Or maybe you’re ready to focus on Content UX.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.


Conversion Rate Optimization: The Definitive Guide

This is a complete guide to conversion rate optimization (CRO).

In today’s guide you’ll learn:

  • How to run A/B tests
  • How to optimize landing pages
  • How to convert first-time visitors into customers
  • Dozens of CRO best practices

In short: if you want to get more leads, sales, and signups, you’ll love this new guide.

Conversion Rate Optimization: The Definitive Guide

Chapter 2:How to Get Started With CRO

How to Get Started With CRO

This chapter is all about the critical first step of any CRO campaign: collecting data.

And let me be clear about something:

Most people skip this step. And they end up testing random stuff (like button colors).

Sure, you might get a slight bump in conversions with a button color change.

But if you want to get 2-10x conversion boosts, this initial research is KEY.

So without further ado, here’s how to CRUSH data collection for CRO.

Chapter 3:How to Run A/B Tests

How to Run A/B Tests

In this chapter you’ll learn how to conduct A/B tests like a pro.

So if you’ve ever asked yourself:

“How do I get started with split testing?”

“What’s the best A/B testing software?”

“How do you actually perform an A/B test?”

This chapter has you covered.

Chapter 4:Conversion-Focused Design

Conversion-Focused Design

As you probably know, site design isn’t just about looking pretty.

Instead, the goal of your site’s design is to get your visitors to convert.

And in this chapter you’ll learn how to maximize conversions with design.

Chapter 5:How to Create High-Converting Landing Pages

How to Create High-Converting Landing Pages

When it comes to CRO, landing pages are HUGE.

That’s because your landing page exists for one reason: to get someone to convert into a lead or sale.

So if you can increase your landing page conversion rate by 10%, that’s 10% added directly to your bottom line.

And in this chapter you’ll learn a handful of actionable techniques that you can use to boost your landing page conversion rate.

Chapter 6:CRO for Ecommerce Sites

CRO for Ecommerce Sites

If you run an Ecommerce site, you already know that you can draw a straight line between conversions and revenue.

The question is:

How do you optimize your ecommerce site for conversions?

That’s exactly what this chapter is all about.

It’s a collection of CRO techniques specifically designed to turn ecommerce site browsers into buyers.

Chapter 7:How to Create Irresistible CTAs

How to Create Irresistible CTAs

There’s no other way to say it:

Your call-to-action can make or break your conversion rate.

Use the wrong CTA? Your visitor will say: “Nah. Maybe later”.

But when you use the CTA, you’ll find more users hitting that “buy” button.

So without further ado, here are simple (yet effective) strategies you can use to craft powerful call-to-actions.

Bonus Chapter:Advanced Tips and CRO Best Practices

Advanced Tips and CRO Best Practices

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to go advanced.

In this chapter you’ll see advanced tips and CRO best practices that you can use to get more conversions… FAST.