Do You Know What Your Readers Want?

Reader Metrics

Developing content and building products without knowing if your customers are interested is one way to embrace frustration head-on. It also means there’s a lot of wasted time and energy.

There’s nothing wrong with going with your gut or occasionally jumping up on your soapbox to establish your insights and opinions. However, it’s always more productive if you know what your readers are embracing.

Having a “shipping” attitude is great, but flooding your market with another product or piece of information that no one wants is counter-productive.

While you could spend the bucks to define your “ideal” customer that would tell what they like on their ice cream to what magazines they read, there are a few things that you can do today to get reader insights.

How to Find Reader Intelligence

Here are a few questions that I’m asking that gives me a peek into how you are engaging with the content that I produce.

Google Analytics

  1. What keywords are people using to find my site?
  2. What content are visitors looking at week after week, month after month?
  3. How many visitors are returning visitors?
  4. How many pages do my visitors explore?
  5. How many goals are met (RSS subscribers, newsletter signup, social sharing, comments)?

Social Media

  1. How often is my content tweeted, retreated, shared on Facebook and +1 on Google?
  2. How much engagement occurs around my content on social channels (likes, comments, etc.)?
  3. What tweets of mine are being marked “Favorite?”
  4. Who’s reading, engaging and sharing my content on social networks?
  5. What time of day produces the most engagement?

With this information, I now have some basic intelligence into where I need to focus. In addition, it also tells me if there is any content that I can build out or produce a series.

If you’re using night vision, there’s nothing wrong with shooting in the dark. However, if you’re unsure of how effective you content is, this simple template can point you in the right direction.

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image credit: reway2007