Must have metrics for your content report


9 mins

Must Have Metrics For Your Content Report

Table of Contents

The popular business quote, “If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it” is certainly relevant in this article.

Cranking out high-quality content on a regular basis that appeals to your audience is great. What’s not so great is having no clue how that content is performing.

Is it converting potential leads to customers? This is what you need to know.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best metrics to track for your content report.

Very soon, tangible results will be at your fingertips!

What is a Content Marketing Report?

First of all, let’s recap what content marketing is.

Content marketing is a type of marketing that includes creating and sharing online materials — such as social media posts, blogs, and videos.

The intention of content marketing is to generate interest in a business’s products or services, rather than pursuing an actively promotional marketing method.

Serving as a strategic marketing approach, content marketing is focused on delivering valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive profitable customer action by proving value through the medium of content.

Recap done. Moving swiftly on to a clear definition of a content marketing report.

A content marketing report is your route to analyzing various metrics that show how your content is performing. Just one use case for your business’s content marketing report is to help make smarter decisions about the type of content to create.

The reasoning behind generating your own content marketing report is to understand your readers’ engagement with the content you’re producing.

For example, are your readers typically resonating more with longer form articles or shorter key pieces of content? Are your readers making use of all your social media platforms, and do they prefer video content or not?

These are all questions that a content marketing report can answer.

For your stakeholders, a content marketing report is incredibly meaningful.

Until you know how effective creating content is, you can’t place a value on it. Well-written reports demonstrating easily understandable statistics is what decision-makers look for.

Once you have a baseline for your report, you can iterate and optimize your existing content for success elsewhere, e.g. blog excerpts on social media posts.

What are Content Metrics?

Let’s kick off with a fun fact: Only 66% of brands claim to measure content performance in some way.

To measure content performance, and then report on it, requires metrics.

Content metrics, to be precise.

Content metrics are standards of measurement that show you how well your content creation is doing.

Depending on your digital marketing goals, you’ll want to track a variety of content metrics to determine your success.

We’ll cover the most common types of content metrics shortly in a bit more detail, but they typically comprise brand awareness, engagement, SEO, lead generation, and sales/goal enablement metrics.

The content metrics that you decide to track in content reports are based on your content goals and ongoing priorities.

Your content goals will very much depend on how well established your business is.

If you’re a startup, increasing brand awareness is likely to be your priority. On the other hand, if you’ve got a decent customer base, your focus will probably be on methods to engage better with your audience and improve conversions.

Once you’ve narrowed down your content goals, prioritize them in order of importance and assign set goals— this action determines the best content metrics to achieve them.

To set goals, think Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely (SMART).

Setting SMART goals ensures that your focus remains unwavering.

Here’s what it all means:

Specific: A well defined and clear goal.
Measurable: Specific criteria that measures your progress towards the clear goal.
Attainable: An achievable goal that’s within the realms of possibility.
Relevant: Within reach, realistic, and relevant to your business.
Timely: A clearly defined timeline including a start and end date.

Now that you’ve defined your goals, you can turn to what your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be. KPIs are the metrics that will track your progress towards your goals.

Common examples of content marketing KPIs include:

  • Page views
  • Clicks
  • Email open rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Social mentions
  • Inbound links

You can use more than one content metric to measure each goal.

For example, to increase engagement, you’ll want to deploy social shares and mention KPIs.

What do I measure?

Let’s take a closer look at the most relevant content metrics to identify how they fit with your own content marketing goals.

Brand Awareness Metrics

Brand awareness is all about how well your target audience knows your brand.

The more people know about your brand, the higher the chances are they’ll talk about you, and turn to you when it’s time for them to buy.

To assess brand awareness, explore social signals in conjunction with your website metrics.

Social signals include actions like Facebook shares, retweets, and LinkedIn impressions. Exploring top-performing pieces of content across your social channels helps you to tailor other content to continue to increase engagement.

Your website metrics to review include:

  • Users: Number of people visiting the specific page.
  • Pageviews: Number of times a page was viewed.
  • Unique Pageviews: Number of times a page was viewed without duplicate visits.

How can you build your brand’s awareness?

Generate a transparent culture across your target audience. Find out what their problems are. From there, create content that answers their questions and solves their problems. The key to building trust is educating your audience and establishing your business as the go-to for their issues.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics tell you how effective your content is at either educating your audience, solving their pain points, or both!

Tracking this type of metrics is typically for brands who have an established audience and a significant volume of online content.

You need to track engagement metrics because otherwise you have no idea if your hard work producing high-quality content is paying off.

When your users are engaged, they typically spend more time on your web pages and interact with social activity more frequently.

To monitor how engaging your content is, look at:

  • Click-through rates (CTR): How many people click on your links and where do they go from there.
  • Social Comments/Shares/Mentions: reporting data from multiple social sources (i.e. number of comments, mentions, and shares), and blog comments.
  • Bounce Rate or Engagement Rate in Google Analytics (GA4): How many users leave your page immediately (longer times often reflect higher engagement).
  • Average time on site / Average session duration: Measures specific time on web pages.
  • Backlinks: How attractive and informative your content is based on the number of backlinks on other websites (think of these as referrals).
  • Scroll depth: How far website visitors scroll vertically or horizontally across a web page.
  • Returning visitors: Number of users who are coming back for more educational and helpful content.

How can you grow your business’s engagement rates?

Use tools like Google Analytics to gain a thorough understanding of how users are navigating your website. Your website visitors might be leaving quickly, which contributes to high bounce rates (or in GA4 engagement rate). This is because they aren’t quickly finding what they’re looking for.

In this case, seek to improve your site’s navigation with clear links and menu options.

SEO Metrics

In the context of reporting on content marketing performance, SEO metrics will tell you how your business is faring according to search engines.

To tap into valuable SEO metrics, you’ll find the use of an analytics tool such as Google Search Console, useful.

When your SEO metrics are on target, this means that your web pages are displaying in search engine result pages (SERPs).

When this happens regularly, visitors flock to your website. Search engines then reward your website with higher rankings because the users that find your website deem it to be relevant and useful to them.

This is the authority factor in the SEO equation. The other aspect of SEO metrics are backlinks.

We’ve discussed these a little, but plentiful backlinks from other authoritative websites are valuable. They indicate that your website is a significant source of good information.

It’s certainly wise to track the websites that are linking to your website’s content. During this process, you can unearth if you should be creating different types of content whilst uncovering other link opportunities.

Along the way, you might learn of some other like-minded brands with similar content. You’ve then got plenty of potential to reach out for other backlink possibilities.

To track SEO metrics, explore:

  • Keyword rankings: Where your content is ranking in search engine results based on searched keywords.
  • Search impressions: Google Search Console informs you how many times a piece of content (or page) appears in SERPs.
  • Organic landing pages: Which pieces of content are attracting the most visitors from the SERPs.
  • Page Authority (PA):P Refers to a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages.

How can you elevate your SEO?

To play nicely with search engines, look to optimize your content for user search. Frequently asked questions are great for this, as they echo Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) function.

Lead Generation Metrics

Lead generation metrics are what you need to uncover when you’re trying to move website visitors down the sales funnel to convert them.

So, how does valuable content contribute to lead generation?

Serving your users the right content at the right time can convert them into paying customers. A great example of this are informative case studies. Website visitors that read case studies showcasing other businesses’ success with your brand (preferably in their industry) are like gold dust.

Case studies provide reassurance to your users that your business is who they should choose. The more meaningful statistics that demonstrate clearly how you’ve added value to other brands, the better.

Lead generation metrics cover:

  • Landing page visits: Tracking the visits to specific landing pages that have the purpose of generating leads.
  • Conversion rate: Measure of how many visits to a piece of content resulted in conversions.
  • Clickthrough rates (CTR): Indicator of your business’s current interested viewers. This group of users that engage frequently with your content are the most likely to become leads, and then customers.

How can you improve your lead generation?

Play the call-to-action (CTA) game. Compelling and short CTAs encourages clicks and is your route to better lead generation.

Sales and Goal Metrics

Also known as sales enablement metrics, sales and goal metrics are, as the name suggests, metrics that track sales.

As one of the most important metrics, sales metrics show you clearly what’s happening as a result of your content marketing efforts. However, it’s the combination of the most relevant metrics for your goals that are essential to creating the most effective content report.

As we mentioned a little earlier, tracking SMART goals is the key here.

Sales and goal metrics include:

  • Goal Completions: Monitor specific actions such as downloading content, newsletter signups, and clicking on links.
  • Sales: Which services or products are selling, and identify the content that influences those sales.
  • Content conversion rate: Attribution of conversions (sales, downloads, signups, goal completions, and so on) to individual pieces of content.
  • Sales cycle length: With an ultimate goal to shorten cycle length, discover the content that’s reassuring users to become customers.

What can you do to improve sales metrics?

Discuss with the wider team the frequently asked questions they receive to generate content that addresses them and positively impacts conversions.

Content Grouping in Analytics

Leveraging Google Analytics, you can use a function called Content Grouping.

Content grouping allows you to develop accumulated data and insights and data to pinpoint the best content and strategies to optimize your website traffic and conversions.

This function makes it easier to investigate specific sections of your website and understand at a glance what’s working and what isn’t—so you can make changes to improve the latter.

Content grouping is incredibly useful when your website includes different types of content, and you need to separate them out. The function is intuitive and enables you to organize the data in ways that make the most sense to you.

To set up content grouping in Google Analytics, you’ll need to create both the top-level content grouping and the sub-content groups.

To create the content groups:

  • Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  • Click the Admin menu in your dashboard to access your desired view.
  • Select “Content Grouping” on the View column. Next, click “+New Content Grouping.”
  • Choose the name you want for the grouping.
  • Choose which content grouping method you want. This will depend on your preference—be it tracking code, extraction, or rules.

To group by tracking code, select “Group By Tracking Code”, then “Enable Tracking Code”, followed by an index number between 1-5 to label your chosen content grouping.

To group by extraction, select “Add Extraction” to extract pages based on their title, URL, and name. Then select among “Page URL,” “Page Title,” and “Screen Name.” Go ahead and enter the value for the pages you want to include in the specific content group.

To group by rules, select “Create A Rule Set” to open the rules editor page. Then name each content group. On the Define Rules menu, choose among “Page URL,” “Page Title,” and “Screen Name.” Choose a matching option and enter the value for the pages you want to match.

You’ll find content in various reports across Google Analytics including:

  • All Pages report
  • Landing Pages report
  • Behavior flow
  • Events report

Content Marketing Funnel Reporting

Once you’ve defined your content marketing goals and nailed down your KPIs, it’s time to start writing your content marketing report.

It’s helpful to structure your content report around your content marketing funnels.

The recognized different funnel stages include discovery (top of funnel), consideration (mid funnel), conversion (mid / bottom of funnel), and retention (bottom of funnel).

Then, allocate your web pages to the relevant funnel stages.

For instance, optimized blogs are efficient at driving users to your website. For these users, that blog is their landing page.

Content like informative blogs can encourage leads to the top of the funnel. Other pieces of content like case studies can help move leads further along the funnel. This is why success looks different for varying pieces of content.

Top of the funnel content has limited influence on decisions but is essential to building overall trust in your brand. To measure top of funnel content performance, focus on how many users use specific content as landing pages.

Top of funnel content metrics include:

  • Search impressions (via Google Search Console)
  • Keyword rankings
  • Newsletter sign ups
  • Email bounce rates
  • Average time on site

If your website’s top of funnel content isn’t generating as many leads as you’d like, it’s wise to explore your SEO strategies. Check the most relevant keywords are in play, ensuring that your meta descriptions and alt tags are also up to date. This helps search engines crawl your website and rank it accordingly.

Mid funnel metrics focus on prospect behavior and are more action-based.

Mid funnel content metrics include:

  • Contact form submissions
  • Enquiries
  • Clickthrough rates
  • Dwell time/scroll depth
  • Lead scores

Bottom of the funnel metrics are the most impactful when you’re measuring content marketing performance. To measure bottom of funnel content performance, explore how many leads use specific content as a lead page (the last page before a conversion action) or as part of their overall navigation.

Bottom of funnel content metrics include:

  • Goal completions
  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Return visitors

If your bottom of funnel content isn’t driving enough conversions, go through your site to see if you can add some more compelling CTAs to encourage action.

When creating your content marketing report, it’s effective to generate a report by page purpose.

Let’s take an example of a report on Leads by Landing Page. This type of report displays data on how leads begin their journey with your business. Use this data to calculate the pieces of content that generate the most leads.

This helps your content creators to understand the type of content drives the most engagement, so you can either optimize existing content or create more of the most successful type.

You can also create a Leads by Lead Page report. As we’ve mentioned, the lead page is the last page the user was on before they took a conversion action. Conversion actions can be contacting your business by email or form fill, or signing up to your service.

Generating a Leads by Landing Page report informs you which content helps you win website leads on your website, whilst the Leads by Lead Page report details the specific pieces of content that convert website visitors to leads.

Learning exactly how your users engage with your content feels like having a crystal ball.

No need for that particular piece of kit, however—simply check out Reporting Ninja.

Reporting Ninja have a multitude of reporting services that you can use to effortlessly produce the most meaningful content reports.

Sign up today for a 15 day free trial of our reporting services to learn how we can help you grow your brand with the most relevant KPIs and metrics. Create powerful content reports and get complete oversight of your content performance to level up your content game.

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