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Pat Marcello

How to Use Google Analytics to Craft Content

Pat Marcello

By now, we all understand that content is the top of the food chain when it comes to ranking results. We need to provide authoritative content that is also engaging and helpful.

Content, no matter how good it is, also needs to be popular. How many likes, +1s and shares you get is HUGE! So, let me ask you: “How relevant is what you’re producing, or are you just sending information out there that’s probably not at all what your audience wants?”

Tough question, eh?

Search can help

Yes, believe it or not, if you pay attention to certain metrics (and if you’re not doing that, why not?), you can produce exactly the type of content that your niche members want to read.


Make sure you have demographics set up in Google Analytics. Yes, it’s really that important. There is a wealth of information there that you could be overlooking, and if you’re smart, after reading this article, you’ll be running to set this up. So…

Let’s explore!

First, log into Google Analytics dashboard and click on “Audience” in the LH navigation panel. That opens up a window into the world of your raving fans. When you click “Audience,” you get some general information about your visitors, such as the location they live in and the languages they speak. But that’s not much help. You need to drill down to really see what’s going on.

Here’s an overview image that pops up under the heading “Demographics”:


In this case, you can see that the biggest visitor age segment is people aged 55 to 64. They’re Baby Boomers. In this particular case, the website is about the Universal Law of Attraction, but the site owner has recently decided she wants to be in the “parenting” niche.

Obviously, her visitors aren’t parents. Their kids are grown! It will take a completely different tack from where she is now, meaning she’ll basically have to start building a new audience and forget the one she has. Is it a good move? Probably not, but it can be done. What if she changes her content to apply to grand-parenting? Many grandparents are raising their children’s children for whatever reason, so she can turn around and use that information to her benefit.

The other thing this chart shows is that the gender of visitors is overwhelmingly female. So, writing should be done to attract female readers. It would be more beneficial to write about topics that women are interested in. That’s not to say she should never create content that applies to men, but a majority of what she creates should be woman-oriented.

What is your audience interested in?

The next section of your demographics report talks about your visitors’ interests. This is HUGE! If you know what your audience likes, you can create content that applies to their interests. They’ll be sure to read it, if it’s well done.


This is where you can really get some meaty information about who your visitors are and what they’re interested in. In this case, 6.9 percent of visitors love movies. Around 4 percent like photography, technology, TV, and news. More than 3 percent (but less than 4 percent), like home decorating, shopping, cooking, travel and music.

Combine those stats with the categories they enjoy — arts and entertainment (celebrities and news), online video, pets, news, etc. So, think about it! How can you make that work?

How about she creates a piece of content that appeals to grandmothers raising their grandchildren, is about movies, and wait…

There’s something else — you get information about where your audience has or is likely to buy! (Your in-market segment.) In this case, it’s real estate, travel, and home & garden furnishings and décor, among other lesser categories. How cool is that?

Let’s take our content example to another level:

Our article is about how many Baby Boomers are traveling and then retiring in the South. The author can explain how her female audience can work toward manifesting the retirement home of their dreams, using the Universal Law of Attraction. Right?

Now, let’s throw in at least one celebrity and a film that applies. Right now, you could mention Tammy, which is at the top of their minds, and in it, Susan Sarandon is the Baby Boomer grandma. I haven’t seen the film yet, but it looks like a lot of fun. Many women of Baby Boomer age will probably love that! Surely there will be something in that film that will work for that particular audience, and if you use maybe one or two tiny details from the film, you will engage them. Then, add a cat and BOOM! There you go. An article for a Baby Boomer grandma who loves movies and celebrities, wants to move to a warmer climate to retire, and has a cat.

How can this article miss? Well, if a 27-year-old male reads it, he’ll probably not get past the first sentence, but who cares? We want to appeal to the people that already love what we’re doing and to share it with their like-minded friends.

You can write TO your audience directly, just by paying attention to who they are. Don’t think you know because you don’t, until you have some stats to prove it.

Other goodies

You can get a whole bunch (yes, a technical term) of other information from Google, like the languages your audience speak. You may want to add a multi-language functionality if you have a varied language audience. I mean, if you think your audience all speaks English, well… They don’t! It may be your visitors’ second language, but if you have lots of people coming in from Google that live in France, for example, you may want to consider having your website translated into French. And then, follow Google’s roadmap for multi-language coding, so that you can keep your SEO straight.

Or, are you getting a chunk of your visitors from mobile devices? If so, is your site mobile friendly? Can it easily be navigated on a smartphone, or do people have to double tap their screens to make it large enough to see and then navigate up and down and/or side to side? Not good. Right? Make your site responsive!

Getting started with Google Analytics demographics function

I think that by now you’ll agree that there’s a wealth of information to be had from Google Analytics’ demographics function. I’m sure it’s not 100%, but any information is better than none. Am I right?

To get started, click on “Demographics” in the left-side navigation panel, and then, “Overview.” A screen will appear that looks like this:


Click on the blue “Enable” button. You will be directed to a page that allows you to verify that you have the proper code in place. Here is the page that explains how to add the snippet to your Universal Analytics and Classic Analytics codes. Once you have done that, then go back to Analytics and verify that the proper coding is in place.

The bottom line

When you’re working in a small, small business (as in one person or a few), time is valuable. Is this something you should do? Absolutely! If you want to create content that appeals to the audience who visits your website, to get them engaged and talking about what you’ve done, having this kind of information is vital.

And it’s not rocket science. You can have this done within about 15 minutes and then, use all that juicy data to boost your authority in your niche and get more people to buy because if you appeal to their interests, they’ll come to know, like and trust you. So, yeah… just do it!

Pat Marcello is President and SEO Manager at MagnaSites.com, a full-service digital marketing company that serves small- to medium-sized businesses. Follow her on FacebookTwitter or Google+. Pat’s last article for SEMrush was "Google's Fetch and Render: Why It's Important."

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