Content has always traditionally been measured with the quality and impact it has on a specific target audience. But what would you say if someone asked about the ROI on your content efforts?
Tracking the performance of your content marketing efforts is critical. Even the most seasoned marketers tend to feel the answer to this is subjective, and there are no accurate metrics to define the ROI.
Content marketing can be better tracked and leveraged if you have a clear goal and effective KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Using the right metrics will help you create a content strategy that is ideal for your business needs and empower your content team to get a realistic view of their content marketing efforts.
This blog will discuss some of the most valuable metrics that can help you track and evaluate your content’s performance.
One of the most important metrics for any content marketing strategy is the traffic that comes to the page. It enables everything that comes after it, like engagement and conversions. The website is integral for any digital marketing approach since it is where the target audience can gain maximum information on the brand or its product/services. But by itself, traffic is not an indicator of the content’s performance.
Several other boosts are required to generate traffic. SEO and social media promotion is one way to help maximize the reach and ensure a range of audiences finds your blog or website. But clear indicators of good content are the number of sessions per user and the amount of time they spend on your website. You should compare month-on-month figures to understand your progress and gauge whether your content marketing strategy is delivering the desired results.
Many brands are creating great content, but what matters is how well this content is promoted. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to ensure that the target audience finds the content you are creating. According to industry trends, only 0.78% of users click past the first page of Google. So if your website or the page doesn’t get listed in the first few results when the user is searching a term relevant to your content, there’s a considerable chunk of relevant audience missing out on your content.
Your SERP ranking or search engine results page is the ranking where your page will show up when a user searches a relevant keyword. You can test this out yourself to check if your website is being recommended when searching using the keywords you are targeting. SERP ranking will not be an instantaneous result but takes continuous effort from your content marketing and SEO team.
Alternatively, you can gauge your SEO performance by:
- Analyzing the inbound links that are coming to your page
- Understanding your Domain Authority (You can use online tools like Moz or others to check this score)
- Searching to see how well your content ranks for not just target keywords but also adding long-tail keywords
- Checking to see if your page or content is getting picked as the answer when the user asks a relevant question on Google
Content that sells is the content that gets people talking. Engagement is all about understanding how effective your content is in getting people to click on links, share the content on their social media, and more. To find out if people are engaging with your content, you can track some metrics like:
- Bounce Rate: Helps to understand the number of users coming to a particular page or the website without interacting with it. The objective is always to keep the bounce rate low and ensure the audience finds the right content and engages with it. Some strategies to do this are by using interlinking, targeted landing pages, etc.
- Session Duration: The amount of time the user spends on your website per session. The average session duration should tell you if the user is actually reading through your content or just skimming through it. The objective here is also to see if your blog or page content is just the right length.
- Social Shares: You can track the number of shares for your blog or other content on your page to determine how engaging it is. Social shares show that the content is appealing to your target audience, so they are sharing it on their social platforms. You can track this information via tools like BuzzSumo or others to identify top-performing content on your site.
- Comments: The number of comments your content pieces receive can also help you understand if it is engaging. Always add a comments section below your blog or other content pieces. This enables users to add valuable comments and appeal to other readers who may have a similar thought after reading your content.
If you have a considerable number of people visiting and spending time on your site, you are on the right track. But what else are they doing? Are they simply visiting the page and moving out, or do they click other links and fill out a form?
If the conversion ratio is low, even your most fantastic article will not help you generate leads or direct sales. To maximize conversions, the goal of your content needs to be to convince rather than sell. Also, it may have to do with the fact that your content is readily available. If you have high-performing blogs, why not create a consolidated whitepaper or gated eBook on the topic? This way, you can convince the reader through your online content and get them to sign up for receiving the detailed content in the form of an eBook for maximizing conversions.
Conversion rate can be easily calculated by understanding the number of visitors to your page vs. the number of emails or leads you generate. Track this over time to understand if your content strategy delivers the right results and the conversion rate is increasing month on month.
Returning Vs. New Users
Another metric that helps you gauge your content quality is the number of returning visitors coming to your page. Good content is like a delicious meal, and your target audience will keep coming back for more if the content appeals to them. If you always have first-time visitors coming to your website, you may need to check your content marketing approach.
Remember, the chances of conversion are incredibly high if a particular user keeps coming to your website over a first-time visitor. To maximize returning users, make sure you create content that is helpful and creates an impact instead of just promotional. The audience is more likely to trust you if you provide something of value to them.
While we have listed some of the key metrics that can help you measure the success of your content marketing, there is much more you can do. While there is no clear metric that you should aim for, depending on your marketing strategy, we suggest creating content that delivers substantial value to your target audience and compare the metrics month after month. The internet is filled with content, and a great strategy executed today will help you stand out and create exceptional results tomorrow.
So be patient and ensure you are optimizing your content marketing the right way to maximize your chances of success.