Content performance data with Google+ Insights for business

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Analysing data on content performance has now become more important than the actual content itself. As marketers we need to be able to answer as many questions about our audience as possible which as of late has become a lot easier with the availability and new functionality of insight tools.

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The most recent release of such a tool is Google+ Insights. Considering the depth of Google Analytics, and how late this social platform is to provide simple analytics, we can get an insight into some top-level metrics with this tool. But more importantly, we can understand the demographic at a glance, see which content types perform better, and whether you should include a photo, video, and or link into your post.   

From this we can see that simply posting the content with a link is effective; however if a video were also in the post, the average actions should increase. 

Google+ insights - what you can learn from each section

The current release of Google+ insights contains three main sections: Visibility,Engagement, and Audience, all of which are extremely important when creating and tweaking a content strategy. Knowing this information we can easily assess what content should be distributed through which channel to have the highest return on interaction (what ROI should mean for content marketing)

Visibility

In the visibility section we have two different cards:

  • All-time Data card

  • Views Graph

The All-Time Data card allows you to see the number of cumulative views of the page and its content beginning on October 1st 2012. You can see these views broken down into photo, post and profile views. Again this allows you to understand what posts are working well, and you don’t have to wait for any data to be collected as there is already 18 months’ worth of data to pull apart, providing you’ve had Google+ for that long.

The second card, Views Graph, tracks the total number of views a Google+ page and its content has received in the last seven, 30, or 90 days. You can use the drop down menu on the graph to filter the date range or the impression type. 
Views include:

  • Photo views: Number of impressions of your Google+ photos across Google. This may include Google+, Google Search, Google Image Search, Google Maps and other properties.

  • Profile views: Number of times people saw the Google+ page for your business. View counts may not appear if there are very few views.

  • Post views: Number of times people saw your posts from the Google+ page for your business.

Engagement

This section features a detailed view of the different actions a user can perform on each post over the last seven, 30, or 90 days. You can use the drop down menu on the graph to filter the date range or the action type. Actions include:

  • +1 clicks: Number of times people clicked +1 on a Google+ page’s posts

  • Shares: Number of times people re-shared posts from a Google+ page

  • Comments: Number of times people commented on posts from a Google+ page

There is also a little area for key metrics on recent posts (Note: these are not updated in real-time and may take up to 48 hours to refresh). Clicking on a link will allow you to view how many post views, shares, +1's and comments occurred on each post. Post view numbers are only available for posts you created.

Views is the total number of views that post has received. Actions are the total number of +1’s, comments, and shares that have occurred on that post. You can view activity on your post over the first 72 hours (broken down by hour) after your post was made, as well as seven, 30, or 90 days leading up to the current time (broken down by day).
Here you can also see the average number of actions visitors took, depending on the type of content you posted so that you can track which types of content resonate with your audience. An example of this card can be seen at the beginning of this post.

Audience

The last section allows for the most insight to be gained, but there is a slight catch… you can only get this information if you have over 200 followers. This makes sense as Google wants to be sure of a representative sample, but it may also hinder the progress if you are just starting out as you will essentially be blind to what might perform best.

Here you can track the number of new followers of the local Google+ page for your business. See a breakdown of countries your total followers are visiting the page from as well as the gender breakdowns of followers in that country. 

With the availability of demographic data within other social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (if you have an advertising account), Google+ is merely playing catch-up with this release of insight - but it is much appreciated. This shift of available data has encouraged marketers to create and develop  persona profiling for their websites to specifically create targeted content. 

I would go as far as to say that persona profiling is only as helpful as how the data is interpreted. If you are looking at ways to best distribute your content I recommend using the Ripples of a popular post that is related to your industry and see who the big influencers are, and then target them. If the word Ripples is new to you then you’re in for a treat - simply click on the downward arrow on a Google+ post:

Then click view Ripples - press play and see the the virality of the post. Become familiar with who the influencers are and expand your Google+ exposure.

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