Developing a successful content marketing strategy means constantly keeping track of crucial performance metrics and tweaking your approach accordingly. But with so many metrics to consider, it’s easy for inexperienced marketers to get completely overwhelmed by all the reports, charts, and numbers available to them.
Let’s break the information down into smaller bits. Below are the top 10 most important content marketing strategy metrics you should track to determine the success of your strategy.
Not surprisingly, traffic is the first KPI that springs to mind. After all, it is the foundation of your site’s success. But what’s even more important than the number of people looking at your content is where they come from. You want to know — Did they find your site organically, follow a link, or click on your social media post? Do your visitors prefer using a desktop computer or a mobile device?
Find out where your traffic comes from and focus your efforts on that channel. For example, if most of the traffic comes from Facebook, consider starting a social ad campaign.
With the help of Google Analytics, you can even break traffic down by individual web pages, which is essential for finding your best-performing content. Bookmark this tool because you will come back to it again and again to check your content marketing strategy metrics.
Lots of website traffic isn’t necessarily indicative of how well your content engages with your audience. But if your content was shared on social media, it means someone found your content informative, helpful, or fun.
Keeping track of your social shares helps you determine your best-engaging content and figure out which social media platform works best for your strategy.
A lot of platforms have built-in analytics, but if you want an all-in-one social activity tracking solution, you can use a tool like Brand24 or BuzzSumo.
Just like social shares, blog comments are very good engagement indicators. They are also a direct source of feedback, and a great way to find out which parts of it they liked as well as which areas could be improved on.
Communicating with your audience in the comments section can give you a whole world of insight about what kind of content they seek out, all without having to use any kind of analytics software.
Because this isn’t a numbers-based content marketing strategy metric, you will have to manually track this engagement.
Time On Page
The average amount of time spent on a page is a pretty straightforward engagement metric for your content marketing strategy. When it’s low, you’re either struggling to capture your reader’s attention, or they didn’t find what they were looking for on your page.
On the other hand, when it’s high, you’re definitely doing something right and should keep on doing it.
Depending on your content marketing strategy goals, a conversion can be any interaction between the user and your website.
Closing a sale, a click through to another one of your articles, a newsletter subscription, and a social share are all different kinds of conversions. Determine what yours should be and then track them.
Getting people to click on your content in the search results page is almost as big of a challenge as making the content engaging and informative.
If you’re running a paid advertising campaign and your click-through rate is low, it is a definite indication that you need to re-think your targeting and placements.
Google Analytics can also help you track this content marketing strategy metric.
A “bounce” happens when a user enters your page and then immediately leaves. They don’t click through to another page or interact with your site in any way. Ideally, you want users to stay on your site for long periods of time and go through multiple pages in a single session.
However, a high bounce rate doesn’t always mean something is wrong with your page. For example, it’s normal for a blog post to have a high bounce rate. People come to the post looking for specific information from their search. They skim through your content until they find it and then leave.
On the other hand, a high bounce rate for your homepage means it’s not doing a very good job of leading visitors to the rest of your pages.
To reduce bounce rates, introduce images and interactive elements to the page.
I spoke with Neal Taparia, the founder of the classic games and brain training app, Solitaired. They reduced their bounce rate by 16% simply by adding interactive solitaire games to their blog. They found that visual cues you could engage with encouraged users to stay on the page and explore the site.
New and Returning Visitors
This content marketing strategy metric is pretty self-explanatory. The ideal scenario for any website is a steady influx of new visitors as well as a smaller number of returning ones.
A limited number of returning visitors might mean that you’re not engaging with your audience enough to make them come back.
Backlinks help you get your content in front of new audiences as well as boosts your site’s domain authority and traffic.
And while the best and most effective way of obtaining backlinks is through blogger outreach, if your content is exceptionally good, other bloggers will start mentioning it and linking to it on their own.
You can track and monitor backlinks with a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs, SEMRush, or MOZ. Some of these tools that measure content marketing strategy metrics are free while others you will pay for.
Wrapping Up the Content Marketing Strategy Metrics to Track
And even though there are dozens of other content marketing strategy metrics you can track, these few are the most important.
These indicators will provide you with tons of insight on what works for your website and what doesn’t.