How to Measure Content Success

Measuring marketing success, effectiveness, and ROI is essential. It shows you how well your marketing campaigns are working. The same is the case with content. You need to measure the success of your content to see what type of content works, what result it delivers, and how effective your content is. This article is a must-read for those who don’t know how to measure content success effectively and accurately.

How to Measure Content Success?

When you create content for your business, the first thing you need to do is set clear goals as discussed here, here, and here. The reason why you need to focus on setting clear goals and objectives for content creation is to measure success.

If you’ll create content randomly without any clear goals, you won’t be able to measure success and how effective it is.

So, the first thing is to set content goals. And then you can measure content performance with relevance to its goals. That is, how effective your content has been in achieving the goal and objectives. 

For example, if your goal was to generate leads with content, you’ll measure the number of leads to track content success. If your goal was to generate organic traffic, you’ll need to look at website traffic stats from your analytics tool.

To make it easy for you, here are the key metrics that you can use to measure content success:

  1. Website traffic
  2. Lead generation
  3. Engagement.

1. Website Traffic

The most common metric used to measure content success is website traffic. The content you publish on your blog is aimed at ranking for desired keywords in search engines. Even if your goal isn’t to rank high in search engines, your content will still appear in SERPs.

You can’t ignore it.

But if you are publishing content to generate organic traffic, you can measure its success by looking at website traffic details in your analytics tool. If you are using Google Analytics, you’ll get all traffic details free of cost:

ahrefs blog growth

You can analyze how individual content pieces on your website have contributed in terms of entrances and exit percentage in Google Analytics from Behavior > Site Content > All Pages:

google analytics screenshot

Look at the Avg. Time on Page and Entrances columns to see what content type is generating traffic. Google Analytics gives you a basic overview of website traffic and doesn’t help you fully understand individual article performance.

For example, it doesn’t show you keywords a blog post is ranking for, the keyword positioning, traffic generated by each keyword, and traffic generated organically by individual articles.

This is where you have to use a premium tool such as Semrush, Moz, Ahrefs, or any other keyword tracking tool. These tools rank individual keywords that you are targeting, show you the exact position where your content ranks, how much traffic it is generating, and much more:

ahrefs rank tracker

This makes it easier to measure content success at a granular level and see how much traffic each piece of content is generating.

2. Lead Generation

Lead generation is the second most common metric used by marketers to measure content success. A whopping 62% of marketers use it:

content marketing metrics to measure graph

This will only work when your goal is to generate leads via content marketing. Because you’ll then set up tracking leads and attribution. If you aren’t using content to generate leads, you don’t have to take the pain to dive deep into tracking the source of each lead.

It’s complicated.

Tracking and counting leads is easy. You can do so easily in your CRM or email marketing tool. But attributing leads to the correct source and touchpoint is a daunting process.

It takes an average of 8 interactions before a conversion takes place and the path from the first interaction to the conversion and lead generation is never linear. A lead generated via a Facebook ad might have interacted with your article in the past and vice versa.

This requires defining and setting up your attribution model to credit leads and sales to the most appropriate touchpoint. You can do it in Google Analytics that offers 5 key types of attribution models to pick from:

attribution types

Once you have selected an attribution model, you can then credit leads to the right touchpoint. This is how you can identify the number of leads and sales generated by the content you have created. Here is how it looks in Google Analytics:

google analytics

This is by far the best way to measure content success as it shows you how well your content has performed in terms of conversions, leads, and sales. You can track all types of conversions (including micro-conversions) and their attribution.

3. Engagement

User behavior and how visitors interact with your content is another important metric that measures content success. Engagement can take any form and it constitutes any interaction with your content such as:

  • Bounce rate
  • Pageviews
  • Time spent
  • Returning visitors
  • Social shares
  • Comments
  • Mentions.

The best part: You can track engagement easily with Google Analytics or any other tool. Analytics shows user behavior in the form of new vs. returning visitors, frequency and recency, and engagement:

google analytics

As you can see, engagement is measured in the form of session duration, the number of sessions, and pageviews. It gives a complete picture of how visitors interact with your content. High session duration and pageviews mean your content is loved by your audience and spend a good amount of time interacting with your content.

The number of backlinks you acquire naturally is also a way to measure content engagement and authority. A blog post that receives a lot of backlinks means it is something people love linking to (and talking about).

Measuring Content Success is Essential

It doesn’t matter what metric you use to measure content success. What’s important is that you consistently track and measure content effectiveness. This will show you the type of content that works best for your audience.

Over time you’ll be able to create content that perfectly resonates with your target audience. 

Featured Image: Pexels

More from Jesse