Hero, hub and hygiene content – a strategy that Google has been touting for some time with special emphasis on Youtube – doesn’t need to start and end with video. As I explored in my last post on content strategy, there’s a very valuable place for it right there behind your blog or your brand’s website, and it can be a great structure on which to hang your overall story. For those at the back, let’s begin with a recap of what the strategy is. Google present it using the example of Volvo trucks and their success with Jean Claude Van Damme, so we’ll look at that first, before exploring an area where it has been applied successfully in the past.
1. Know Your Core Values And Passions as an Organization
2. Create And Modify Your Customer Personas
4. Set Goals And Then Break Them Down
Now you will want to set your goals for the year. The best way to do this is to establish larger goals that you hope to accomplish by year end. Then, break these down into quarterly and monthly deliverables you can use to ensure that you are on track.
Let’s say that your overall goal is to increase social media engagement by ⅓. The first thing you will want to do is define what exactly you mean by social media engagement. If you don’t do this, you cannot measure your progress.
Let’s say that you define the following as acts of engagement:
- Subscribing to a blog or email list
- Commenting on content
- Sharing content
- Tagging others
You’ve decided to leave liking content off of your list because it’s too easy and doesn’t require much from the user to indicate they are interested in further engagement.
Assuming that each action carries equal weight, ie commenting on content is as valuable as sharing content, your next step is to establish a baseline. Basically, you will define where you are right now. The best way to do this is by looking at existing data.
Let’s say your analytics show that you receive on average 100 new social media followers each month. To increase that by a third, you’ll want to earn 33 more new followers each month. Of course, as you look at your analytics, you’ll want to examine possible trends. For example, did you truly receive 100 new followers each month? Or, did you receive several hundred new followers during special events or high demand seasons, and sparser numbers throughout the rest of the year?
What if data isn’t available for you? If you are too new to have enough useful data, or simply have not been collecting it, you’ll need to start in order to create your baselines. This means finding a tool to collect, store, and analyze data.
5. Decide Which Tools And Technologies You Will Use in The New Year
- Conducting A/B Testing
- Creating Interactive Content
- Getting Feedback From Customers
- Improving SEO
- Researching Topics For Blog Posts
- Tracking And Moderating Comments
- Creating Visual Content
- Publishing And Promoting Content
- Keyword Research
- Managing Communications
- Pitching to The Media
Hacking URL Goals with Virtual Pageviews
Doing this with any link is super easy. Let’s say we want to track a link to another domain and the link is so important that we want to make it a goal. We could use events to track it but we’ve decided that we want to use the goal as part of a goal funnel. Since event goals don’t allow us to do this, how can we use virtual pageviews and a URL goal?
Here’s your normal link:
Now we have to decide how we want the URL to look in our reports. We can’t get it to display as othersite.com because Google Analytics will think the URL is a part of our domain. Let’s build a URL that easily tells us that it’s a virtual pageview, what domain it’s pointing to, and what page on that domain our visitors are going to. Which gives us a URL like this:
Remember: Google Analytics drops your domain in your URLs. For this virtual pageview, Google Analytics thinks that www.yoursite.com/vpv/othersite/promotion actually exists on your domain. But we’ve tricked it.
The vpv stands for virtual pageview so we know this URL is fake, “othersite” tells us which external domain we linked to, and “promotion” clarifies which page we’ve linked to specifically. You can name your virtual pageview URLs whatever you want. But take the time to name them in such a way that you can instantly figure out what they are 6 months from now.
Now let’s use our fake URL with an onclick event and modify the original hyperlink. We’ll end up with this:
This code tells Google Analytics to register a pageview at the URL we’ve specified every time the link is clicked.
Google Actually will start using the /vpv/othersite/promotion URL which we can now use as a URL destination goal. We can even use this virtual pageview in a goal funnel which we can’t do with event goals.
You can use the virtual pageview trick for external links, file downloads, or any other element on your site.