Having a proactive content marketing strategy is more important than ever these days. In January 2022, Facebook eliminated thousands of targeting options for advertisers, while in February Google announced several privacy-first advertising initiatives. The digital advertising world is in a state of flux, which means redoubling and updating your content marketing efforts is an imperative strategy moving forward.
With 42.7 percent of internet users — and an astonishing 40 percent of Americans — using ad blocking software, content marketing is quickly becoming the dominant means of increasing targeted traffic. To achieve content marketing success, you must first become well-versed in analyzing granular data. So, what are some of the most important content marketing metrics you need to track? Read on to find out.
1. Traffic From the Right Sources
Simply increasing traffic won’t work. Your content marketing needs to generate the right kind of traffic. This means better understanding your traffic sources. Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to analyze your content’s traffic sources while providing invaluable insight into user behaviors and actions.
Simply access “Behavior” in Google Analytics and then click on “Overview.”From there, you’ll be able to tell which content generates the most traffic and where that traffic is coming from. You can then decide to stay the course or adjust your content marketing strategy. Validating traffic sources is critical to making sure your content is effectively reaching your intended audience.
2. Clickthrough Rates (CTR)
Traffic alone means nothing if your content’s call-to-action (CTA) isn’t converting traffic into opportunities. Your content marketing strategy should have the goal of convincing users to take action, such as downloading a free whitepaper, case study or filling out a sign-up form. It could also involve them making a purchase.
You need to define what actions you want your customers to take and ensure that your content incentivizes them to act. That involves analyzing CTR. Again, Google comes to the rescue with its free Google Search Console tool. Select the website you want to evaluate, and click on “Search Traffic” in the left-hand sidebar. Then select “Search Analytics” from the drop-down menu. When a chart appears, click the “CTR” checkbox at the very top of the page. Once there, access the “Dashboard” and then search for “Analytics.” You’ll then choose “Clicks,” “Impressions,” and “CTR.” Afterward, you’ll see which landing pages or content has the highest CTR and which content or pages need improvements.
3. Time on Page and Bounce Rates
“Time on page” and “bounce rates” are two content marketing metrics that go hand-in-hand. A high bounce rate means users are quickly abandoning your content after visiting. It could mean your chosen keywords aren’t specific enough or that you haven’t keyword-optimized your content’s meta title and meta description. Or it could mean the landing page is cumbersome and poorly structured.
The content marketing metric “time on page” can easily be misunderstood. You can have a low bounce rate and a high time on page, but what good is it if your CTR is low? This might mean you’re providing excellent content but aren’t giving your audience a reason to move forward. It could mean your call-to-action (CTA) isn’t working or that you haven’t properly conveyed your value proposition.
You can access time on page and bounce rate metrics by accessing your Google Analytics page and then clicking on “Behavior,” “Site Content,” and then “Landing Pages.” If you have a high bounce rate, then here are some things to consider:
Are you relying too much on the written word to convey your message?
Today’s audiences can have short attention spans, so it’s smart to leverage every content medium available. That means using high-definition images, vivid photos, engaging videos and eye-catching and thought-provoking infographics.
Have you limited your content marketing channels?
Your content marketing strategy must leverage multiple channels. This could include:
- Publishing a blog with consistently fresh content.
- Using social media or online forums that cater to your audience.
- Writing and distributing web copy and press releases as a continuous source of new information.
Have you adopted a complete content marketing strategy?
Competing in today’s content marketing landscape means using a content marketing calendar where you’ve properly planned publishing dates for keyword-rich content. It means leveraging your keyword strategy across all your digital channels to improve your PageRank and drive more traffic to your website.
4. Tracking Backlinks
Google has stated multiple times that backlinks play a critical role in search engine result pages (SERPs). When a company or online resource links to your content, it’s like they’re validating your content or giving you a vote of confidence. Google then sees that link as evidence that your content is valuable to other users. The more credible outside sources link to your content, the better your PageRank.
Google Search Console will provide you with data about who is linking to your content and what pages those links direct users to. This link monitoring tool allows you to analyze multiple content marketing metrics while helping you come up with a more complete link strategy.
5. Social Media Shares and Engagement
Monitoring user comments is a great way to gain insight into what your audience thinks of your content. The more comments and feedback you receive, the more engaged your audience is. It’s also a great way to repurpose content, allowing you to come at a particular topic from multiple perspectives.
If users like your content but don’t comment, then they’re often more likely to share your content. Shares spread your reach to a wider audience and provide social proof of your brand’s authority. You can easily track the number of shares through your chosen social media channel’s analytics.
Hawke Media doesn’t use a “one-size-fits-all” approach to digital marketing. Instead, our focus is to grow alongside you and use that knowledge to provide tailor-made digital marketing solutions that leverage every medium your brand needs.
If you need a partner that can help grow your brand with high-quality, search-engine-optimized content, then request a free consultation.