Web analytics and general knowledge of digital marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) have come a long way since the days when people were measuring “hits” on a site. Tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, and proprietary systems within companies have made digital marketing reporting more simple and accessible for the average marketing professional. These days, you’re nowhere in marketing if you don’t understand your basic web KPIs.
Here are 8 KPI’s your content marketing measurement should include:
- Unique visits: UVs are the most standard measure of how many individuals have viewed your content within a given time frame (typically a 30-day cookie window). This KPI provides a solid baseline for which to compare different forms of trends and content over time.
However, it is important to keep in mind that not all unique visits are identical. For example, a unique visit to a white paper might be far more valuable for lead generation purposes than a unique visit to a blog — especially if that visit spends more time with the content (which we’ll get more into later on).
- Geography: Knowing where your content is being read is necessary to understand where to allocate more budget and resources based on where your audience is. Google Analytics provides page-level details of such geographic information, which can help content marketers optimize the geographical locations (or geos) that are most important to their business — and its bottom line.
- Mobile readership: It’s great if you know how many unique visits (or readers) your content is getting. But how are they reading your content? Are 50% of them on mobile devices, as the latest content consumption research suggests? And what kind of mobile devices are they using?
Understanding trends in how your content is being delivered to different devices is important to determining how to optimize your content and its design (i.e., responsive design) for future posts.
- Bounce rates/time spent: An obvious goal (and one that’s dangerous to engagement) is to not lose your reader because you didn’t deliver on their expectation of what they were clicking on. A high bounce rate might mean just that. Another similar measure is how much time your audience is spending with your content. So what if you have 15,000 unique views if the average time spent is 12 seconds for a 30-page white paper? Both bounce rate percent and time spent metrics are good early indicators of how engaged the traffic to your content is.
- Heat maps and click patterns: There are many great tools out there that show how your audience is engaging with a page and its content. One such tool, CrazyEgg, lets you to create heat maps to see what sections of a page are getting the most clicks.
Also, tools like Google Analytics can offer in-page analytics to track click patterns. Such information is critical to understanding what is relevant to your audience, allowing you to optimize content and design based on your findings.
- Page views: This is another straightforward marketing KPI that is frequently overlooked. We discussed UVs earlier, but understanding the correlation between UVs and page views (PVs) is an important one. A high page views/UVs multiple is a good sign that your audience is engaged — and quite frequently means that they are coming back regularly to your content. Further, with your digital content, it’s a good measure of how far along in a post they may have gotten. Did they read three pages before dropping off? Is 90% of your audience dropping off before page eight? Answers to these types of questions will help you comprehend how to develop future content for your audience.
- Comments: In the age of social media, almost everything you make available online becomes subject to two-way conversations. Don’t make the mistake of trying to block or restrict it — embrace social sharing and commenting! Users can be the best advocates for any product or service, so if they’re engaged enough to openly discuss your content, consider it a success.
Now, be mindful that the discussion may turn negative. However, often even negative comments can be great feedback for you, as they can help you gain better insight into the attitudes and pain points of your prospects and customers. Be ready to respond in a meaningful manner when this happens.
- Social sharing: Making your content easily shareable is critical for almost all content marketing initiatives. What better way to find new eyeballs for your digital content than by having people share it to their networks? With just a few social shares, the reach of your content can expand exponentially at an incredible rate! Embrace this trend by incorporating sharing widgets throughout your content.
Social sharing widgets
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to increase your brand’s reach and bottom line. Thus, the ultimate indicator of success is often the number of leads generated from your content marketing initiatives. However, by not overlooking these other marketing KPIs along the way to a lead or a sale, you’ll be in much better shape while getting more out of your content!
Written by Neil Bhapkar
Originally posted on contentmarketinginstitute.com
J. Fitzgerald Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing communications firm based in suburban Buffalo, N.Y.