Content marketing has become very competitive. Millions of blog posts are published every month. By 2019, the global content marketing spend per year is expected to exceed $300 billion.
There are two things you can do to stand out from all this competition. One is to analyse the content that is already out there. You can figure out the keywords most people search on search engines to find the answers they are looking for. And you can also do some social media research to learn which content gets shared more. This will help you create content that drives traffic through both search engines and social media.
Another thing you can do is dissect your own content. The data obtained from analysing your content can be implemented to make it more engaging and to optimize it to accomplish your business goals. But deciding on which metrics to analyse can be a tedious task, as there are so many of them.
To simplify this for you I have created a list of content marketing metrics to track and how to track them…
#1 Your website traffic:
We all know that traffic is an important metric in content marketing. But more than just looking at how much overall traffic you are getting, you should dive into the specifics. Check which sources are driving the highest traffic and to which pages.
You can easily execute this with an analytics tool like Google Analytics. It will show you the number of unique visits and total visits your site gets as soon as you log in to your dashboard.
But if you want more specific statistics, you should go into the ‘Acquisition’ menu.
Here you can see the channels that drove the highest traffic. You should check whether it was social media, search engines, referral, etc. You can further dive into each referral source and social source to assess the quality of the traffic.
Google Analytics also has a section for page views, where you can see which individual pages got the highest traffic and from which sources. This data can be used to optimize the pages for the sources that are already driving traffic, so you can attract even more visitors.
For example, if you are getting a good amount of SEO traffic, you can optimize your content with more relevant keywords. You can use a tool like Search Engine Console to find these keywords.
It will show you the queries people are typing in and the average position your pages appear for them. If you optimize your content with these keywords, your average position should move up.
#2 Email subscriber conversions:
Traffic is an important metric, but if you aren’t converting it, all your hard work is going to waste. So, you should use Google Analytics goals to see what percent of your traffic is converting to subscribers.
To set up a goal, go to the Admin section of Google Analytics by clicking on the ‘nut’ icon in the menu on the left.
Then click on goals.
Then click on the red ‘New Goal’ button that appears.
In the Goal setup page you are redirected to, choose your template as ‘Create an account’ under ‘Acquisition’.
After that give the goal a name, a goal slot ID and choose ‘Destination’ as type.
Then click on continue.
Next, you can add the ‘Equals to’ URL. This is the page people will be redirected to after they sign up. It is usually a ‘thank you’ page.
If you haven’t got a thank you page, create it now. Just create a simple page where you thank the person for signing up and inform them on what to expect now that they are a subscriber.
You can create a general one for all your lead magnets or create a unique one for each lead magnet.
I like to create a unique thank you page for each one as it makes it easy to analyse the conversion rates of each my lead magnets separately.
After you add the URL, verify and save it.
Your goal will be set up. You can follow this same procedure and set up different goals for your different lead magnets and newsletters.
To check how many conversions you have had, you can now go to your ‘Conversions’ section.
Here you can see the number of conversions you have had for a time period you set, the conversion rate and which goals are accomplished most often.
You can also go to the ‘Behaviour’ section and then into ‘Landing pages’ and set the conversions you want to track.
Here you will also be able to view which pages these conversions took place on even if a person signed up from a popup or sidebar form.
If you find jumping from one page to another to check different goal metrics on Google Analytics very time consuming, you can use a dashboard tool like Cyfe to simplify things.
It can be used to create a dashboard to view all your goals at once, instead of checking each goal individually.
Here’s one of my dashboards where I am tracking some of my most important goals in one place. I can easily visualize them with the graphs.
#3 Number of sales conversions
If you want to be more thorough with tracking conversions, you should also check how many sales you are generating through content marketing.
Cyfe is useful for this as well, as it integrates with sales platforms like Infusionsoft, Paypal, Quickbooks, Recurly, Stripe, and Shopify.
For example, if your eCommerce store is running on Shopify, you can use Cyfe’s mashup feature. You can mash data from your Shopify account with your Google Analytics data or directly with social media accounts like Instagram or Pinterest.
This can help you check if there is a correlation between sales and activity on certain channels.
You can also mash sales data against engagement metrics like email clicks.
#4 Number of social media shares:
You should keep track of the number of social media shares you are getting and compare it with traffic. This will help you see which of these shares are driving the highest traffic. In the future, you will be able to predict how many shares you need on average from a social network to drive a certain amount of traffic.
If you add UTM parameters to the share buttons on your site you will also be able to check how many of the shares made directly from your website are driving traffic.
To find share counts, you can use Buzzsumo. Just add your URL and it will show you how many shares all the pages on your website got on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
Compare this with the data from Google Analytics to find the relation between the number of shares and the amount of traffic.
The data can help you unearth tactics to optimize your content for more shares.
When your content gets more shares, you will notice another benefit along with traffic, an increase in social proof.
When people see that your post has been shared several times (if you display the share count) they will be more interested in reading your content. Social proof can also help you attract more backlinks.
This is why it is very important to keep track of your social shares.
#5 Content completion rate:
It is necessary to check what percentage of your posts people read. If a high number of people are completing the entire post then your content is great, but if a lot of people are leaving immediately, it indicates that you have work to do.
To check how much of your content is being read, you can use a content analytics tool like Sumo. It will show you the different levels at which people abandoned the page, how many read the entire page and what the average read is.
It also has a heat maps feature that shows you where people are clicking on the page.
This data can also be used to place opt-in forms like content upgrades in the perfect places in your content. You can also make sure scroll popup forms and sliders turn up at the right times.
#6 Bounce rate:
When a visitor visits your website and leaves immediately without going to any other page it is known as a bounce visit. If your site has a high bounce rate it shows that you are either attracting the wrong type of traffic or your content isn’t good enough. Sometimes it could also be other factors like bad design or slow loading times.
Therefore, you should keep a close eye on your bounce rate and work on reducing it. To keep track of it you can use Google Analytics. It will show you the overall bounce rate of the site and its individual pages.
Now begin tracking these metrics:
As content marketing becomes more competitive, conducting research on your competitors’ content is a great tactic. It can help you create better content in the future. But along with this, you should analyse your top performing content. This data can be used to optimize your current content and get it to work harder.
As this content is already working for you even the smallest of changes will provide big results. Therefore, follow the steps listed above and track the metrics today.
Which content marketing metrics do you track? Did I forget to list anything important? Please leave your comments below.