5 metrics that matter in measuring the return on investment of content marketing
Most marketers struggle to accurately measure the performance of their content marketing initiatives.
Not knowing which content performance metrics to track is one of the main reasons.
So what content performance metrics should you track?
The most crucial metrics for marketers, according to research, are organic traffic, leads, sessions, and conversion rates.
Want to know if your content marketing tactics are working or not?
Use the content performance metrics listed in this article to determine the success or failure of your content marketing campaigns.
But first, let’s explain why these content performance metrics are important, and why you need to pay attention to them.
Why focus on content performance metrics when tracking ROI
Calculating the return on investment (ROI) of content marketing is important in assessing whether your efforts are yielding tangible results or not.
The insights you get from analyzing your performance will help you improve the planning, creation, optimization, and promotion of your content. Content performance metrics are therefore important to identify areas for improvement and fuel your future content strategy.
However, you need to track the right content performance metrics to accurately measure your campaign’s ROI.
Wondering what content performance metrics are important for tracking ROI?
Find out in the next section.
5 of the most crucial content performance metrics to track ROI
Here are five important content performance metrics that you absolutely must follow for all of your content marketing campaigns.
1. Web traffic
Web traffic is one of the essential content performance metrics that every marketer should track. More traffic means more leads and conversions and, therefore, is important for measuring ROI.
Web traffic is a measure of your content’s ability to get people on your site to view your content, products, and services.
But how do you track this content performance metric?
Head over to your Google Analytics dashboard, then click behavior> site content> landing pages. This will give you a report on your top performing landing pages that are driving the most web traffic.
That’s not all.
Other traffic numbers to follow include:
- Origin of the traffic
- Global web traffic
- Views per page
- Unique sessions
- Average time per page
- Reference traffic
You can find all of these metrics in your Google Analytics dashboard or whatever web analytics tool you use.
With this information, you can identify the sources you are getting the most traffic from and focus on those sources for future content promotion.
2. Quality of lead
What actions do people take once they access your site?
As a crucial metric of content performance, lead quality tells you whether you’re attracting the right people to your site, or whether you’re just attracting irrelevant leads.
Ideally, those who visit your site should check out other resources, visit different pages, and take other desired actions.
If this happens, it means that your online lead generation strategies are working and you are getting quality visitors who can turn into leads.
However, if most of the people visiting your site bounce back or fail to convert, it means your content marketing efforts are attracting low quality leads. It could also mean that those you attract are not looking for your products and you need to change your strategy.
How? ‘Or’ What?
Research the needs of your ideal audience, their weak spots, and create content that meets them. When you create relevant and targeted content, you automatically start generating better quality leads. You also need to use the best lead generation software to make sure nothing escapes the funnel.
Does your content keep people on your website for a long time?
To find out, track your engagement metrics.
It’s one of the most important content performance metrics that tell you whether people who land on your site are engaging with your content or bouncing back.
If they land on one of your blog posts and leave immediately, or fail to read to the end, then you have a major problem.
On the other hand, if they read to the end, click internal links for more information, or subscribe to your newsletter, you have engaging content.
How to track engagement?
Take advantage of Google Analytics or any other web analytics platform to find metrics like:
- Rebound rate
- Average duration of sessions
- Pages per session
- Number of sessions per user
- Page depth
- Click rate
- Inbound links
Plus, take advantage of social media analytics tools to track your engagement on the platforms you use. Check comments, shares, video views, and more. Using a single social media management tool like RecurPost can help you track your end-to-end social media strategy.
Remember, people will spend more time reading, viewing, and sharing your content if what you offer is of value.
So it’s important to rethink your efforts and only work with content strategies that drive growth. They should help you attract and increase interactions with your content, generate quality leads, and increase conversions.
One of the easiest content performance metrics to track is sales.
An increase in sales, after launching a content marketing campaign, is a clear indicator that you are successfully converting prospects into customers with better relationships.
However, an increase in sales is not the only measure of conversion.
Here are some of the other conversion metrics you should follow:
- Newsletter subscription
- Number of registrations from web forms
- Trial subscriptions (for SaaS companies)
- Click rate
While increasing sales is the most important goal, there are different types of conversions your content can generate. So, track all of these content performance metrics to make sure you’re accurately measuring ROI.
5. SEO metrics
These are important content performance metrics because they track your content’s ability to rank your pages on the first page of search results.
Ideally, your website content should be SEO optimized and your web pages and blog posts should be ranked for their respective target keywords.
You will need a good SEO tool like Semrush or Moz to measure your content’s performance on SEO metrics.
Some of the things you can track are:
- Target keyword rankings
- Number and quality of backlinks
- Number of content ranked in the first 3 or 10 results of Google
- Best performing pages
- Domain authority
The better your content performs in these areas, the better it is for SEO.
For domain authority, you can take advantage of Moz’s free domain SEO analytics tool.
Enter your URL and you get results showing your domain authority, number of ranking keywords, your top linking pages, top linking domains, and more.
When it comes to inbound links, follow with backlink analysis tools like Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, etc.
Ready to track the right content performance metrics?
By tracking the right mix of content performance metrics, you can tell if the effort and resources you’ve spent produced the desired results.
These content performance metrics can help you track the effectiveness of your content and determine if it is generating a high return on investment.
Do you have more questions about identifying and measuring content performance metrics? Comment below and we’ll get back to you.
Gaurav Sharma is the founder of Attrock, a digital marketing company. He works closely with leading marketing influencers and has helped many brands, e-commerce companies, and SaaS businesses grow. He is also a certified Google Analytics and Google Adwords specialist and regularly contributes to reputable publications such as HuffPost, TechCrunch and many more.