Using Analytics To Create Blog Posts and Social Content Your Audience Wants
Content marketing is a long term strategy. Most MSPs that attempt a content strategy or start a blog, often fizzle out after just a few weeks. Most give up because they don’t see results right away or feel as though their time is better spent on something else. Others likely stop producing content because frankly, it is not easy to do. Writing is not for everyone, and constantly coming up with topics that are appealing to your audience can be daunting.
While we can’t help you become the next Charles Dickens, we do have a few tricks up our sleeve to help you come up with highly engaging topics your readers will love. Your audience is already leaving you clues as to what type of content they are looking for. You just have to know where to look. Here are a few of the wells we look to tap to source highly engaging content ideas.
Google Search Console
For those unfamiliar, Google Search Console is a platform for submitting your sitemap to Google and managing the indexing of your site’s pages. It also provides you reporting on which search queries your site is showing for and how it ranks. With this information you can pull reports on the click thru rates for each query, so you can see how your listing is performing.
This type of reporting is a very valuable way to source content ideas. Sometimes queries have a low click thru because your content isn’t an exact match to the topic (i.e. Search query “IT Disaster Recovery Plan for Attorneys” might be ranking your post of “Best Technology Tools For Attorneys”). In the example given, creating a post for “IT Disaster Recovery Plan for Attorneys” and then linking to it from your “Best Technology Tools for Attorneys” article will give you a near-instant boost in ranking position and click thru rate.
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Blog Search History
Giving your visitors easy access to a site-wide search tool is not only good for user experience but it also gives you some valuable insights into what your audience is looking for. Using this data is another great way to source content ideas for your blog or social accounts, as it is often a great reflection of your audiences precise interests.
If you use Google Analytics, you can easily retrieve this data right from their platform. Simply navigate to Behavior>Site Search>Search Terms and then select the time frame in which you want to view the data. Not every search query should warrant a new piece of content, but there are likely a few queries that come up frequently enough, or share specific keywords that could use more coverage on your site.
Category Page Analytics
Using your navigation to make a strategic “shell” of your site can offer some actionable insight into what your visitors are looking for. While having near empty category pages is not a great user experience, finding out how frequently these pages are visited will help you determine where to focus your content efforts.
The perfect example of this is actually in the origination of the post you are reading right now. We used our website analytics to find that visitors were frequenting our “content marketing” subcategory on our site but we only had a handful of posts to offer at the time. Now that we see that there is a greater need for this category we will increase our frequency of posts of this type.
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Heatmapping tools allow you to see what areas of your MSP Business’s blog or website visitors are spending the most time viewing. You may not notice it, but website visitors have a behavioral instinct to move their mouse over content as they are viewing it, regardless of their intention to click. This natural instinct, in combination with scrolling behavior (mobile) allow for some incredible insight into what visitors find most attractive about your content.
While this sounds complex, drawing inspiration from heatmaps is rather simple. Looking at a heatmap of your “services” on your primary website or landing page will give you a clear indication of the services that are most important to your customers overall. For example, of the services listed on our Managed IT Business’s site, we found that there was always the most activity over “Cloud Backup” regardless of the traffic source. Using this information, we created a significant amount of content to better explain and inform readers about this service and how it works.
Service Desk Tickets
If the majority of your content consumers are existing customers, we recommend frequently using service desk tickets to generate content ideas. As an MSP, you already know, that there is a root cause to every problem. These root causes can sometimes ripple across multiple customers around the same time frame, creating what appears to be a wave of similar issues at once. An example of this would be a crypto virus or phishing scam that effects multiple customers.
A simple pull of a report in your professional service automation platform will allow you to look at which “issue types” are trending up any given moment. You can also do a data dump into excel that includes all ticket data and create a match formula over a pre-defined array in order to return the most frequently occurring terms in your spreadsheet. Once you create a standard report, you may dump data in as often as you need to yield the results you are looking for, giving you more content ideas on-demand.