You know that content marketing is key to building brand awareness, driving conversions, and earning customer loyalty. But do you know which parts of your content strategy are working from one day to the next?
Over half of marketers cite measuring the effectiveness of their content as their biggest challenge. To find out if your content is achieving the desired results, you need to track the right key performance indicators (KPIs).
You can analyze pageviews, but this tells you more about traffic than actual engagement. There are several other KPIs that will give you a clearer picture of which content actually resonates with your audience.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the most important metrics to track. You can then create more powerful content to help you achieve your content marketing goals.
The Most Important Content Marketing KPIs
1. Time on Page
In Google Analytics, you can view “average time on page” to see how much time users spend, on average, on a particular page. If a visitor stays on a page for longer, it’s a good indication that they’re finding it interesting or useful.
Make sure you take into account how much content is on a page and the average reading rate, which is around 200 words per minute. If a page contains a 2,000 word article and a user spends one minute on the page, it’s clear they didn’t read the entire article.
2. Pages Per Session
This metric shows you how many site pages the average user views on your site in a given period. For example, if a website has 1,000 sessions and 3,500 pageviews in a certain time period, this would amount to 3.5 pages per session.
Ideally, visitors won’t just arrive on your website and then leave without visiting any other pages. If your pages per session rate decreases over time, you need to reevaluate your content quality, navigation, and calls to action.
3. Bounce Rate
Related to “time on page” and “pages per session,” the bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors that leave your site after viewing just one page. This will give you a good indication of how engaging your content is. A high bounce rate can indicate that your content isn’t meeting visitors’ needs or you’re attracting the wrong kind of web traffic.
Many factors can lead to a high bounce rate:
- Slow-loading pages.
- Weak or unclear CTAs.
- Poor website navigation.
- Your content may not align well with the keywords you’ve chosen.
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4. Scroll Depth
Scroll depth measures how much content your audience is consuming by tracking where on the page they stop reading. This can help you determine how interesting and easy to read your content is.
To measure scroll depth, you need to install the Google Analytics Scroll Depth plugin. This will then track the percentage of the page that visitors scroll to, and pixel depth.
Lead generation is closely tied to content marketing. By keeping track of how many leads you generate from content, you can see which pieces of content have a direct impact on sales.
To track lead generation, you can set up conversion goals in Google Analytics. These conversion goals allow you to measure how often visitors take a specific action on your site’s pages.
In terms of content marketing, a conversion refers to the number of visitors who find your content engaging enough to sign up to something or become paying customers.
Your main conversions to track are sales and leads. Secondary conversions include things like email subscriptions and downloads. Track all of your conversion rates by content type to determine how each area of your content marketing strategy is performing.
7. Page Speed
As well as being a search engine ranking factor, page speed is also a crucial factor in user experience. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to measure how fast your pages load on desktop and mobile devices.
8. Email Subscribers
Your email subscribers are an important part of your marketing campaigns, so it’s important to measure the growth rate of your email list over time. Email marketing tools such as MailChimp, Aweber, and Drip can help you track your list growth, as well as giving you other useful data.
9. Mobile Rankings and Search Traffic
Do you know where your organic search traffic is coming from? Is it mainly from desktop or mobile devices? With a mobile-first Google index, it’s now more important than ever to measure how your content performs in mobile search.
Google’s Search Console will show you device-specific rankings according to search query, as well as stats such as average click-through rates.
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10. Unique Visits
How many unique visitors are landing on your website? The number of unique visits to your website is a useful KPI for comparing content engagement over time.
However, it’s important to remember that a unique visit to a white paper may be more valuable to you than a unique visit to a blog post.
Another important way to measure the value of your content is to determine how much of your traffic is coming from links. Your links should be coming from relevant and quality sources, which is why black-hat SEO practices such as link building can have disastrous consequences for your business.
Be sure to track the number of visitors coming from backlinks as well as who is linking to you. You should also determine how valuable and relevant this traffic is by looking out for conversion rates, page visits, and bounce rates among referred visitors.
Google’s Search Console will show you most of your inbound links, but for more detailed analysis, use a tool like SEMrush Backlink Analytics, or Moz’s Link Explorer.
The number of social media followers you have is a good indication of brand awareness. If increasing your brand awareness is one of your primary marketing goals, make sure you track these numbers across your social channels. Follow the numbers for each channel to determine which platforms have more brand-building potential.
In a survey of nearly 400 SEO professionals, this metric was voted as the most important KPI in content marketing. Social shares are a great way to measure your content’s reach, with each share making it more likely that key influencers and prospects will see your content.
Another benefit of social shares is that they promote buzz around your content. People are more likely to assume content is worth reading when someone they know has already signed off on it.
Track the number of times people are sharing your content as well as which platforms they tend to share it on. You can also measure how many visits you get from each social network and how these visitors behave when they reach your site.
This KPI can be measured on a blog post as the number of social shares. On Twitter, it’s the amount of retweets. On Facebook and Google Plus, you can track the number of Likes or +1s per post.
14. Likes and Comments
Likes and comments are great indications that your content is having an impact on your readers. Content that’s being actively commented on attracts other readers to join the conversation and adds value for both your brand and audience.
Do you know the percentage of traffic to your website that is coming from social media? If you’re investing in social media marketing, you want to make sure that your social media campaigns are actually helping to grow your website traffic over time.
You can check the amount of traffic coming from social media with tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, or HubSpot.
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Focus on the Right KPIs
Ultimately, if you don’t pay attention to KPIs, your content is unlikely to reach its full potential, which means you’re missing out on valuable traffic, conversions, and sales.
There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of a content marketing campaign. However, content marketing success can’t be measured in one metric. To truly understand the impact of your content marketing efforts, you need to identify which metrics are most applicable to your own marketing campaigns and business goals.
Using a wide range of KPIs will give you a better picture of how users respond to and interact with your content and how it is contributing to you reaching your content goals.
The metrics outlined here will all help you determine the quality and relevance of your content, but you must decide which KPIs are important to your unique marketing goals in a given period and then react to the data accordingly.
By focusing on the right KPIs and reaching the correct conclusions, you can adjust your content strategy to match what your audience expects and needs from your business. This will ultimately make your content more successful in the long run.
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