What is content analytics?
It is the process of measuring and analyzing visitor traffic and engagement with your content.
Content analytics metrics include engagement time, page views, conversions, social interactions (for instance, Twitter retweets or Facebook shares), and much more.
But why are we talking about content analytics?
Because it aids you in adjusting and improving your content strategy.
Whether creating the perfect podcast or finding just the right keywords for your website, we all know that a lot of work goes into building content. Content analytics helps you determine if your content is resonating with your audience and what you can do to remedy it if it is not. You can also understand the kind of content that helps drive revenue and increase conversions.
Bottom line: It’s essential to monitor and analyze your content pieces’ performance regularly to develop a content strategy over time.
How Do You Measure Content Performance?
In this post, we will discuss the metrics that help you track your content’s performance. Whether you are publishing a blog, an article, or a podcast, there are certain metrics you can keep an eye on. Here’s a complete list!
If your site isn’t getting many visitors, your blog posts aren’t reaching people, even if they are amazing.
The result? You don’t get any benefits from your content.
Hence, traffic is the most important metric you need to track when understanding your content’s performance.
Traffic can be split into several categories. It would help if you specifically looked at these metrics in Google Analytics:
- Pageviews: The number of times a webpage has been viewed.
- Users: The complete count of unique visitors to your web page.
- Unique pageviews: The number of unique views of your webpage. If a particular user views your page multiple times, these visits are considered as one pageview to calculate this metric.
Check the raw data from these three metrics. It gives you an idea of the amount of traffic to different pages of your website.
You can further break down the data to check ‘where’ you get the traffic from (how people found your site online and their geographical location). You can even check the type of device they used to land on your website.
Why do this?
This data is extremely helpful for your future content strategy. Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Suppose a large proportion of your traffic comes from your social media channel. Now, keeping this in mind, you can produce content based on the data of your social media followers.
2. Time on Site
‘Time on site’ is another important metric to track your content’s performance.
The more time a visitor spends on your page, the more interested they’re in your content. It also shows that you are giving them the answers they need.
It will help if you track your customers’ time on your website and the number of pages they visit in each session. This helps you know if they are truly engaged with your content.
Your objective should be to keep people on your website for as long as possible to consume more content. When they spend time reading your content, they understand what makes you stand out from your competitors. It also tells them what makes you the best at what you do. This is the key to a business’s success.
Tip: Google Analytics tracks time on page and time on site. It does so by measuring the difference between the timestamps of hits. No time gets recorded in case the visit is bounced, meaning a person leaves after viewing just one page.
Note: Learn in detail about the average time spent on a site and how to improve it. Also, check out how publishers can increase time on-site.
3. Sales or Conversions
It’s always great to see people visiting your website and reading your blog. But what else do they do when they finish reading? Are they completing an e-commerce transaction? Are they signing up for your newsletter?
What counts as a conversion depends on you. In some cases, the goal of your content could be to raise brand awareness and gain authority, while in others, it can be to make a physical sale.
For the former, you can focus on metrics like social shares and engagement.
But if it’s the latter–your blog is essentially a sales tool–you need to track the number of sales it generates. For this, activate e-commerce in Google Analytics and view the page value of your entire content in the behavior section. This provides you with the average revenue generated by each page.
Tip: Reading an actionable Google Analytics guide can help you learn all about Google Analytics in detail.
4. Open Email Rate
While wondering how to track your content performance, make it a point to check this metric. This applies if you are pushing the content through email–like in a newsletter–or directly to a particular target audience.
Let’s now take an example to understand the importance of tracking this metric.
At LiveCareer, a content program is called ‘successful’ when they see an increase in traffic to a particular page. To see traffic peaks, they usually reach out to their target audience. For this, they send their articles directly to bloggers and journalists interested in HR and career-related topics via email.
In addition, they make it a point to write compelling email subject lines so that their emails get noticed and opened. After sending the emails, they then track the open email rate. If they notice any scope for improvement, they try to improve the subject line in their next emails to boost the open email rate.
5. Social Media Engagement
You can also measure engagement by checking your content’s performance on social media.
You can track various metrics to know how well your content is performing on social media. First, we’ll discuss the most important one – checking the number of times your content has been shared on different social networks. A share indicates that people value your content and consider you an authority in the field.
To know the number of times your content has been shared on different platforms, ensure you have social share buttons on every content piece. These buttons themselves are enough to give you this information.
You can also use Buzzsumo to track this metric.
Another way of measuring engagement is to track the traffic you get from different social media networks. More clicks from these networks imply that individuals interact with and share your content. Locate this information under Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals in Google Analytics, and you can visualize the trends over time.
6. SEO Performance
We know that not all traffic comes from social media sites. So you must get loads of visitors from search as well. Marketing analytics software can help you check and track the proportion of your website visits that come from searches. But the thing is, it won’t tell you much about how well your website is performing in search engines.
So, what should you do instead?
Measure your SEO performance by tracking one of the most important metrics – SERP ranking. It tells your page’s position in the search engine results for a specific keyword phrase.
Remember, rankings tend to fluctuate and aren’t static. However, tracking your ranking over time should be either static (if you are already in a good position) or improving (which means your authority and trust are increasing with time).
Use the Google Search Console to know the terms you are ranking for, and make it a point to check if your rankings change with time.
One of the metrics to measure your content performance is authority. Unfortunately, it is a difficult relativity metric to measure, but it’s still useful to help increase your authority with time.
High authority means more search traffic, improvements in SEO, and an increase in trust and conversion rate. It also helps develop your brand.
Use Moz’s authority metric to know how Google may judge the authority of your page and site. PA (page authority) and DA (domain authority) scores range from 1-100. Higher scores mean greater authority.
Honestly, there’s no telling what a good PA and DA score to aim for is. Just remember that you require a higher score than your competitors.
Apart from tracking these scores, you can also try other ways to get an idea of your real-world authority. For example, metrics such as mentions of your brand on social networking sites, links to your content, and media coverage indicate that your brand presence and authority are increasing.
Wrapping it Up
You can track several metrics once you hit ‘publish’ to find out how effective and impactful your content is. But, of course, the sooner you track the performance of your content, the more data you’ll have to learn from and make changes accordingly.
Pro tip: Put together a spreadsheet to track these metrics over time.
All in all, focus on delivering valuable content to your audience and track these metrics. Rinse and repeat.
Now that you know how to track content performance, it’s time to get cracking!
To know how to create content that attracts converts, refer to this ultimate guide to content creation.