Content marketing is an excellent tactic to enhance brand awareness, establish authority, and boost revenue. But how do you know which marketing efforts are working and which are not supporting your business goals?
With companies spending an average of 26% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, your business cannot afford to waste resources on strategies that don’t move the needle.
Content marketing metrics help you evaluate the effectiveness of any content, marketing campaign, or promotion channel. However, track only the metrics that align with your needs and goals.
We recommend 3 primary sources for tracking content marketing metrics: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and your primary promotion platform.
Google Analytics is the first step in tracking metrics related to your business. It’s simple to install on your website and gives you valuable information into how your content marketing campaigns are performing.
Unique Page views
Typically, people visit several pages on a website. Google Analytics allows you to track unique visitors, sessions, page views, and unique page views.
We recommended unique page views as a benchmark to which piece of content is getting the most visits.
If you track sessions or page views, you could end up calculating repeated views of one page. In short, your page views increase if one user reloads a page or returns to a page they have already viewed.
In contrast, unique page views aggregate the views from the same visitor. For instance, a user who refreshes and views one page 20 times in one session accounts for one unique page view. Thus, you have a more accurate picture of interest per page using unique page views.
Visitors land on your website from various sources, such as search engines, social media platforms, or email newsletters, especially if you’re actively promoting your content.
Naturally, these mediums send varying amounts of traffic to your site. By measuring traffic sources, you can direct your time and focus on the mediums with the most impact.
Google Analytics categorizes default traffic sources as direct, organic search, paid search, or referral.
Direct means website visitors who typed your URL into their browser directly.
Organic search refers to visitors who found your website through a Google search where your page ranked organically.
Paid Search refers to visitors who found your website during a Google search where your page had been promoted using Google Ads.
Referral means website visitors clicked on a link on another website that directed them to your site. This can include organic social media posts.
Monitoring which traffic source is driving the most visitors, the most unique page views, and the lowest bounce rate can help you determine if certain marketing tactics are effective or not.
Bounce rate establishes the percentage of visitors who exit your website after viewing one page. Google divides the number of bounces by total visits to get your bounce rates.
A lower bounce rate indicates that your site visitors are very interested in the content of a particular page.
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool to visualize the bounce rates for individual pages and traffic sources. Although high rates are normal for new websites, sustained high bounce rates indicate a range of problems, like:
Poorly designed landing pages
Slow load times
Bad links from other sites
Managing your website bounce rate impacts your organic search engine rankings and ultimately your conversion rates.
A conversion rate indicates the percentage of users to your website who complete a desired goal. Defining a “conversion” may be different for each business.
If you’re a landscaper with an online booking tool, a customer scheduling a service appointment through that booking tool would be considered a conversion. Or if you don’t have an online booking tool, a contact form submission may be considered a conversion.
If you’re a garden center with an eCommerce shop, a customer purchasing one of your products would be considered a conversion. But if your garden center doesn’t have an eCommerce shop, you might consider a newsletter signup a conversion.
Defining what your business considers a conversion is the first step in conversion rate tracking. And conversion rates can vary by marketing campaigns.
The goal of some paid social media campaigns might be new followers; whereas others might be service appointments scheduled.
The conversion rate of a particular campaign is an important metric because it shows you how well your content is generating leads.
Low conversion rates may be an indicator of unqualified traffic. This means you may need to refine the keywords you’re trying to rank for in your SEO efforts or that you’re bidding on in your SEM campaigns.
If you’re running paid advertising on search, display, or social, low conversion rates may indicate you need to tweak your audience targeting to get more qualified traffic.
In other cases, especially if unrelated to content promotion campaigns, low conversion rates could be an indicator of bad user experience that discourages visitors from staying on your web pages. In this case, you may need to hire a professional website designer to review aesthetic and technical issues on your website.
One of the primary intentions of content creation is lead generation. Of course, marketers must show that their content marketing tactics result in lead acquisition to justify budgets.
Essentially, a lead is a customer interested in your products or services. A high number of leads indicate a significant interest in your offerings.
Varying your content format and call to action during each stage of the marketing funnel and then tracking how many leads each type of content drives can then inform where you put your budget to generate content during the next quarter.
For the awareness stage, you should create educational content, white papers, expert opinion pieces, and ebooks or guides. But you’ll want to have content created for the consideration stage too, such as comparisons, podcasts, or videos. Finally, and likely the most common to generate leads, is your decision stage content, such as case studies, product comparisons, or personal consultations.
Google Search Console
This metric determines your content’s ranking on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, it reflects how well Google thinks your content answers a customer’s search query.
Google indexes many types of content, including web pages, blog posts, images, and YouTube videos. Hence, you should optimize the content in your marketing strategy to out-rank competitors on search engines.
Webpages and blog posts should include keywords and answers to related questions in the title, content, and metadata.
Images should contain alt text descriptions that include related keywords.
Videos should have keywords and answers to related questions in their title, description, tags, and transcripts.
Keep in mind that most people don't scroll past Google's first page after typing in a search query. So, follow the best SEO practices, such as using relevant keywords, acquiring backlinks, and publishing eye-catching titles.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Marketers commonly use the Click Through Rate (CTR) to measure the success of paid search advertisements (SEM). In brief, CTR indicates the number of clicks you receive on your advertisements per number of impressions.
But this metric is also important in organic traffic, as it shows the number of users who clicked on your content after appearing in the SERP. A good CTR on a piece of content indicates a captivating title, strong keywords, and a well-optimized meta description.
Beyond SEM campaigns and organic results, measure CTR in your content promotion efforts too, such as pay-per-click (PPC) social media ads, call-to-action links in emails, and hyperlinks on landing pages.
Although follower count is important in social media, if you’re spending time promoting it, you want people to engage with your content. For instance, a brand with millions of followers but a few interactions per post has a poor social media marketing campaign. In contrast, an account with thousands of followers but hundreds of likes, shares, or retweets per post is doing something right.
Engagement rate refers to the number of actions taken per post divided by your total number of followers. When you promote a particular piece of content, track the number of engagement actions, such as social shares, comments, retweets, and likes, each piece of content gets relative to your follower count. A higher engagement rate means you post valuable content that resonates with your followers.
Email Churn Rate
This metric specifies the number of people who unsubscribe from the content you send via email. Specifically, calculate the number of subscribers you've lost in a particular duration and divide by the size of your list. Other marketers include bounces, inactive subscribers, and spam complaints to the number of lost subscribers.
A high churn rate indicates low-quality content or poor email engagement. Luckily, there are strategies to lower churn rates. But they all involve evaluating the frequency and quality of the content you’re sending.
While content marketing has become vital for outperforming competitors, you have to use it properly. One of the ways to gauge the success of your content marketing efforts is to track metrics.
However, not just any metric will do. You need the right metrics that support your business goals. Fortunately, our marketing consultants can help you improve your marketing strategy to optimize the performance of your content. Contact us today for content marketing success.