Content Marketing KPIs You Need to Track

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While it’s true that some ground rules in content marketing have changed over the years, it’s still important to make sure you’re monitoring the right content marketing KPIs to measure your content marketing efforts and set goals that are achievable.

You could have planned the most amazing content marketing strategy but if you don’t start measuring some key metrics, you can get stuck somewhere not knowing what to do.

There are hundreds of metrics you can track when doing content marketing but I’ve compiled a small list of the most essential ones.

So, here are the 10 content marketing KPIs you should be measuring.

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But before let’s see a few benefits of tracking those key metrics, shall we?

Top Benefits of Tracking Content Marketing KPIs

  1. Lets You Measure Success
  2. Helps Discover Weakness & Strength
  3. Guides Your Content Marketing Decisions
  4. Allows Better Decisions Ahead
  5. Provides Insight and Direction to Other Team Members
  6. Keeps Your Business Glued Together
  7. Enriches Your Content Marketing Strategy
  8. Strengthens Your Brand Voice & Master Brand Identity
  9. Identifies Gaps in Your Content Marketing Efforts

1. Lets You Measure Success

As obvious as it sounds, the first and most important benefit of tracking your content marketing metrics is that it lets you truly measure your success.

When you can see how many visitors each of your pieces of content is getting, as well as how many leads it’s yielding and where they are coming from, then you can get a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t.

2. Helps Discover Weakness & Strength in Your Content Marketing Strategy

Knowing both weaknesses and strengths in your content strategy is something you can do only by tracking your metrics. And this goes for all parts of your content marketing plan.

If you have a social media marketing strategy that gives more visibility to certain pieces of content than others, then it’s time to check why.

More often than not, it will be because some of your content has better engagement than other types. If you think that’s how it should be, then it’s time to rewrite or re-edit those articles so they get the attention they deserve.

3. Guides Your Content Marketing Decisions

As your business grows, you’re going to need to make more and more decisions. But if you can’t be objective when making those decisions, then they won’t be the right ones.

By tracking your content marketing metrics, you’ll get a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t.

You will be able to tell which pieces of content are performing better than others and that’s the kind of information that will help you make better decisions for your business.

4. Allow Better Decisions Lead to Better Content

When you know which of your pieces of content are working best and which aren’t, you can then work on improving the ones that aren’t doing as well. Then your content will be better than ever.

5. Provides Insight and Direction to Other Team Members

When you can share your insights with the rest of the team, you can save a lot of time and effort from being wasted.

When everyone on the team knows what’s going on, and what everyone else is working on, then you’re able to make faster progress as a whole.

6. Keeps Your Business Glued Together

If you have to work with multiple teams, then tracking your content marketing metrics will also make it easier.

Each team member will know which pieces of content are being used the most, and which ones aren’t performing as well.

They will also know how well each piece of content is doing and that will guide the team’s efforts moving forward.

7. Enriches Your Content Marketing Strategy

As you keep tracking your content marketing metrics and improving your performance, you’ll be able to enrich your content strategy.

This will mean better performance and a good chance of long-term growth.

8. Strengthens Your Brand Voice & Master Brand Identity

When you understand the performance of your content marketing, you can also start to craft your brand voice and develop a strong brand identity.

This will go a long way in helping you become more effective at growing your business while keeping it consistent.

5. Identifies Gaps in Your Content Marketing Efforts.

If you know that traffic to your website and articles are getting more of the attention now than they were 6 months ago, then you can start to look at what might be contributing to this change.

Are there any new content marketing efforts going on? Have you partnered with a new company? Are there any changes in your social media strategy?

By tracking KPIs, you can identify potential problems and make adjustments in your content marketing efforts.

What are the 10 Essential Content Marketing KPIs?

For many content marketers, the most essential content marketing KPIs worth measuring are:

  • Number of content published
  • Overall traffic
  • Time on Page
  • Internal Link CTR
  • Scroll Depth
  • Backlinks
  • Keyword Rankings
  • Leads
  • Conversions
  • Social Media Metrics

Failing to measure your content marketing efforts is like driving and never looking at the speedometer.

While you might be going at the right speed, it won’t hurt if you check the speedometer from time to time because as soon as you exceed the speed limit, it’s very likely to a ticket is waiting for you ahead.

It’s the same for content marketing. If you don’t track your key performance indicators, you won’t’ know where you are heading, what to improve, what is failing, what’s working well, etc…

So if you want to prove whether your content marketing efforts are going the right way, here are 10 KPIs that you should be giving consideration:

1. Number of Content Published

Publishing frequency is the most basic yet essential key performance indicator in content marketing as a small business.

Failure to publish on a consistent basis will delay everything else; traffic, ranking, revenue, etc…

So, keep track of the number of pieces you’re releasing every month. All search engines and social media platforms have one thing in common that they love and will reward you for it; consistency.

Consistency can be daily, weekly, or monthly. As a beginner in content marketing, you should be pushing out content every week, if not every day.

As you start ranking on Google, you can shift to a weekly schedule.

So, tracking the number of content published can give you an idea of where you’re heading.

If you have been publishing consistently the same number of pieces per month for a year without any hiccups, then this indicator is telling you that your content marketing efforts are working.

Also, keeping track of this can motivate you to be more consistent if you’re not.

2. Overall Traffic

One of the very first and most important content marketing KPIs to track is your overall web traffic.

This will let you know if your content marketing efforts are bringing any new traffic to your website.

There’s so much information you can extract from your web traffic stats, from the most popular pages on your website to conversion rates and so many more.

If the traffic coming to your website is increasing, then you can use this as a clear sign that you’re doing something right.

When you track your overall traffic, you will also know if anyone is tailgating your website.

If your website is showing signs of growth, it’s certain that you’re doing something right and your content marketing efforts are paying off.

3. Time on Page

The time on page number can be really helpful in determining the effectiveness of your content marketing.

While it may seem very obvious, it is a very important KPI to track because if you’re doing something right, people will stay on your site longer and engage with your content.

If they are staying longer, you are actually increasing the chances of them becoming a future customer.

There are various techniques you can use to entice readers to spend more time on your site. And one of them is called Internal Linking.

Internal linking is the process of embedding links inside your content that direct visitors to other related or relevant articles on your website.

This will encourage visitors to browse more pages on your website and read more of your content, which will make them spend more time on your site.

And this brings us to our next most important content marketing KPI that you should track.

4. Internal Links CTR

Internal Links CTR is the number of clicks on any internal links that you’ve created, which act as a gateway for visitors to find more of your content.

When your internal linking is on point, you are increasing your chances of converting your visitors because they might end up on a page where the offer is irresistible.

Tracking the click-through rate of your internal links is important because it can show you the path of a reader, from the landing page to the exit page.

And when doing this, you can get a deeper sense of the visitor’s intent while clicking from link 1 to link 2 to link 3 and so on.

Of course, the better you can understand the intent of a visitor, the more you can optimize your content based on the visitor’s needs.

5. Scroll Depth

The scroll depth is a metric that shows the percentage of the page that your visitor read.

This is important because you should know how much of your content your visitor is consuming and how engaged they are with it.

If a visitor reads only the first line of an article, then it may indicate that they aren’t interested in what you’re writing about.

On the other hand, if a visitor spends more time clicking on internal links and reading deep into your content, then this is a clear sign that they are engaged.

And engagement is one of the key elements to a successful content marketing.

So measuring scroll depth can help you identify whether you’re putting out high-quality content that is worth engaging with.

If you don’t bother measuring scroll depth, you might think that everything’s good and your content is top-notch when in reality, it’s not the case.

X Bounce Rate (Not Worth It)

A low bounce rate is always a good sign for website owners. It means that people who visit your website are staying longer and engaging more with your content, which is fantastic news!

A bounce is simply the action of hitting the back button from your page to the Google search results page. When readers do this, it means two things:

  • Your intro has failed to hook them up
  • They got what they were looking for

Search engines use bounce rate as an indicator to determine how much of your website’s content is interesting enough to keep visitors on the site.

If you have a high bounce rate, Google may lack trust in your ability to provide relevant and useful content to readers. If Google lacks trust in your site, it may decide to lower your search rankings.

The bounce rate also helps you determine which pages on your website are most effective at bringing in visitors.

If you have a low bounce rate for a particular section of content, that’s an indication that this particular piece of content brings in more traffic than others and is more effective.

But there’s also another facet to the bounce rate that you need to know and that’s why I don’t think it’s worth measuring your bounce rate.

A low bounce rate is not always a negative thing. It all boils down to search intent in fact.

If a visitor bounces back after a few seconds from your site but has got the information he/she was looking for, then it’s a very good thing.

You don’t have to worry at all in this case. You have served search intent and there’s nothing more to it.

Apparently, Google is smart enough to determine the reason behind a bounce. Otherwise, all the sites with a high bounce rate wouldn’t be on Google search results pages, right?

6. BackLinks

There’s one ranking factor that I think will never lose its importance: backlinks. Backlinks are the links coming from other websites to yours.

If you can get some good backlinks pointing to your website, it will do wonders for your rankings.

And here’s why:

Google values authority as an important ranking factor. So if you manage to get backlinks from high-authority websites, then it will help enhance your overall authority and credibility.

And when this happens, you can expect higher rankings for your keywords.

With that being said, it’s really important to keep an eye on the number of good backlinks you get every month.

Tracking this will help you determine if you need to do more outreach for more guest posts or if you need to diversify your link portfolio.

7. Keyword Rankings

Another content marketing metric to track is the rankings of your keywords. It’s one easy task to do by using an SEO tool like Ahrefs or Semrush.

You only need to import a list of all the keywords you want to rank for and that’s it.

Every every week or month, your SEO tool will give a report of whether you have lost or gain position in the search engines.

Doing this will reveal the true image of your performance when it comes to content optimization.

Are you following the best SEO practices? Have you got enough backlinks pointing to a particular article you want to rank? Why are you stuck on Page 2?

All these questions need to be addressed when tracking your keywords rankings for better performance in the SERPs.

8. Leads

The more leads you get from your content marketing efforts the more sales you can expect to make. That’s why you cannot afford to ignore this metric.

Once you have your Google Analytics account set up to track how people get to your website, you can learn how each of your content pieces is performing in terms of lead generation.

If a particular piece is not yielding as many leads as expected, then you can re-strategize and come up with a new angle for that piece of content.

All in all, lead generation is one of the most important things to track as it directly affects your bottom line. Without leads, you can’t expect your business to grow and flourish.

If you’ve not added this metric to your KPIs sheet, do it now!

9. Conversions

Every time a visitor signs up to a form on your site, download a free eBook or PDF, buys something from your site, or calls you up for a quote – all these actions are known as conversions.

And if you want your marketing efforts to be truly effective, then you need to track the number of conversions.

The reason behind tracking your conversion rate is simple. It will tell you whether your content is actually performing up to the mark or not.

If you can understand that, then it will be easier to identify which type of content performs better and what needs to be improved.

And if in the future, you plan on using paid ads to get those conversions, it will be a key metric to analyze so as to see:

  • Where your money is going
  • If you need to optimize your ad campaigns more
  • Why your ads are underperforming
  • How to get the lowest CPC etc…

10. Social Metrics

Social media marketing is a game of two hands. You need your content to get discovered, but you also need to add in extra work on harnessing social media to your advantage.

Everyone on YouTube seems to make it appear easy to win at the social media marketing game. But it’s not. It takes a lot of hard work and ingenuity to be successful on social media.

And one way to really boost your chances of winning the social media marketing game is to track the metrics. But what kind of metric should you track?

It depends on the platform. Each social platform has its own algorithm, works differently, and so on.

For e.x, on Instagram, the key metric to track is the “Save Rate” because the algorithm has decided it’s more important than “Likes”.

f you notice that your posts are getting a lot of likes but no one is saving to their collections, then you should entice your followers to Save.

You can do this with a simple call-to-action on your post, or by simply asking for it in the caption.

If you don’t track the important content marketing metrics on the social media platforms you use, then you won’t really know why you are getting poor results.

Final Thoughts

Running a content marketing business or even a part of it is no rocket science, but it does take some serious work

And if you want a successful business, you need to measure your performance. Otherwise, you won’t know what needs to be done to improve things.

I guess it would be like trying to run a marathon without training. You’ll just end up getting tired and frustrated before the race even starts!

And remember, tracking the content marketing KPIs is an ongoing task. Monitor them along the way and you’ll see your business grow.

As you practice it month after month, you’ll get better at it and you can start adding more complex metrics.

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Nat Caesar is the Owner, Senior Editor & Head of Growth at Myndset. She is also the Founder of Caesar Media, a Digital Media Agency based in Mauritius. Since 2014 she has worked with more than 250 companies around the world including a few reputable brands like Adobe, Starbucks, Lacoste, and Pinterest Labs among others. Nat is also a seasoned SEO copywriter in the SaaS & B2B space. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected]