In many people’s eyes, measuring the effectiveness of content marketing comes down to two things: consumption and conversions. Both should rightly be taken into account, but there are so many other things to take into account as well.

As measuring content’s effectiveness is the fifth-biggest challenge facing B2C content marketers, for the final blog in our series, we’ve compiled our top tips on what you should be monitoring. It’s worth noting that Google Analytics is the most common tool for determining the following, but there are other tools available too.

Overall and direct traffic

It’s important to measure the overall and direct traffic (that which comes from people who have the URL bookmarked or type it straight into the address bar, without having to search) into the domain on which your content is published. Doing this gives you access to something very important – trends. These are crucial, as they can help you adapt your content to better meet your audience’s needs. For example, if you spot a spike in traffic the same day you published a particularly topical blog or news article, you can include similar content in your strategy going forwards.

What’s more, keeping an eye on the direct traffic can provide a clear indicator of

your brand’s rising reputation. This is because a rise in direct traffic represents a rise in the number of people who are beginning to trust your brand; making an effort to remember your website’s address or bookmarking it so they can return at a later date. Monitoring branded traffic (visitors coming in via a certain phrase, like the name of your company) can provide a similar indicator.

 

Visits into the site via your content

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the number of visitors coming into the site via your content – be it detailed evergreens, blogs, news articles, whitepapers or even presentation slides. Determining how many visitors came in specifically because of that content will demonstrate how important it is. For example, if you get 500 visitors in via your news section one month, that’s 500 visitors that may otherwise not have seen your site or been made aware of your brand – it’s basically like free advertising!

Page views

Tracking the number of page views of your content – be it news, blogs or videos – is important as well. If the number of views are going down, you need to make a change… it’s as simple as that. If they’re going up, you need to be doing more of the same and then some! Monitoring page views keeps you in control of the content’s effectiveness, which is priceless.

Conversions

Of course, there are always going to be people who simply equate success or effectiveness with leads or sales. That’s fine – as long as those people also understand the additional benefits of content marketing. To justify your investment to these people, however, you can set up goals in Google Analytics. These can include primary and secondary conversions – which can range from downloading a whitepaper, completing an enquiry form or even making a purchase.

Social media

Contrary to what some might think gaining likes, shares and re-tweets is really important. It can demonstrate true value from publishing content, both in terms of the increased audience reach/engagement you, but can also actually influence your rankings. Google now takes these so-called ‘social signals’ into account when calculating its rankings now, meaning your position in the search engine results pages (SERPs) could actually be positive impacted by making your mark on social media networks.

This makes monitoring your social media presence crucial. Being able to correlate the publishing of fresh content on your Twitter feed, Facebook page etc. with increased traffic/better rankings is powerful stuff.