A Guide to Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Content Efforts
Just about everyone is aware of the importance of having high quality content featured on a corporate website. When it comes to using content for marketing, however, measuring performance is as important as being strategic about content creation.
Are your texts effective? Which metrics matter the most? Keep on reading to find out.
The Importance of Measuring Content Performance
Measuring the performance of content is the key to improving your content strategy in the future.
How do you know what your audience is looking for? Do you have any idea about the types of content capable of delivering the best results? If you’re not capable of answering these questions, you’re not making the most of your content marketing strategy.
Through effectiveness assessment, you can increase engagement, attract the right audience and ultimately – increase the number of sales generated via the marketing campaign.
By doing a bit of analysis, you can also learn a lot more about your audience and its needs. Equipped with such information, you will find it so much easier to create great content in the future and reach a big number of people.
How to Get Started with Measuring Effectiveness
The first and the most important step you will need to undertake when attempting to measure effectiveness is choosing the right metrics. The digital world allows you to track just about every aspect of your campaign. If you rely on the wrong metrics, however, you will get an awful lot of irrelevant information.
So, the most important thing you’ll need to master when trying to measure content effectiveness is choosing the right metrics. A few of the biggest essentials you may want to focus your efforts on include the following:
- Reach: how many people have seen your texts? How many of these people are unique visitors or visitors who are coming to your website for the very first time? What is the demographic profile of the audience?
- Bounce rate: the bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who leave your content after reading solely one page. A high bounce rate suggests that you haven’t managed to get the audience interested enough.
- Heat maps and click patterns: when it comes to content, it’s very important to have a good idea about how the audience “consumes” it. A heatmap shows you which part of the page gets the most attention. By utilizing such data, you can be highly strategic about the placement of important information in the future.
- Comments: reading the number of comments underneath every single piece of text you create can also give you a good idea about engagement and the interests of your audience.
- Social sharing: once again, getting a big number of Facebook likes shows that people are engaged in your content enough to share with others and do a bit of promotion instead of you.
- Mobile audience: the mobile crowd is becoming an increasingly important factor in the world of digital promotion. It’s always a good idea to learn about the percentage of people who visit your website or individual pages via a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet.
- Length and depth of visit: the amount of time people spend on your website and the average number of pages they explore are other critical content-related metrics.
Now that you’re aware of a few of the most important measures, it’s time to take a look at the best way to measure effectiveness and introduce content changes in the future.
Find Out Which Engagement Metrics Affect Your ROI
The link between engagement and return on investment is easy to understand. The more engaged your audience feels and the more time it spends on your website, the more trusting of the brand will these people become.
One of your first tasks is figuring out which engagement metrics are connected to ensuring a high ROI.
Here’s a simple example – imagine that you have long, well-researched texts on your website. You find out, however, that your audience doesn’t spend a lot of time on these texts and that most of the visitors use a mobile device to browse.
A mobile crowd is typically not included to read a very long and detailed text. These people are usually in motion or busy doing something else. As a result, they will usually skim through the text instead of dedicating a lot of time to it.
One thing you can do to boost engagement is have a summary and a call to action placed before the beginning of the article.
Once you make this change, examine the amount of time people spend on your content and the number of conversions. Chances are that you’ll see a positive change.
Always Use Segmentation
The concept of segmentation may seem a bit abstract and ambiguous at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize there’s nothing complicated about the approach.
Segmentation simply refers to going deeper in the data for the purpose of establishing highly specific trends and patterns.
You can do segmentation by dividing your audience in a few specific groups. These groups include people who have visited a specific page, people who have opted in (for example, subscribing for an email newsletter) and people who have made a purchase.
Once you segment the audience, you can do a bit of thorough analysis for each group.
Try to identify the biggest source of traffic for each group. Where did these people come from? Which landing page did they use to enter your website?
After answering those preliminary questions, you can focus on a couple of additional essentials. These may include:
- What is the demographic profile of each specific audience?
- What is the bounce rate for each segment that you’re examining?
- Are these people desktop users or a part of the mobile crowd?
- Are they new website visitors or have they been exploring your content in the past, as well?
- How many pages did they go through before opting in or becoming customers? Which pages did they go through?
Answering such questions about each specific group of website visitors can shed a lot of light on the audience’s behavior and the types of content that get people to opt in. You can come up with highly specific trends this way, which will enable you to produce even better content in the future.
Google Analytics is one of the tools that offer excellent segmentation options.
Get acquainted with the different audience specifics and goals you can set up on your own. Instead of relying on the generic reports, you can rely on the data that really matters for your business.
Choose the Right Tools and Measure Consistently
Whether you’re writing essays or producing visual content, you know that consistency is incredibly important.
The same applies to measuring the effectiveness of content. Consistency comes in the form of picking the right tools and running the analysis on a regular basis.
If you do a bit of online research, you will come across dozens of content marketing and analysis tools. Start with Google Analytics and explore other opportunities, as well. In-depth reporting and the ability to set custom goals are two of the essentials to explore.
Next, stick to consistent measuring of the right metrics that will give you a good idea about the effectiveness of your content strategy.
Setting up the analytics system and checking in every now and then isn’t going to do it. You have to be engaged with the reports. You have to monitor data on a regular basis and if you’re not getting the desired information, switch things up.
Always be consistent in terms of when you measure, what you measure and how long you collect data. If you do any alteration without reasoning, chances are that your reports will not provide the accurate data that you need.
Measuring Content Effectiveness: It’s All about Personalization
Putting together a viable content strategy isn’t sufficient when it comes to getting consistent results. You also have to assess performance and make the necessary adjustments on the go.
There’s no one size fits all solution when it comes to choosing the right metrics to track. Your website is unique. The same applies to your audience. Experimenting with metrics and reports will sooner or later give you access to the data that you need.
If things still sound a bit too abstract, focus on increasing engagement.
A highly engaged audience is the one most likely to interact with your brand and convert. Therefore, you should ask yourself a simple question – what would it take to make people spend more time exploring the website and interacting with the content?
In most cases sufficiently high content quality and relevance will do the trick. Some audiences, however, are much more discerning than others when it comes to the content that they consume. This is why you will need to do a bit of segmentation and personalization.
Being diligent will eventually pay off in the form of higher brand loyalty and a bigger number of conversions. Don’t give up and lose sight of your goal. Putting metrics to effect will take some time, which is why you have to keep up the good work by tracking the data that can lead you in the right direction.