Before defining your objectives and setting your content marketing metrics, you must know your brand’s higher purpose. If you don’t have a deep understanding of why your brand exists, you won’t have the tools you need to set the parameters for these metrics. The ultimate objective of brands’ content marketing is to increase their share of conversation, the percentage of mentions you get around the topic you want your brand to be associated with.
Brands heavily rely on this concept to build awareness, evaluate their position in the marketplace, and expand their audience reach. Understanding this concept forces you to think about your brand in broader terms—not just what your business does but how you can provide value to your customers.
Metrics to Measure Performance
Here are four critical marketing metrics you should track to evaluate content performance.
1. User Behavior
User behavior includes new and returning users, pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate, pages per session, and traffic sources. This metric shows you how people interact with your site. Users are the total number of people, new and returning, who visit your site during a given time. Evaluating unique users allows you to understand the scope of your audience.
You can learn which pages peak users’ interest and initially bring them to your site and which pages they engage with most. Pageviews allow you to compare how your content performs compared to your competitors. Additionally, unique pageviews show you pageviews generated by the same user during the same session.
Average time on page shows you whether users are actively reading your content or simply skimming it. This can help lend insight into what your best and worst-performing pieces of content are. You can use this data to identify areas of improvement for underperforming content, including format, length, and structure.
When a user visits your site but immediately leaves it without visiting other pages constitutes a bounce rate. A high bounce rate can be worrying, depending on the context. For an e-commerce site, a high bounce can negatively impact your business because many people visit without purchasing. However, a high bounce rate on your blog might not be of concern if you have returning users coming to your site to find specific information. The impact of bounce rate all depends on what your content goals are.
Pages per session show you how many pages a user views during a single session. This helps you evaluate if your content is organized and engaging enough for users to view other pages on your site. Additionally, traffic sources is another essential component of user behavior because it shows you which sources bring the most traffic to your website.
Engagement includes likes, shares, comments, and mentions. This metric is most important for measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and overall strategy. A share speaks more to brand engagement because someone found your content and also expanded its reach.
Comments underneath a post are even more significant because it takes more time and effort. Furthermore, mentions increase your engagement and positively impact your brand’s reputation. However, mentions are relative depending on the context and the author’s reputation.
Search engine optimization (SEO) includes organic traffic, dwell time, and keyword rankings. This metric allows you to measure the scope of your content marketing. Organic traffic shows you how many users reached your site through a search engine. Low organic search results might indicate that your content is poorly optimized or keywords are low in search volume. In this case, re-optimize those pages and update keywords to improve performance results.
Dwell time is the average time a user spends on a page before they return to search results. Low dwell time can negatively impact your search engine rankings. However, high bounce rates with decent time on page aren’t necessarily a bad thing. This might indicate that the page is still beneficial to the reader.
Keyword rankings are one of SEO’s most integral aspects: a page’s position in search results based on target query. The keywords demonstrate how well you cover the topic based on search intent. Most businesses need to target keywords with high search volume and low difficulty to increase their rankings in search engine results.
Revenue includes conversions, new and existing leads, cost per acquisition, and content marketing ROI. This metric correlates how much time, money, and resources you invested into your content marketing and the revenue you gained.
A conversion rate constitutes the percentage of users who interacted with your content and followed up with the desired action. As a result, you can analyze how effective your content marketing funnel is to see if you’re targeting your desired audience with the right content and positioning.
While generating new leads is great, nurturing your existing ones is just as important. Tracking new leads helps you evaluate the meaningfulness of your content for your audience, while accompanying existing leads with their purchase can help you assess your lead nurturing strategies and make improvements if necessary.
While you can use various marketing metrics to track content performance, these four can significantly help improve results. Understanding your brand’s higher purpose and share of conversation and leveraging that to provide valuable content to your audience will help set parameters for establishing these metrics to measure performance and improve your overall marketing strategy.