A good content marketing strategy involves three things. Research, content creation and tracking your content’s impact. While we understand the importance of the first two, it’s the third that’s often left behind.
This needs to change. After all, what’s the point in investing in good content marketing if you’re not making sure it’s working?
So in this article, I’m going to outline why you should track your content marketing, what metrics you should look out for and talk about 2 content measurement tools to help you get it done.
Why track your content’s impact?
Here’s a scenario: You’re paying someone to create content for your business’ blog, or you’re doing it yourself. You’ve invested time, money and energy into content marketing because you know about its benefits and high return on investment. However, you have no real way of knowing if all this effort is paying off.
When you include content measurement into your content marketing strategy, you’ll be able to fully track its impact on your business. After all, you wouldn’t invest in an advertisement unless you had a solid way of knowing it’s impact, right?
So with all that, let’s get a little bit more specific and look at the content marketing metrics you should be tracking.
What metrics should you be tracking?
The metrics you track should be entirely based on the goals you initially set for your content marketing. Do you want to get more email sign-ups, free trial sign-ups, purchases or simply increase the number of people visiting your site?
The success of your content is up to you, but here are a few metrics you could be tracking:
- Exposure – how many views did your content get?
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) – what position did your content land on Google? How long did you have to wait for it to happen?
- Engagement – How many comments or shares did you get? How long did they stay on the page?
- Conversion – Did your content convert into email sign-ups, purchases etc?
It’s essential to determine your metric before you start creating content (and keep it to 1 or 2). It will determine the structure, focus and goal of each piece created. Then, after the content has been published, you can start tracking it for this focused metric.
2 simple content measurement tools
With your metric in mind, it’s now time to start tracking your content’s impact with some content measurement tools. In this article, I’m going to talk about free and accessible tools. Any advanced techniques should be implemented by a content marketing professional.
Content measurement tool 1: Google Analytics
The likelihood is that you’ve already got Google Analytics set up on your site. If not, follow this link to get yourself up and ready.
Google Analytics offers a lot of tools to measure your businesses’ performance and growth online, but it can get pretty overwhelming when it comes to tracking very specific metrics.
What we want to measure are things like:
- Which type of content is most popular?
- Which content format performs best in search?
- Whether your content results in conversions
If you’re particularly Analytics savvy, then you’ll want to set up Goals to do this. Goals allow you to take things one step further from the basic Google Analytics tracking and get some detailed information on how your content marketing is doing.
However, on this occasion, let’s keep things simple. Google Analytics is pretty advanced, so when it comes to finding answers, you can simply type your question in the search bar.
Questions to ask Google Analytics
Analytics Intelligence gives you quick answers to specific questions, so you don’t have to waste time digging around in your data to find them. It’s not a long-term solution unless you like inputting this data into a table each month, but it works if you’re a beginner.
So, with this in mind, what are some of the most important questions you can ask for each of the metrics we talked about earlier?
- What are my top pages in terms of pageviews?
- Which URL got the most pageviews this month?
Metric: Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- What percentage of my users came from organic search in the last 30 days?
- What Medium had the most growth in Users
- Show me a trend of Users for organic over the last 90 days
- Show me a trend of my bounce rate over the last month
- What pages do people spend the most time on?
- Highest landing page average load times
- What are my top landing pages by revenue?
- Percent of Revenue by Landing Page
In most cases, you can view full reports for all of these and delve deeper from there. Use these as a basis for finding the right information you need to track your content marketing.
Content measurement tool 2: Google Search Console
If you’ve got Google Analytics set up, then you’ve likely got Google Search Console too. If not, follow this guide to get it up and running.
Search Console can show you a more in-depth look at the position and performance of your site’s content. To determine how individual pieces of content are doing in Google search results, do the following:
- Log into Google Search Console and click Performance in the left-hand menu
- Scroll down and click the Pages tab
- Select the piece of content you want to measure
Here you’ll be able to see the total times someone saw your listing in a Google search result (impressions), how many clickthroughs you got and your average position on Google.
Now that you’ve selected a piece of content to view, you can then delve a little deeper to see what keywords people are searching for. Just click the Queries tab below.
These insights should give you a good idea of how your content is performing and if you’re hitting the right keywords.
Tracking your content marketing’s performance is an integral part of making sure your investment is worth it. The content measurement tools I’ve suggested may not go into the same level of detail and reporting as other paid-for tools, but they certainly do the job.
If you’ve read this article and have decided that your content marketing should be done by a professional, get in touch. Along with the above tools, I use Ahrefs and others to do monthly reporting for my clients.