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YouTube Launches 'Search Insights' Helping Creators By Providing New Data Points

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - In The News, Video Marketing

Creators can now take advantage of YouTube’s Search insights, a new feature that offers a range of data points on what users are searching for in the YouTube app.

Having access to that data can help a lot and be used for refining your YouTube strategy!

As said in the video above, the goal of Search Insights is to improve content planning and also help you create more relevant content by having access to what YOUR audience is searching for.

Currently, it’s available for English searches only, while showing search queries from the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and India.

Read More: Google Pulling Back Ad Restrictions For YouTube

How To Access It?

To access YouTube’s Search Insights – or Research Tab -, you will need access to YouTube studio on your desktop.

If you click on Analytics, you should be able to see the Research tab across the top, on the right.

With Search Insights, you’ll learn what topics your viewers are interested in, what the overall search volumes for particular queries are, as well as how much traffic you’ve gained from each query.

Also, the platform will show a marker for ‘Content Gap’ queries, which are search terms without a high volume of results.

The goal here is to help creators focus on topics that could actually bring more views. By highlighting these queries, creators can create content that is aligned with searches that aren’t being served by videos in the app.

Furthermore, as reported by Social Media Today, there is a ‘Search Across Youtube” feature within this one, that should help you find a relevant, most searched for keyword.

So, if you were curious to find out which “how-to” query was most searched for across the platform, you can easily find out and create accordingly.

Read more: How To Boost Your Channel’s Performance?

Why Is This Important?

Just like with Google Trends and Google’s Search Console, it’s great to have a tool that will help you get more insight and relevant data about your audience. As we always say, your audience is the key and the most important thing you can have. So, it’s crucial to know what kind of content they need and are looking for.

With Search Insights, your YouTube content strategy can improve immensely – thus helping you create videos that will actually bring in the views and impressions. Give it a try!

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Forget Sticks and Stones – Words CAN Hurt You

07/13/2018

Why Weak Content is a Missed Opportunity for Business – And How You Can Strengthen Yours Strategically

As a writer, it’s frustrating to land on a webpage with weak content. Even worse is landing on a page where a content marketer obviously didn’t care. (Close behind that, we’d rank sites and articles that say things like “most unique.” Please, just… no.)  Content is the bread and butter of SEO and digital marketing. It’s how you package keywords, it’s how you frame products and services. It’s what gets attention, but it’s also how you draw attention to what you have to offer. Weak or outright bad content is a missed opportunity, one that businesses can’t afford to miss out on in an increasingly competitive digital space. Which brings us to the question: how does your content stack up?

A mustached man throws out his computer in frustration after reading something at his desk.
Dramatization of Ben’s standard reaction to weak content.
If you find yourself falling short, it’s probably time to take a step back and reassess what’s going wrong, so you can figure out how to make things right. But first…

What is “Bad” Content?

We’ll answer this question with a question of my own: what is Google Search? “A search engine,” is the obvious answer. “An information delivery system that matches users with high-quality info to address their needs, based on their query,” is essentially the same answer, but cuts closer to an actual definition. With that in mind, then, bad content is content that doesn’t adequately address a user’s needs. Bad content simply repackages what’s already available elsewhere without adding further detail or value. In fact, there’s plenty of info out there on what makes content bad and how to avoid it. There are a number of reasons for weak content, whether it’s time constraints, poor planning, or lack of insight. Sometimes, things just don’t fall into place the way you want them to! Regardless of their cause, these complaints speak to a larger issue with content: People treat content as a disposable afterthought—and that’s a serious mistake. Content is not an afterthought! You wouldn’t throw together a mediocre business plan, project, or marketing initiative, so why would you leave content planning until the very last minute?

The Most Common Complaints About Bad Content

There’s plenty to complain about when it comes to weak content:

  • No value to the reader
  • Overly self-promotional
  • Repetitive
  • Obsolete, irrelevant, or inaccurate info
  • Slow to start
  • BORING!
  • All lists, all the time
  • Repetitive
  • Misleading titles
  • Too short – 500 words or less!
  • Too long – 5,000 words that go nowhere!
  • Obviously just used for keywords
  • Dull images and design
  • Did we mention repetitive?
  • Begging for social shares

(But, if we’re being honest, all content marketers have been guilty of some of these crimes at some point!)

The number one problem facing most content creators out there is a lack of strategic planning. Why is this the case? For starters, content creation without a plan is labour-intensive, ineffectual, and often operates under the faulty assumption that you must keep going, otherwise you’ll lose all traction. Consider this, though: without a plan, you’re just spinning your tires. Creating content for the sake of creating content is doomed to fail. Developing a strategy starts with assessing your potential audience and asking a few key questions.

A man wearing suspenders and a bowtie, but no shoes, sits on a chair in the middle of a country road. He is holding a book over his head, and sheets of paper are flying about him.
This guy’s approach to content marketing leaves a lot to be desired.

Five Ws (and One H)

When you were in high school, and even in elementary school, every time your class had to study a book, you were asked some basic reading comprehension questions to help get into the story a little more and look a little deeper. Years later, these same questions became guiding principles: the Five Ws (and One H). With a few minor tweaks, these questions are just as applicable to your content marketing efforts. These six questions can help you zero in on your target market by forcing you to think about individual aspects of your content strategy and just how effective (or ineffective) they are:

WHO is your audience?

Who are you trying to reach? This can be a tough one. Using Google Analytics, however, you can drill down on your user base and determine who, exactly, is landing on your site. With a bit of careful research, it’s easy to provide some reliable demographic outlines that can be turned into buyer personas you want to target through content tailored to their needs. This also gives you a rubric to compare old content to; how does it stack up? Are there opportunities for evergreen content?

WHAT do you want them to do?

What actions do you want your users to take? Assuming you have a digital storefront, the likely answer is “Make a purchase.” However, there’s a bit more to this than that. Perhaps you’re frustrated seeing the competition outsell you in a particularly lucrative SKU that you happen to carry as well. If customers don’t know you carry it, that’s a problem, but one content marketing can help you solve. Of course, maybe your CTAs aren’t working because your content lacks authenticity or authority. In this case, expanding on thin or weak content can help drive click-thru-rates.

Sitting on a tidy desk with modern decor, a computer's screen saver reads "DO MORE."
We recommend expanding on content to support straightforward CTAs like this one.

WHERE are you trying to reach them?

Content isn’t just on your site. It includes outreach, social media marketing, and more. Maybe you’ve actually got pretty good content, but people just aren’t seeing it. Remember, if good content is going to outrank the competition, it’s got to be at least 10 times better for real organic search change. Some careful social sharing and paid social promotion, putting a budget behind your content, can get you serious traction and give it an extra little boost that’ll get it the attention it needs.

A man wearing glasses checks his watch as an article loads on his phone.
When is the best time to push out content? It depends on what you want to accomplish!

WHEN should you reach them? (or, WHEN should you post?)

There are countless blogs out there that discuss, in-depth, the best time to post a blog. While there are peak times and peak days for traffic, engagement, and backlinking (Monday at 11 AM, Saturday morning, and Monday or Tuesday evening around 7 PM, respectively), what we’re really asking here is, “When are you reaching your audience in the buyer’s journey?” If you’re only targeting the awareness stage, then you’ve likely got a ton of content geared towards customers still determining what they need. Help them find a solution with informative content. Likewise, don’t ignore the consideration stage; you’ve got the attention of these customers, now offer them meaningful solutions. Finally, the decision stage—stick the landing with compelling content that helps these users choose your business.

WHY are you trying to reach this audience?

The obvious answer is to drive business, but this question should get you thinking about opportunities to reinforce your organization’s values and mission. Remember, strong brand identity goes a long way, and by engaging your audience with meaningful content that doesn’t just meet their needs, but also reflects their values, there’s potential to create lifelong, loyal customers who serve as brand ambassadors. Why are you targeting these customers and not another demographic? What values do you share? What passions? Start thinking about what you have in common and how you can tell your story, or better yet, how you can help customers tell their own.

HOW will you do it?

This is the big one. How are you going to put it all together? Assess your business goals and Sit down and assess business goals, how your marketing efforts need to support them, and look at how your content can fit into those efforts. Where do you need traffic? What is your audience looking for? Start drafting up a plan and pulling the pieces together. Plan out how you want to use your content. That’s a lot to take in all in one go, but the good news is that developing answers to these questions will help you start to think about how your content marketing strategy will work. The good news is that you can pause your existing content strategy while you reassess. If you’re frustrated with your current content offerings, take the time to rethink what you’re doing. You don’t want your blog on indefinite hiatus, but simultaneously, weak content isn’t doing much for you other than demonstrating you have a pulse. We mentioned earlier that weak content is a missed opportunity, one businesses shouldn’t overlook. Well, here’s why:

A woman writes statistics about an upcoming content marketing campaign in her leather-bound notebook.
Understanding value, when it comes to content, can be tricky to measure, but isn’t impossible.

Understanding the Value of Content Marketing

Your content doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and if you want it to work for you, you shouldn’t treat it like it does. Understanding how your content works in the grander scheme of things can help you develop a truly fantastic, strategic approach that supports ongoing SEO and marketing plans. Not convinced? Let’s look at how, exactly, Google considers site content. Google Search maintains an index of web pages that records how these pages look, operate, and interact with each other. Google’s crawlers, automated programs that look for and scan websites, create and update the index regularly, following one link to another. These crawlers check everything from keyword usage to site freshness and update the index accordingly. This index is the basis for search results. When you enter a search query, Google immediately analyzes the terms you’ve used to try to figure out what you’re looking for. This starts with basic query matches but goes so far as to consider the context of your search, incorporating past searches and location data, if you’ve made it available. The search results you see are based on your query and whatever contextual info Google can draw from it and you. These results are Google’s best attempt to provide users with information that meets their needs. Google’s crawlers regularly check out sites in the index, but by providing updates (through blogs, updates to your pages, and so on), you’re basically giving Google a little nudge that says, “Hey, this has changed, maybe you should check it out.” Depending on the quality of your changes, you might see your ranking increase as Google re-indexes your pages. As such, Google even employs human search quality raters to provide valuable feedback on Google’s search algorithms to help ensure they’re returning high-quality results that address user needs.

Putting Content into Play Strategically

Now we know what makes bad content bad, what Google’s looking for, and how to start thinking about content marketing strategy.

Will Ferrell as George W. Bush mispronounces
Right idea, poor execution – the bane of many a content marketing strategy.
The next step is putting it into action. Here at SEO TWIST, we often start by addressing pain points for both a client and their audience. What does a business want to achieve? What are their customers looking for? By answering these questions, we can then tailor a content strategy around a company’s goals (for example, a music store looking to sell more guitars) and help develop buyer personas around customer pain points. Sticking with our example, a potential buyer persona could be a non-musical parent looking to support their child’s interests but struggling to figure out what sort of instrument to get. (Obviously, this parent should buy their child a decent entry level instrument that they won’t grow out of after six months of lessons, but we digress.) At this point, your content team would conduct some research around search terms and traffic for “best entry-level guitar” or “best guitar for beginners.” Google’s pretty handy at providing related search terms and answers to common questions, which can help you further identify the specific things users are actually searching for. Let me say that again: Google tells you what people are searching for. This is a great way to rapidly outline content that actually provides value! From there, you can build detailed FAQ pages that link out to products, blog articles that support your site’s authority by providing users valuable information and updating on-page content to help capture search traffic. From here, it’s a matter of creating a plan moving forwards, monitoring your results, and adapting as needed.

There’s Always Room for Improvement

If you’ve checked out other articles on our blog, you’ve likely read some variation on this before: your content marketing efforts aren’t fire-and-forget. You’re not working in a vacuum, and your content plans aren’t always going to work out. It’s important to keep at it until you find something that sticks, then reverse-engineer what made it work so you can try it out again. A content marketing strategy gives you a structure to work within and can help you avoid some of those most common complaints, but the real trick to creating good, valuable content is effort. One of my favourite authors did a Reddit AMA and was asked what his trick was to overcoming writing challenges and blocks. His solution? Work through it. “Quitting kills. Write!” Keep at it and keep improving. Your content will be all the better as a result, and your customers will be thanking you for it. But whatever you do, don’t stop putting in the effort! You’ve got this – and we’re here to help!

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How to Measure Content Marketing Success

05/25/2018

Key Metrics to Watch to Help You Determine Content’s Effectiveness

Content marketing works… assuming you’ve done your homework and continuously assess your results. And therein lies the challenge. Content creation is an ordeal in and of itself, to be sure, but it’s still just one aspect of your overall content strategy. Measuring your effectiveness, successes, limitations, and even failings is an absolute must, but is nonetheless challenging The good news is that measuring your effectiveness, as tough as it might be, feeds your ongoing strategy. Determining the success of a content marketing strategy can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. In a vein similar to SEO analysis, reviewing your content strategy’s effectiveness requires careful attention, testing, and incremental refinement. You’re also going to have step outside your comfort zone. Are you ready? Let’s begin!

An open notebook sits on a desk in front of a computer, next to a cup of coffee.
Is your content doing its job? Is it working for you?

Content Strategy 101

Let’s recap for a moment. Successful content strategies use data to inform content ideation and creation with the intent to generate leads, conversions, or sales. When that strategy is properly implemented, your valuable, informative content attracts visitors to your site, engaging them while promoting and building brand authority. Remember the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of your content should be informative, and 20 should promote your brand. That breakdown gives you a general idea of how users engage with search engines. In fact, we want you to rethink one assumption you’ve made about Google, Bing, and all other engines. Search engines aren’t just delivering results, they’re bringing users highly valuable information that meets their needs and answers their queries. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that diving into analytics can help get you the answers you’re looking for about your content’s performance.

What to Measure, How to Do it, and Why

Analytics allows you to measure your content strategy’s success by identifying what’s working and what isn’t. Of course, this means defining what “working” and “not working” mean for your situation. We’ve discussed the importance of SMART goals before – you need to set benchmarks that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Basically, your goals have to be, well, goals and not long-term blue-sky thinking. For example, say you run a guitar shop, and you’re not seeing a ton of traffic to your guide on replacing broken strings, despite all the effort you’ve put into creating a compelling, engaging, and fun piece of content. Your goal might be to rank this page in the top ten results on Google Search within three months. Sub-goals might include increasing conversions by 5 percent from in-content CTAs and reaching over 2,000 users via social media. These are just a few metrics you can track! Really, depending on what you want to accomplish, you can track any number of factors, including (but not limited to):

  • Lead quality
  • Sales
  • Web traffic
  • Onsite engagement

  • Social media engagement
  • SEO success
  • Exposure
  • Authority

Let’s take a closer look at these metrics, why they’re worth measuring, and how to gather data.

A black and white graph is displayed on computer screen.
SEO analysis and data analytics can be overwhelming. Take it one step at a time!

Basic Metrics – AKA Consumption Metrics

Consumption metrics measure content effectiveness by showing how many people have viewed or accessed your content. Typically, at SEO TWIST, we like to use Google Analytics, though we also employ a variety of other tools to drill deep on content, search intent, and traffic. You can use this data to optimize your content strategy and target different audiences. Below, we’ve assembled some key engagement metrics, along with tips on how you can measure them with the tools at your disposal:

Google Analytics

  • Users: The total number of unique users who have visited a specific page on your website.
  • Bounce Rate: The number of visitors who left your website after viewing one page. A high bounce rate is a sign that your website isn’t user-friendly, and your content isn’t compelling users to stick around and browse more pages.
  • Pageviews: The total number of times a specific page on your website is viewed.
  • Unique Pageviews: The combination of pageviews made by the same user during the same session. This provides insight into the total number of sessions specific pages were viewed.
  • Demographics: Demographics provide insight into your visitors’ ages, genders, and interests. This helps you see if your content is reaching your target audience.
  • Location: The geographic location of users visiting pages. This can help you create content that engages audiences from specific locations.
  • Source/Medium: The channels that directed visitors to your pages. This can help you create content to complement these channels or determine if those channels are worth pursuing.
  • Mobile: The number of users who visit your pages using their mobile devices. This provides insight into the type of content you create (i.e. long-form vs infographics, videos, or other short and easy-to-digest, mobile-friendly formats).

These metrics allow you to directly compare performance. Alternatively, using a tool like SEMrush can provide simple, straightforward segmenting via subdomains (such as /blog/ posts and so on).

E-Mail

Using your Email Service Provider, you can measure the effectiveness of your e-mail strategy, including:

  • Open Rates: How many users opened the e-mail. To boost open rates, test the effectiveness of e-mail headlines using A/B testing; and,
  • Clicks: The number of clicks and which links were clicked on in the e-mail message. This will show which posts/links are most attractive to users.

What Is Content Engagement? How Is It Measured?

Content engagement is notoriously difficult to measure. It is, after all, a term used to describe how a user interacts with your content on web pages, social media, and e-mail campaigns. If you’re just getting started with content marketing, though, it might surprise you to learn that Google Analytics tracks a wide variety of user actions, letting you measure and compare easily. (Beyond your site, Google Analytics also offers social media monitoring.) Measuring engagement provides insight into how your audience is interacting with your content and how long they are paying attention to it. Understanding engagement metrics can help you build a relationship with your audience, increasing brand authority and loyalty to your brand. Those who stick around to read an article are more likely to return than those who just read the headline and do a quick scan-through. Let’s take a closer look at our metrics here:

Google Analytics

  • Average Time on Page: This helps you find the content users are sticking around to read/engage with.
  • Pages per Session: The total number of pages an average user visits while browsing your website. This can tell you if your content answered their questions well and compelled them to keep browsing. Quality content that answers user questions and includes a compelling call-to-action on each page will boost user engagement.
  • New vs. Returning: The number of new visitors to your website compared to the number of returning visitors. This provides insight into the number of new people engaging with your content and the number of returning visitors who keep coming back for more.
  • Referral Traffic: The websites that are sharing and linking to your content, directing traffic to your pages.
  • Form Completions: Shows how many users have signed up to receive something from your brand, such as newsletters, personal responses (via “Contact Us” forms), and gated resources (i.e. ebooks). The success of this engagement is also directly correlated with effective and clear calls to action.

Social Media

  • Shares: The number of shares (retweets, repins, etc.) for your content, showing how much reach your content has, and how interesting and relevant your content is for users. This will also influence what content social media platforms choose to share with other users.
  • Comments: Since comments take more time for users to create that simply liking a post, comments are an effective measure of audience engagement. When used on social media and on your own website (i.e. with blogs), you can shape the conversation and boost user engagement with your brand.
  • Reach/Impressions: Reach is the total number of users who saw a piece of content. Impressions are the number of times your content was seen regardless of whether it was the same users or new users looking at your content. This can give you an understanding of how many people saw your content and how many people engaged with your content.
  • Follower Growth: The number of new followers. As in, those who have chosen to be exposed to your content on social media. Always account for your new audience when creating content to share.

Email

  • Subscriber Growth: The number of subscribers that have chosen to receive your e-mail content.
  • Unsubscribes/Opt-Outs: While you don’t want people to unsubscribe, the number of users who have opted out from your email content provides useful insight into user engagement and reaction to certain e-mail campaigns. Understanding what doesn’t work for you is just as important as what does, after all.
  • Forwards: These details capture what content is being shared with a “send to a friend” button and shared links embedded in your emails.

An overstuffed post office box sits open among a wall of closed boxes.
This looks like a metaphor for your audience’s inbox… Be aware of what you send out and when!

Content Distribution – How Do You Get the Message Out?

A combination of PPC ads and content marketing can be a highly effective means of distributing content to your audiences. PPC ads provide immediate exposure while quality content provides lasting results, boosting organic SEO, user engagement, and brand authority. Of course, these approaches aren’t strictly either/or. Employing both effectively, while sometimes challenging, pays off in the long term.

Is It Worth It?

Is your content strategy paying off? A successful content strategy generates leads that turn into sales. If you earn more revenue than you spend on your content marketing efforts, then it is totally worth it! Measuring content marketing ROI (return on investment) means making a comparison of the amount you spent on content marketing and the amount of revenue your business gained as a result of your content marketing efforts. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to determine whether your content marketing strategy is worth your time and investment. That said, it’s hard to argue against consistent results and a marketing strategy that relies on your existing expertise. Measuring ROI isn’t the hardest task, but it does take a critical eye and attention to detail. If you’re not happy with your content marketing efforts, though, it might be time to get some professional help to get things back on track and working for you.

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