Every good marketing strategy incorporates some form of content — and thoughtful marketers always back up their content marketing strategy with targeted content marketing KPIs.
A key performance indicator functions as a compass for your content efforts. They are detailed and specific objectives that keep you focused and on track as you work toward your larger content marketing goals.
The question is, what are good KPIs in the context of content? What metrics and benchmarks should you track to see if your content is performing? Let’s consider some of the tools that you can use to measure content effectiveness and what KPIs you can set within those tools to better direct your content marketing.
There are many tools that can help measure the impact of content. The most well-known of these is Google Analytics. This is a content tool that can track various content on your website. You can see how users interact with your content, from the number of visitors to how many pages they visit and even how long they spend on those pages.
Google Search Console is another Google product that is a powerful tool in the hands of a marketer. It provides further insights into website traffic and can help with optimizing things like SERP rankings and other technical SEO decisions.
Of course, there are more tools besides Google’s admittedly impressive content-tracking software options. For instance, third-party tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz all provide their own flavor of content insights.
In addition, many marketing content platforms provide their own in-house analytics. Email platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact provide reporting analytics dashboards. These show things like open rates and click-throughs. Most social media sites have similar native analytics options, such as Facebook Pixel and Twitter Analytics.
Each of these tools helps you track and observe data. But if you want that data to be effective, you need to know what metrics are worth tracking. Let’s consider a few KPI examples that are particularly worth keeping an eye on if you want to gauge the effectiveness of your content.
There are many different content marketing metrics that you can watch when it comes to content. Each one provides a different value. For instance, tracking the amount of time a person spends on a page can help you decide if your content is answering the searcher intent of those who are finding it through the SERPs.
With that said, there are a few statistics that are particularly relevant to optimizing content performance. Here are four of the best KPIs to track content marketing success.
Your ranking in the SERPs is one of the most obvious KPIs that indicate your content is doing well. Search engine results pages are the digital equivalent of physical foot traffic. If your valuable content is tucked way down on the SERPs, it isn’t likely the consumers you created it for are going to find it.
To boost your SERP rankings and build brand awareness, you want to consider the utility and purpose of your content marketing strategy. Who is it for? How does it help them? The better you can address these factors, the more likely your content will resonate with its intended audience and the more likely they’ll be able to find it in the SERPS.
It’s a good idea to keep Google’s E-E-A-T content standards in mind when considering SERP rankings. E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. If your content satisfies the E-E-A-T standards, it’s more likely to perform well.
Showing up in the SERPs is a good start. But, as a content marketer, you also want people to click through to your website.
This generates traffic, which builds synergy across your website. The more people click through to your site, the more likely Google is to move it higher in the search rankings. This makes it more likely to generate traffic, creating a repeating cycle of benefits.
It’s important to note that we’re talking about organic traffic here. You can pay for traffic through things like pay-per-click ads, but paid campaigns are limited in scope and can be very expensive.
Quality content that answers customer pain points should generate organic website traffic all on its own. Tracking that metric ensures it is actually doing so.
It’s great for your content to show up in a search engine and even for consumers to click through. But to truly be effective, it should spark action, as well.
When consumers engage with your content, you know it’s performing. Members of your target audience are finding what they need, and it’s prompting them to interact with you and, ideally, proceed further down your sales funnel.
Engagement metrics can take many different forms and can occur both on and off of your website. Onsite engagement could be signing up for an email form or requesting a demo. Offsite engagement could be clicking through an email or commenting on a social media post.
Whatever form it takes, it’s worth tracking to see if your engaging content is resonating with its intended audience.
The most powerful KPI of all is conversion. This is when a consumer takes a specific action that you’ve defined as important.
Conversions often overlap with user engagement. However, they are also more detailed and important to your specific marketing goals.
For instance, a customer clicking through a link in an email may be engaged. But if they request a demo or sign up for a newsletter, that may be an action that you’ve identified as particularly important.
You can create conversions that are unique to your marketing needs in Google Analytics. Tracking these is a great way to gauge if your content is not just performing but doing so in the specific areas you need it to.
As you identify your target audience, create timelines, and otherwise map out your content strategy, remember to keep content metrics in mind. Partnering with the right content marketing agency can help ensure these metrics are being tracked correctly and consistently. Setting the right content KPIs gives your content marketing efforts a greater impact by ensuring that they are delivering the results that you’re looking for.
Even if they aren’t performing well, good KPIs help you identify shortcomings quickly so that you can pivot and make adjustments where necessary. They are a powerful and necessary tool for any content marketing campaign.