7 Key Metrics to Track When Measuring Your Content Engagement

With the increase in resources and budgets dedicated to content marketing across global marketing and comms teams, it’s no surprise that 81% of B2B and 82% of B2C teams are measuring content performance. Though numerous performance metrics provide insight, engagement is usually the primary content objective.

You want your target audience to consume it, absorb it, and connect with it. But how do you know if it’s really effective? How do you begin to understand your content’s impact and the actual value of content engagement?

It helps to dial into specific engagement metrics, separating them from other types of key performance indicators, to see how your audience interacts and responds. Let’s have a look at why measuring engagement is essential and the top metrics to track.

Why Are Engagement Metrics Important?

Content drives your business. Its job is to attract buyers to your brand and the solution you offer that will help them meet their challenges. Though many may argue that content is subjective, the reality is that it’s very possible to measure your content’s impact.

It isn’t easy to do, especially not manually. If this is where you are now — in spreadsheet purgatory, filling in numbers from numerous sources, trying to paint a broader picture — rest assured, there is a better way.

There are numerous content marketing metrics to track that can tell you all sorts of things about your content’s performance. However, it’s vital to understand which ones actually track and measure content engagement.

Engagement metrics are important to track because they show you how well your content is aligned with the needs and interests of your audience. Analyzing these indicators also:

  • Provides a better understanding of your target audience
  • Gives you insight into the buyer’s journey and helps you map it
  • Allows you to assess lead nurturing and customer loyalty
  • Informs your content strategy decisions

Additionally, more engaged users are more likely to share your content, buy your products and services, and turn into loyal brand customers.

The top metrics B2B marketers used in the past 12 months include engagement metrics such as website and email engagement.

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Which Metrics Should You Track?

You could track any number of metrics to measure content engagement, but it’s best to focus on a few that provide you with the most valuable information to improve your content strategy. Here are seven of the most common engagement metric categories for you to consider.

1. Page Views and Unique Visitors

Pageviews (traffic volume of a specific page) is a metric that almost everyone tracks. It’s very easy to measure. However, it’s a fairly general metric, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s the most important metric to measure.

If your online campaigns are driving a lot of people to your site, your pageviews and traffic will increase. Increased page views are great, but the uptick in traffic doesn’t necessarily tell you how engaging your content is.

Using this information in combination with other, more specific metrics provides much more valuable insights into how your content is performing. For example, if your page views are up, but other engagement metrics are down, this is a huge red flag that you need to make some changes.

The number of unique visitors to your site is a similar engagement metric, except that a single visitor might have multiple page views. Analyzing data on the number of unique visitors provides a little more detail, telling you whether your reach is growing, shrinking, or remaining the same.

2. Time Spent on the Page (a.k.a. Average Engagement Time (GA4))

Time spent on the page shows you how much time users spend perusing a particular piece of content on your site. The time a viewer spends on a page is a critical measure of engagement.

The longer they linger, the more they read or watch.

The average time spent on a page relates to each page. This engagement metric tells you whether they thought the content was worth their time. If the duration is short, it may be that your headline must have been a good hook, but what came after fell a little flat.

Content format and length obviously impact session duration, so you may need to dig into the data to determine the relationship between content format, duration, and topic, and the time users spend engaged. Longer formats with shorter engagement time metrics mean visitors aren’t finding reasons to linger.

Google Analytics gives you an idea of which pages see the highest and lowest engagement rates. You can use this information to determine how to pivot your strategy to produce more of what your audience loves.

If you use Divvy Analytics, you can generate a report that lets you see engagement trends for each asset type. Our charts and graphs can display the essentials in easy-to-understand formats.

3. Session Duration and Pages Per Session

Session duration and pages per session are two engagement metrics that inform how visitors respond to your entire site. Session duration — which you find in Google Analytics — differs from time spent on the page. Google measures the total time a user spends on your website and counts all the pages they see.

A long session duration is usually an indication of an engaged user. Pairing session duration with pages per session provides more nuanced information.

If you see a high number of pages per session, users are exploring your site. However, if they’re only spending a few seconds on each page and then clicking away to the next, they’re likely not finding the information they’re looking for, or your content isn’t engaging enough.

On the other hand, if your average number of pages per session is high but session duration is low, this might indicate that you need to improve your site’s navigation and user experience.

4. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is an engagement metric related to time spent on the page. Your bounce rate tells you how many people click through to your site and leave after viewing only one page.

A high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad sign, as it may mean that users quickly find what they need. However, if you have a high bounce rate paired with a low average time spent on the page, your content might not provide the information visitors seek.

Additionally, Google Analytics 4 tallies a bounce when visitors remain on your site for less than 10 seconds. You may need to determine whether the bounce is a real bounce or a product of the type of information on your page.

It’s worth keeping an eye on your bounce rate both as an average across your site and on a per-page basis. You should aim for a low bounce rate to keep users on your site and reading more of your content.

To boost this engagement metric, look for ways to improve your content and user experience. You may also want to see if you regularly include internal links.

GA4 now won’t ding you if users leave your page quickly after a conversion. After all, viewers are taking action rather than simply clicking the back button and leaving so the page accomplishes its goal.

5. Conversion Rate

Conversion rates are usually one of the most critical metrics marketing and comms teams track. Not all content has a clear conversion goal, but if you’re hoping people will sign up for your mailing list or buy your products after reading your content, the conversion rate is directly linked to your marketing goals.

A high conversion rate is always a great sign that your content is engaging and your marketing strategy is effective. However, setting appropriate conversion goals is crucial.

For example, if your conversion rate of website visitors to newsletter signups is high, great! But if you don’t have a plan for marketing to your list, you’re not taking advantage of this resource.

6. Social Media Likes, Shares, and Replies

Don’t forget to include the performance of content on your social media channels in your engagement metrics. Social networks can drive significant traffic to your site and can also be an effective way to build brand awareness and trust.

While having a high follower count on social media is nice, this metric isn’t the most important to track. Instead, pay attention to how many people comment on your posts and share your content with their audiences.

A share on social media is like a personal endorsement of your content, so it’s a strong engagement barometer. Social media engagement is typically measured as the combination of likes, comments, and shares divided by the number of impressions of the post.

However, keep in mind that engagement on the platform doesn’t mean they actually clicked to your content and read it. While shares are critical in disseminating your content to new eyes, you’ll also need to utilize engagement metrics to understand if your visitors from social platforms engaged with your content.

Social media has different levels of purchasing influence across age groups:

Share of consumers whose purchasing decisions were influenced by social media advertising in the United States as of June 2021, by age group

Stats show the influence social media has on consumers from different age groups, indicating engagement metrics value.

Source: Statista

7. Email Signups, Open Rates, and Click-Through Rates

You want your content to convert visitors to leads to customers. If your content makes them think about their problems in a new way and provides insights, then they’ll want to know when you publish something new.

Email signups are an essential KPI for your content marketing program. The best way to execute this is to embed a subscription signup directly into your posts. Keep it simple and only ask for an email address.

Two other email engagement metrics to track are open and click-through rates. Having people subscribe to your email list is great, but if they never open the emails or click on links within those emails, their engagement ends after signup.

You may need to work on catchier subject lines if your open rates are low. For low click-through rates, you may need to revisit your target audience’s pain points and evaluate your messaging.

Developing a subscription list provides a way to communicate and nurture your leads. Additionally, it’s still the preferred method of contact for consumers, with 61% preferring it over other communications.

Are You Making the Most of Your Engagement Metrics?

Tracking your content analytics is important in measuring success and improving your content strategy. However, if you have to aggregate data from multiple channels to try to make sense of how well your content is meeting strategy goals, it gets confusing, tedious, and time-consuming.

Fortunately, DivvyHQ integrates with analytics data sources from many major digital marketing platforms. And with this data, we create custom analytics dashboards so you’ll always get the reports and insights you need.

Request a demo today to find out how we make gathering and analyzing engagement metrics easier.

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