Molly Buccini

Take a look at our team’s resolutions for 2014, and you’ll notice quite a few Braftonians listed becoming Google Analytics certified as a goal for the new year.

With Brafton’s new Google Analytics pilot program officially underway for our editorial team, getting certified won’t be just a resolution for some, but an easily attainable reality for all.

Why get Google Analytics certified?

Google Analytics is one of the most common metrics platforms among Brafton clients, and its one of the tools Brafton uses to measure the success of the content we’re producing. From the most viewed content overall the top landing pages among search visitors, from the pages with the highest bounce rates to those with the best conversion rates, Google Analytics gives an overview of what’s working, and what needs improvement in client’s content strategies. And creating effective content begins with writers who understand what success looks like, and which pieces resonate with audiences.

“Analytics is enormously important for writers, as it helps us better understand what our readers like and are responding to,” Matthew said. “Essentially, Analytics is the tool we as copywriters can use to gauge the effectiveness and reach of our efforts, and I think anyone writing online should know about the basics of Google Analytics.”

At the end of 2013, Boston-based Lifestyles, Travel and Education  Section Editors Rebecca Bakken and Chicago-based Technology Section Editor Matthew Kaplan volunteered to kick off weekly training sessions to bring Brafton’s editorial department up to speed on Analytics. These trainings will empower them to make smarter editorial choices, and they’ll  prepare our writers, researchers and editors for the comprehensive, 70 question multiple-choice certification test.

liftedpurpledayHow Google Analytics marries strong copy and marketing value

Web content needs to be engaging and well written to catch a reader’s attention. But if a piece isn’t optimized for search and social users,it won’t get in front of as many online eyes as it can. At the same time, it’s important to see which pieces drive bottom-funnel results: Which web pages have the highest conversion rates? On the other hand, which have the highest drop-off rates?

For writers, having knowledge of Google Analytics and seeing results firsthand can act as a reminder of the overall goal behind the content they’re producing.

“As a writer, you’re often times you’re more focused on your craft than results,” Rebecca explained. “So, if you’re looking at Google Analytics and see something that was well written but didn’t perform as well as you would’ve liked, it reinforces the idea that we’re doing this with specific goals in mind.”

Google Analytics for all

For Brafton’s content marketing strategists and operations teams, who delve into analytics throughout their days, a firm grasp on Google Analytics is essential. Two years ago, it became mandatory that all content marketing strategists become certified, and now Editors will become part of the certification process.

Several of Brafton’s CMS have volunteered to share their knowledge during Editorial Google Analytics training sessions.

For Content Marketing Strategist Dave Juengst, helping others understand the meaning behind the metrics is important to cross-department synergy.

“There is such a vast amount of data that can be cultivated from Google Analytics that it has become a very useful tool for every department at Brafton,” Dave said. “Our writers will be able to see how the articles they write perform and will be able to make adjustments based on hard data. I am glad that we are giving people the opportunity to get some hands on experience with Google Analytics. I think it will have a great impact on the quality of the content we produce.”

“Analytics is the tool we as copywriters can use to gauge the effectiveness and reach of our efforts, and I think anyone writing online should know about the basics of Google Analytics.”

So far, more than 40 writers, editors and researchers across Brafton’s Boston and Chicago offices have expressed interest in the trainings, a figure Becky described as “a good sign.”

“It shows that our editorial team is engaged and they want to learn more,” Rebecca said.  Plus, she noted that a broader understanding of every department’s expertise results in strengthened production, and ultimately more successful results for all.