When investing heavily in content marketing for your website, business, or lead generation, you want to ensure you know ways to identify your top content. Content creation takes a lot of effort, resolve, and strategy to ensure success. Data analysis can heavily influence decisions on a strategy and your content marketing tactics.
This article focuses on four content performance identification methods that can help you improve your content strategy and ensure you create content that meets your goals and objectives.
Use Analytics to Measure Performance
Analytics is indispensable for businesses seeking to improve their digital marketing and content creation efforts. There are a multitude of metrics that can track content performance.
Queuing in on these data points can help you gain more traffic through better organic rankings in search engines. Analytics also provides insights into consumer behavior. You can use it to figure out ways to attract your target audience to your content.
Let’s explore some of the key indicators you should be tracking to discover ways to improve your content marketing efforts.
Sessions refer to interactions within a website that occur over a set time period. A session may contain multiple interactions like triggering events, completion of a goal or transaction, and browsing multiple pages within the same session.
Sessions help establish a baseline of how much traffic a website might receive over any given period of time. It can also help define which channels are bringing in traffic to the web pages (organic, social, direct, referral, paid, etc.).
Time on Page
Time on page is another important metric used to measure content performance. It refers to a visitor’s time spent on a single web page. With this analysis, you can identify pages that hold visitors’ attention. Likewise, it also tells you which pages may need improvement. Here’s how time on page is used to identify your top content.
Measure time on page: Using Google Analytics, measure the average time visitors spend on each page of your website.
Analyze content: Look at the content on the pages with high time-on-page metrics. Is the content engaging, informative, and relevant? Are there visual aids to help users better understand the content? Analyzing the content can help identify the key factors contributing to high time-on-page metrics.
Compare time on page with other metrics: Compare time on page with other metrics such as bounce rate, exit rate, and conversion rate to identify correlations. For example, pages with high time on page, low bounce rates, and exit rates indicate that the content is engaging and relevant.
Identify low-engagement content: Look for existing content with low time-on-page metrics. This may indicate that the content is not resonating with the visitor. Identify content below the site average and work to improve the content.
You will want to identify opportunities for content improvement based on the traffic channel. For example, if you are looking to improve your organic traffic on a specific page, you would not examine metrics related to paid traffic to make a determination on engagement metrics.
Optimize content: Use the insights gained from analyzing time on the page to optimize content. Optimization could mean many things. You might need to shorten the content or make it longer.
You may need to break the content up better and provide a summary, images, video content, etc. You will want to look closely at what competitor websites are doing to determine what resonates with the target audience and search engines.
Bounce & Exit Rate
Bounce, and exit rates are crucial metrics in web analytics that indicate visitors’ engagement with a website’s content. Bounce rates are a less important factor than they used to be, depending on the traffic channel the visitor arrives by.
A bounce refers to a user viewing a single piece of content and leaving the site from that web page. You can calculate the bounce rate by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the total number of sessions on the website.
A high rate indicates that visitors are not engaging with the content and are quickly leaving the site. This is dependent on the traffic channel they arrive on. For example, paid traffic will always have a higher bounce rate than other mediums as it seeks to cast a wider net.
The exit rate is the percentage of visitors who leave a website from any particular page. Unlike the bounce rate, these visitors may have engaged with other pages on the site before leaving.
The exit rate is calculated by dividing the number of exits from a page by the total page views. High exit rates may indicate that the website has a poor information architecture, so information is hard to find. It may also indicate that the user experience is sub-par, making the website unusable. This might be based on device type, i.e. mobile vs desktop.
When you find pages on your site that have high exit rates, you should seek to understand better if that is the use case for that page or if there may be a problem leading to users leaving the site from that page.
Acquisition channels are the sources that drive traffic to a website. For example, organic search, social media, email campaigns, paid advertising, and direct traffic. According to SEMrush, 73% of respondents share that they use social media channels to promote content.
Analyzing your acquisition channels can provide insights into which channels drive the most website traffic, engagement, and conversions.
To identify your top content through acquisition channels, follow these steps.
Set up the proper measurement protocols and tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to help determine which channels are bringing in traffic.
Establish baselines over a 30-day period to help you determine which content is providing the most value. Look at which have started to rank organically in the search engine results. Look at which have helped in acquiring relevant links to your website.
Do some competitor analysis to help determine which of your competitor pages are outperforming yours. Content success can stem from reviewing other websites that perform well in the channel you wish to dominate.
Analyze which channels you’re using to promote your content and track marketing campaign performance. This is where A/B testing can be effective. If you have been solely relying on social media traffic, try expanding your social media properties to include a new platform.
If you solely rely on email marketing, try to A/B test certain headlines and calls to action or segment your list to get more personal.
Your best-performing content may not be the blog post or article on the first page of Google. You may find that email, social media, or referral traffic is your best acquisition channel based on your most successful content and its ability to reach customers.
Ensuring you make data-driven decisions with your content marketing efforts is critical for long-term gains. You want your content development efforts to provide value in multiple ways and for as long as possible.
Social Media Performance
Social media platforms offer a significant means for promoting your content and reaching your target audience. Measuring your content’s performance across the platforms you incorporate into your social media marketing is important.
Statista shows that 55% of the surveyed content marketers use social media engagement to measure their content performance.
Metrics that Cross Channels
When measuring social media performance, you can use several metrics across channels. Here’re the metrics you can use to identify your top content.
Views refer to the number of times users have seen your content. This metric is important because it indicates the reach of your content.
You can use the onboard analytics tools of each social media platform to track views. Most platforms offer built-in analytics allowing you to track the views for any content you post, be it written, audio, or video content.
Shares can also be an important indicator of the virality of your content. If the content is shared widely, it can increase visibility and engagement.
As more users engage with the content, you can better understand your audience’s interests. This information can help you create more targeted and effective content in the future.
Likes can be a useful metric for measuring social media performance for content. When users like a piece of content, it indicates that they found the content valuable.
By tracking the number of likes a piece of content receives, you can get a sense of how well your content is affecting your audience. It helps you to identify your top content and incorporate it into future strategies.
Comments can provide insights into the quality and relevance of your content. These assist in identifying areas of improvement and opportunities for building relationships with your audience.
You can learn more about user behavior by monitoring the comments section of your social media posts.
Most content marketing teams measure the success of their content by how well it drives organic traffic to the site. The measurements of success here are typically organic traffic based on keyword ranking and the content’s performance from a link-building standpoint.
In order to perform well in search results, you need to understand the keywords that someone will use to find your result, which means investing time in keyword research. There is no more important element to organic performance than understanding which keywords will drive the best ranking and most targeted traffic to your content.
There are many keyword research tools you can invest in to find the top keywords that will be most important to your audience and, thus, your content marketing. However, one free tool is Search Console.
Google’s free tool allows you to see every keyword you rank for, where you rank, which piece of content ranks and helps you determine what needs to be an area of focus for new content to improve organic potential.
The second most critical aspect of improving organic performance over time is obtaining backlinks to your content. A backlink is a vote of confidence from other websites across the internet that tells the search engines that your site is trustworthy and has valuable information.
When you obtain a healthy backlink portfolio, you will see your organic rankings improve for valuable keywords, and you will be able to easily identify top content resonating with users, search engines, and across the web.
Content marketers who invest in SEO understand the nature of backlink building and how critical it is to improve content marketing efforts. Investing in your own content in this manner allows for any piece of created content to have more potential to be a resource for the user, and it allows your content ideas to have a longer lifespan.
Lead Generation Performance
Lead generation performance is a crucial metric for identifying top-performing content. Because it directly correlates to the number of leads generated by your content marketing efforts. The following three key metrics for measuring lead generation performance
Click-through rate (CTR)
The click-through rate analyzes the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your content compared to the people who just saw it. This metric is important because it shows how effectively your content attracts potential customers to your website or landing page.
To improve your CTR:
- Make sure your content is visually appealing and easily scannable, and navigable.
- Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages readers to click through to your website.
- Leverage different types of content, such as videos or interactive quizzes, to see what resonates best with your audience.
The number of people who take a desired action after clicking through to your website or landing page. This could include filling out a form, downloading a white paper, or making a purchase. This metric is important because it shows how well your content is able to convert potential customers into leads.
To improve your conversion rate:
- Optimize your landing page for conversions.
- Add a compelling headline, a strong value proposition, and an intuitive form.
- You can also offer different incentives, such as free trials or discounts, to see what drives the most conversions.
Won business measures the number of leads that ultimately become paying customers. It shows the actual revenue generated by your content marketing efforts.
To improve your closed business rate:
- Ensure your sales team effectively follows up with leads and nurtures them through the sales funnel.
- You can also employ marketing automation tools to send targeted follow-up emails based on user behavior.
- It’s critical to employ data tracking through the marketing stack in order to ensure you have the most accurate and complete data to mine for this type of information.
Read Next: Best SEO Services for an Online Business
Creating content that performs optimally is no easy feat. It is getting more complicated each day as search engines continue to change the rules and evolve to exclude many of the results and serve their own answers to search queries.
As we continue to see the real estate dedicated to organic search engine results decrease, we need to create content that performs. Whether it be a simple blog post or an interactive video slideshow, the proper measurement of its performance is paramount to content marketing success.