Content Marketing KPIs: The Complete Guide
Tracking how well your marketing campaign is doing online can be tricky. Many variables will affect the engagement and traffic on your website.
That’s why we use key performance indicators (KPIs). These help you keep an eye on how people interact with your content.
So, let’s take a look at what content marketing KPIs can do for you.
Importance of Content Marketing KPIs
When you consider a digital business, its main product is content. As we mentioned before, checking how well the material is performing becomes more difficult as the organization grows.
So, to make matters simpler, we can rely on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
These are markers that allow you to quantify the size of your business.
For example, you can keep an eye on aspects, like traffic to your page and social media engagement.
These will help you track how well your company is doing, and what you can do to improve it.
On top of that, you can see if you’re using the correct channels to reach your audience.
It’ll also give you a better idea of what your clients are looking for. That way, you can plan your future projects accordingly.
Choosing the Best Content Marketing KPIs
There are hundreds of KPI strategies that you can implement in your business. Each one will address a different aspect of your company.
For example, some of them work on brand awareness, while others focus on engagement.
So, before we jump into the different content marketing KPIs, it’s a good idea to set goals first.
To help you do that, you can use the SMART method.
That stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-defined.
One of the reasons people struggle with achieving their goals is the lack of specificity.
When you set a general milestone, it can be difficult to track your progress.
For example, a target like increasing brand awareness looks great on paper. However, when you try to implement this, you don’t know where to start.
That’s why the first step is figuring out exactly what you want to do with your content.
To make this a little easier, here are a few examples of specific goals:
- Calculating the number of views on a particular page
- Increasing the number of social media shares
- Boosting the number of followers on a thread
These are all objectives that you can follow and work toward achieving.
Business growth can come in many forms. Some focus on increasing sales, while others look at the amount of traffic.
Either way, you need to be able to quantify the variable you’re measuring.
For instance, saying that you want to increase traffic is specific, but not measurable.
Instead, you can set a goal to boost traffic from 100 visitors to 200. That way, you can tell exactly how well the KPI strategies are working.
Setting ambitious goals is an excellent way to drive your business to grow quickly. This will lead you to work harder to reach your target.
Unfortunately, this can be a double-edged sword.
When the objective is too far out of reach, large goals can be demotivating. That’s because the progress will be painfully slow.
So, your targets need to be achievable.
To help you set these goals, you have to be aware of the inner workings of your business.
That includes keeping an eye on how your content performs in general. Aspects like total traffic and number of shares can come in handy when setting goals.
To make sure your KPIs are helping you achieve your goals, they have to be relevant.
Let’s say you’re interested in increasing the amount of engagement on a specific post.
A few examples of relevant objectives are:
- Boost brand awareness
- Increase the average session duration
- Grow organic traffic to the site
These will all help you grow engagement. They may work indirectly, but they’ll still help you reach your target.
Setting a more general aim, like increasing revenue margins, is good for the bottom line. However, this won’t do much to drive up engagement.
The biggest mistake people make when setting goals is leaving them open-ended.
Generally, objectives need a specific time frame to be effective.
Saying you’ll increase the traffic to your site from 100 visitors to 200 is great, but there’s a missing element.
You also have to mention how much time you have to achieve this aim.
This will allow you to assess the effectiveness of the KPIs you’re using.
If they don’t help you achieve your goals in the allocated time, then you need to switch them up.
The budget isn’t one of the main rules for setting SMART goals. However, it deserves an honorable mention.
That’s because, at the end of the day, if your objectives don’t match your budget, you can’t work toward them.
So, before you implement any KPIs, it’s crucial that you figure out the aim allowance.
This can help you decide how many KPIs to use and if they’re productive.
Types of Content Marketing KPIs
KPIs are an excellent way to keep track of how well your content is performing. They give you an idea of whether or not your marketing strategies are effective.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into the different types of content marketing KPIs you can use.
1. Number of New Content Pieces Published
When you first start an online website, the main goal is to fill it up. You want to begin adding new content to attract an audience.
As you can imagine, the more pieces you publish, the greater the traffic through your site will be.
Yet, few people know that the frequency of new content releases will affect traffic.
To help you understand this, let’s dive into how search engines work.
When a user enters a query on a site like Google, it'll scour the internet for information.
The search engine will cross-reference the question with all the data it finds. Eventually, Google will come back with a list of possible answers.
Then, in a list form, it’ll place these links in a specific order. To decide this sequence, the search engine will look through the hosting websites.
The more often a site publishes transparent content, the higher the ranking.
Ideally, new websites should be posting about three or four pieces of original content a week. This will put you on every search engine’s radar.
You can publish more content, but the quality is key. You have to ensure the content adds valuable information to your site.
2. Total Article Views
The number of times people visit a specific article can provide you with useful data.
For example, let’s say this week you published two articles:
- Article 1 is an informational piece on marketing strategies
- Article 2 is a how-to guide on implementing these strategies
Depending on which article has the most views, you can decide what your audience is after.
If the first piece has the highest amount of traffic, it means your clients prefer reading raw data.
When the how-to guide gets the most attention, your audience wants actionable material.
Using this information, you can streamline your site to match your consumer’s needs.
That way, you don’t waste time, energy, or money on content that they don’t want to read.
It’s important to note that you need to collect this data for a long while before you make a decision.
This is because it’s almost impossible to forecast audience views based on one article.
Moving on, you can use your website’s back-end terminal to keep an eye on the article views. However, this can be a little tedious.
Luckily, Google Analytics has a tool that can help you out. It can even show you where the traffic is coming from and the bounce rate for each article.
3. Average Duration of Active Sessions
The average session duration is the period a client spends on a specific website.
To calculate this, you can divide the total amount of time spent by the number of active sessions.
For example, a website gets 10,000 visitors a month. During these sessions, the users spent 40,000 minutes in total reading through pages.
That means the average duration is around four minutes per session.
Typically, an average of two to five minutes is good for a new website. Although, this number will vary depending on what type of content you publish.
Additionally, videos tend to receive the highest engagement time. On the other hand, written articles get the least.
While collecting this data, it’s a good idea to take a look at the type of devices people use when visiting your site.
With phones, users spend an average of four minutes on a website. As for laptops, the number is closer to six minutes.
That information will come in handy in many ways.
For starters, you can use it to identify specific pages that users like to spend a lot of time on. This is a great way to find out what type of formatting works best.
Another benefit is that you can check on the overall performance of the website.
4. Total Website Traffic
When considering the total traffic on your website, there are two main categories. These are organic and inorganic.
The inorganic variety includes site visits that directly result from paid advertising. That could be in the form of affiliate links or social media.
This will allow you to assess how effective your marketing strategies are.
Organic, on the other hand, deals with visits that come from unpaid sources. This can show you the overall performance of your website.
While both types of traffic will affect your bottom line, the organic variety is more crucial.
That’s because it can affect your overall ranking.
When someone finds your content through Google, the search engine will keep a record. It’ll use this for future reference.
So, when another user enters the same query, chances are Google will recommend your site. The more often this happens, the higher your ranking.
For this to work, you also need to keep an eye on the average session duration. Users clicking off a link right after they enter a page may raise some red flags and reduce the ranking.
There are a few different ways you can drive up organic traffic.
- Writing original content
- Including fair, unbiased reviews on your website
- Comparing your content to competitors
- Coming up with creative solutions for problems
5. Important Word Ranking
Since the internet is a vast space, finding specific content can be challenging. That’s why many content creators rely on search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
They use keywords to tell search engines that an article contains the data a user is looking for.
These keywords will depend on the type of website you’re running. For instance, a site that deals with apparel should look for words like clothes, pants, or fashion.
As you can imagine, the higher your ranking, the more organic traffic you can generate.
That’s because engines like Google will place your articles at the top of their list.
To improve your important word ranking, there are a couple of tactics you can try out:
- Add a meta description to your content
- Use relevant keywords often
- Include your target keyword in a header tag (H1)
- Send search engines a detailed sitemap with a guide
- Produce valuable content to encourage backlinks
These are all effective methods, but it'll take time for any results to show up. So, you have to stick to a routine and slowly build up your ranking.
There are many tools online that can help you track this. One of our favorites is Ahrefs. All you have to do is visit the site and enter your domain name.
Then import a list of important keywords and start tracking your ranking.
You’ll be able to see your current position and compare your data to other competitors.
6. Inbound Links
Google searches aren’t the only way people can find your content. Another excellent method is through inbound links.
When you publish an article, users can then link to your content on their website.
That means anyone that visits the secondary site can find your page. This will automatically increase the traffic to your business.
On top of that, as more people link to your article, search engines will begin to recognize your content.
That will signal that your website is a credible, authoritative source.
Tracking inbound links can be useful for a couple of reasons.
First off, it’ll let you know who’s using your content as a reference. Is it small businesses that are just getting their start, or major competitors in your field?
Depending on the answer, you can gauge how well your website is faring.
Other than that, it’ll give you an idea of how people use your site. Are they linking to a few specific articles, for example?
If so, this will help you know what type of content is getting the most attention. Using this information, you can tailor your site to work better for inbound links.
Remember, more links will lead to higher traffic. You should check out this guide on how to increase your inbound links.
7. Audience Engagement
Engagement is how your audience interacts with the content you share.
The most basic type is when a user simply views your page. However, there are many other methods of engagement.
- Liking a post
- Sharing an article
- Commenting on content
- Quoting direct lines from your site
Every time a user interacts with your work, it’ll improve your website ranking. Content with high engagement rates will pull more traffic toward your site.
Besides that, it’ll show you how the audience feels about your work.
This is an excellent indicator of how your content will perform in the future. That’s because you can see what users react positively or negatively towards.
In addition, you’ll be able to understand the extent of your website’s reach. With this information, you can hone in on your most active demographic.
Once you figure out your target audience, tailoring your content will be a piece of cake.
You can also make use of the engagement data to help you decide on your next marketing strategy.
Since you can see who interacts with your posts, you’ll know who stays away from them too.
This will make coming up with a plan to attract new clients much simpler.
8. Rate of Contact Conversion
If you're selling a specific product or service on your site, it’s a good idea to track the rate of contact conversion.
This is the percentage of users that enter your website and make a purchase. It’ll show how successful your sales efforts are at turning users into paying customers.
There are three types of contacts that should interest you:
- Past (clients that no longer interact with your site)
- Existing (clients that are actively purchasing services on your site)
- Leads (potential clients)
You can use apps like HubSpot to help you track these.
Moving on, there are a few factors that’ll have an impact on your contact conversion rate.
The pages need to be sleek and easy to navigate to give clients a chance to find the service they’re looking for.
Other than that, potential customers like to learn from past buyers’ experiences. That’s why having an up-to-date review section is crucial.
It’ll give users the opportunity to get to know the product before purchasing it, which builds trust.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to streamline the buying process. Make sure your customers don’t have to jump through many hoops to get to the check-out menu.
9. Sales Cycle Schedule
We all know that timing is one of the main factors that’ll affect your strategy. That’s why you need to have a full understanding of your sales cycle.
This is the duration it takes from when a client first makes contact to when they finally buy a product.
Typically, when a customer finds a product they like, they’ll spend some time researching it.
They’ll go through your entire website trying to collect all the relevant data. Then, once they’re satisfied, they’ll make a purchase.
Your main goal is to ensure this period is as short as possible. So, you can track the sales cycle to see what’s causing the delay in purchasing.
With that information, you can address any missing links on your website. For example, you may need to include more details about a product or an in-depth review.
This can also help you forecast your sales for the year. In addition, it’ll affect how you plan your future marketing strategies.
Regulating Content Marketing KPIs
After deciding on what KPIs to track, it’s time to figure out who’s responsible for collecting the data.
Outsourcing tracking duties is an excellent option. This way, you don’t have to worry about calculating any complicated numbers.
However, this method isn’t always effective. That’s because the external business doesn’t have intimate knowledge of your company.
Instead, it’s a better idea to hire a content manager. This is an employee whose sole purpose is to regulate your content marketing KPIs.
This may increase your costs in the short run, but it’s a great investment for the future.
That’s because content managers can help you with:
- Developing a consistent brand
- Establishing an online presence
- Overseeing marketing & content strategies
- Engaging new audience demographics
- Gauging customer satisfaction
On top of that, with a designated manager, staying on top of KPI trends is much easier. You’ll be able to collect data and make use of it in real time.
There are many factors that go into deciding on the best content marketing KPIs to track. To help you work out which indicators are best for your business, you can create SMART goals.
Once that’s done, there are quite a few KPI options to choose from. That includes:
- Number of new content pieces published
- Total website traffic
- Inbound links
To get the most out of tracking KPIs, make sure to hire a content manager.