Are your website numbers turning into a real Ebenezer Scrooge? Before your analytics start saying bah humbug maybe it’s time you were visited by the three spirits of analytics.

Ghost of Analytics Past – Google Trends

The Ghost of Christmas Past showed Scrooge how things used to be long ago. If your content marketing strategy seems to be flailing, you should use Google Trends to see the same.

You’ve probably heard of Google Trends: enter a keyword, and Google will tell you how many times it’s been searched for. But have you used it as a way to boost your own content marketing? Plug your current topics in and take a look how often people are searching for it. This will give you a broad sense of your topic’s popularity. Do people actually care about what you’re discussing? If you’re producing marketing content low in search volume, it may be a sign that it’s time re-think your content strategy. Looking at year-over-year trends can also give you an idea for seasonality and cyclicality of a topic. You could be using the right content at the wrong time.

Ghost of Analytics Present – Benchmarking

The Ghost of Christmas Present showed Scrooge how everyone else was spending their Christmas to prove that there was a lot going outside his own personal bubble. Do you know what’s going on outside of your company? How are your competitors doing? What are they doing? Google Analytics’ benchmarking feature allows you to compare your business to competitors. You can drill down to industry, region, and company size and see exactly how your numbers stack up to same-sized businesses in similar markets. By examining how other companies in your space are performing within various aspects of marketing (from social to search and beyond), you can discover where your strengths and weaknesses are and build out a stronger strategy that will put you ahead of the pack.

Ghost of Analytics Future – Watson

The Ghost of Christmas Future showed Scrooge what life would be like if he continued on the same path. But surely there is no marketing spirit who can show us what the future holds, right? Perhaps not exactly, but we’ve got the next best thing – IBM’s Watson. For a shockingly affordable price, users can access Watson’s Predictive Analysis. Watson analyzes the data you feed into it, not only identifying trends the human brain isn’t capable of seeing but providing insight and suggestions to apply to your business plan to achieve the requested results.

So there you go, three lesser-used tools. While using them may not result in a complete spiritual revitalization like Ebenezer Scrooge, they should help give you a better idea of if your content is on track, where you stand, and where you can go.