4 Advanced Metrics that Show You Your Content’s Worth
Posted by Amit Kothiyal
A successful content marketing strategy can enable elevated engagement and at the same time, nurture a sense of community that inspires persistent loyalty to your brand. It offers an opportunity to sell your brand, and simultaneously offer insights and value to your target audience. It can allow you to position yourself as an authority, a though leader, within your industry.
Why tracking of content performance matters?
Being able to analyze your content marketing activities, from development to distribution, is crucial to iterating its success. You can make use of analytics to recognize and address both concerns and opportunities in your content strategy. Keeping a close watch on your numbers help you to understand what’s working (so you can capitalize on it) and what’s not (so you can re-consider it).
Metrics also help in understanding how each piece of content is connected with your end goal of making a sale. By keeping a close watch on the numbers through each stage of the buyer journey forms a thread that you can follow from click to conversion. For instance, you can monitor the success of a blog from its first view (awareness), the average time spent on the page (reader engagement), and finally, the call-to-action (lead generation). If your blog gets high number of visits but readers stay on the page only for a few seconds, that’s an indication that you need to make changes.
To understand how well your content marketing strategy is performing, you need to analyze these four metrics:
1. Page Depth
Page depth is a great metric for understanding the effectiveness and quality of your content, but it’s important to categorize content by format so that you can precisely evaluate engagement. Understanding where the content is more engaging, where the people are leaving the content, and are the calls-to-action placed in the right spot on the page to reach the most people helps in fixing the blind spots in your content marketing strategy.
How to access the metric:
Page depth in Google Analytics is pages-per-session’s equivalent metric, which tells you how many sessions are yielding one pageview, two pageviews, three pageviews, and so on. To access it, move over to Audience > Behavior > Engagement > Page Depth (under Description).This is one of the most reliable content engagement metric out there.
Another way of evaluating if your readers are simply scrolling through your posts or thoroughly reading them is by analyzing the Average Session Duration. Average Session Duration is another metric that indicates how long on an average a person spends on your page during a single session. This value would only increase with better content and that’s how, more people will start spending more time reading an entire article and hopefully moving on to another.
How can you improve Average Session Duration?
Unfortunately, there’s no instant solution to improving your average session duration. However, to improve the amount of time each person spends on your page, you’ll have to:
- Develop compelling content that people would want to continue reading, and
- Add links to relevant content within the body of your article
With both links and better content that will keep readers engaged on your website and moving from one article to another, your Average Session Duration will improve.
2. Content Scroll Depth
This is the most essential type of content metric, and is unfortunately also the place where a lot of programs either start or end. Just because you notice having a lot of visitors doesn’t mean your content is performing extraordinarily well. You don’t know if people are leaving just shortly after visiting your page because they fail to find the content intriguing enough. So, here’s when you should focus on measuring the reader engagement on your page.
The average session duration would help in understanding how much time on an average a visitor spends on your site and engages with your content. If a particular page has lower session duration in comparison to others, it would be wise to analyze what better steps can be taken to improve reader engagement on that page. If a visitor spends about two minutes on one blog post, and six minutes on the other, this will give you an insight about the type of content that your audience is more likely to engage with.
Besides, you can start producing content that will potentially drive improved levels of engagement and in-turn, conversions. Engagement metrics are necessary to fostering a relationship and gaining a sense of loyalty from your audience.
How to access the metric:
You can measure the time taken by the visitors to reach the length stage of a post i.e.
- Tracking by Quartiles (25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% scroll length),
- Tracking by Quintiles (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% scroll length,
- Tracking by Deciles (10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100% scroll length).
In order to pursue this, you need to tweak your tag management solution such as Google Tag Manager basically for event tracking. Even if you don’t use GTM, there are ways to implement scripts for tracking events at ease. Click here to know more about the implementation of scroll tracking to access the data in Google Analytics.
Once done, you have to set up Google Analytics event which tracks a reader’s scrolling rate of till the end of the post. Click here to know more about what an event is and how to set it up.
As the event is set up, head over to Google Analytics Behavior> Events > Top Events > (Event name) in your analytics and view the report.
3. Retention Rate
Retention metrics indicate how well you are holding the attention of your audience. This can be measured with the percentage of returning visitors on your page and individual content pieces. Besides, you’d also want to monitor the frequency of returns, since it will give an insight into the relationships you are developing and how well your audience perceives you and your content as a reliable authority and quality source.
Getting your target audiences to read your content once isn’t enough, that’s a guest appearance, not a permanent relationship. The long-term content marketing strategy should be to keep them coming back and convert engaged readers into loyal audiences. This is where the “retention metric” comes in. How many of your readers have returned on your site? More importantly, how different do they behave than your one-time visitors? Unlike page views or visitors, which often reflect unequal amount of new visitors, monitoring the amount of returning readers and their behavior can help you in focusing on how to acquire and retain them. The retention aspect is crucial.
How to access the metric:
In order to access the metric in Google Analytics, move over to Audience > Behavior > Engagement > New vs Returning > Returning visitors.
4. Content Impact Rate
Is your content excellent but momentary, like exploding fireworks? Or is it powerful enough to stay and continue generating interest and offer value for days, months, or even years?
In order to measure longevity by analyzing behavior, site content, all pages, and any specific page, Google Analytics offers a simple solution for long-term content. However, Analytics will only capture specific content visits in days as the shortest time interval. Not every content piece will have an impact of a day or more, and not everything is even published on your site.
An effective metric for this type of output is content impact metric, which is defined as the time in days (or hours) over which the number of click through to a post reduces to an unexpected low of what it was when first published and distributed. These indicators signify a great way to identify points in time when a reader is likely to change behavior. Pushing the shortened version of long URLs of the posts across the social media and tracking their performance is the best way to measure their impact, be it short-term or long-term. Now-a-days, there are a number of URL shortening tools such as bit.ly, branch.io, Sniply, etc who do the work.
Other things being equal, content that sustains over a long period will win over the content with a shorter life span.
Evidently, you may notice that there are a number of advanced metrics to consider, and some may be more important than others. It’s important to note that it takes time for changes to occur, so don’t ever feel like monitoring these metrics is a waste of time. It’s a simple process to be followed to ensure that you are developing the right foundation to rest your site on, thus ensuring you make the right amount of impact on the web.