We have witnessed and understood the statistics. We are aware of how competitors are nailing different content formats.
According to the GrowthBadger 2019 report, there are over 600 million blogs on the internet. Every business is doing content.
Content marketing is one of the most effective forms of online marketing, and it costs about60% less than outbound marketing.
Although this strategy yielded amazing outcomes for organizations like Investopedia, HubSpot, or Shopify, small businesses still grapple to overcome the fear of failure and secure some notable gains from their content strategy.
When it comes to mapping the strategy of content, someone should explore endless possibilities. From how-to posts and podcasts to interviews, trending news, and everything in between, you keep testing with every content format.
But the hard truth is – experimental marketing needs a reality check.
- Is there a method to trace how your content experiments are performing?
- Is your content-led strategy data-oriented?
- Why do particular brands prioritize one content format over the others?
- What types of content posts get you the most social and influencer engagement?
- And, how do you manage your old and outdated pieces of content?
Monitoring and analyzing the execution and efficacy of content set a difference between a mediocre and an excellent content strategy.
I’m not being defended here and asking you to take a PAUSE. I’m pointing you to just initiate analyzing the efficacy of content by investigating the appropriate marketing metrics.
Here’s a simple 4-step performance evaluation procedure to track your content marketing program, so you can rinse and repeat the exact strategy that is just producing amazing results for others.
Keep an Eye on Google Analytics: User Behavior Metrics
Number One – website traffic. This insight for your website is an inchoate pointer to how your marketing strategy is performing. If there is little to no traffic, no matter how compelling the content is, it won’t do any magic for your business. Immense web traffic is a favorable thing until and unless the traffic sources don’t contain referral SPAM.
Analyzing and measuring content’s success matters only once you start gaining active participation from the targeted audience and shoutouts from like-minded influencers. The behavior of this audience’s participation can stipulate tangible things about the efficacy and performance of your strategy.
Traffic insights, therefore, are both a measure of how currently effective your campaign is and an indication of where your campaign should grow.
At this point, you should know what to look for in Google Analytics:
- Pageviews – It shows the number of times a specific post or page has been viewed. This section enables you a clear understanding of how well a specific post has performed v/s others. You can further leverage this raw data to get a better understanding of the geographic traffic and their referral source, and the diversity of devices they used to see the website.
- Average Time on Page – It shows the average time a visitor spends on your page/post, indicating which content gets the most attention or if the visitors are just skimming. If the “time of page” is significantly lesser on specific content pieces than on other pieces, you will probably know which kinds of posts resonate with the audience more and less.
- Bounce Rate – It shows the percentage of visitors who only visited one page on your site before they bounced elsewhere. A low rate can indicate that the website content could be more engaging to readers, but also that your website could be more easily accessible as your visitors have problems navigating it.
Contemplate Visitors’ Active Engagement
I’m not sure if you noticed me calling traffic metrics inchoate earlier on, but it’s not that tricky to get people to read your content despite being low-quality. Clickbait headlines and highlighting numbers can turn a content post more enticing and capture attention at first sight.
If nobody engages with content despite having adequate page views, there’s no point make people read the content.
But user engagement acts as sure shots to gauge your content’s performance. Content engagement measurement is notable because it attests to how your content aligns with user intent.
The most critical visitor engagement metrics:
Comments – People who read your blog content feel connected to your business because they get engrossed and share their thoughts in the form of dialogue under the comment section. A blog post without user comments may indicate that your content wasn’t interesting enough, and you might need a change in subject and depth of exploration throughout the post. Though not always an eye-opening experience for all, in general, more comments mean that your content is well-received by your audience.
Even though comments are user-generated content, examine your content strategy through an SEO lens and test whether existing comments on your content fuel the discussion or they’re just SPAM.
Social Signals – Think of social signals as the feedback that you receive through social media channels. FB Likes, retweets, and reactions are subtle gestures for determining how engaged your audience is with one particular post versus others. Social signals are a very direct response to your content, and marketers seem to weigh more on it from an SEO perspective. Psychologically, people share content only when they explore something practical or interesting that evokes a high-arousal emotion, not just to themselves but also to others. They just want to spread something that they believe in.
Therefore, your content should earn social shares, which in turn breeds greater visibility, traffic, and authority for your brand.
Brand Mentions – Mentions tend to occur due to the authority and thought leadership and discursively measure your content’s status as a credible piece. Mentions in social media and other media channels portray the credibility and performance of your content.
A successful “landmark” content piece generates a discussion, and you need to track:
- Who is discussing your brand’s content?
- What’s their point of view?
- What’s the volume of mentions, and what are the sentiments?
- Which channels/websites do they use to communicate? Twitter? Quora?
Are Website’s SEO Metrics Improving?
Not all website traffic drives by social media or email marketing. What does the organic traffic chart display to you?
Organic traffic will show the number of visitors who found you through a search engine. Fewer numbers simply mean your content wasn’t optimized properly.
Although tracking organic traffic to a specific blog post is preliminary to checking the progress of Blog SEO, you’ll also need to track it through other SEO KPIs.
Keywords Rankings – Check the rankings of your post for your targeted keywords.
- How many keywords is your blog content ranking for in the Google top 10 or 20?
- How is a particular post performing compared to your competitors?
- What are the search terms drawing the impressions and clicks to an individual blog post?
- What is the average search position of a blog post for all of the keywords it’s getting impressions from?
Organic content impression and clicks are good indicators of how visible your content and brand are in SERP. As such, Google Search Console insights are the first step in analyzing the content’s efficacy.
New Backlinks – Links still have complete dominance in Google rankings factors and therefore are one of the inescapable metrics to track SEO performance.
The Outstanding content will earn very strenuous brand mentions and links marketers deem appropriate for SEO’s success. It won’t just improve your overall link profile but also boost up the organic performance and contribute to the ecosystem of healthy links.
If an SEO campaign doesn’t strike the social signals and link opportunities, it’ll simply be a waste of effort. Brawnier the inbound links are, the higher you rank.
Natural links (aka earned links) build your authority and credibility in the industry. Even though it may not influence much in the context of user engagement, the content is often used as a source and referred to within other content or posts.
Finally, the Conversion Metrics
If all of the above close checks over your content’s execution gave you a heavy dose of confidence apropos a HARD-won victory, what about leads or even direct sales?
Your content has done a particular job so far by vivifying a few people not aware of your presence by consuming knowledge from a compelling blog post.
Are you using crazy-effective call-to-action buttons?
Well, the final checkpoint to measure your content’s efficiency is to track its ability to convert visitors. Top digital marketing agency calls it content marketing conversion rate.
No matter how good your blog content is and how conveniently it draws social media shares and inbound links, it has to generate more revenue for your brand. Right?
- your content is drawing people in
- the social count is enormous
- link profile looks too authentic
But they aren’t converting at a competent rate – it explicates that your awesome content just missed a spark to effectuate the
In this case, to make the most out of your content drive, start practicing to track all the pipes down the buyer journey from awareness, solutions, purchase decision, persistence, and the complete conversion; which in turn enables you to tweak the strategy if it failed to foster more conversions in the past.
In theory, measurement makes sense only when you have finished and published a lot of content practicality – you should contemplate how decisive it can be to proper your content strategy from the immediate beginning. Understanding visitor behavior and how they consume content is no easy feat.
There is no exact formula for evaluating the content’s effectiveness except perhaps delving into actionable metrics and decoding what it brings.
Measure and analyze your content performance to magnify its impact and scale it up.