What are the key metrics used to know if your content is working?

Metrics of Content Marketing

Unlocking the Secrets of Content Performance: Traffic and Engagement Metrics Decoded

In digital marketing, we create a lot of content, and understanding how to gauge if it’s working or not can save you a lot of trouble and headaches. Content marketing is essential to any digital marketing strategy.  Today we are specifically diving deep into the analytics of content in all forms to discern what’s working and what’s not. Today, we’re dissecting content performance through the lens of traffic and engagement metrics, breaking down this complex topic into digestible.

Traffic Sources: The Gateway to Content Discovery

When analyzing content performance, categorizing metrics into two primary buckets – traffic sources and engagement metrics – offers a structured approach. Let’s delve into the three subcategories under traffic sources.
1. SEO Performance:
  • Search Console Insights: Evaluate individual blog posts or pages for traffic over the last six months. If content isn’t performing well, it’s time for a revamp.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): A vital metric under SEO in the search console. A high CTR, especially in the top 10 search results, signals to Google the content’s relevance and quality, influencing rankings.
2. Social Media Performance:
  • Analytics in G4: Track how content performs on social platforms. However, be mindful that not all social traffic is accurately captured, often falling into ‘dark social.’ You will want to look at sessions and users.
  • Trends Over Accuracy: Since social media metrics aren’t always precise, focus on identifying trends rather than seeking absolute accuracy.
3. Referral Traffic:
  • Backlinks and Guest Posts: Monitor traffic from external sites linking to your content. This includes guest blog posts and content shared on platforms like LinkedIn.
  • Email Marketing: Often overlooked, email marketing drives significant traffic to your content, and should be included under traffic sources.

Engagement Metrics: Measuring Content’s Impact

Once traffic reaches your content, the next crucial step is to evaluate engagement metrics. These metrics are pivotal in understanding how users interact with your content.
1. Social Media Engagement:
  • Engagement per post: Assess how users respond to the content shared on social channels, whether through direct links, accompanying graphics, or short-form videos.
  • Zero-Click Influence: Even if users don’t immediately click through, high engagement can lead to increased brand searches and subsequent visits.
2. Website Engagement (G4 Analytics):
  • Engagement Rate: A key metric, It measures how often your traffic is engaged as is engaged session divided by the number of users. An engagedOnce traffic reaches your content, the next crucial step is to evaluate engagement metrics. audience views more than one page, views multiple pages, or completes a conversion that you have set up. This has been especially important with Google’s recent focus on engagement over bounce rate in G4 metrics.
  • Views per user: This will give you how many pages someone views during the session of viewing this page. It would indicate if someone further explores your content.
  • Time on Page: Indicators of content’s ability to captivate and retain audience interest. The appropriate time spent can be estimated based on the average reading speed and content length.
  • Scroll Depth: Measures how much of your content users are actually consuming. This measurement tells you if someone scrolls at least 90% of the page.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA) Performance: Evaluates whether internal links and CTAs are effectively driving traffic further into the website. This can be done by creating button clicks with content.
3. Email Engagement:
  • Open rate: This metric gives you the engagement of someone clicking through from your email inbox.
  • Click-Through Rates: This metric tells you how engaged your audience is with the content in the body of your email to click through to the website.

Conclusion: A Continuous Cycle of Analysis and Improvement

Content performance isn’t a “set it and forget it” affair. It demands ongoing scrutiny and adaptation. Every few months, reassess your content based on these metrics. Revise underperforming pieces and refine your strategy based on what resonates with your audience. Remember, not every piece will be a hit, but understanding and applying these metrics can significantly enhance your content’s impact.
In our next blog post, we’ll dive deeper into the nuances of these metrics and how they align with broader SEO strategies. Stay tuned for more insights on maximizing your content’s potential!
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About the Author

Jennifer Denney

Jennifer Denney has been in digital marketing since 2006 and has seen a wealth of changing landscape in digital marketing. She has seen the rise and fall of many marketing tactics.  She is deeply rooted in understanding the metrics that showcase the value of certain types of digital marketing. She produces weekly live shows with Lorraine Ball, solocast with Elevated Marketing Chats, and conducts a weekly podcast called Elevated Marketing Dot Podcast.