The success of your content depends on the overall in-depth analysis of your blog/website with the help of key performance indicators. Your aim may be to reach a wider, more relevant target audience for your content, measure the ROI of your digital marketing efforts, enhance engagement or improve subscriber counts.
Most people think KPIs refer singularly to metrics like social sharing, comments and page views; and those people are missing out on so much more. There are many other important KPIs to keep in mind when measuring content marketing success.
Here are 10 of the best options, for any blog out there.
1. Unique Visits
This is one of the more important KPIs to watch out for since unique visits aid in analyzing the number of individuals that accessed your site in a given time period. It uses a combination of a 30-day cookie window and a device’s IP address.
Unique visits are different and more insightful than page views because no matter if someone returns or views pages on your site, it will only be tallied once in the unique visits. For instance, you might get 15,000 page views but only 3,000 unique visits. Analyzing your site with this KPI provides you an account of a more accurate picture of your newly acquired audience size.
This KPI allows you to understand which areas of the world provide your content more traffic. You get to know where your content is being read more and based on that you can improve your content to target the audience of that area (Tip: check out trending topics in that country for your particular niche).
If you are thinking of expanding your business overseas, then this is an essential KPI to look out for.
3. Device-based Readership
This KPI helps you understand how the content of your site is being accessed. Since almost everybody today prefers to read on mobile/tabs, it becomes very important for your website to be device friendly. By using this KPI, you can monitor if your content is easily accessible. Also, you can plan how to optimize your content and its design for publishing in future.
4. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is different from exit rate. So watch out.
Bounce rate is the number of single page sessions that resulted in no interaction and almost immediate exit. Keep in mind that some of your readers may bookmark your post, or save it on an app (like Pocket) for later viewing, in which case it would still count as a bounce.
Generally, the implication of a high bounce rate is exclusively bad (“they are all probably leaving in disgust/rage”), so work on improving your page load speed, UX, and content quality.
5. Time Spent on Site (Page depth and average session duration)
The goal of every website/blog is to engage its readers as much as possible. You want your audience to spend more time on your blog than a mere couple of seconds. This KPI would indicate which of your blog posts are being consumed meticulously, so you can further produce similar content (in terms of topic, word count, tone of writing, post type, etc.).
6. In-Depth Page Analysis
Tools like Google Analytics and CrazyEgg allow you to go for an in-depth page analysis. With tools like these, you can track click patterns and create heat maps to see which sections of content are getting the maximum attention. Simply plug in the page URL and see which part was viewed for a longer time. This KPI will help you understand what is relevant to your audience and help you make iterations in accordance to the data.
7. Page Views
We have already discussed about importance of unique visits, but there’s a correlation between UVs and page views. A page view helps you to understand the most popular pages/posts on your website. If, let’s say, you have 20,000 page views per day and 6,000 unique visits, then it is a good sign for your site. This indicates that people are engaged in your site’s content and are regularly coming back.
When you allow people to comment upon your posts, you interact with your audience in a two-way conversation. You are writing the content to be read by people, so be gracious. Instead of blocking or restricting the comment feature, invite your audience members to offer their opinions and feedback. Consider it a success if people leave comments on your page because it means they spent some amount of time on your site and, therefore, want to communicate to you the success or failure in providing it. Do not get disheartened with negative feedback — you can always learn how to produce great content in future posts.
9. Social Sharing
The ultimate success of your site’s content depends upon your brand’s reach and bottom line. Incorporating the social sharing widgets on your site makes it possible for you and your audience to share the content on popular social media platforms. This feature then enables furthering the expandability of your content. The wider the reach, the higher is the probability of the success of your site. Tools like AddThis widget are very effective in helping you reach a wider target audience. With the use of social sharing widgets your site’s content will be shared across dozens of popular social networks within minutes of releasing it.
10. Inbound Links or Backlinks
A backlink is often referred as the main building block to SEO. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are the number of links which are directed toward your website. A higher number of backlinks indicate the popularity of a website, resulting in highly relevant referral traffic. Backlinks are significant for SEO because search engines like Google give more credit and importance to websites having a good number of quality backlinks. Your website will rank higher in the search results page if your site has quality backlinks.
With consistent monitoring of these basic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at hand, you will have a successful content marketing plan. Keep in mind that as you grow (in content and readership), your content marketing efforts will get more specific and need an even more defined set of KPIs. But that’s a post for another day. For now, monitor these and make sure you’re not missing out on anything.
by Elise Henderson