“Gone are the days when the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) were limited to just measuring the number of “hits” on a website. Web analytics and the Key Performance Indicators have evolved over the years, and digital marketing has become more accessible with tools like the Google Analytics, Omniture, and other CMS systems. The very general Key Performance Indicators for content marketing include visitors’ engagement and the conversion rates, which form the foundation of the KPI monitoring.
However, as content marketing is gradually emerging as the leader in digital marketing, primarily in SEO and B2B marketing, the way many marketers measure efficiency and the impact of the content seems to be ancient. For instance, consider e-books which are a prevalent lead generation strategy. Many marketers make the mistake of failing to measure anything more than the number of downloads. Is there another way to measure how effective this content has been? Here is a comprehensive guide to those unavoidable Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that should be measured for any content marketing initiatives.
KPI’s To Measure Your Reach
1. Unique visitors: These are the standard measurements of how many visitors have viewed your content within a defined time frame – typically 30 days. This KPI is a good platform to compare the different forms of your content and their trends over the time. Keep in mind that all unique visits are not the same. For instance, a unique visit to an e-book could be more valuable for lead generation compared to a unique visit to a blog — especially if more time spent was recorded with the content for that particular visit.
2. Geo-targets: Where your content is being read is also an important KPI to understand where to allocate more resources and budget, based on where your audience is consuming the content. Page-level details of geographic information of this type is provided by Google Analytics, which in turn gives the content marketers an idea to optimize the content for the particular geographical location.
3. Mobile readership: In addition to knowing how many unique visits your content is getting, it is also important to know how the content is being read. As more people are using mobile devices, is your content being consumed more on mobile devices or desktops? As you develop new content, make sure you optimize it for all devices.
4. Bounce rate/time spent: One of the most critical KPI’s to determine the engagement of the content, is checking out the bounce rate. Delivering what the visitor wants will build your conversion rates. A high bounce rate means that the user was not satisfied with what you have to offer. Also look at how much time the viewer stayed on your site. 20,000 unique views does you no good if the average time spent is just 15 seconds for a 50 page e-book. A low bounce rate and high spent time are good indicators of high quality content.
5. Click patterns & Heat Maps: Want to know which part of your content is being read the most? You can create heat maps to see which section is getting the most views. There are some great tools out there to help you measure click patterns and heat maps including Crazy Egg and Lucky Orange. In addition, Google Analytics can help you track the click patterns on the content with its in-page analytics. This information helps you know what your audience finds relevant, which will help you optimize the content and design of your website.
6. Page views: Another basic KPI that is mostly overlooked. This gives us the correlation between the Unique Visitor and the Page Views KPI’s. A high page views/multiple UV’s shows visitors are engaged and often it means that they are coming back to your content on a regular basis. It also gives us a count of how many pages were read before the visitors dropped off.
7. Comments: A two way conversation is inevitable in today’s age of social media. Never block or restrict comments. Users are the best judges of your product or service, so if they engage with you and give you their suggestions, you should consider it a success. But, be ready for some negative discussions as well. Negative comments can prove to be a great feedback as they give better insight into the behavior of your prospects.
8. Social sharing: Making your content easily shareable is a very important metric for content marketing initiatives. Sharing helps gain a bigger audience for your digital content .The reach of your content could expand at a fantastic rate! Adopt this trend by putting in widgets for sharing throughout your content.
Measuring KPIs is the start, middle, and end of every content marketing process. The sooner you start looking at them, the quicker you will reach your goals. A marketer’s job is not just limited to lead generation, it is up to you to check the performance of content assets to maximize the bottom line of any business: clients and revenue.