8+ content marketing metrics you should track

Content marketing plays a key role in many digital marketing strategies, but what metrics should you be following to ensure that what you’re doing is working?

Content marketing is essentially described as the creation and publication of content in order to build an audience and generate sales leads. In other words, you’re leveraging content that you’re creating to create brand awareness and educate audiences.

While 80 percent of content marketers use metrics to measure performance, only 65 percent have KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure performance, and only 43 percent measure their content marketing ROI (return on investment).

So, while many brands may be using content marketing, plenty are still figuring out how to measure success.

Of course, your metrics matter. Content production, strategy, distribution, promotion and any related software all cost time and resources. Are you getting your money’s worth from your content? 

If you’re new to Google Analytics, check out our nine tips to get the most out of the analytics platform

The following are eight-plus content marketing metrics you should track to ensure that the content you’re sharing is working the way you want it to.

Website referral traffic

A common content marketing metric is website traffic, but go beyond just the total numbers of visitors. Take a look at how these visitors are finding your content. 

To see where your traffic is coming from in Google Analytics, use the Channel report. You’ll be able to see how users are finding your content, whether that’s organically or through social media, search engines, etc.

This will give you insight into whether your social media promotion is working, if your SEO needs a boost or if a popular email newsletter is linking to you. 

In other words, website referral traffic can help inform your content marketing strategy overall.

User behavior

User behavior is actually a collection of metrics that can give you insight into reader engagement and content performance, especially when paired with other metrics, such as website traffic. 

You can find the following user behavior metrics in Google Analytics:

  • Time On Page
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/Session
  • New/Returning Visitors

The power of user behavior metrics does come from the pairing up with other larger metrics, but they can help you better understand the performance of your content.

For example, you have a blog post that is receiving a lot of traffic from search engines, and visitors are spending significant time on the web page. From that you can infer that your post is matching the search intent of these users, which is a win.

Shares and backlinks

When it comes to any brand awareness goals, it’s important to understand how far your content is reaching (beyond traffic on your website). You can get an understanding of this by tracking social media shares and backlinks (which are hyperlinks that point from one website to another). 

These metrics show whether users are willing to share your content with their personal audiences and networks.

You can measure social media shares on such tools as BuzzSumo, and you can measure backlinks on such tools as SEMRush, BuzzSumo and more.

Check out our seven tips to grow quality backlinks and boost your SEO.

Google Search impressions and click-through rate

In Google Search Console, you can (and should) track impressions and click-through-rates of your content in organic searches.

These metrics can help you understand whether the keywords your content is ranking for actually lead to how many users saw your search result and how many clicks resulted from that. 

You can find these metrics in Google Search Console by filtering by a specific landing page and then looking through the queries linked to that page. Click on Performance, then Search Results and then Queries.

Check out our four tips to boost your click-through rate in Google Search.

Keyword rankings

Speaking of keyword rankings, this is another content marketing metric you should be tracking. You’ll want to monitor your core keywords and their rankings at least monthly.

Ranking improvements can reflect positively on your content marketing performance. You can use Google Search Console to find this metric. 

If you’re not sure what keywords should be on your priority list, start with keyword research. Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools you should consider.

Lead generation

Lead generation is all about your content bringing in new sales leads to your business. In other words, it is the process of getting people interested in your business and gradually nuturing them into becoming paying customers. 

To measure lead generation in Google Analytics, you’ll want to set up your goals in the platform. This allows you to follow such things as demo requests, Contact Us submissions and more. This can then be used to help determine how many conversions come through a blog or other piece of content.

Premium content is not only a key part of any content marketing strategy, but it can directly increase lead generation. Learn more about what it is and how you can leverage premium content in your marketing.

Customer retention

New visitors are great, but don’t forget about your loyal, returning visitors. These are the consumers whom you’re building a relationship with that can lead to purchases in the future.

These are warm leads that you can’t ignore. What content is appealing to them? To find out in Google Analytics, click on Audience, then Behavior, and then New vs Returning.

Speaking of returning visitors, check out our six tips to create brand loyalty for your business.

Email opt-in rates

Email subscriptions might not be the first content marketing metric you’d think of, but it matters because your subscriber number reflects how many consumers found enough value in your content to want more of it delivered to them directly.

DailyStory is just one email marketing tool that can help you track your subscribers, their engagement with your emails and more.

In conclusion

Remember that the power of your content marketing metrics is only as strong as the goals you’re setting around your content.

Don’t have specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals? Check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

As you’re getting serious about tracking your content marketing metrics, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.