The Post Tracking and Compare reports in Content Analyzer give Content Marketers a way of measuring the success of their external content efforts.
The goal of a Content Marketing campaign is to grow the reach and exposure of a brand or website through Internet content - both on and off your domain. Quality content leads to backlinks and backlinks boost SEO, so publishing high-quality content on the Internet from your brand can lead to better SEO for your website. However, it isn’t always easy to quantify the impact of external content on your brand or website. Two of the most common forms of external content marketing are guest posting and syndication.
Guest posting a way of building links or PR by writing relevant blog posts on another website as a guest author and mentioning/linking to your website in the body of the article.
Let’s say you work for an online shoe store and you want to improve your SEO and get some good press for the site at the same time. Here’s where you could leverage guest posts by reaching out to blogs that write about fashion, sports and shoes in general and pitch article ideas to publish on their website as a guest author.
If the blog accepts your offer, it is an opportunity for you to reach a new audience with your message and leave a link back to your website or social media once in the article or in your guest author signature. The blog gets original content, and you get to reach a new audience. As long as your post is interesting to the blog’s audience, it’s a win-win type of agreement. Many SEOs have built brands and gotten much more exposure as a result of guest posting.
Syndicated content is when you take content that has been published on your website and allow an external publication to post the same article or webpage on their website. Eric Enge explains on Search Engine Land that this can help a website’s visibility grow.
Reviewing Your Articles
As you open the tool, you’ll be asked to add the URLs of the articles you want to track. After you enter the first URL and hit “Start Tracking,” you will be taken to the table. You can add up to 50 articles per group. At the top are boxes where you can add more groups (1).
Above the table, you will see the five preview metrics (URL, referral traffic, Keywords, Shares, and Backlinks) measures for the totals of your group (2). If you have one campaign with 10 articles, you can get a good overview of your campaign’s progress here. But if you want to see which individual articles are doing the best, you’ll want to filter or sort the table by each metric (3).
As you sort and filter, you’ll learn which posts are getting the most exposure on social media and which ones are bringing the most backlinks. If a post has a high number of backlinks, you can conclude that the information in your post was found helpful and relevant for other websites.
If a post has a high number of social shares, you can conclude that the site it was published on has a well-engaged audience. For this reason, take note of which sites give your content the most shares. Under “shares” you can also see your Top Contributors (4) - a list of the biggest Twitter profiles that shared or retweeted your post.
If a post from your campaign was shared by an influential Twitter account, you’ll want to keep your relationship with that publisher positive. Hopefully, they will see the value in your post for bringing mutual exposure to your websites and will be open to letting you guest post again in the future.
To compare the quality of two of your posts, navigate to the Compare tab (5).
You can add any specific keywords to your campaign by clicking on the "add keywords button" under the keywords column. You can track up to 5 keywords per article, you can also see 10 keywords that will be recommended to you that you can then choose to add.
You are able to add keywords from the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain databases. Keep in mind if you choose to change your location of keywords, all of your previous data about that article will be lost.
Clicking on the green button all the way to the right of your article will allow you to see any daily changes involving this article.
The last tab of this tool is where you’re able to compare two individual posts, two groups of posts, two resources or two authors displayed side by side in a line graph. Select the two items you want to compare in the input fields, set the time range and at the top right evaluate social engagement and backlinks between the two sides.
As you evaluate social metrics, you can choose to look at Total shares or just view shares on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn.
This function is going to help you evaluate which individual post in a campaign is performing better than others. If you’ve syndicated an article on two websites, you can measure how many social shares or backlinks the syndicated article produced. If you wrote two different guest posts supporting the same campaign, you can see which one is getting more attention on social and which one acquired more backlinks.
Comparing Groups of URLs
Comparing groups is an excellent way to compare the impact of your content marketing campaigns. If you add ten URLs from one campaign to your first group, and ten URLs from a different campaign into another group, they can be compared side by side here. From here, you can see bigger picture insights about what campaigns have brought the most value to your website over a long period of time.
Another way to use groups to analyze the success of your campaign would be to add the URLs of a competitor’s content into a group. This way, you can compare the success of your website’s campaign to the success of a competitor’s campaign.
If your campaign attracted less social shares than a competitor’s campaign, it could mean that they were being published on more popular blogs and websites. Investigate the websites that they guest posted on and read their guest posting guidelines.
Want to know which blog or publication in your campaign has been the most fruitful? Hit the “Resource” button in this report and compare how many social shares and backlinks your content has seen on each site. This report can also be used when you’re doing the initial research for your outreach.
If you identify the websites you’re considering reaching out to, you can add some URLs of their recent posts to the Content Tool as a group. Then, compare the resources from the various blogs you’re considering in your outreach to learn which ones are most likely to attract social shares and backlinks.
Last is the ability to compare the impact of posts from different authors. As you add each URL to this tool, SEMrush will identify the author and save it to your campaign. Here you can compare how posts from different authors compared.
If a competing author’s posts are getting a lot more shares and backlinks compared to your own, you may want to learn from their writing style. What do they do to engage readers? Is their tone conversational, light, or more professional? Do they use a lot of images? Do they ask questions? The more you read from well-written authors, the better your writing will become.