Optimizing content based on analytics data

Both Adobe Analytics and Google Search Console provide important data that can help improve the performance of content sets. Because they provide different types of information, they should be used together to give you complete picture of how your content set is performing.

Adobe Analytics data provides information on how your documentation set is performing in terms of page views, visits, unique visitors, rating information, and highest use pages. Generally, when working on improving content quality, you want to focus on pages that have the highest use first as your efforts will have a greater impact.

Google Search Console data provides information on how your documentation is appearing in Google searches and how easy they are to find. Keep in mind that currently, most users (about 90%) tend to come from Google (rather than another method such as bookmarking or internal search or another search engine).

Tips for SEO success

Regardless of whether you are looking at data in Adobe Analytics or Google Search Console, good search-engine optimization (SEO) is important - Without it, users cannot find your content.

There are several general best practices around SEO you should be aware of and follow:

  • Use and populate the title and description metadata at the top of each article. (seo-description and seo-title are deprecated; however, keeping these items does not harm your current SEO).
  • Ensure that your Heading 1 is meaningful.
  • Ensure that the first paragraph has important keywords in it. (Keep in mind that you may need to include terminology from deprecated names to improve Google Search results.)
  • Have descriptive names for your images (not image-1.png). Use original, good-quality (not stock photos, if possible) that load quickly. Add meaningful ALT tags.
  • Have meaningful URLs/file names. Do not use abbreviations in your URLs.
  • Add a search sitemap for your site (SSECD team can do this for you.)

See Improving search results.

Adobe SEO best practices are described here:

Adobe.com wiki page

Optimizing files for Adobe Analytics

To ensure that your content’s metrics are flowing into Adobe Analytics, you must ensure that you have certain metadata on your page. After the metadata are in place, you can analyze the Adobe Analytics data that you receive generally in the form of a monthly report or directly in Adobe Analytics.

To ensure that your pages are included in your Omega metrics suite, ensure that you have the following metadata:

  • product - This metadata is required and should be on the TOC level of your guide. Product tags are case-sensitive and must confirm to one of the product tags outlined in (need link). (You may see other metadata like products, which came from migrations. These are not used by Omega.)
  • sub-product - This metadata is optional and needs to be on the TOC level of your guide. These are determined by your team. You can then request a report to be run based on the sub-product.
NOTE

Like other metadata, the product and sub-product can be at any level. However, for consistency’s sake, it’s better to put these specific metadata at the TOC level. Although the product metadata can be at the metadata.md level, putting it with any sub-product metadata (if provided) makes it easier to find. In general the sub-product metadata lives at the TOC level since sub-products are likely based on user guides/capabilities.

See Metadata.

Viewing Adobe Analytics reports

You will receive reports via email on a monthly basis. These are primarily based on the product tag. If you need other reports, please contact the SSE team (generally Alva) for more information.

Analyzing Adobe Analytics data

More info to come

Viewing Google Search Console data

Google Search Console helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.

Because users come to the product documentation overwhelmingly to pages via Google Search (about 90%), it is important to ensure that when users search for documentation, that they can find it.

Accessing Google Search Console

To access Google Search Console, please contact the SSECD team and we can provide you with access. In addition, we’ll provide a monthly report of how your product is performing vis a vis Google search.

https://search.google.com/u/0/search-console/welcome?utm_source=about-page&pageId=none

Analyzing Google Search Console Data

After you access the Google Search Console, select the property in the left drop-down menu to see that data.

gsg-console

You have several reports available. Performance and Coverage are useful to analyze.

Performance Report

Click Open Report in Performance to see how your documentation set is performing, specifically around clicks, impressions, queries, and the average position, which are described as follows:

  • Queries: The Google Search queries that generated impressions of your website URLs in Google organic search results.

The Search Console reports in Analytics use four metrics specific to Google Web Search data:

  • Impressions: The number of times any URL from your site appeared in search results viewed by a user, not including paid Google Ads search impressions.
  • Clicks: The number of clicks on your website URLs from a Google Search results page, not including clicks on paid Google Ads search results.
  • Average Position: The average ranking of your website URLs for the query or queries. For example, if your site’s URL appeared at position 3 for one query and position 7 for another query, the average position would be 5 ((3+7)/2).
  • CTR: Click-through rate, calculated as Clicks/Impressions * 100. The general rule is that content with a high CTR is effective at grabbing a visitor’s attention, while a low CTR ad means that you may need to change something about the text to hopefully garner more clicks.

gsg-performance

When looking at the performance data, you first want to look at the data as a whole. At first glance, does anything stand out? Generally, you want to see a good click-through rate and a strong average position. The average position should be 1. If it is not, you will want to change your text in some way to improve the number.

In this documentation set, we have an average position of 31. This means that the documentation for this product is averaging the 31st result that Google finds, which will make the content difficult to find as it will not appear in the top few results that users see. We would like to improve these results.

Looking at the queries, you can see what users are searching for, which will help you in determining how to improve this page. Those top query terms should be included in the landing pages for that documentation set to improve these results. For example, you can put adobe heartbeat in the metadata (title, description) and if possible, have it appear in the first paragraph (for example, you can have the product name and then say "formerly known as ") on the landing page to improve search results. After making a change, return to the GSC after some time to see if your changes have had any impact.

Additional information available in the Performance report is what pages were viewed, what countries the people searching came from, what devices were used, and dates.

performance-options

You may notice that when you look at device use, that this documentation set has primarily desktop users. This means that although mobile design is still important, it might not be as critical to this documentation set (ie, you can have content that is wide, etc.)

performance-desktop

Coverage Report

This report tells you if any pages are excluded and if there are issues with pages being seen as valid by google (ie. if it was okay for Google to index).

If you see errors in the Coverage report, you definitely want to investigate that to ensure that Google can find your pages. Fixing this can improve your performance.

coverage

You want 0 errors when viewing the coverage report. If there are errors, you can re-submit pages that need to be indexed.

NOTE

You may get pages that are google sees as no index either because they are tagged as such (which is valid and does not throw an error) or because the google sitemap was submitted too early. (When you change index from n to y, it takes about 24 hours for those changes to be registered by google).

If you click the Valid tab, you can see how many pages are valid and what was and was not submitted.

valid coverage

Clicking on the rows further provides more information.

excluded-urls

For example, in this example, these are the pages that are being excluded from google search.

If you see errors in the Coverage report, you want to investigate that to ensure that Google can find your pages. Fixing this can improve your performance.

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