Content Marketing Metrics

What are the most important content marketing metrics you should keep track of to make sure your content marketing strategy actually works? If this is a question you’ve been wondering about, we’re here to answer it. 

There are a lot of marketers who still have a hard time calculating their content marketing success metrics, so we decided to put together a whole article of the most important ones. Without further ado, here’s what you can do to measure your content marketing performance. 

Best metrics for content marketing

Web traffic by source

Site traffic is, without a doubt, one of the most important things to look out for when you look at your website data in Google Analytics. But there’s more to that besides unique visitors and hits — it’s actually a little more complicated than not. 

You have to look at the Channel report to understand how well your content is performing. Just how are people able to find you? 

Despite what some people might tell you, and by this, we mean those that think PPC and social are more important than organic search, the latter is still essential for most businesses. 

To find out how many people are able to reach your website and through which mediums, just go to Google Analytics and check out the Acquisition section. 

Impressions and click-through-rate

Besides traffic, the number of impressions you get per day, per week, or per month is also one of the most important digital content marketing metrics to check out in your Analytics account. 

But how can you tell if you are doing a good job? Well, you simply have to correlate the number of impressions with your click-through-rate. If you have a high number of impressions and a high CTR, you’re probably doing a great job. 

If, on the other hand, your impressions are through the roof, but your retention and click-through-rate is not something worth writing home about, there’s something wrong. 

It could be a technical issue, in which case people would get to your website, but it would take too much to load, and they’d go back — which would also mean a too high bounce rate, but we are going to discuss that in a section below. 

Social shares

Social media networks have become extremely important over the past decade or so, and people use them for a lot of things – to praise products and services and also complain about them. 

What’s worse about Social is that you probably aren’t going to see any particular success if you do not have a specific budget for it. These days, acquiring likes and followers on networks such as Facebook is almost impossible if you do not spend at least a low amount of money on advertising yourself. 

There are various tools out there that can help you monitor the activity of your users across several different social media platforms, and we will mention just two — Brand24 and Buffer. 

BuzzSumo is another that can come in handy as it can assist you in understanding what type of content gets shared the most. 

Read more: Social media affiliate marketing

Backlinks and authority

When you look at your content marketing analytics, you have to always keep your SEO efforts in mind. The backlinks that you acquire naturally or through various methods such as guest posts, PR, or anything else can gradually improve your rankings and, therefore, make your website gain more authority.

As much as some SEOs these days like to claim that link building is dead, the truth is that the number of links pointing to your site is still a ranking factor, and that’s not likely to change anytime in the future. 

Keyword rankings

Every month, you should have your team or yourself (if you’re working on your content marketing strategy on your own) look at the keywords you’ve ranked for and any changes thereof. 

There are a lot of tools you can use for the job and they range from one of the best out there, SEMrush, to good old Google Analytics or Google Search Console. 

The point we’re trying to make is that keeping track of the search terms you rank for, and those you want to rank for is essential — how else are people going to find you if you never manage to work toward them? 

Email opt-in rates

Email marketing remains an essential part of content marketing reporting, and for a good reason, too. If your marketing people know what they are doing, you aren’t going to see folks unsubscribing. 

There are two goals you have to always bear in mind – one of them is to attract more people and have them sign up to your newsletter, and the other is to retain as many formerly existing subscribers as possible. 

Several email marketing tools that we’ve tested and liked and that allow you to understand your analytics in an effective and convenient way are AWeber and MailChimp, but there are many more out there you can try. 

Bounce rate

As much of a genetic concept as bounce rate might seem, the truth is that it actually refers to folks that spend enough time on your website. Whether they decide to check out some other pages or they’re satisfied with the solutions they get from the posts they’ve come across, they have to spend some time on your site. 

Poor user experience and low-quality content can lead to a high bounce rate. And since you do not want people to access your website and then immediately return to Google’s search page, you have to do something about it. 

The easiest way to find out your bounce rate is to go into your Google Analytics account and click on Behavior, Site Content, and Landing Pages. This will allow you to consult the BR of each and every page you have on your site and find out which one needs to be improved. 

Post engagement 

Like the bounce rate, which we have just mentioned, you will want to look at the time users spend on your pages to try and assess how much engagement your articles are able to attract. 

The number of comments you might have received on various posts can also give you a clue as to every article’s engagement. You want to start a conversation with most of your users, whether they agree with you or not — as these signals can tell Google people are interested in your content. 

Customer retention

Getting a boatload of traffic is one thing, but lead generation and customer retention are two very different aspects you also have to consider when creating performance content. 

Look at the number of returning visitors you acquire every week or month and also check out the type of content they have interacted with the most. 

Finally, content marketing is money, so you will have to try and come up with a balance between the money you spend on your strategy and the customers you acquire on a regular basis and hopefully increase their number gradually. 

Conversions

What do people do after they’ve reached your website and read your content? How do they behave? Do they go back, check out your other posts, or do they click on some of the links you’ve included in your articles and never return?

Conversions can mean different things from one type of business to the next. For some, a simple email signup can be a conversion, but for others, an actual sale or order might mean a conversion. 

Brands can also look at conversions from a different perspective, meaning they could invest money into content marketing just to raise awareness about the company and increase authority, too. 

Cost metrics

It all comes down to the money you spend and the money you earn, so that’s why we decided to add these last two metrics to our list today. How much does it cost to have your articles written, whether by someone in-house or by a freelancer you’ve outsourced? 

Calculate all of your expenses, whether they refer to salaries, benefits, or anything else in this sense. What about getting your content distributed across several different platforms? If you’re going to use paid ads, you have to know how much you are spending on those every month, too. 

Sales metrics

How many leads have you generated? How many sales have you managed to perform during the past month? How do these numbers match with what you are spending to attract more customers? Finally, what is your revenue?

You have to come up with the answers to all of these questions to know what sticks and what doesn’t.  

Read more: What is a technical SEO consultant?

Measuring your content marketing ROI

The formula for calculating your content marketing ROI is actually pretty easy. You simply have to add all of your costs, whether they refer to content creation or distribution of your content through social media advertising, PPC, or whatever tools you might have to use, and then subtract your sales from your final value of an investment. 

Then multiply everything by 100, and you get your ROI. 

ROI = Net profit / cost of investment x 100

Read more: Content marketing packages

Content marketing objectives

This type of marketing can be extremely successful in most cases, but if you do not set clear goals from the beginning — which can be an issue for many startups — it might either take too much time for you to reach your objectives, or you might never reach them at all.

Think of how disastrous such a situation would be, especially if you manage a team of people. You’d eventually have to let some of them go if you do not reach your goals at the right time. If you have investors you have to work with, think of what complications could arise from that. 

Being a great marketer is not for everyone, so if you’ve never worked in the field before and you have no experience, but you do have the budget, bringing in the best person for the job might be the solution to all of your problems. 

Knowing your purpose

Setting realistic goals can be essential when it comes to your content marketing strategy. You could have dozens of people across the world working on getting your traffic boosted, but if you expect to have hundreds of thousands of people visiting your website without spending a cent, you’re probably in for a disappointment. 

There are so many metrics you might want to keep an eye on, especially if you don’t do well with delegating, but exposure and authority are perhaps some of the most important ones, whether you’re running an eCommerce business or something different. 

Ideal persona

An ideal buyer persona is another thing that you have to come up with even before you begin any marketing efforts whatsoever. Who’s going to buy your products? Are you a B2C or a B2B company?

What are these people’s hobbies? How do they spend their time? What devices are they more likely to use to browse the Internet and make purchases? These questions are important, so you should not ignore them. 

B2B marketing can be quite challenging as the ideal buyer personas involved in the process will often not have enough time to look for things online just for fun. You can’t expect the CEO of a company to change their software on their own — unless they’re the CEO of a startup, of course. 

Carefully consider all of these aspects before deciding to invest in a marketing strategy as that money could be used elsewhere, such as in manufacturing or improving your products or services, which could bring a lot of value to your clients/customers. 

Final thoughts

To sum up, some of the most important content marketing metrics you have to look at to understand your performance and how well your efforts are working towards reaching your goals are the following:

  • Traffic
  • SEO success
  • Exposure and authority
  • Social shares
  • Lead quality
  • Sales
  • On-site engagement 

It is worth noting that not all of them have to be analyzed every day or every week. You need to have a broad picture of what you are doing and the data in some tools might not even be updated that regularly — so we recommend closely looking at these once a month and then talking to the people on your team about what you can improve. 

Need help with your SEO or digital marketing efforts? We have lots of plans and courses available. Get in touch to find out how we can be of assistance!

 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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