Data Driven Communications: Use Data to Drive Your Content Strategy #STR7

Brian Piper, from the University of Rochester, shared a plethora of golden nuggets to help all web content creators understand how to improve the impact of their efforts.  His primary point was to look at all of the content generated by your institution and determine which elements were meeting their goals.

He suggested that everyone should be aware of important content, begin to understand what the pieces were supposed to be doing and then set specific key performance indicators to measure if the content was successful.  Being able to track success requires optimizing Google Analytics and setting goals.  Once the benchmarks are in place then the data needs to be reviewed regularly.

If a spike or other change in the data is noticed, Piper suggested using the annotation feature in Google Analytics to add a note about what triggered the increase. He also suggested using the benchmark view to see how a site performs against others in the same industry. As patterns begin to emerge, he encouraged a review of organic search terms to begin to tweak content to improve SEO. Some free tools that he mentioned were Moz for tracking search terms, Yoast to see the SEO score for your page (and see how to optimize it), UTM tools for custom URLs, and Tableau for visualizing your data.

He stressed that the data will help to determine questions that need to be answered, what content the audience wants to read and find ways to help even more people engage.