When it comes to content marketing, you may be surprised to know that 88 percent of B2B marketers are making use of the process every day, with another 76 percent planning to in the future.
However, not everyone employing the use of content marketing knows how to do so properly, which can mean that they are losing readers and a number of other benefits as a result. As such, there are nine metrics you need to monitor to ensure your content marketing campaign is deemed a success.
1. Social Shares
Social media is currently cementing itself as one of the main platforms in which online users communicate, so it should come as no surprise to find that keeping track of your social shares is important.
The vast majority of social media platforms will give you the required information through their built-in analytics systems, whereas other platforms may require the use of third-party tools.
Perhaps, you can look into Buffer and Brand24 as a way to monitor your social activity across all platforms. A tool like BuzzSumo can help you identify which topics and articles are being shared the most.
The number of tools available to you will depend on what you’re looking to achieve and what platforms are being used. However, you should only use a platform that you are fully comfortable with. Otherwise, you may not get the full value from the product.
For a website to have a steady influx of traffic, you need to know more about this traffic. Where is your main source of traffic? Are there improvements that could be made in relation to content marketing? Knowing where your traffic comes from, and what kind of content brings in the most views can mean that you’re able to make amendments if needed.
Again, there are a number of tools that can be employed to help you view your traffic and its sources. Google Analytics could be the optimal choice for most of you as it proves to provide the most accurate data in relation to traffic sources, user behaviour and acquisitions.
To find out which page brings the most traffic, head over to Google Analytics > Behaviour > Overview
If you’re more a seasoned blogger with a number of blogs to keep track off, then you may want to consider a third-party application.
3. Customer Retention
While it’s always nice to receive new visitors, it’s important to try and develop a relationship with readers, so you can ensure that you’re able to retain customers where possible. You can look back at returning visitors and ascertain as what kind of content is being interacted with.
This will allow you to craft a marketing campaign that is able to yield a number of benefits.
Make sure to engage with your readers on a regular basis. Whether it's enabling a comments section, asking for future blog ideas, being active on social media or accepting guest contributions.
4. CTR (Click-Through-Rate)
Although the CTR monitoring process may depend on the nature of your blog or website, the traditional way to track the correlation between impressions and the actual website clicks is to use the "Search Analytics" feature in Google Search Console.
To do that, head over to your Search Console Dashboard > Search Analytics, tick Clicks, Impressions and CTR boxes, and filter results by Pages as shown in the image below:
Then, scroll down until you see the table sorted by specific pages that received the most clicks.
It's important to write appealing meta titles & descriptions that catch the attention of the searcher.
If you’re paying for PPC marketing campaigns, CTR is one of the core elements that Google uses to assign a quality score. Hence, if people are not clicking on your ad, it can be worthwhile reviewing your ad settings, placements and targeting. According to Wordstream, an average Google Adwords CTR is 1.9%.
5. Post Engagement (Comments)
If a person leaves a comment on your post, then it’s a good chance that they’ve found it of some use. As such, it can be a good idea to monitor your comments, and look at why the comments have been made. As well as being able to remove any spammy comments, you can use the genuine remarks to craft content relative to your audience’s needs.
Regardless of what you’re told, backlinks are more important today than ever before. Even though the practice of how backlinks are achieved and validated has changed, strong backlinks will still serve you well from an SEO point-of-view. As such, you should look as to what kind of sites are linking to you, and how you can ensure that your content is worth citing in the future.
The most practical and reliable way to view your current backlinks is to head over to Google Search Console > Search Traffic > Links to Your Site
Google will show you the list of linking domains and where do those links point to on your site.
7. Time on Page
Being able to ascertain how long users spend on a certain page can help you craft your content moving forward. For example, if you have an article that doesn’t seem to gain the attention you hoped, you can look over it to see whether there is anything that can be improved upon.
Similarly, if you have a page of content that viewers stay on for some time, then it’s likely that you have some killer content on your hands, and should use this as a guideline moving forward.
Again, Google Analytics could be the best tool to determine which pages grab the most attention. To do that, go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages.
8. Bounce Rate
When you hear the term ‘bounce rate,’ it can be something of a generic term, but it actually refers to how many people navigate away from the website immediately after landing on a website, and there can be a number of different reasons for this. In some instances, it can be due to the content. Other instances can be due to the poor user experience or slow website load time. Finding out the exact cause can be a time-consuming endeavour in some regards, but it’s well worth looking into if you’re looking to reduce the exit rate.
To view the bounce rate for each of your pages, go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages.
9. Email Opt-In Rates
While e-mail subscriptions may not be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it’s still an important metric to follow. Those who have opted into a newsletter or email subscription have evidently found value in your content, and wish for more of the same. In this regard, you can use such content as a guideline for future posts.
There is a number of email marketing software providers, such as MailChimp, AWeber and Constant Contacts that can bring your email marketing & tracking efforts to the next level.
As you can see, there are a number of metrics to consider, and some may be more challenging than others. It’s also important to note that it can take time for changes to occur, so don’t ever feel like keeping track of the metrics is a waste of time. It’s simply a process that has to be followed to ensure that you’re building the right kind of foundations to rest your blog on, thus ensuring you making the right kind of impact online.