“Digital analytics” is one of those shadowy web terms that sounds intimidating. The truth is much more comfortable to the trained writer, who is taught from her first composition class to know and write to her audience.
What Digital Analytics Means
Analytics is simply the process of examining data and using that analysis to make future decisions. Digital Management Encyclopedia Ryte Wiki notes that digital analytics is a marketing practice used to determine whether audience targeting measures are performing as expected and how to change messaging to target specific groups in the future. For writers, this means that the audience can often be predicted in particular detail before the first outline is drafted.
The most challenging part of understanding digital analytics is breaking through the marketing industry-specific jargon. Nabeena Mali created an excellent guide for newcomers, explaining key acronyms like CTR (click-thru rate) and CRO (conversion rate optimization). Understanding these terms helps writers find out exactly why and where their content may be failing to execute the desired goal–whether that be sales, audience building, or inspiring action. When that information is available, writers are able to target their future writing in order to reach a better ROI (return on investment).
How to Use Analytics in Digital Publishing
An understanding of analytics is helpful to writers in any digital publishing sphere. In an interview with community manager Molly Buccini, advertising content writer John King notes that developing an understanding of analytics led him to understand “what turns an excellent blog post into a solid marketing tool.” Likewise, technical writer Robert Desprez notes that analytics is essential to technical writers so that they can find out whether their content is informing the consumer and meeting his needs. In both of these situations, the writers describe a dynamic relationship between the writer and consumer. The writer’s content is shaped by what inspires the consumer to seek them out and respond to their content.
In a sense, every writer is a copywriter in the digital age. Writers must understand digital analytics because these metrics determine any product’s success or failure on the internet. The more training in analytics that a writer has, the more prepared she will be to succeed in the competitive digital publishing sphere.
How to Get Analytics Training
The most popular analytics program on the web is Google Analytics. Google offers a comprehensive Academy for training customers to use their Analytics program, ranging from the navigation of the dashboard to maximization of program benefits. Adding Google Analytics to a website is as simple as copying and pasting some code.
Even if the analytics program a writer uses is not Google Analytics, their Academy is the most comprehensive background training available and should translate well. After completing Google Academy, a writer may choose to pursue further site-specific certifications such as Facebook Blueprint and Twitter Flight School. Each of these social platforms uses unique algorithms. Writing platform-specific content with an understanding of what those algorithms value will help a writer’s digital publishing career to flourish.