How to improve your copywriting skills by analysing data

how to improve your copywriting skills

Once you become a copywriter, you’re able to find work and you can enjoy a sustainable living, the emphasis switches. From now on, the priority is increasing your turnover and making as much money as possible.

But how?

Because you can’t just raise your rates whenever you feel like it.

Actually, the best way to higher profits is to simply get better at what you already do.

However, that’s easier said than done. Yet there is one way in which you can develop your copywriting skills and it’s probably going to be something of a surprise.

If you want to know how to improve your copywriting skills, you’d better get good at analysing data.

We think that the best copywriters combine creativity with cold, hard facts. That's the only way to deliver real commercial value. Even the most creative of writers need a strategy that’s based on insight.

As the saying goes:

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand opinions.”

Let me explain…

Data helps you do a number of things

In the Copywriting Success Academy, we teach 4 ways of using data to improve copywriting skills.

Data strategy 1:

We use Facebook’s audience insights to build more accurate buyer personas.

This helps us to create more impactful and meaningful copy that resonates with any given target audience.

Data strategy 2:

We use website analysis tools that are freely available on the internet to understand a company’s current audience.

This helps us better align our copy with the wider business goals of our clients.

Data strategy 3:

We use Google Analytics to understand which pieces of content perform well and why (both for our own site and for those of our clients).

This helps us to create more effective content that delivers tangible results.

Data strategy 4:

We use Google Search Console to look at previously published pieces of content to see if we can improve them.

This helps us squeeze extra value out of any old articles that we’ve written. And, of course, if you can convince a client to give you access to their Google account, you can do the same for them, too.

How to improve your copywriting skills with Google Analytics

As a taster, we’re going to reveal how we go about data strategy 3, so that you can give it a go yourself.

So, without further ado, here’s how to use Google Analytics to transform your website in just 15 minutes

Here’s the thing:

I think that there’s a high probability that you might have been put off using Google Analytics at some stage.

Or you’ve certainly got some sort of barrier anyway.

That’s understandable - there are loads of Google Analytics guides out there that make for some pretty heavy reading.

I should know - I’ve read most of them.

All they’ve done is made me feel that I need to be a tech whizz to really get the most out of it.

But that’s not true.

As it turns out, you don’t have to know how to split an atom in order to increase the ROI of your website.

Because if you know how to bypass the unnecessary features and get to the good stuff quickly, then it’s really easy to use.

It’s time for an effective Google Analytics training guide.

I run my own business and everything you’re about to read is based on stuff I’ve learned and applied.

Put simply, I can show you how to use Google Analytics and get results quickly.

In fact, you can use it to improve your website TODAY.

[In just 15 minutes, to be precise.]

So fear not, this Google Analytics article is different.

This isn’t a beginner’s post filled with basic info on how to set everything up.

Nor is it an advanced guide crammed with fancy techniques and metrics that you’ll never need.

As Robert Wilson Lynd so aptly put it:

“Knowledge is power only if man knows what facts not to bother with.”

Instead, I’ve cut out all the BS and handpicked the best things that Google Analytics has to offer.

So, why 15 minutes?

My Google Analytics tips will show you how to answer 5 key questions about your website; the sort of stuff every business needs to know.

I reckon each strategy takes just 3 minutes to master (and even less to execute in the future).

So that means you can gain all the insights into your business that you need in only 15 minutes.

The 5 questions we’re going to answer are:

  • Is my website content any good?
  • How are my customers finding me?
  • What do my visitors think of my website?
  • Who are my visitors?
  • How is my website performing?

Also, if you’re interested in this article but don’t currently have Google Analytics set up with your website, you might be wondering about the best - and easiest - way of doing that.

If that’s the case then I thoroughly recommend that you read this article.

Anyway, time to get cracking.

Open up your Google Analytics account and let me walk you through how to answer those 5 questions…

Question 1. Is my website content any good?

Most people know that real business growth is achieved through having a clever content marketing strategy.

But there’s a knack to creating content that influences, which is why very few brands succeed in this area.

No offence, but the chances are, then, that you’re currently wasting time and effort on a content strategy that’s not yielding much in the way of ROI.

Don’t worry – I had to find that out too (more on that in a moment).

But here’s the good news:

Most businesses in your market aren’t even aware that they’re making such poor use of their resources.

And you’re about to get a massive advantage.

Step 1: Click on Behaviour

Step 2: Click on Site Content

Step 3: Click on All Pages

What you’re now looking at is a list of the top 10 most-visited pages on your website.

Your home page is likely to be in there.

[In fact, frankly, it would be weird if it wasn’t.]

However, ideally, you should have loads of blog posts in there.

If you don’t then you need rethink your content strategy (particularly if you’re spending a long time blogging, marketing your content or using social media).

As I mentioned, if you don’t get nice news, then stay cool - this happened to me.

 My blog archive used to look like this:

That’s a lot of effort, right there.

A lot of research, writing, tweeting and suchlike.

 However, one day, it dawned on me that I wasn’t creating popular content. My list of most visited pages looked like this:

Up until I had written my piece on Grazia and PR (which was fairly recently) there wasn’t a blog post to be seen.

And even at this stage the Grazia post was in last place.

Pretty embarrassing eh?

And I’m a copywriter!

Anyway, seeing this prompted me to rethink my approach to content marketing and take an important first step.

I studied hard. I pretty much examined every blogging and growth hacking idea out there.

Most people have no idea whether they’re doing the right thing or not; I actually considered myself to be one of the lucky ones.

 Just one month after seeing this image and taking some action, my stats looked like this:

Not only did I have a blog post sitting proudly at the top of my most-visited pages (as it should be), but I had a post that accounted for almost a third of ALL my page views (30.38%).

 This post – my article on SEO in 2016 – has earned over 1600 shares to date:

The point isn’t to brag. It’s to show how one piece of data changed my business forever.

Question 2. How are my customers finding me?

This is a biggie. We’re now focusing on efficiency.

You might do a lot of marketing.

You might think that you have a killer SEO strategy.

You might spend loads of time on social media promoting your business.

But is anything working?

Everyone’s different. Every business is different. So wouldn’t it be worthwhile to see how your visitors are actually finding you?

This knowledge could justify your marketing approach…

… or it could make you question whether you’re using your time efficiently.

Step 1: Click on Acquisition

Step 2: Click on Overview

Welcome to enlightenment.

Use the pie chart to see whether people are finding your website through search, via social media, from a referral, or from just directly entering your URL into their browser.

Here’s my chart:

So what lessons can I learn?

Well, almost half my visitors find me from a social media platform.

And that’s good, because I actually don’t spend that much time promoting my business on social media.

My organic search stats are also quite impressive, so our SEO strategies are paying off. The bounce rate for people who find us through search is also low, which implies we’re targeting the right people.

What I do find interesting is the amount of people who are directly entering the Splash URL into their browser.

It’s fairly high, which is strange because I haven’t done that much advertising.

That’s definitely worth thinking about further.

Question 3. What do my visitors think of my website?

It’s one thing initially getting traffic to your website, but if everyone hates what you’re doing, they’re not coming back.

There are a couple of ways of finding this information out.

The first is by looking at what % of your website traffic is made up of returning visitors.

Seeing how many returning visitors you have is easy. In fact, there’s literally nothing to do - when you log in to your Google Analytics account, you’ll land on the right place to see your pie chart.

But just for the record, the process is simple:

Step 1: Click on Audience

Step 2: Click on Overview

There’s no real right or wrong answer, but clearly you’re trying to build a brand with a loyal audience base, so you’d like a decent % of return visitors.

Here’s my chart:

If all your visitors were first-time visitors, then either you have a problem with your content, your website or what you’re selling. 

It’s also possible that you might not be connecting to the right people, so look at your promotional activity.

The second way of finding out what your audience thinks of your online presence is by examining your bounce rate.

You may have heard the term before.

Bounce rate refers to the % of people who read one piece of content on your website and then immediately leave (without taking any other action).

On the surface, this might not seem important. But actually, it’s crucial.

Getting people to your website is hard, so you don’t want them to leave straight away.

Ideally, we’re talking about a visitor buying one of your products or services, but business isn’t that easy.

So at the very least, perhaps something as simple as an ebook download, a social share or a blog post comment.

Ultimately, any sort of engagement is going to be good news.

To see your bounce rates, just follow the same steps as you did to see the most visited pages on your website:

Step 1: Click on Behaviour

Step 2: Click on Site Content

Step 3: Click on All Pages

You might hear a lot of conflicting advice on what is an acceptable bounce rate and what isn’t, but the bottom line is, the lower the bounce rate the better.

 Here are the bounce rates from the most visited pages on the Splash Copywriters website.

The key thing with bounce rates is context.

So the bounce rate for my home page might seem a little high, but that’s actually incredibly good.

Even if the bounce rate for my home page was 50%, at least I could say that half my visitors have gone somewhere else.

I can actually say that 80% do.

Bounce rates do tend to be higher for pieces of content.

That’s because people have found your work and, hopefully, taken what they needed away.

But look at the bounce rate for my SEO in 2016 post.

It’s 57%.

I’m pleased with that. Some 43% of people that have read that article have gone somewhere else on my website.

At the very least, that tells me that I’ve piqued their interest.

Also, I love the fact that the bounce rate for our ‘about’ page is 0%.

Hopefully, that means that page is compelling people to get in touch with us.

Your ‘about’ page ideally needs to convey trust, integrity, authenticity and reliability.

Hypothetically, if the ‘about’ page had a bounce rate of 100%, it would imply that the copy isn’t convincing anyone.

Question 4. Who are my fans?

Do you spend money on marketing?

Of course you do.

But are you spending it wisely?

That’s the question…

Every marketer is focused on talking to their target audience, but how many actually know much about the people they’re trying to reach out to?

Do you know much about your best customers?

If you’ve collected enough data from your website, you can use Google Analytics to find out a few more things.

Step 1: Click on Audience

Step 2: Click on Demographics

Step 3: Click on Overview

And you can also drill down further and gather information about which country your visitors are from, even what their interests are.

The point is, we probably all envisage who are target audience is, whether they’re mainly male or female, how old they are and the country they live in.

But until we find out for sure, we could be completely wrong.

And that will have an impact on your marketing strategies, which will, in turn, influence your revenue.

Question 5. How is my website performing?

SEO experts don’t tend to agree on much, so when they do, their advice is probably worth listening to.

At the back end of last year, I asked 31 SEO experts what they thought were the things that we should be focusing on with SEO in 2016.

In the main, most of them all said that one of the most important ranking factors that Google will care about over the next 12 months will be the user experience of a website.

The term ‘user experience’ is quite broad.

From site navigation through to nice-looking content, there are a few aspects to it. But one such factor that contributes hugely to having a good UX is having quick loading times.

In other words, how long does it take for your website to load up.

And, once it has loaded up, how long does it take for people to hop around to the different pages.

Want to find out your stats?

Step 1: Click on Behaviour

Step 2: Click on Site Speed

Step 3: Click on Overview

For a great breakdown on how a site’s loading time can affect your profits, read this.

Are you ready to take your website to the next level?

If your business has any sort of online presence, then using Google Analytics is a must.

There’s no doubt that it can do a lot of things that I’ve mentioned here, and there are a lot of complicated guides out there.

But I hope that the above guide has shown that it’s entirely possible to get insanely valuable information about a website from just using a few aspects of Google Analytics.

By just making a few regular clicks, you can streamline your processes, get more mileage out of your various marketing campaigns, and generally just make your business more efficient.

It should be said that Google Analytics won’t give you a complete picture; you’ll still need to interpret data within a context.

But if you can play detective, think through the different questions and put the pieces of the puzzle together, you’re going to be better off than if you hadn’t.

Knowledge is power, as they say.

Would you like to learn the other 3 strategies and improve your content even more?

No probs.

In the Copywriting Success Academy, we have training videos and downloads to walk you through all our techniques. Plus, we also offer personal 1-2-1 support at no extra cost.

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