Testing and Measuring often gets a bad rap in the Marketing game. Admittedly, it’s not the sexiest part of Inbound Marketing (that would be content writing, obviously) but it has become an increasingly essential part of the campaign process, especially when marketers choose to look ahead and plan long term.
Measurement leads to the ability to control, which in turn gives the smart marketer a chance to improve. The ability to examine and measure how your content performs can change the game when it comes to establishing a campaign (or multiple campaigns), ensuring that what you post is getting people talking and, more importantly, getting them acting.
With consistent measurement, you can figure out how many people are consuming your content, whether or not they enjoy it and even how useful they find it. These metrics allow us to identify what ideas work and are worth replicating and where our marketing strategies are letting us down. This leaves you with an effective and proven content marketing guide, which can be used to ensure that your next content offering is exactly what your audience is looking for.
So that’s why this stuff is important, but how does one go about it? What exactly should you be looking for? The specific metrics that you should be looking into will be defined by the goals you set waaaaay back at the start of your campaign process. Do you remember your goals? Did you not set goals? For shame! If that's the case then you should hit up our article on Goal Setting, STAT. If you did however, then were you looking to grow awareness? If so, then volume or reach are what you're looking for. Were you trying to get people engaged and interactive? Consider then your engagement metrics such as clicks, comments, downloads etc. With that in mind, let’s break a down a few different types of metric and how to go about improving those numbers.
Consider how many Unique Visitors you’re getting
This is an effective indication of your site’s overall traffic; the term ‘unique visitors’ referring to the number of individuals who visit your website in a specific period.
Knowing about your visitors are looking at, what drew them in to your site, can be wildly useful in identifying the strong and weak aspects of your content. Is everyone checking out that sick new blog about Facebook advertising, but only two people read the one about LinkedIn? Perhaps consider focusing on more Facebook content, unless you reeeally want to win over those two LinkedIn fans.
Number of Page Views
Page views, much like your traffic, is an indicator of popularity, and despite what your parents and teachers may have told you at school, to us popularity is everything. While your unique visitors tells you how many people visited your content, Page Views will tell you how often they return- it’s how you know if your content is of a high enough quality to engage someone multiple times. The more useful it is, the more likely it is that the visitor will return.
Search Engine Traffic
So we know how many people are looking at your hard work, and how useful they’re finding it, now you can work out how exactly they found it. Ideally, you want people to find your content through organic search, I.e by asking a search engine (*cough* Google *cough*) a question and having your content be high on the list of suggested pages. This is achieved by optimising your use of keywords and ensuring consistent, quality content that Search Engines want to show people. If you’re not getting a decent percentage of your traffic from organic sources, consider looking into your use of keywords and other search engine optimisation tactics.
When your visitors find your website interesting there is a chance that they may take specific actions such as signing up for a piece of content. The percentage of visitors on your site who have shown an interest in your business by taking action in some way are known as leads, and rate at which they’re gained is your ‘conversion rate’.
Generally, a conversion rate of 5% is an ideal rate to be shooting for. If people aren’t converting, then you should probably review your promotion of your content- see that you’re making your offering as valuable and desirable as possible.
Measurements and reporting offer your business the strength to survive and come out as a winner when it comes to beating the cutthroat market competition. No other business strategy allows for a campaign to be as responsive and reactive to changing circumstances, so get out there and start getting your campaigns back on track and see for yourself how quickly things can improve.