So, you’ve decided to embark on a content marketing strategy. You’re creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage an audience. This is a fantastic first step. Content marketing increases brand awareness, improves SEO, generates leads, and more. But it can also help you build trust with your audience through the creation of value-laden content.
Understanding whether your content marketing efforts are successful is crucial for any business owner or marketer getting started with content marketing. Here are seven ways to tell whether your content marketing is working as well as two ways to speed up progress if it isn’t.
Traffic to your website is increasing.
Traffic is the most basic metric for content marketing. If you’re not getting traffic, you can’t get anything else! But traffic alone doesn’t tell you everything. Here are some other questions to ask yourself:
Is traffic increasing over time? This should be obvious, but if your traffic isn’t increasing and you’re investing more time and energy into your content marketing plan than before, it’s possible that something about how you’re doing things needs to change.
Are you getting more website visitors than last month? This question will show how well your strategy works in real-time. If this metric shows no improvement over time (or a decline), it might be time for a fresh approach or even a complete revamp of what content you publish when and where, so as not to lose valuable readership and engagement.
Track your traffic regularly. You can do this in several ways, but the easiest is through Google Analytics. Once you’ve set up an account and created a website, you can see how much traffic your site receives daily.
You can also look at how often people visit your site over time by checking “Traffic Sources” under “Acquisition” in the left menu bar. The information will give you insight into whether visitors return after their initial visit and whether they find what they need when they get there (i.e., whether they’re converting).
If your goal is to increase traffic–as it should be! –then set up goals with Google Analytics. Doing so will help you track whether your efforts are paying off.
Your keyword rankings are increasing.
If your keyword rankings increase over time, this shows that your content is relevant to the search engines and resonates with users. If you notice a decline in rankings for keywords you have been targeting, this may be a sign that your content needs improvement.
Google Analytics (free) and SEMrush (paid) track keyword rankings on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more. These tools let you know how many people are searching for terms related to your business or industry–and whether those terms are bringing in traffic from search engines and social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. You can use these insights to create better content around specific topics or trends or even tweak existing pieces based on what people are looking for online.
People are spending time on your site.
If people spend time on your site, that’s a good sign. The challenge is to ensure they’re reading the content rather than just scrolling through it. To do this, you can use tools like Google Analytics and heatmaps to see where people are clicking, or a chatbot to get feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about certain sections of your website.
The fact that people spend time on your site means they find the content valuable enough to stick around for a while. This information can then be used to ensure that future content meets or exceeds their expectations, leading to improved website engagement and conversions.
You can also use exit-intent popups to entice visitors to stay with you instead of leaving your site. For example, if a visitor is about to leave after reading an article on your site, you could have a popup appear that offers them bonus content on the same topic if they subscribe. This keeps them engaged and helps you expand your email list.
You’re getting leads and signups.
A lead is any person who has shown interest in your product or service by providing a name and contact information (email address, phone number, etc.). A signup is someone who has created a user account on your website with their email address.
You can get leads and signups from content marketing in many ways:
- By providing an opt-in form at the end of every blog post or web page that asks people to subscribe to your newsletter
- By creating an eBook with valuable information and offering it as a free download on your website
- By creating a video tutorial that demonstrates how to do something complicated or answers common questions customers ask about products or services
- By providing webinars that teach something or encourage people to get excited about a product launch
Content marketing allows you to build relationships with your target audience by providing them with valuable, useful information. These days, people are bombarded with advertisements from companies trying to sell them something, and they can tell when a company is just trying to make a quick sale. But if you provide genuinely helpful and informative content, your target audience will appreciate it and be more likely to buy from you in the future.
Your bounce rate is low.
A low bounce rate means visitors spend a lot of time there, on average. When someone lands on your site and leaves immediately–also known as bouncing–it means they probably didn’t find what they were looking for, or the content wasn’t engaging enough to keep them there. The lower this percentage is, the better–it shows that you provide valuable content, and your users are interested in it.
How can you determine the bounce rate for your website?
There are a few ways to measure your website’s bounce rate. One way is to use Google Analytics. To do this, log in to your Analytics account and go to the “Audience” section. Then, click on “Overview.” Here, you’ll see metrics related to your website’s traffic, including bounce rate. If your bounce rate is higher than 60%, take a closer look at your content and whether you need to change its content or formatting to keep people reading.
Another way to measure bounce rate is through heat mapping tools like HotJar or Crazy Egg. These tools show you where users click on your site and where they’re not interacting with it at all. This can help identify which pages or content areas might need some improvement to keep visitors engaged.
Also note where your traffic is coming from. If you get a lot of traffic from many sources–not just one or two–it’s a good sign. A diverse stream of organic traffic (traffic coming directly from search engines) and social traffic (traffic coming from social media platforms like Facebook) is ideal, as this shows that your content is not only valuable but it’s also getting shared around the web.
Your conversion rate is increasing.
If you’re wondering whether your content marketing strategy works, look at your conversion rate.
The definition of a conversion rate varies depending on the context (i.e., ecommerce or lead generation), but it typically refers to how many people made a purchase or opted-in after seeing an ad or clicking through to another page.
For example, if 100 people visited your website and two of those people bought something from you during that visit, that would be a 2% conversion rate–two out of every 100 visitors ended up purchasing something. The average conversion rate for a business-2-business site is between 0.8% to 1.1%. This gives you a metric to compare your own conversion rates to.
While measuring and improving your conversion rate is important, another important indicator is whether the number of conversions is increasing over time. If so, chances are good that your content marketing efforts are effective! If you’re seeing more people convert, that’s a good sign.
But pay attention to how much content you’re producing and the number of conversions too. If you’re creating 10 pieces of content per month and getting 100 conversions, then creating 20 pieces of content per month should result in 200 conversions. This is also known as the content marketing ROI.
You’re getting new customers.
You can tell if your content marketing is working if you are getting new customers. If customers aren’t finding you, it’s likely your content marketing isn’t working. You can track this by looking at your website analytics and seeing where people are coming from on the web or asking them directly how they heard about you. If you’re seeing more people convert, that’s a good sign.
So, remember that content marketing isn’t just about putting words on a page–it’s also about measuring and responding to your results. And if you do that well, you’ll see the payoffs in terms of traffic, visitors, leads, and customers. Don’t get frustrated if something isn’t working–instead, see it as an opportunity to learn!