Listed below are seventeen of the most relevant analytics for tracking and improving your content marketing program.
#1. Time on site
The amount of time your visitors spend on your site is one of the best indicators of their engagement with your website content.
If your time on site is improving, but the number of leads you’re generating is not, look at your calls-to-action to see why your visitors from taking the next step.
#2. Unique visitors
Measuring the number of unique visitors your site receives and tracking this metric over time, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your marketing campaigns are working.
#3. Returning visitors
Long-term followers is every bit as important as driving new leads to your site. The number of returning visitors to your site will tell you whether or not your content has gained any level of “traction.”
#4. Total leads
Leads are the most import pare of your business, that is why generating leads is an important part of any content marketing strategy. This metric by tracking the number of lead gen form completions you receive, free trial signups you capture, and email subscribers or social media fans that you convert into future buyers.
#5. Bounce rate
When a visitor hits one of your pages and then clicks “Back” without engaging further that is a “bounce”, high bounce rates can indicate that people aren’t interested in what you are offering.
Bounce rate is tracked on a page-by-page basis. If you see a page or series of pages with a high bounce rate, you’ll need to improve the quality or relevancy of your content to keep your visitors around.
#6. Volume of organic leads
Leads generated from organic search traffic, direct referrals and social media tend to be more cost-effective than paid leads. You’ll want to measure the percentage of leads you receive from organic sources to ensure you’re taking advantage of these mechanisms.
#7. Organic inbound links
Organic inbound links will provide higher quality leads and are more SEO value than links that you build manually. This metric will help you to keep an eye on the traction your content is gaining within your community. If there is a sharp increase in unsolicited inbound links, there’s a good chance one of your content pieces is going viral!
#8. Cost effectiveness
Inbound leads from content marketing and other organic sources are reportedly 61% cheaper than leads generated from outbound marketing, but that doesn’t mean they’re free!
To determine the cost-effectiveness of these leads, calculate the cost of your content marketing campaign relative to the value of the leads that you generate. For more accurate numbers, be sure to take into consideration intangible costs, such as the value of the time you spent creating your content or the overhead expenses associated with your computer and other equipment.
#9. Lead-close rate
Well-executed content marketing strategies will make viewers more receptive to your marketing messages. The result is an interesting metric to track is the number of leads you go on to close.
#10. Call-to-action click-through rate
While measuring your overall lead-close rate is important, it can be difficult to identify specific ways to improve it without involving other data.
In my experience, you can use your call-to-action click-through rate as kind of a proxy that helps you determine whether weaknesses in your lead-close rate could be coming from your content or your sales process.
#11. Total social shares
A July 2014 report from Shareaholic showed thatapproximately 30% of website traffic is driven by social media. Measuring your social shares will help you determine what kind of traction your content is receiving on social platforms, in addition to how well your business is taking advantage of this traffic source.
To get started, measure your overall social shares, the number of social shares each piece of content received and the number of visitors that arrived on your website from social sites. Doing so will show you what types of content to focus on in the future, as well as on which social platforms you should allocate your marketing resources.
#12. Keyword rankings
The goal of a good content marketing campaign isn’t necessarily better SEO performance, but the two often go hand-in-hand.
When you publish content pieces on your website, you increase the number of keywords you can potentially be found for. At the same time, when you improve the SEO of the content pieces you’ve created, you increase their likelihood of appearing in the organic search results.
So basically, if you’re following content marketing and SEO best practices, you should be seeing an increase in the number of keywords you’re ranking for, as well as how high you’re ranking. Tracking these metrics is a fun way to see if your campaigns are having their intended effect.
#13. Landing page views
The website traffic needs to be funneled to the landing pages where visitors can actually take one of your desired actions (like, for example, opting-in to your email list or buying a product).
that is why you will want to measure both the overall website views and landing page views as well make sure your visitors are getting to the right place.
#14. External referral sources to landing pages
Review your external sites that are sending traffic to your website. Identifying these web pages – especially the ones that are driving conversions will give you important insight into the channels you should focus your off-site content marketing efforts on.
#15. Internal referral sources to landing pages
If there are pages within your own site are driving traffic and conversions to your landing pages you need to know which under-performing pages will require a little extra attention and what types of content are most likely to drive referrals to your landing pages.
#16. Leads per keyword
Identifying the keywords to optimize your website for is one of the most important factors any digital marketing guru must review.
Measure the number of leads that each of your target keywords generates for you. If you can find keywords that perform well, but for which you aren’t ranked highly in the SERPs, focus your attention on those words and the number of organic leads will increase.
#17. Reader comments
Reader comments may be a strange metric to track but will give you a good idea of how well visitors are engaging with your content.
It not required to use all of the metric but choose at least 3-5 of the metrics described above and set up a monitoring program that tracks them using Google Analytics or another analytics tool.