Congratulations! You’ve spent the last year doing the noble and necessary work of planning, producing and providing the very best content for your audience.
But how do you know if you’ve been producing truly effective content — the kind that your audience’s eyeballs can’t pass by because of the value it provides? Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help.
As a refresher, KPIs are the benchmarks you and your team decide to keep track of as you progress toward achieving a set goal or objective with your content.
So, if the goal of a certain blog post is to get people to sign up for your newsletter, then a few of your KPIs to track would be email open rate, click-through rates (CTRs), subscriber rates and unsubscribe rates.
Tracking these six effective content KPIs will give you a good idea as to what’s working, what’s not and where you can make improvements.
6 effective content KPIs to track and why
1. Website traffic metrics
You put in the hard work to create valuable content for your audience and get them curious about your services, but how do you know your efforts are paying off? A great indicator is website traffic.
Analytics tools, like Google Analytics, are an easy way to measure who is visiting your website, where they’re visiting from, if they’re first-time or returning visitors, the duration of their stay and other key insights.
Did you see an uptick in visitors during a particular campaign? Or, after posting a piece of content with a specific call to action, did you get crickets? Knowing these numbers will help you evaluate the effectiveness of the content you’re producing.
Looking back at the content you produced over the last year, what hit? What missed? And do you know why?
You can learn this by tracking engagement. Are people sharing your content, commenting on your posts, clicking your links or spending more time on your site pages?
Digging into engagement metrics allows you to see what content resonates most with your audience and where there are gaps. With this information, you can optimize your content strategy, focus on what’s working, improve what’s not and work to enhance your audience’s experience.
3. Bounce rate
Another great way to gauge the effectiveness of your content is by tracking your website’s bounce rate.
A high bounce rate — people leaving your website after spending very little time on the one page or link you directed them to — may suggest that your audience was a bit underwhelmed with your content offering.
Maybe they didn’t find what they were looking for or your brand promises didn’t meet expectations. Either way, a bounce rate can tell you if your content is aligned with what’s important to your audience.
4. Brand awareness
Is your audience talking about you behind your back? (In a good way, of course.) Are they singing your praises across the social media universe with such fervor that it’s starting to get kind of embarrassing?
Or would they not even recognize your brand if it were the last one stranded in a Zoom breakout room?
As with engagement, tracking the number of website visits, newsletter sign-ups and social media analytics are just a few benchmarks for gauging your audience’s awareness of your brand or services. If you have the resources, conduct a formal brand awareness study to give you a more in-depth look at this information.
However you to choose to track it, learn about your audience’s awareness level with your brand. That allows you to take the necessary steps to increase it, enhance your reputation and build effective content that resonates with your target customers.
5. Audience feedback
It’s not only critical for your audience to know who you are. It’s also important to know what they think and how they feel about you and the content you’re producing.
This goes beyond tracking the number of post comments, shares and backlinks. This is about getting a good sense of how your audience perceives your brand. Conducting surveys and encouraging reviews are two great ways to curate this information.
- Surveys allow you to gather feedback and insights directly from your audience. They’ll help you understand audience preferences, pain points and overall feelings toward your brand.
- Reviews provide valuable, unfiltered opinions and experiences shared by your customers. Review results can offer a more authentic perspective on your brand’s reputation and the impact of your content.
Pay careful attention to this feedback and let it help guide your content creation and improve your relationship with your audience.
6. Leads, sales and revenue
You ask a lot of the content you produce.
You want it to be the go-to resource for your audience. You want it to broadcast that you’re aware of their pains and problems and convince them that the service you’re providing is the best one to solve for them.
Put more plainly, you want it to sell.
The important KPIs to track here are any leads generated from each piece of content produced and the conversion rate of certain website pages you’ve identified, like your landing page.
Knowing how many leads are generated from your content is a great indicator of whether what you’re producing is resonating with your audience. Knowing the conversion rates on specific pages, like a landing page, is a good barometer for how well you’re leading your audience towards an action, such as making a purchase.
Four key principles of effective content
One last thing—as important as measuring your content’s performance across the digital landscape is in gauging its success, making sure you’re producing quality, effective content in the first place is just as vital.
To be sure you’re on the right track with this, try and stick to these four principles:
- Make it all about them. Because it is all about them — and their problems, pains and situations. Your audience, like all humans, wants to be understood and listened to. Making content that speaks directly to them involves being crystal clear on knowing who you’re talking to, inside and out.
- Build trust. We listen to, buy from and interact with those we trust. Any relationship, personal or professional, cannot grow without it. But being trustworthy isn’t something you manufacture in a moment. Any audience will spot that a mile away.
- Engage authentically. Drop the tired “corporate speak” and buttoned-up professional language and talk to your audience like normal human beings. Because, well, they are. And you are, too.
- Add value to their lives. Every interaction with your audience is an opportunity to help them progress toward something they want. That could be a personal or business goal, a habit change or a lifestyle improvement. Uncover what they want, and then provide the right content that leads them along the path to obtaining it.
Let WriteGirl help you craft effective content
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