In most cases, engagement is the primary objective of content. 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 know the real value of content engagement?
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. And while many may argue that content is subjective, the reality is that it’s very possible to measure the impact of your content.
It’s not easy to do—especially not manually. Maybe this is where you are now—in spreadsheet purgatory. Filling in numbers from numerous sources, trying to paint a broader picture.
There are many different content marketing metrics you should be tracking. They can tell you all different kinds of things about your content’s performance, but it’s vital to understand which ones actually inform you about 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. Users who are more engaged are more likely to share your content, buy your products and services, and be loyal to your brand. Seventy-nine percent of B2C marketers use engagement metrics to measure the performance of their content.
There are hundreds of potential content engagement metrics you could track, but it’s best to focus on a few that provide you with the most valuable information to improve your content strategy. Here are some of the most common for you to consider.
Pageviews (traffic volume of a specific page) is a metric that pretty much everyone tracks. It’s very easy to measure and a more general metric than many others, but 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, but this doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about how engaging your content is.
You must use this information in combination with other, more specific metrics to get valuable insight into how your content is performing. For example, if your pageviews are up but other engagement metrics are down, this is a huge red flag that you need to make some changes.
2. Time Spent on Page
Time spent on page shows you how much time users spent looking at a particular piece of content on your site. Time spent on the actual page is critical to engagement. The longer they linger, the more they read or watch. However, this isn’t the same as session duration, which you find in Google Analytics. Google measures the total time spent by a user on your website and then counts all the pages they see.
The average time spent on page relates to each page specifically. You’ll know by looking at this metric whether they thought the content was worth their time. If the time is short, then you can say that your headline must have been a good hook but what came after fell a little flat.
This time will be related to the length of your content – obviously, longer articles take longer to read than shorter ones. But if your time spent on page is very short, this indicates that users are clicking through to your content (maybe attracted by a good headline) and then abandoning it because they’re not engaged. This is a bad sign.
Google Analytics does give you an idea of the pieces of content people are engaging with the most and the least. From this, you should be able to figure out how to create more engaging content in the future.
You also have to add context to the information. It takes much longer to read a 2,000-word post than to scan an infographic. What you need to do is determine the amount of time on each page and determine which ones had the longest engagement. Then see what those pages have in common and if you can replicate that on other pages or future content.
3. Session Duration and Pages Per Session
These two metrics give you information about how engaged users are with your content when they land on your site.
A long session duration is usually an indication of an engaged user. However, you need to look at it in combination with pages per session and time spent on page.
A high number of pages per session means that users are exploring your site. However, if they’re only spending a few seconds on each page and then clicking onto the next, it means they’re not finding the information they’re looking for or your content isn’t engaging enough.
If your average number of pages per session is high but session duration is low, this might be an indication that you need to improve the navigation and user experience of your site.
4. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a metric that’s related to time spent on page. Your bounce rate basically tells you how many people click through to your site and then leave after only viewing one page.
A high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad sign as it may mean that users are finding exactly what they need quickly.
However, it’s worth keeping an eye on your bounce rate both as an average across your site and on a per-page basis. If your aim is to keep users on your site and reading more of your content, you should aim for a low bounce rate.
You can often improve your bounce rate by improving your content, user experience, and internal linking.
Content that’s designed to convert may have a higher bounce rate, but this is OK as long as the users are taking action rather than simply clicking the back button and leaving.
5. Conversion Rate
For most businesses, this is one of the most important metrics to track. Not all content has a clear conversion goal, but if you’re hoping people will sign up to your mailing list or buy your products after reading your content, 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. But it’s important to set appropriate conversion goals. For example, if your conversion rate of website visitors to newsletter signups is high, great! But if you don’t actually have a plan for how to market to your list, you’re not taking advantage of this resource.
6. Social Media Likes, Shares and Replies
Don’t forget to track the performance of content on your social media channels. Social networks can drive a significant amount of traffic to your site and can also be an effective way to build brand awareness and trust.
While it’s nice to have a high follower count on social media, this metric usually isn’t the most important one to track. Instead, pay attention to how many people are commenting on your posts and sharing your content with their own audiences.
A share on social media is like a personal endorsement of your content, so it’s a strong gauge of engagement. 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 this engagement on the platform doesn’t mean they actually clicked to your content and read it. So, while the share is critical in disseminating your content to new eyes, it’s also critical to look at the referral of traffic from social media to the page to understand if your social media followers engaged with the content.
7. Email Signups
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.
That’s why having email signups is essential to your content. It’s another critical KPI for your content marketing program. The best way to execute this is to embed an email signup directly into your posts—one that’s simple and only asks for an email address.
Then you have a way to communicate and nurture your lead, and it’s still the preferred method of contact for consumers, with 61% preferring it over other communications.
Are You Making the Most of Your Content Analytics?
Tracking your content analytics is an important part of measuring success and improving your content strategy. But, it can be confusing, especially when you’re using the built-in analytics from several platforms.
DivvyHQ integrates with content analytics sources from all major digital marketing platforms and presents them in one place in a way that’s clear and easy to understand.
To find out more, get in touch with us today to schedule a demo.