Content is king. Or so the adage goes—but not all content is created equal.
The more appropriate adage would be “Quality content is king.”
Quality content doesn’t just refer to thought-provoking white papers and well-written blog posts with skillfully integrated keywords. Yes, your content should be informative, entertaining, and free of grammatical errors—but none of those things alone guarantee you have high-quality content. To make that determination, you need data—but how do you measure quality? We’ve compiled a list of five key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help measure the success of your content to interest, engage, and convert website visitors.
1. Website Traffic
Measuring your page views and unique visitors gives you two pieces of very specific information:
- How many times your website and individual pages have been viewed
- How many different users visited your website
These are pretty basic metrics, however, that doesn’t mean they are unimportant. Unique visitor and page-view statistics are easy to track, making it simple to measure improvement in the short term and see the impact of your efforts to increase traffic. Additionally, with a tool like Google Analytics, you can see the channels and sources that directed traffic to your site.
2. Time Spent on Your Page & Bounce Rate
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help drive traffic to your website. But great content is what keeps people there and brings them back. Measuring the amount of time someone spends on your website, combined with your bounce rate, can give you a clear picture of how well your content delivers what your SEO promised. A high bounce rate alone can indicate your content does not align with targeted keywords or is simply not engaging enough to hold a reader’s interest.
3. How Your Content is Viewed
Your website is optimized for mobile viewing, right? Great! What about your content? Predictions indicate that by 2020, mobile viewing will constitute at least half of all content viewing. According to research by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are already being used more often than desktop computers for all internet browsing. If fewer than 50% of your web visitors are viewing your content on a mobile device, you have room for improvement.
4. Heat Maps
Heat maps, such as the ones you can create using Crazy Egg, offer invaluable insight on to your visitors’ browsing habits. A heat map can tell you which types of content, webpages, and even sections within a webpage are garnering the most views and converting visitors into customers. You can also use a heat map to determine what is making visitors leave your site.
5. Engagement on Social Media
Social media has transformed the power of word of mouth. When you offer content that provides value, people engage. Social media engagement can take several forms, but if you are curious as to the performance of a specific piece of content, there are two metrics to check out.
First, are people commenting on your posts? What type of comments are you receiving? Whatever comments you get, don’t forget, this is a great time to begin cultivating a relationship with potential customers. Respond to comments, positive and negative, in a positive and professional way.
Second, is the post getting shared and, if so, where? Performance across social media platforms can vary significantly for the exact same content. For example, you may get more shares on Twitter than Facebook but have a higher conversion percentage of visitors who originate from Facebook.
If you want to know the caliber of content you have on your website, it’s time to look beyond the content itself. Tracking these five KPIs can provide you a plethora of insight about the ways people interact with your content and navigate your website. Armed with this data, you can begin to format a content marketing strategy that builds on your successes and to transform underperforming areas.
Elizabeth L is a celebrant and former adjunct professor of English with a background in non-profit administration and customer service. She holds an MA in English with a graduate concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University. She also holds a BA in English with a minor in Religious Studies from Westminster College. Her professional writing experience includes academic research, literary criticism, grant writing, non-profit copywriting, and copyediting.