Content marketing metrics: Your guide to tracking key metrics and how to measure them.

Content marketing metrics: Your guide to tracking key metrics and how to measure them.

5 minute read

Content marketing metrics: Your guide to tracking key metrics and how to measure them.

5 minute read

Content marketing metrics: Your guide to tracking key metrics and how to measure them.

Masooma Memon

GatherContent Contributor, Writer

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You’ve been creating one awesome piece of content after another. Your editorial calendar is full to the brim with audience-relevant content ideas. And, you have a well-oiled content workflow.

The question now is, how can you measure the performance of all this content?

Enter: content marketing metrics, which are numbers you need to be tracking, studying, and using as actionable insights to guide your content marketing strategy.  

In fact, you’d be throwing darts in the dark – hoping they land you some customers, so you’ve something to show stakeholders as your content marketing ROI.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the content marketing metrics you need to measure, how to measure them, and how to improve them.

Buckle up.  

What are content metrics?

Content marketing metrics are standards of measurement that show you how well your content creation is doing.

From metrics to determine how well you’re creating brand awareness to how many new leads you’re adding to your sales funnel, there are a variety of numbers to track.

💡 Learn more: Getting started with measuring the performance of your content

The ones you settle on tracking, however, boil down to two things:

  • Your overarching content goals
  • Your monthly/quarterly priorities

So before you start measuring your content marketing program’s performance, make sure you:

  • One, decide on what your content marketing goals are with relevant stakeholders. These could be anything from driving organic traffic to improving brand awareness and engaging your target audience.

Keep in mind: the goals you set depend on how mature your content marketing program is.

For example, if you’re starting out, you’ll want to focus on growing brand awareness and building authority. Similarly, if you’ve been in the game for a while and see good content engagement, you can focus on increasing the number of conversions.

  • And, two, highlight your priorities based on the set goals so you can shortlist the metrics to review.

Ultimately, the content metrics you measure depend on your priorities that, in turn, depend on your content marketing goals.

💡 Pro tip: Make notes of industry benchmarks – what numbers others in your industry are reaching on average. This will help you understand how well you’re doing.

The 5 Types of Content Marketing Metrics

The different types of key metrics you review depend on your digital marketing goals. Let’s walk you through them:

1. Brand awareness metrics

Look at your social shares such as retweets, impressions (for example, how many impressions you get on your posts on LinkedIn or other social networks you use), and follower count.

Essentially, follower count is a vanity metric. However, if you’re new to a social channel, you’ll want to take it into account for establishing credibility.

On your website, review traffic your content is getting. Look at your:

  • Users or the number of people visiting your page.
  • Pageviews or the number of times a page on your site is viewed.
  • Unique pageviews or the times a single user has viewed your page.

Grow your brand awareness today: Talk to your target audience to determine their pain points. Then, create content that solves these struggles. This type of educational content is an effective way to get on your audience’s radar.

2. Engagement metrics

Track these metrics if you’re already getting significant traffic and want to build an audience with your high-quality content.

Engagement metrics are effective parameters for understanding how good your content is doing in terms of solving your readers’ questions (and, subsequently, engaging them).

Since the plan here is to grow your audience’s average time on your site or funnel them to specific landing pages, look at:

  • Click-through rates or how many people click on your links (and which links). You can check the CTR for not just your website pages but also social media posts and messages you send as part of your email marketing campaign.
  • Social comments, shares, and mentions. The comment on your posts, the number of times people share it, and the times they mention your brand are key metrics to tap here.

💡 Pro tip: Determine your social content’s performance by looking at the referrals it’s driving. Go to Google Analytics and click on Acquisitions, followed by Social and Network Referrals, to find out how many people social is funneling to your site.

  • Total time reading (TTR) or the time visitors spend engaging with your content.
  • Bounce rate or the percentage of people who visit your page but exit quickly.
  • Average time on site, which is the measure of time people spend on a specific page.
  • Inbound links or the links your content is attracting – either organically or through a link-building program.

Grow your engagement metrics today: Work on your site’s user experience to improve navigation, reduce high bounce rate, and boost content’s readability.

💡 Learn more: Content has never been more important— but good content is hard

3. Search engine optimization (SEO) metrics

You’ll want to review your search engine rankings here. Do so in Google Search Console. Better ranking in the SERPs will drive more people to your pages, likely converting them better.

Two more crucial aspects of improving your SEO are backlinks and authority. Track both of these using tools like Ahrefs and Moz. You can also use this free tool to monitor your backlinks.

As for authority metrics, work on improving your:

  • Page Authority (PA) determines how well your page will rank.
  • Domain Authority (DA) that shows how relevant your site is on a subject (therefore, likely to rank better).

Grow your SEO metrics today: Write content optimized for SEO. Here are 12 SEO writing tips to get you started.

Need to Know: Manage content creation in one place in GatherContent. This way, you can create a central library featuring all your content, which makes it easy to add internal links to new content pieces and improve SEO.
Use GatherContent as a central repository for all the content you create
Create a central repository for your content to link to published content easily.

4. Lead generation metrics

Planning on moving relevant visitors forward in their buyer journey? Measure these content metrics:

  • Click-through rates. The exact vary on your marketing campaigns. For instance, these could be how many people are clicking through your blog CTAs. These, in turn, can vary from getting people to download your content upgrade to attracting freemium users.
  • Conversions. These don’t necessarily denote new leads converting into buyers right away. Instead, this important metric can be micro conversions to such as new email subscribers, form completion rate, and downloads.

Grow your lead generation metrics today: Optimize your CTAs. Write short and clear CTA copy. Ensure all content has a relevant action message that leverages power words to encourage folks to click.

5. Sales enablement metrics

If you’re using content for growing sales, look at the following metrics:

  • Demo requests. Track the number of demo requests you get, the number of forms submitted, and the number of completed calls.
  • Sales conversion rate. By sending problem-solving content to qualified leads, you can convert them faster. You’ll know your content is helpful by comparing leads you send content to with those you don’t send content to nurture.
  • Sales cycle length. With helpful content assisting in converting leads, you should be able to shorten the sales cycle for those leads. Again, compare the sales cycle of those you send content to with those you don’t to learn the impact of your content.

💡 Learn more: Big question: What's your top tip for measuring the success of content?

Grow your sales enablement metrics today: Collaborate with the sales team to understand exactly who your target audience is and the frequent questions they have. This way, you can create content that’s uber-useful to qualified leads and helps close deals effectively.

How To Create a Content Marketing Dashboard

Once you choose the content marketing metrics to track, create your dashboard. It’ll show you all key metrics on one screen, helping identify trends and areas for improvement.

Without it, you’ll likely not look at your content metrics as regularly as you should be. When reporting on performance, you’ll also double the work for yourself – sourcing relevant metrics from tons of places to create a content performance report.

Convinced you need a content marketing dashboard? Great. Start today by choosing a dashboard tool like Databox or Klipfolio.

From here, you can either create a content marketing dashboard from scratch or use a template dashboard that these tools offer.

Whatever your preference, make sure you integrate all your analytics sources, such as Google Analytics with your tool. This way, you’ll see all real-live metrics reflected on your dashboard.

Want to dig deeper into measuring your content’s performance? Tune into this masterclass on monitoring content marketing metrics for more strategic insights.

You’ve been creating one awesome piece of content after another. Your editorial calendar is full to the brim with audience-relevant content ideas. And, you have a well-oiled content workflow.

The question now is, how can you measure the performance of all this content?

Enter: content marketing metrics, which are numbers you need to be tracking, studying, and using as actionable insights to guide your content marketing strategy.  

In fact, you’d be throwing darts in the dark – hoping they land you some customers, so you’ve something to show stakeholders as your content marketing ROI.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the content marketing metrics you need to measure, how to measure them, and how to improve them.

Buckle up.  

What are content metrics?

Content marketing metrics are standards of measurement that show you how well your content creation is doing.

From metrics to determine how well you’re creating brand awareness to how many new leads you’re adding to your sales funnel, there are a variety of numbers to track.

💡 Learn more: Getting started with measuring the performance of your content

The ones you settle on tracking, however, boil down to two things:

  • Your overarching content goals
  • Your monthly/quarterly priorities

So before you start measuring your content marketing program’s performance, make sure you:

  • One, decide on what your content marketing goals are with relevant stakeholders. These could be anything from driving organic traffic to improving brand awareness and engaging your target audience.

Keep in mind: the goals you set depend on how mature your content marketing program is.

For example, if you’re starting out, you’ll want to focus on growing brand awareness and building authority. Similarly, if you’ve been in the game for a while and see good content engagement, you can focus on increasing the number of conversions.

  • And, two, highlight your priorities based on the set goals so you can shortlist the metrics to review.

Ultimately, the content metrics you measure depend on your priorities that, in turn, depend on your content marketing goals.

💡 Pro tip: Make notes of industry benchmarks – what numbers others in your industry are reaching on average. This will help you understand how well you’re doing.

The 5 Types of Content Marketing Metrics

The different types of key metrics you review depend on your digital marketing goals. Let’s walk you through them:

1. Brand awareness metrics

Look at your social shares such as retweets, impressions (for example, how many impressions you get on your posts on LinkedIn or other social networks you use), and follower count.

Essentially, follower count is a vanity metric. However, if you’re new to a social channel, you’ll want to take it into account for establishing credibility.

On your website, review traffic your content is getting. Look at your:

  • Users or the number of people visiting your page.
  • Pageviews or the number of times a page on your site is viewed.
  • Unique pageviews or the times a single user has viewed your page.

Grow your brand awareness today: Talk to your target audience to determine their pain points. Then, create content that solves these struggles. This type of educational content is an effective way to get on your audience’s radar.

2. Engagement metrics

Track these metrics if you’re already getting significant traffic and want to build an audience with your high-quality content.

Engagement metrics are effective parameters for understanding how good your content is doing in terms of solving your readers’ questions (and, subsequently, engaging them).

Since the plan here is to grow your audience’s average time on your site or funnel them to specific landing pages, look at:

  • Click-through rates or how many people click on your links (and which links). You can check the CTR for not just your website pages but also social media posts and messages you send as part of your email marketing campaign.
  • Social comments, shares, and mentions. The comment on your posts, the number of times people share it, and the times they mention your brand are key metrics to tap here.

💡 Pro tip: Determine your social content’s performance by looking at the referrals it’s driving. Go to Google Analytics and click on Acquisitions, followed by Social and Network Referrals, to find out how many people social is funneling to your site.

  • Total time reading (TTR) or the time visitors spend engaging with your content.
  • Bounce rate or the percentage of people who visit your page but exit quickly.
  • Average time on site, which is the measure of time people spend on a specific page.
  • Inbound links or the links your content is attracting – either organically or through a link-building program.

Grow your engagement metrics today: Work on your site’s user experience to improve navigation, reduce high bounce rate, and boost content’s readability.

💡 Learn more: Content has never been more important— but good content is hard

3. Search engine optimization (SEO) metrics

You’ll want to review your search engine rankings here. Do so in Google Search Console. Better ranking in the SERPs will drive more people to your pages, likely converting them better.

Two more crucial aspects of improving your SEO are backlinks and authority. Track both of these using tools like Ahrefs and Moz. You can also use this free tool to monitor your backlinks.

As for authority metrics, work on improving your:

  • Page Authority (PA) determines how well your page will rank.
  • Domain Authority (DA) that shows how relevant your site is on a subject (therefore, likely to rank better).

Grow your SEO metrics today: Write content optimized for SEO. Here are 12 SEO writing tips to get you started.

Need to Know: Manage content creation in one place in GatherContent. This way, you can create a central library featuring all your content, which makes it easy to add internal links to new content pieces and improve SEO.
Use GatherContent as a central repository for all the content you create
Create a central repository for your content to link to published content easily.

4. Lead generation metrics

Planning on moving relevant visitors forward in their buyer journey? Measure these content metrics:

  • Click-through rates. The exact vary on your marketing campaigns. For instance, these could be how many people are clicking through your blog CTAs. These, in turn, can vary from getting people to download your content upgrade to attracting freemium users.
  • Conversions. These don’t necessarily denote new leads converting into buyers right away. Instead, this important metric can be micro conversions to such as new email subscribers, form completion rate, and downloads.

Grow your lead generation metrics today: Optimize your CTAs. Write short and clear CTA copy. Ensure all content has a relevant action message that leverages power words to encourage folks to click.

5. Sales enablement metrics

If you’re using content for growing sales, look at the following metrics:

  • Demo requests. Track the number of demo requests you get, the number of forms submitted, and the number of completed calls.
  • Sales conversion rate. By sending problem-solving content to qualified leads, you can convert them faster. You’ll know your content is helpful by comparing leads you send content to with those you don’t send content to nurture.
  • Sales cycle length. With helpful content assisting in converting leads, you should be able to shorten the sales cycle for those leads. Again, compare the sales cycle of those you send content to with those you don’t to learn the impact of your content.

💡 Learn more: Big question: What's your top tip for measuring the success of content?

Grow your sales enablement metrics today: Collaborate with the sales team to understand exactly who your target audience is and the frequent questions they have. This way, you can create content that’s uber-useful to qualified leads and helps close deals effectively.

How To Create a Content Marketing Dashboard

Once you choose the content marketing metrics to track, create your dashboard. It’ll show you all key metrics on one screen, helping identify trends and areas for improvement.

Without it, you’ll likely not look at your content metrics as regularly as you should be. When reporting on performance, you’ll also double the work for yourself – sourcing relevant metrics from tons of places to create a content performance report.

Convinced you need a content marketing dashboard? Great. Start today by choosing a dashboard tool like Databox or Klipfolio.

From here, you can either create a content marketing dashboard from scratch or use a template dashboard that these tools offer.

Whatever your preference, make sure you integrate all your analytics sources, such as Google Analytics with your tool. This way, you’ll see all real-live metrics reflected on your dashboard.

Want to dig deeper into measuring your content’s performance? Tune into this masterclass on monitoring content marketing metrics for more strategic insights.

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About the author

Masooma Memon

Masooma Memon is a pizza-loving freelance writer for SaaS. When she’s not writing actionable blog posts or checking off tasks from her to-do list, she has her head buried in a fantasy novel or business book. Connect with her on Twitter.

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