11 content marketing KPIs that your business should think about

You are creating content for your business with the hope that it can:

  • Build awareness about your company.
  • Engage with prospective customers or clients.
  • Sell your products or services effectively.

Essentially, you want to be sure that you have a return on your investment with your content marketing efforts because…

No one wants to spend time on areas on their business that are not effective.

The great news is that you can track content marketing metrics to gain insight into what is working, not working, or needs to change.

In this guide, you will learn the importance of content marketing and how to analyze content performance metrics with KPIs so that your business can grow exponentially.

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What is a KPI in content marketing?

If you want to evaluate the success of reaching your business goals, understanding KPIs are essential for your business.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – a set of metrics that give qualitative data about how well a company is achieving its main business objectives.

So when you are creating content marketing campaign KPIs, you must ensure that these metrics align with the company’s content marketing goals.

Since every brand is unique, it is important to understand which KPIs to use and how to use them to get the outcomes you desire.

Not all KPIs are created equal:

You might be wondering…

What is the best KPI to use when evaluating the effectiveness of my business’s content marketing?

Well, here’s the deal…

There is no such thing as the “best KPI” because it truly depends on the particular objectives that have been set for your company.

What matters to your business?

Determining what is most important for your unique business brand is the first step to decide what to track concerning your content marketing.

For example…

Does your brand care more about driving organic traffic from SEO? 

Then you would want to consider analyzing how visitors find your content from Google.

Or does your brand prefer to place more of an emphasis on driving paid traffic through sponsored ads? 

In this instance, you would want to consider analyzing your return on investment (ROI) if you decide to spend money on Facebook ads.

The bottom line is…

You have to focus your KPI around what matters most to your specific business.

What doesn’t matter to your business?

Let’s suppose…

You’re a company that provides quality matcha green tea through your online store. 

Based on your marketing plan, you create content to drive traffic organically from Google to your website. 

Users would search for keywords like “matcha green tea” and because your website has content that is search engine optimized (SEO), your company would be more likely to show up in a Google search.

To illustrate…

Let’s say that you don’t care at all about building a social media presence on Instagram.

You are also not interested in creating Facebook ads that lead to your website content.

Then would there be any reason to track KPIs related to social media?

It would be a waste of your time to track KPIs that do not align with your brand’s essential goals.

Therefore, let’s examine 11 KPIs for content metrics that matter so that you can select the ones that work well with your business goals and brand.

KPI #1: Search engine ranking

The higher your rank on a search engine, like Google or Bing, the more likely you will drive traffic to your website. 

By strategically creating SEO content on your website, you can drive organic traffic to your business.

Organic traffic – visitors that land to your webpage, or other platform, as a result of being found through unpaid search engine results; the opposite of paid traffic.

If search engine ranking is the primary source of tracking how well your content is bringing in leads for your business, it would be in the best interest of your company to consider this KPI as one of your content marketing metrics.

Why does this KPI matter?

Monitoring your search engine ranking will allow you to observe how relevant your webpage content is according to Google’s algorithm.

For example, if users are searching for content about “professional learning for teachers” and you have content on your website that focuses on that particular keyword (or related keyword), then you have a higher chance of ranking on Google. 

This is simply because Google rewards web pages that demonstrate relevance to the user’s intent when searching online.

However, your search engine ranking can fluctuate based on how well your content compares to other relevant content.

How to track this KPI?

There are various online tools to help you to track your ranking on search engines, like Google.

Check out the following tools to monitor how well your webpages are ranking on search engines.

KPI #2: SERP CTR

To boost your SEO ranking, you should consider your search engine result page (SERP) click-through rate (CTR), which is:

A percentage that describes the # of clicks a webpage receives after being listed on a search engine result page.

If your business is seeking to increase its ranking on a search engine results page, you should monitor this KPI. 

Why does this KPI matter?

Monitoring your SERP CTR can help you adjust your marketing strategy to get more clicks to your webpage to outrank your competitors.

Ranking 1st or 2nd in search engine results does not guarantee more visits to your webpage.

Just a tip:

You can create a greater opportunity for your webpage to rank higher on the SERP by making sure the title tag and meta description for your webpage content are optimized for users to click on your content. 

However, if you are not tracking this important KPI, it will be difficult to make the necessary adjustments to get more user engagement on the SERP.

Why does this KPI matter?

By using Google Search Console, you can see the keywords that your pages are ranking for on Google.

Here is an example of what you can access:

When tracking your SERP CTR, paying attention to the last column titled “CTR” will be most important. 

Just remember…

The higher a page’s CTR percentage, the better it is performing in the SERP.

Therefore, there is always room for improving this content marketing KPI.

KPI #3: Organic Traffic

If your company is seeking to drive traffic through content marketing, you will want to track your organic traffic KPI.

Depending on your company, you may consider marketing efforts that drive organic traffic over paid traffic.

You will want to evaluate how effective your organic traffic methods are in leading people to your website.

Why does this KPI matter?

It is helpful to know how many people are coming to your website through search engines like Google.

However, this KPI gives a top-level analysis and should not be an absolute indicator of how well your website is doing to drive traffic.

For example…

If people are visiting your website, but are not converting to leads or sales, other metrics should be considered.

Therefore, you should never focus solely on organic traffic KPI.

How to track this KPI?

Two free tools that give you the metrics you need to track organic traffic are:

(1) Google Analytics

First, let’s take a look at how you can Google Analytics can help you with organic traffic KPIs:

This line graph shows how much traffic has come in organically at a given time, as well as a growth in traffic over time.

(2) Google Search Console

You can also use Google Search Console to analyze organic traffic metrics for keywords you are utilizing in your content marketing.

This screenshot below shows the results of a company called Chiavaye that relies on organic traffic. The back-end of its Google Search Console shows two things: (1) where organic traffic is coming from and (2) how much organic traffic they are receiving.

If you are wanting to see the trends of your organic traffic, use Google Analytics. However, if you are simply wanting to see how many people are visiting for keywords you are optimizing within your content, use Google Search Console.

KPI #4: Other Forms of Traffic

Your business may want to drive traffic in various ways, not just organic traffic through Google. 

Depending on your marketing plan, you may also consider paid traffic sources, like: 

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Sponsored Content

It is important to track the traffic that comes from these sources as well.

Why does this KPI matter?

By tracking where ALL of your traffic is coming from, you can see the mediums by which people are coming to your website. 

Is it through social shares? 

Is it true organic traffic? 

By zeroing in on this KPI, you can learn where users are finding you online and how they are coming to your website.

How to track this KPI?

Again, you can use Google Analytics to view where your various sources of traffic are coming from and to your website.

Google can track all traffic sources, which they call campaign and traffic sources, through its reporting KPI.

The collection, processing, and reporting of any traffic sources can be customized through Google’s free analytics tool.

KPI #5: Time on Page

The amount of time users spend on a web page is another KPI that can easily be monitored.

Typically, this metric is collected by taking the average of the amount of time visitors spend on a webpage.

When a user leaves a webpage, it is known as a “bounce.” You want to increase the time a person spends on your website, therefore decreasing the bounce rate.

Why does this KPI matter?

The more time a visitor stays on your page, the more engaged they are with your content. 

If you are finding that visitors are not spending much time on your website, then you can fine-tune and adjust your content marketing strategy.

Google’s algorithm, known as Rankbrain, favors websites that keep visitors on the page longer.

Therefore, you want to be sure that you are creating content that people finding engaging.

How to track this KPI?

Google Analytics is one of the best tools to track page time. 

Simply, find the Behavior > Site Content > All pages report to see the average duration of website visitors for each unique webpage.

Your goal would be to take this data to ensure that your webpages have engaging content for visitors.

KPI #6: Leads

A business lead (or potential customer/client) is anyone who shows interest in a product or service you are providing.

When someone visits your website, your content must be relevant to lead the customer through the Buyer’s Journey.

If a webpage visitor engages on your website with a specific action that demonstrates their interest, it is imperative to capture that data.

Why does this KPI matter?

Ultimately, you want website visitors to engage with your content so that they move forward in their personal buyer’s journey. 

The more visitors that take action, the better.

However, as mentioned previously, you want to be sure they are engaged by actually staying on your page. 

Then, visitors are more likely to submit information through an opt-in or contact page.

By tracking this data, you can learn if your content is converting to leads for future sales or not.

How to track this KPI?

Once again, Google Analytics can help you track your leads.

This time, however, you need to set up “goals”.

To read all about to set up goals to track your leads, visit Google’s help page specifically for tracking this KPI.

KPI #7: Sales

Capturing leads is not the end-all-be-all. It’s about converting leads.

The bottom line of nearly all businesses is converting leads to sales.

Therefore, most businesses that desire to be successful should track and evaluate sales KPIs.

Why does this KPI matter?

If you can track your sales, you can track the growth of your business.

The purpose of creating relevant and engaging content is:

  •  To attract visitors, who will be interested in your products and services 
  • Purchase your products and services. 

By tracking the number of sales that come from your website, you can have solid data that will validate whether your content marketing is working towards your overall business growth.

How to track this KPI?

As you have probably noticed, Google Analytics offers ways to track numerous KPIs and tracking sales is another feature it offers.

If people purchase products or services through your website, your sales can be tracked by setting up “goals,” very similar to the way that you can track your leads through Google Analytics.

Otherwise, your sales team or staff will need to keep track of your sales KPIs.

KPI #8: Blog comments

According to Hubspot, many businesses view the comments they receive on their content to be related to vanity metrics. 

However, if you have blog comments, it indicates users’ are engaged with your comments.

This is one of those content metrics that matter to businesses that drive traffic through content marketing.

Why does this KPI matter?

Essentially, blog comments show how engaged readers are with your content.

For example, if you post relevant information or provocative ideas in your content, your website visitors are more likely to respond in the comments.

Here is an example of a blog comment from an engaged reader:

Google’s Rankbrain algorithm favors this type of engagement.

Therefore, paying attention to your blog comment KPI can allow you to consider ways of increasing engagement when providing content. This can result in more traffic to your website.

How to track this KPI?

Your content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, can track your blog comments.

By logging in to your CMS as an administrator, you will have access to all of the data connected to your blog comments.

To learn more about managing and tracking blog comments on WordPress.org’s blog.

KPI #9: Social Shares

Let’s say that your brand is seeking to grow more of a social media presence.

Your company’s marketing plan includes posting engaging content regularly to be shared social media platforms, such as:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

When a visitor shares your content on any of these platforms, it has more of an impact on your visibility growth than if a user passively “likes” it.

Why does this KPI matter?

Social shares are another form of engagement and show that people are recommending your content with their audience.

This sets you up to gain more authority in your industry, as sharing your posts is “social proof” of the quality of your content.

If you can track this KPI, it will give you insight into which types of content your readers prefer, as well as which types to improve.

How to track this KPI?

You can use Ahrefs to track social shares of your website content.

Here is a screenshot example of what tracking social share KPIs look like in Ahrefs:

You can see the social shares on the right-hand side listed by platform and the number of shares.

KPI #10: Blog Subscribers

Do you have loyal readers who are regularly visiting your webpage to read your content?

Or do you have people who visit your blog and never return?

By tracking the number of blog subscribers you have, and through which piece of content they subscribed, can help you reach your overall business growth goals.

Why does this KPI matter?

Most likely, those who have subscribed to your blog are potential customers or clients. 

The more subscribers you have, the better chance you have to convert those leads to sales. 

By tracking this data, you’ll have a pulse on people who are within your sales funnel.

How to track this KPI?

Your email marketing software, such as MailChimp, can track data connect to your blog subscribers.

The number of overall subscribers you have, as well as through which means (opt-in, pop-up box, or contact form) your visitors submitted their information is readily available in the back office of your email marketing software.

MailChimp has a tutorial video to show how to make the most of blog subscriber KPIs.

KPI #11: Backlinks

When another website shares a link to your website on their online content, you have a backlink.

Websites that have a large audience and domain authority can help your business to grow significantly.

For example, if Forbes, a well-known business magazine, creates online content and shares a link to your business website, it will be more valuable than if your favorite business blogger links back to your website.

Why does this KPI matter?

Essentially, backlinks to your website demonstrate two things:

Valuable Content

If others see that your webpage provides value to others, websites will link to your content to refer their users to support their content.

More Authority

The more backlinks that you have, the more it increases our authority. Google’s algorithm favors websites that demonstrate authoritative content.

Therefore, you want to track your backlinks as a key KPI.

How to track this KPI?

You can use the following online tools to track backlinks to your website:

There are many other tools that you can find by simply searching “tools to track backlinks” on Google.

Here is an example of some of the metrics you can analyze when you are monitoring your backlinks:

Observing how many backlinks you have to your website, as well as the referring domains can be invaluable to your growing online brand.

Learn more about how Becoming Media has helped our clients see a substantial increase in web traffic, leads, and sales by taking a look at our case studies.

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