You spend a lot of time and effort writing the most crucial piece of content for your blog. Does your job end when you hit ‘publish’?
You need content performance metrics.
Content performance metrics give you a view into what your customers like and how they engage with the piece.
Identifying and measuring the metrics is as important as writing and marketing the content.
But there’s a challenge many marketers and business owners face – Identifying the defining metrics for their content.
That’s why we’ve rounded up eight essential content performance metrics you should track.
Top Content Performance Metrics to Track
When choosing performance metrics, it is crucial to choose only valuable content performance metrics that help you bolster your marketing efforts.
Once you’ve picked your Key Performance Indicators for your content, tools like Semrush or Google Analytics can help you track these top metrics.
If you are not measuring the incoming traffic, you miss out on one of the most crucial content performance metrics.
You can have the most awesome blog post. But if people are not visiting it, it won’t drive results.
A tool like Google Analytics lets you view your traffic by day, week, and month.
Image via neilpatel.com
Other content performance metrics like engagement and conversion are also dependent on traffic. You need to measure the total unique visitors to your page.
However, checking the daily traffic alone doesn’t help you determine the performance of your content.
It’s important to understand how potential customers view your content and engage with it. Here are some of the things you might want to measure:
- New vs. returning traffic
- Sources of traffic
- Audience demographics (types of people seeing the content)
- Total unique visitors
- Page views
- Unique page views
- Devices they’re using
Further, you can break down the traffic data into geography and channels to understand your customer better.
Say, you have used the email list management to send out newsletters to your leads. You can add the tracking link to the newsletter email.
If traffic flows in from this source, you will know it. Open the audience overview to know more about the people viewing blogs or other content through email.
Sessions as a performance metric help in determining the usefulness and accessibility of your content.
Tracking sessions helps you understand if your content strategy is working or not.
For instance, if the sessions are longer and the number of pages visited is more, the users are interested in the content you have published.
They didn’t come and spend time on one piece of content alone; they tried to divide their time between several pieces of content that generated interest.
Engagement is a result of total session and average session duration.
An engaging piece that gets you a longer session is an indication that your overall content strategy has the capacity to drive engagement.
3. Average Time Spent
The average time spent on a web page, particularly the piece that the visitor has landed on, is vital to track engagement. If the time spent is higher, you know they love the piece.
If they move away from the piece immediately after clicking or reading the headline, you need to reconsider your content strategy to keep the audience hooked.
Akin to Medium, you can mention the total time that the user will take to read the post at the top.
Image via Medium
This will allow the user to decide if they want to go ahead and read it.
It will also be a great help to you. You can compare the average time spent with the time it takes to read. If it aligns, you know that customers are engaging with the piece and reading it.
In case it doesn’t, try something different to engage them. Use catchy headlines and intros or visual elements to attract attention and increase their time on page.
4. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the total percentage of readers leaving the page without visiting any other page on the site.
Here is an illustration of how bounce rate reads on the Google Analytics page.
Image via optinmonster.com
When you enter the particular page or content, you will get the bounce rate along with the average time spent and other details.
A high bounce rate on a particular piece or the blog indicates that people aren’t enjoying what you are publishing.
If you dig deeper into analytics, you will know the point where people bounce off the page.
Some of the reasons you could experience a high bounce rate include:
- The visitor has already been on your website and checked the other content
- The post failed to engage the visitor, so they left the page
- The post was not relevant to the search made by the user
- A blank page owing to technical errors
- Slow loading speed
- The content is not optimized with appropriate headers and sections
A low bounce rate is an ideal situation for every marketer. It means that people are reading and engaging with the content.
But bounce rate alone isn’t an absolute indicator of engagement or performance.
For instance, a repeat visitor could be causing the increase in bounce rate. If they have already read most of the content during past visits, they are unlikely to read it again.
In such a case, you’ll need the traffic metrics to get more accurate insights about your bounce rates.
5. SERP Ranking
SERP refers to search engine results page. Your ranking on SERPs is of utmost importance to your content marketing strategy.
A Google SERP api can help you track realtime results. Your content’s rank on the SERP for a relevant search determines whether a user would find it or not. Users ideally go for the top ranking pages as they are seen as more valuable and trustworthy.
For instance, if someone searches for “kids toys”, here are the top websites that appear on the SERP.
Image via Google
You may not show up for a particular phrase and your content may not rank for all keywords you’re targeting.
However, you can get there with time and practical search engine optimization efforts.
Factors that can help you gain a higher SERP for your content piece include:
- Optimized page speed
- Improved user experience
- On-page optimization for SEO, such as optimized title tags and meta descriptions
- Mobile-friendly content
Continually conduct A/B testing of your content to know what works with the target market and search engines.
6. Social Sharing
Social sharing is one of the top content performance metrics to determine your content’s value.
When you see something that delivers value, you automatically share it via Whatsapp, a Facebook post, or other media, right?
You want the content to reach as many people as possible.
Social sharing as a metric helps you understand how many people found your content valuable and share-worthy.
It improves readership and maximizes the reach of the content.
With time, social sharing also helps improve trust in your brand and enhances its reputation. This, eventually, can be used as social proof to market your brand better.
7. Social Media Traffic
You cannot ignore the traffic generated from your social media channels.
You will get a comprehensive view into this traffic when you add your social channels to your Google Analytics dashboard. It will show the source of traffic every time you click on the details.
However, your social media traffic doesn’t only include people who have converted from this medium; it also includes people who were reached and who liked or commented on the post.
To understand social media traffic, you should also study the data and insights given by each platform.
All the major social media platforms come with in-built analytics.
In the social media insights pages, you’ll find critical numbers, such as lifetime consumption and link clicks. You’ll get the total conversion and the retention rate of your social media followers.
Using this data, you can calculate the cost of acquiring a new lead or follower and assess if your content marketing efforts are working or not.
8. Conversion Rate
The conversion rate dictates the ultimate success of your content marketing strategy. Without measuring this metric, your data remains incomplete.
Most of your blog posts will come with a call to action.
For instance, you may want customers to subscribe to your email newsletter, download an eBook, or take a free trial of the product.
Whatever the case, if a visitor takes the definitive action, it is a proper conversion for your blog.
Conversion rate tells you how many visitors took the desired action after reading the content.
It is calculated in percentage by dividing the number of visitors who took action by the number of people who visited the blog.
You can use form builder tools to create the right opt-in forms for improving conversions.
You may be distracted by vanity metrics like Facebook Likes or even mentions. But, it is essential to focus on the vital content performance metrics.
To get the best out of your content marketing efforts, prepare a spreadsheet where you add every piece of content and the metrics you want to track.
This will help you check the numbers from the start to the end. It will also allow you to see the growth in the numbers and help you identify ways to improve your content marketing efforts.
The ultimate aim is to deliver valuable content, check how it impacts customers, and what results it achieves for your brand.