That question to marketers is like when a dentist asks you, “Have you been flossing regularly?” Usually the answer is what they want to hear and a lie, or it’s what they don’t want to hear and the truth.
No matter if you are a CMO of a large Fortune 500, own or run a small business, or are in charge of marketing at any size company – keeping and reporting metrics is very valuable.
If you’re running a content marketing campaign and expect to see results, you have to measure and report results, and do so often. A recent article from eMarketer revealed that only 33% of marketing executive report results weekly or daily. The rest report results less frequently, some as little as quarterly or annually.
Why is that? As the article announces, “85% of marketers worldwide said the pressure to measure marketing’s business value and contribution had increased.”
Of course there’s going to be pressure when it comes to marketing, but by not measuring and reviewing metrics, you’re blindly leading your strategy down the path to failure. The good news is that by signing up for BoostSuite, you’ll receive a Weekly Web Marketing Report via email, instantly putting you on par with the top one third of marketers in the world. What a great, quick way to get ahead and show your leadership team how you’re performing!
At the least, you should also make sure you set up Google Analytics and start tracking the following metrics on a weekly basis:
1. Organic Search Traffic
One of the main reasons you’re publishing content on your own website and optimizing it using specific keywords is to drive more qualified traffic in via the organic search results.
This traffic channel is one of the most effective when it comes to seeing results in the form of new subscribers, customers, and evangelists. Your potential prospects trust the results that Google returns when they conduct a search looking to answer their question or solve their issue, making this metric very important.
To find this metric in Google Analytics, set your date range then head to “Acquisition > Channels”. This will show you what percentage of your overall traffic is coming from organic search results during that period.
Click on “Organic Search” to see which keywords people are coming to your site for most often. You can leverage these in your content marketing strategy in the future by adding them to your blog articles and other site content. One thing to note is the dreaded “not provided” keywords. These are keywords that Google isn’t giving to you, which really stinks.
BoostSuite doesn’t limit any keywords, so if you want more information about these “not provided” keywords, my suggestion is to set up Google Webmaster Tools and then export your keywords from there and add them to BoostSuite to find out which are best for your content marketing strategy based on competition and search volume.
Another great idea is to find which pages visitors are landing on the most by going to “Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages”. This will show you a table of your landing pages that you can sort by pageviews over time. Find any blog posts in there any leverage them by testing new calls to action or promote them more via social media.
2. Referral Traffic
Another content marketing technique that is extremely effective at sending qualified traffic to your site is guest blogging, or co-marketing. The traffic you receive from your co-marketing partners is known as “referral traffic”. The way to measure referral traffic in Google Analytics is through “Acquisition > All Referrals”. That’s the list of sites that are referring traffic your way.
If you have the opportunity to get your content and brand in front of a brand new audience, then you should definitely do it! The more sites you add your content to, the larger your audience will become. BoostSuite makes this easy by automatically sharing your content with potential partners who are already working with your best prospective customers.
Also, each article you share on a guest blog will (should) include a link back to your homepage, showing the search engines that you have another vote of confidence when it comes to the context of the article. You need that link juice to show the search engines you’re an authority on the subject matter.
Keep track of which sites are referring the most traffic to your site week to week and reach out to them to see how you can increase their referrals even more by exchanging more content or offering some sort of promotion to both readerships.
Conversions are often the most difficult content marketing metric to set up, keep track of, and report, but it’s essential that you do because they’re the most important and indicative metric for success and growth of your business.
When someone visits to your site, they’re considered a visitor. When they convert into a lead or customer, that action is known as a conversion. To view conversions in Google Analytics, you’ll go to the “Conversions” section, but first, you’ll need to set up some conversion goals.
It’s best to set up as many conversion goals as you can because then you can see which goals are being completed most often. Once you know that, you can leverage that information in your content marketing even further.
For example, if you find your newsletter subscription form converts 10x more than your lead generation form, then in your next blog post, request that your readers sign up for your newsletter instead of your lead generation form. New subscribers can be just as valuable as leads because they can share and engage with your content, leading to more leads and customers down the road.
By tracking and reporting these three metrics every week, your team will have a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t working in your content marketing strategy. That’s what it’s all about. Figuring out what works best for your audience based on actual data and then leveraging that in your strategy moving forward!
One of the downsides of using Google Analytics is that it isn’t perfect. The data should be used as a trend, not as an absolute because sometimes there are inaccuracies caused by errors. Some of these errors you can fix yourself, while some need to be fixed by your webmaster. These inaccuracies can frustrate us as marketers who need our data to be accurate in order to extrapolate what to do next.
To ensure that all of your metrics are being properly tracked, sign up for a BoostSuite account now. Our tracking code is 100% accurate when it comes to tracking and measuring data.
Also, BoostSuite will tell you what your next best content marketing and co-marketing moves are based on the data analysis from your traffic and keywords, so you won’t have to spend any more time glossing over analytics. You can just log in and get right to work sharing content on your most opportunistic keywords and optimizing your conversion funnel. You’ll be able to trust that you’re working on the best possible items to better your marketing results.
After all is said and done, no marketer has EVER been afraid to report awesome increases in their content marketing metrics!
Are there any other content marketing metrics that you track and review on a week-to-week basis? Let’s hear them in the comments along with why you keep them!