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Attribution in marketing

Imagine a scenario in which your sales jump up one month to unprecedented numbers. The business is doing well, everyone is happy, and it seems like it’s never going to end.

Next month, the numbers drop. Why? Are you doing something differently? Where can you spend money next month to get the numbers back up to where they were?

In a nutshell, this exact scenario is why the science of attribution in marketing is so important. Throwing your marketing budget around and hoping something sticks is one thing, and it’s entirely another to smartly take a look at where your money is working using advanced tools such as Google Analytics and Google Ads so you can make your money work for you in the most efficient possible way.

In the content world, attribution plays just as important of a role as it does in SEM, SEO, and social. It’s important to understand what content performs well so you can adequately update your website in a way that draws more users to where you want them to be.

Drawing The Line Between Content and Sales

Let’s say you are a car dealership and your goal is to draw customers to your online finance application--it stands to reason that anyone filling out a finance application on your website is interested in a car, and will likely lead to a sales opportunity.

Paths to the finance application on your website don’t always have to be direct. One way we like to lead users to the “money” pages is by publishing articles or blogs about topics that they have questions about. For instance, a blog about how many seats your most popular vehicle has can lead to a model-specific page, which can lead to the finance application if you internally link properly.

It’s important to do your keyword research so you know what topics people are looking for answers to. Tailoring your content to fit your clientele is the smartest (and easiest) thing you can do to boost traffic and guide customers towards the pages that directly translate to sales.

That’s Nice, But How Can I Tell What Works and What Doesn’t?

You’ve created a bunch of content for your website according to your keyword research, optimized it with SEO best practices, and everything is internally linked to guide users towards your goal page. When the traffic for the destination page (or the page that you want users to end up on) experiences a jump, you’ll want to find out which of the content you created is the one most responsible for the spike in traffic.

Google Analytics has a great feature that allows you to look at the Reverse Goal Path--in other words, select one of your goals and take a look at the path that users took to get to that page. Under “Conversions” on the left sidebar, click on “Goals” and then “Reverse Goal Path” to get there.

Google allows you to look three pages deep, which is more than you should need to draw a path from the landing page to the destination page. Using this, you can determine which piece of content or page led the most users to the destination page, and create more content like it in the future, whether it’s the topic, how it was optimized, or what the layout of the page was.

Quality, Not Quantity

The great thing about attributing content to leads is that more often than not, the content-driven leads you get are quality leads as opposed to what you might get from a blanket marketing campaign that targets everyone, regardless of whether or not they want your product or service. Optimize it and set it up for success so that when the person you’re targeting searches for information about your product, you know they are already interested in purchasing.

With creativity, research, and just a little bit of patience, you’ll be able to attribute sales directly to the content that you put on your website in no time. Remember--this is a content world and we’re just living in it, where nothing is made up and attribution definitely matters.

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Tags: attribution, content

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