Different approaches are needed for different goals. However, whether your goal is to increase sales or boost brand awareness, one thing that helps marketers achieve any goal is improving website traffic and engagement. Think about it. The best way to monetize through online ads is to drive visitors to your site. The best way to sell something is also to drive visitors to your site. Therefore, driving site traffic up should clearly be a priority for every marketer.
What should content marketers focus on? It’s great to get likes and comments on social platforms, but are they driving more traffic to your website? You need to measure the right things if you want to get the most out of your efforts.
1. Web traffic sources
Everyone tracks website traffic which is important. However, it’s necessary to find out where people are coming from.
SEO (search engine optimization) involves boosting your site’s visibility. Rankings can be improved by improving your website. You can only achieve that by consistently creating excellent content.
A website without traffic will never be seen by anyone. This could either mean that it’s too bad to look at or it hasn’t been indexed properly.
The main web traffic sources to look at are organic search, paid search, direct, referral, social, and email. Organic search comes from search engines such as Google. Paid search comes via PPC (pay-per-click) Google AdWords. Direct comes from typing the URL directly. Referral comes from clicking a link on another site. Social comes from clicking a link on social media. Email comes from an email marketing newsletter.
Great content marketing should result in an improved organic search click-through rate.
It is vital to determine the sources of traffic to your website so that you can get a better understanding of your audience. Growing your business requires knowing your audience. It’s for this reason that these content marketing metrics are worth monitoring.
2. Social shares and backlinks
Likes, followers, and comments are social media engagement metrics. These are sometimes referred to as vanity metrics because they look good but they’re hard to link to ROI.
What if you are trying to raise brand awareness with your marketing campaign? According to Sprout Social, this is the most common goal for social media, with 58% stating increasing brand awareness and 41% stating community engagement as their primary goal. The number of social shares indicates that your content is reaching its target audience.
For content creation, the most valuable engagement metrics are social shares and backlinks.
Social shares are exclusive to social media. However, backlinks can be found anywhere on the Internet.
The purpose of backlinks is to get one site to link to another site. Google uses them to determine whether a site is legitimate. This is extremely important for SEO and showing where your content is being shared on different sites.
3. Referring domains over backlinks
Rankings are determined by the authority of your website. This will have a huge impact on your content marketing strategy. To rank high, it’s not only important to have many backlinks but to have quality sites linking you to that count.
Your website authority is measured by the Domain Rating (DR). This metric is available in every SEO tool. However, everyone has a different way of naming and calculating it. These insights are paid but always worth it. The higher your ranking gets, the more challenging it is to compete.
The three main elements to calculate your Domain Rating are the number of websites linking to you, the DR score of linking domains and the number of sites each referring domain links to.
In general, you want your content to be linked to by as many high-quality domains as possible. The fewer sites they link to, the better. This means that each link is worth more.
Exceptions do exist, however. Backlinks from Wikipedia are recommended by the Content Marketing Institute despite their “no follow” status which means it won’t help with SEO. As so many people trust the site, it could lead to a lot of traffic.
SEO is never exact, constantly changing, and unique to every site. What works best for each marketer could be different. Therefore, it’s so important to track and test different content marketing metrics to make the most of your efforts.
4. Conversion rate
When it comes to digital marketing, ROI is something everyone wants to track but it can be quite difficult to do.
Lead generation through content marketing should be effective at generating qualified sales leads. However, it’s not easy. There is no longer a sales funnel. User journeys vary from one to another. In addition, people jump between a lot of touchpoints.
If you want to calculate the return on investment of your content marketing. Your lead generation needs to be sourced and tracked with Google Analytics custom goals.
CTA clicks can also be tracked on your blog posts. By doing so, you’ll be able to see who’s buying your content. The copy on your CTAs might need to be updated if the number is low. Making a difference can make all the difference.
It can be tricky to determine ROI in content marketing. There isn’t always a direct correlation between content and sales. Consider focusing on other types of conversions instead.
Apart from sales, increasing the site’s domain rating and other KPIs such as email newsletter sign-ups, downloaded resources, form completions, demos booked, and free account sign-ups are all important for digital marketers. Keeping track of any of these KPIs is a lot easier to track and has huge long term growth potential.
5. Time on Page
Quality is key to content marketing success. What you create needs to be engaging for people. The topic should be thoroughly researched and helpful in solving your target audience’s problems.
How do you know if you’re doing well without asking? Google Analytics has a content marketing metric called “Time on Page” which shows the average time people spend on your content, if people are quickly scanning a few pages or reading the whole article.
You can determine if people are actively consuming your content by looking at their time on page. Additionally, it allows you to identify your most engaging content. It will then be possible for you to see what format, length, and subject are popular among users.
To increase the time on page of your audience, try out some proven strategies such as creating long-form content with 2000 words and up, embedding infographics and videos into articles and improving the overall user experience.
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