Business efficiency and productivity expert James Harrington once said: "Measurement is the first step to control and improvement." Every specialist who wants to successfully use the strategy of promoting a business on the Internet with the help of content marketing should remember these words.
In internet marketing, measurements allow you to measure the effectiveness and performance of content. They give you important data on the number of people who need your information. You can also find out whether the content of your audience is like and whether its consumption leads to any actions that you need in terms of project marketing. Measurements suggest which ideas you should develop and which materials you need to refine. In addition, it is the measurements that allow marketers to demonstrate to customers and employers confirmation of the effectiveness and high value of their investment in content.
Key performance indicators for the site (KPI)
Knowledge of the criteria to assess the effectiveness of content, as well as possession of tools for measuring them will help you successfully promote your business on the Internet. In addition to evaluating the effectiveness, this information will tell you how to improve the materials published on your web resource. Of course, the site of your business project is the best starting point to start monitoring the effectiveness of content marketing strategy.
Use the following criteria to evaluate your online marketing campaign:
1. Number of unique visitors
We are talking about the number of Internet users who visited your resource during a certain time period. In this case, repeated visits by one user are not counted. This universal indicator is one of the ways to evaluate a marketing campaign.
Attendance in absolute numbers is highly dependent on the size of your business, business and other factors. Therefore, evaluate the number of unique visitors over time. The steady and dynamic growth of this indicator indicates that you are creating and publishing high-quality and interesting content to the audience in sufficient quantity.
2. Page View: average number of pages viewed
This indicator shows the average number of pages of your resource viewed by a visitor in one session.
The number of views in most topics should exceed the number of unique visitors, this can be considered an indicator of high quality content. The audience is interested in your materials, so it scans several pages of the site during the session.
3. Search traffic
This criterion demonstrates the number of visitors who got to your site from search engines, for example, Yandex and Google.
Natural search traffic is one of the most reliable indicators for assessing the quality of your content and the credibility of the resource from the point of view of “search engines”. Every year search engines place increasingly high demands on content.
4. Bounce rate
The failure rate. This is a rather controversial and debatable moment, but it is used both by the Yandex.Metrica service and Google.Analytics. Why controversial? Because there is no consensus and approach - what is considered a refusal - no. Google and Yandex approach failures differently. Google Analytics by default considers the refusal of any visitor, if he viewed on the site no more than one page. It does not matter how much time the visitor spent on the page - at least an hour, at least 20 seconds - the session time in Google Analytics will be counted as 0 seconds. In Yandex.Metrica, any session with a single page view and a duration of less than 15 seconds will be considered a failure.
We often hear a question from our customers, what percentage of failures is acceptable? In fact, the question is not very correct. In each subject, the percentage of failures is individual. But even in the same topic on different sites, the percentage of failures can vary - depending on what the site serves. For some sites, the target action is to order a product or service through a form, for others - a call, for third - a subscription to a newsletter, for the fourth - registration on the forum. And these are all for sites in one subject! It is clear that the failures will be different.
But if, nevertheless, to voice any average indicators, then we would say this: failure rates of 40-60% are the median. The failure rate of less than 35-40% can be considered an indicator of the high quality of your content and the site as a whole. If more than 60% of unique visitors quickly leave the resource, it means that users do not like something on its pages. But there are subjects where 70% of failures will be the norm, and even 80%.
The main recommendation: do not waste your time on divination, what should be the percentage of failures in your topic, or what is its competitors. Set yourself the task of reducing failures on your site, and try every month (and even weekly) - both to track the percentage of failures, and work to reduce this indicator.
5. Conversion rate
It shows the percentage of visitors to the resource who committed a specific action to which the site encourages them. For example, it can be a subscription to a newsletter or filling out an order form.
Again, the conversion rate depends on the industry in which your business operates and on the goals you are tracking. On average, this figure is 2-3%, but it can reach 10-20%, and even more. However, if you create professional landing pages designed for a specific target audience, then strive for a constant increase in conversion.
6. Inbound Natural Links
Links are the essence of the Internet. The quantity and quality of external links affects the level of trust in your site on the part of search engines. But since the appearance of the reference ranking factor in the search engines, this indicator has been a means of pressure on search results. The number of unnatural links created for manipulating the issue is huge. Now search engines have learned to accurately distinguish natural from unnatural links. We recommend monitoring the number of natural links. Their appearance depends on the quality and relevance of your content.
A large number of incoming links speaks about the effectiveness of your marketing campaign as a whole. Users like the information they find on the site, so they link to it.
What measurement tools to use
We recommend installing three statistical systems on the site: Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrica and Liveinternet.ru. Why these, and why all three?
On the one hand, these services are constantly evolving and trying to be in trend. On the other hand, their data may differ somewhat. This is not connected with the error as such, but with a different attitude to such issues as: who is considered an absolute unique visitor, what is considered "failures", how to measure the length of a session by "failures", etc.
These services have good functionality, which allows you to track both the aggregated data on the resource's attendance and the behavior of visitors on its pages, as well as specific visits and visits of the visitor on the site. These tools can be used to assess the effectiveness of individual pages, as well as to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy as a whole. At the same time, in Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica, you can generate customized reports that include only information that is important from your point of view (set your own filters).
We also recommend using the WebVizor technology, which is available in your Yandex.Metrica account. It allows you to visually assess the behavior of users on the site. "Webvisor" captures the activity of visitors, including cursor movements, mouse clicks, page scrolling and other actions. This tool literally allows you to look at a web resource through the eyes of a visitor, which is a source of invaluable data that can be used to increase marketing effectiveness.
Web analytics - the foundation of internet marketing
By and large, it does not matter what tools you use to monitor the effectiveness of the content marketing strategy, if you do it regularly and in a disciplined manner. For example, you can track some criteria on a daily basis, and others on a weekly basis - but you must evaluate them at regular intervals. When you have accumulated enough information about traffic, page views and other characteristics of a site’s success, use the appropriate graphs to analyze it.
Graphic display of data allows you to quickly assess the effectiveness of a web resource, identify current trends, identify successful and failed pages. Often, even a quick glance at the schedule is enough to understand what improvements your site requires.
You can use any other criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of marketing a web project in conjunction with the above benchmarks. The main thing is that they have practical value and tell you directions for improving the resource.
For example, the number of comments, "likes" and reposts of materials is the most important indicator of the involvement of the audience in interaction with your website and business in general. If the audience shares your content with friends on social networks, it indicates its high quality. And high-quality content guarantees you a constant increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of your business.