How can you tell if your SEO content marketing efforts are successful?
While there are no general rules for SEO content marketing success (after all, it depends on your target audience and your specific goals), many essential key performance indicators (KPIs) can help guide you in measuring success.
Once you know which KPIs to focus on, it's easier to tweak and improve your strategy until it's working perfectly. So, here are 10 SEO content marketing KPIs you should know about.
Before we dive into the actual KPIs, let's first define what content marketing KPIs are. Generally, a KPI is a measure of success that helps you track progress towards strategic goals.
Within content marketing, KPIs are even more important because they help you figure out what's working and what isn't so you can make informed decisions. KPIs should be quantitative and measurable.
For instance, if one of your content marketing KPIs is to get more people to subscribe to your newsletter, you can track it by looking at the number of newsletter signups. It's that simple!
There are dozens of KPIs that you can use for content marketing, but we've picked 10 of the most important ones to help you comprehensively measure the success of your strategy. Let's get started!
Page views show you exactly how many times your content has been viewed by people on your website.
They indicate what content intrigues your audience the most and which pieces of content they're ignoring. The more page views your content gets, the better, since it's a sign of popularity.
It's also worth mentioning that page views are often used as a metric for measuring ad revenue on websites that sell advertising space because more page views usually mean more ad impressions.
Organic traffic is one of the essential SEO content marketing KPIs because it shows you how many people are finding your website and visiting it via search engines.
Simply put, it’s an indication of how well you're ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) for specific keywords that your target audience is using. This is especially useful if you're trying to measure the success of an SEO campaign that focuses on a specific keyword or group of keywords. Organic traffic can show you whether or not your rankings are improving and which keywords are performing.
To measure organic traffic, you can easily use Google Analytics. There are also other analytics tools that you can use, such as Ahrefs, Moz, SEMRush, or BuzzSumo.
Organic conversions tell you the percentage of people who've come to your website from the SERPs and then engaged with your content or purchased your product, service, or offering as a result. It's calculated by simply dividing the number of conversions by the number of organic visits.
For example, if you get 100 visitors from SERPs with 2 conversions, your organic conversion rate would be 2%.
For this KPI specifically, it's best to use Google Analytics Goals, which track goal completions on your website. For instance, if you have a goal for people to sign up for a free trial, you can track form submissions and use them to calculate your organic conversions.
Search engine rankings show how well your website ranks for different keywords on the SERPs.
Rankings are a great KPI to look at if you want to measure the success of your content marketing strategy. They show you whether your efforts are helping you get higher rankings for keywords that your target audience is using.
By tracking your rankings, you can easily see whether or not your content resonates with your target audience and if your keywords are related to the type of content you're pushing out regularly.
For example, if you notice that rankings have dropped for the keyword(s) that you've been targeting, it's a sign that you need to re-evaluate your content strategy.
CTR is used to track how many people click on the SERPs that show up for specific keywords. You can think of CTR as a measure of popularity since it's a direct indication of how intriguing your content is and how likely it is that people will click on it.
To calculate CTR, simply divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions. For example, if your search results get 1000 impressions and 100 people click on them, you would have a CTR of 10%.
A good CTR can make or break your content strategy since it's an invaluable indicator of consumer interest. To improve your CTR, work on creating more compelling content that's more likely to pique your target audience's interest.
Although time on page and dwell time are sometimes used interchangeably, they refer to different things. Dwell time is the aggregate amount of time people spend on your site after clicking through from a SERP. On the other hand, time on page tells you how long users spend on a specific page.
However, both metrics measure how deeply visitors engage with your content and indicate whether or not it's meeting their needs.
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or website visits in which the person leaves your site from the landing page. That means that if someone lands on a specific webpage and leaves after viewing only one page, their visit counts as a bounce.
Generally, a high bounce rate indicates that people aren't finding what they're looking for on your site. This could be because your content isn't compelling, or you need to reorganize your website to make it easier for visitors to navigate and quickly find what they need.
On the other hand, a low bounce rate means that people are finding what they're looking for and continue to view other pages on your site.
A bounce rate under 40% is considered good in most cases, while anything above that may be a problem.
Pages per session is the average number of pages web visitors view on your website during a single visit.
If you want to improve your content marketing strategy, it's important to know how many pages people are looking at throughout each session so that you can identify problem areas and create more valuable content they're likely to engage with.
The more pages visitors view during a single session, the better, since it means they're engaged with your content and are still finding new things to look at. But if the number is low (like 1 page per session), it's crucial to revise your content strategy and create better content.
As the name implies, new vs. returning visitors refers to the ratio of first-time site visitors compared to the number of repeat website visitors.
If you have more new visitors than returning visitors, it means that your content isn't compelling enough to incentivize repeat visits – which may impact SEO because search engines use the number of repeat visitors as a ranking signal.
On top of that, it’s a good indication of how many people are regularly finding and engaging with your content, which testifies to the quality of your inbound strategy.
To measure new vs. returning visitors, you can always use Google Analytics.
Lastly, social shares and backlinks are two of the most important factors when it comes to SEO and platform building.
Social shares tell you how often your content is shared on social media and on which platforms.. Similarly, backlinks indicate that your website is authoritative and credible by showing that other sites are willing to link to it.
The higher the number of social shares and backlinks you have for a piece of content, the better it performs on SERPs. Plenty of tools can help you determine these metrics, such as BuzzSumo and Moz's Link Explorer.
All in all, tracking the right KPIs is essential for effective content marketing. The metrics shared above will help you determine if your content marketing strategy needs tweaking to increase engagement and improve rankings.
But remember, the key lies in knowing how to track the right metrics and leveraging them to make data-driven decisions. Don't get distracted by vanity metrics, which can skew your perspective on what matters most for improving your content strategy and performance.
Instead, focus on the metrics above, use them to identify areas for improvement, and create content that people actually want. If you do, you're sure to see improvement in your content marketing efforts.
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