Content. Content. Content. Let them have content! As writers and marketers it's difficult to keep the wheels turning and the content delivery truck facing in the right direction.

Trying to be relevant, authoritative, factual and even thought provoking is no mean feat. Content creation for a demanding audience is a creative process, and when it's done right it feels good.

But how should you measure your content marketing? To help you along the way we've put together a list of things you should be keeping an eye on.

  1. Website traffic
  2. Dwell time
  3. Organic ranking
  4. Customer journeys to conversion points
  5. Returning visits
  6. Social shares

1. Website traffic

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then your website could be the window to your vision, ethos and values. It's a reflection of your business.

But beware! Driving traffic doesn't necessarily mean your content is hitting the right notes. The key here is bounce rate. If loads of people are visiting your site and then immediately bouncing then something could be wrong.

It's akin to walking into a nice looking shop only to discover that it’s not very good. According to SEMrush the bounce rate sweet spot is in the 26% to 40% range.

If your bounce rate is high then you should be scheduling a meeting with your team. Review your tone, language, customer journeys, etc. You can then take the necessary steps to get that bounce rate down.

2. Dwell time

This ties in to the bounce rate. The dwell time is the average time a visitor stays on your website before taking their leave. The higher the dwell time, the more engaging and important your content is. You're doing something right. This is a good thing.

Conversely, a low dwell time is a signal that your content isn’t as engaging as you first thought. Another possibility is that page load speed is slow, so check your hosting provider.

3. Organic ranking

We all love good organic ranking. It's like that Friday feeling. Seeing your content on page one, and even topping the rankings can create a warm fuzzy feeling.

Getting one up on your competition always feels good. And achieving a snippet (position zero)! Well, that’s just showing off.

You can monitor your organic ranking by punching in your keyword search terms into Google and seeing where you rank. To add rigor to the process, you can use specialist position tracking tools (preferred) to compare your progress against your competitors and over time.

Add some spice to your approach to content. Blog posts, white papers, infographics, videos etc. Your content must resonate more than your competitors.

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4. Customer journeys to conversion points

The customer journey is like laying breadcrumbs for your visitors to follow. But too many crumbs forking in different directions may result in visitors becoming lost in a maze of content that's meaningless to their needs (and ultimately yours too).

You need to place those crumbs in that 'Goldilocks zone'. The crumbs need to be just right enough to lead your visitors down the path to conversion.

Of course not everyone will convert the first time, but the key is to produce content that's compelling enough to take them as far down the path as possible, with the possibility of a return visit where they'll take the plunge. This is where marketing automation can help.

There are loads of tools and methods out there that allow you to track customer journeys. Why not assign micro goals to customer journeys? This will highlight and measure drop off points in the journey and paint a meaningful picture of those bottlenecks or dead ends that need uncorking.

5. Returning visits

Returning visitors are great. But if they’re not converting you need to find out why? Ignore them at your peril!

How many are ‘tyre kickers’?

They need a prompt. They need retaining. They need to be part of your measurement framework.

Maybe your content and proposition aren’t strong enough. Running A/B and multivariant tests provides you with a lot of useful information on what works and what doesn’t.

You can then use those insights on making sure your content and value proposition resonates with your audience. As mentioned earlier, use marketing automation. You can send timely promotional emails with special offers and discount codes etc. to prompt a conversion.

6. Social shares

Sharing is caring. And people sharing your content means it's hitting the right notes. It's a positive signal telling your content team they're relevant.

Content sharing is a big plus for brand advocacy. It means your brand is trusted enough to be shared with thousands, sometimes millions of potential customers.

When people start sharing your engaging content it’s more than just a click. It's a sign of trust and authority.

Whichever socials you use, make sure you set the time aside to monitor those shares. Keep the momentum. Follow trends. Keep the buzz going.

Are you forging ahead with your content marketing journey? Our experts are available for a chat. Whenever you’re ready, get in touch.