Measuring the success of any content marketing campaign requires the use of metrics. More importantly, it first requires the establishment of goals, also known as your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Before you invest money and time into metrics, let’s make sure you are aware of the ones you need to avoid. By steering clear of these pointless metrics, you can focus your energy on the ones that actually a provide a clear picture of your content marketing return on investment (ROI).
3 Content Marketing Metrics To Avoid
Quit Measuring Your Fan Base on Facebook
Have you ever posted a picture or status update on Facebook only to realize a small percentage of your followers actually hit the like button or leave a comment? You can have 20,000 followers, but the number doesn’t matter when you aren’t getting any engagement out of them.
It’s important to understand, though, that just because 19,000 of your 20,000 followers didn’t engage with your status update does not meet your message wasn’t effectively delivered. There are likely thousands of them who consumed the Facebook status update you posted yet didn’t hit the like, share, or comment button. This is why measuring your fan base on this social media platform and their tendency to engage is useless.
A few years ago, the size of your fanbase on Facebook did matter. Paying for boosted ads, page boosting, and regular advertising on this social media platform would cause traffic to your website to skyrocket. Those days are gone. Due to changes in Facebook’s new algorithms, no matter how much you spend on Facebook advertising, you’re going to have a difficult time reaching your audience.
Don’t Worry So Much About Backlinks
Using your root domain metrics profile is an excellent way to determine how many backlinks you have directing people back to your website. Backlinks are good. And typically, the more, the better. When these backlinks are coming from directories, though, they add no real value to your site in the eyes of Google. What matters is the quality of the links.
You want your backlinks to be coming from sites that are authoritative. So, having 5,000 backlinks from reputable sites is going to be much better than having 35,000 from directories. With this in mind, when using your root domain metrics profile, make sure you are looking at total equity-passing links; these are the backlinks that truly matter. Your total external links number doesn’t really provide any valuable insight.
Bad Bounce Rates Don’t Mean Anything
When someone lands on a page on your site, hangs around for a minute or so on the same page and clicks out of your site, this is known as a bounce. For many people, a high bounce rate means the site isn’t performing well. But in all actuality, a bounce rate doesn’t account for anything. If someone lands on a page, consumes content for 30 seconds and hits the subscribe button, this is great for lead generation. Just because they didn’t explore other parts of your site doesn’t mean you didn’t capture their attention and meet their needs.
4 Metrics That Actually Measure True Content Marketing ROI
Unique Visitors Bring a lot to the ROI Metrics Table
When you look at your unique visitors (UVs), this allows you to see where your traffic is coming from. More importantly, you can use an analytics application that provides valuable details regarding this traffic, including the keywords that were typed into the search engine that led the visitors to your site and the geographical location of these visitors. By knowing these details, you can easily segment your visitors and start creating unique content that resonates with each segment.
Page Views Matter
Probably the most important metrics that you can use are those that help you determine page views. When you have a clear picture of which pages are performing the best, you then gain a better understanding of the type of content you need to be creating more of. The more page views, the more resonating and relevant the content is. Take for example you have a blog posting centered around the topic of traveling to Louisville, Kentucky. When compared to another blog posting that simply outlines the top 10 places in Kentucky to visit, the blog posting focusing on Louisville receives 5,000 more page views. In knowing this, you can see that your site visitors are much more interested in content about the specific city of Louisville rather than other cities in the state. From that point forward, you can make sure that a large chunk of your content production focuses on Louisville.
The Higher the Click-through-rate, the Better
No matter the type of advertisement you’re using –ads on Google, email marketing, social media postings, etc. — there needs to be an included call-to-action that directs the reader to your site. When a reader follows the call-to-action, this is known as a click-through. The higher the click-through-rate, the higher the rate of engagement. To entice readers to click-through, your content needs to appeal to them in a way that if they click-through, they know they are going to receive something beneficial in return, such as a discount on a product, more in-depth regarding a service you offer, or details outlining how they can make an inquiry.
Measuring Marketing Qualified Leads Is Essential to Lead Generation
Lastly, content marketing metrics that allow you to investigate marketing qualified leads are essential to determining your ROI. As you look at metrics relating to these leads, don’t get caught up on numbers. After all, qualified leads are all about quality over quantity. The goal of looking at metrics related to these leads is so you can pinpoint details regarding the channel they used to get to your site and the ways they engaged with your brand. When you know these details, you can use this knowledge to enhance your ability to attract more qualified leads. For example, if metrics show 80 percent of your qualified leads are coming to your site through Twitter, then you’ll know to increase your content marketing efforts on the Twitter platform.
As you start looking at content marketing metrics, you’re going to be overwhelmed. You’re going to come across hundreds of them, but the truth is, you only need to use about five to six. The rest of them are pointless and provide no real insight. It’s also pertinent that you take into consideration the industry your business operates in. One metric may prove valuable to a company operating in the food industry but be completely useless for a retail shop. All in all, though, keeping the information outlined above in mind will go a long way in making sure you are investing in metrics that actually matter.