9 most important metrics to measure content performance
Currently, lots and lots of brands compete for customer’s attention. With as many channels as there are today, content is key to inspire, create identification, and consequently generate engagement within the public. But what are the main metrics to measure content performance?
If you want to increase your relevance and instigate brand loyalty, improving your content is essential. The only way to know how to do it is by identifying key metrics to measure content performance.
There are many ways to look at it: you can choose to focus on analyzing engagement, company revenue, or SEO outcome, for example. For each of these “main metric areas” there are a few specific metrics to choose from. The type of content you produce also influences this choice.
We are here to help you learn what to consider in making this decision. Keep on reading and get to know more about the following topics:
- Measuring content performance
- Choosing what to measure
- traffic growth and traffic sources;
- page views;
- unique visitors;
- average time on page and pages per session;
- SERP ranking;
- watch time;
- audience retention;
- follow growth and subscribers;
- social engagement.
Measuring content performance
Conversion is the main goal of every brand and every marketing strategy. However, sometimes it is hard to link selling volume to one single piece of content — especially if you consider a marketing funnel, in which leads are nurtured for a period and through multiple platforms.
That is why content metrics should be considered when analyzing a campaign’s return on investment (ROI). The more you analyze, the better is the understanding of your ROI. Still, it is not exactly helpful to simply measure every metric available and not know what to do with them afterward.
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You want to choose appropriate metrics to the content you are producing as well as metrics that help answer if you are walking towards your marketing goal. Also, acquiring answers about your content performance allows the creation of more persona-based content, making your brand even more relevant to your audience.
Choosing the metrics to measure content performance
How do you know if your content is performing well? The first step in answering this question is identifying what “well” means to your company in this context. That is why every strategy should have well-established goals.
If you aim to engage your audience you will look into metrics such as mentions, shares, likes, and so on. If your main goal is increasing website accesses, your marketing team should focus on user behavior related metrics, such as traffic, bounce rate, unique visitors, etc.
Content-type also influences how you measure your content performance. It goes without saying but you cannot evaluate a video post the same way you do to a blog post, for example. Different content must have different metrics and we will present which to consider in each case in the following topics.
Traffic growth and traffic sources
Website traffic is an essential metric to be measured but that hardly means something when analyzed by itself. You want to look at traffic growth over time as well as traffic sources. That way, it is possible to evaluate when and possibly why your blog or website is getting more or fewer visits.
The goal is to identify what types of content generate more accesses as well as which channels bring more visits. Let’s say a Facebook campaign delivered only half of the number of clicks an email marketing campaign did. That way you know where to invest both time and money for next time!
How often a specific website page is being visited? Keeping up with this metric is important in two different contexts. The first one is when you need to compare content formats and/or content topics. You can get insights on whether a tutorial is getting more access than a testimony or if a blog post signed by your CEO is performing better than a guest post on your blog.
The second instance in which page view is relevant is when analyzing conversion rates. Something is not right if your landing page is getting lots and lots of accesses but lead capture could have been better, as well as if your “get a quote” page gets lots of visitors who do not convert.
We can say unique visitors is a complementary metric to page views. While page views account for every time a page was visited, maybe differentiating good and bad content performance, the unique visitors metric will determine the size of your audience.
How many people are your content attracting? Is this number growing over time? What are the possible causes for the curve drop or rise in this graph? These are a few questions to bear in mind when analyzing this metric.
Carrying on, it is not that relevant for your page to have multiple accesses if users do not spend the necessary time to consume the content on it. Are your visitors paying attention to your content?
Also, is your website developed, and is your content written attractively enough so they will want to continue exploring what you have to offer? “Pages per session” is the metric that evaluates how many pages are being visited during a single session on your website. It can give a good idea of how effective your website design is, as well as your link building strategy.
How close to the top is your company on Google searches? Is your business on the first page at all? SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page, the maximum goal of any SEO strategies. The first five positions are the more disputed ones and that is why you need to keep an eye on the ranking — after all, it is where you want to place your brand as well.
To do so, it is mandatory to follow best SEO practices, such as identifying keywords, developing a link building strategy, creating friendly URLs, and acquiring as many backlinks as possible.
We could not provide such a list and not talk about metrics to measure video content. Surely, this content requires a different set of metrics from those used to understand a blog performance, for example.
Whether you work with testimonial videos, tutorial videos, or animated videos, the watch time is the first metric to bear in mind since it will account for how long your video was watched.
Watch time is measured in seconds, minutes, or hours. Audience retention, on the other hand, is a ratio between the total number of viewers and the number of viewers that carried on until the video’s very last minute.
The most interesting thing about analyzing this metric is identifying the beginning of the curve drop in the audience retention to understand when (and possibly why) your audience decided to give up on your content.
Follow growth and subscribers
How many times have you heard that engagement rates matter more than the followers’ numbers? It might be true, but there’s a need to balance things out. The greater the number of followers, the greater the expectations towards engagement deliveries.
However, it might be more interesting to look at followers’ growth over time. Is your content reaching everyone it could? Are you capable of making it fresh and relevant to be shareable enough to attract new people?
Instagram’s likes counting removal was considered a bold move. The platform decided to focus more on generating conversations than presenting big numbers. That is why we present social engagement as a whole here — and not individually as likes, comments, shares, reactions, and so on.
Such metrics can easily fall into the so-called vanity metrics — the ones that exist only to make reports look pretty but that does not convey that much information on whether the performance is good or not. What you need to evaluate is if your audience is listening to you, answering you, and talking to their peers about you.
As now you know, there are multiple metrics to measure content performance. Keeping up with them is a way to identify if your goals are being achieved and if your strategy is aligned with your persona. This understanding is what allows the development of new, improved strategies towards greater conversion numbers and a better ROI.
Looking for more ways to improve your content strategy? Contact us right away and get a quote to find out how we can help your business!