According to many SEO’s, content is king.
But how do you determine if your content reigns supreme?
Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It aims to drive profitable customer action.
In SEO, content marketing helps to establish topical authority, ranking for long-tail keywords, and positioning your brand as a thought leader in the industry.
Measuring your SEO content marketing performance is crucial to understanding its effectiveness and making necessary adjustments.
In this guide, we’ll delve deep into the content performance metrics that matter and how to analyse them to ensure your content strategy is on the right track. Read on to learn how to measure content marketing performance.
Table Of Contents
- Types of content for SEO
- Settings goals for your SEO content
- Tools to measure content marketing performance
- Top content marketing metrics to measure
- How to analyse these content performance metrics
Types Of Content For SEO
There are various types of content used in SEO content marketing, including:
- Blog posts
Each type serves a unique purpose and can be optimised for search engines to increase visibility and drive organic traffic.
Understanding the breakdown of content types can allow you to prioritise your strategy around what content is going to resonate with your audience the most, and drive them to action at different stages of the marketing funnel. This can help you to better understand how to measure content marketing performance.
These types of content can generally be split into two categories: long form and short form.
Short Form Content
With short form content, less is often more. This can be used for a variety of purposes such as crafting engaging product descriptions, landing pages, email blasts and social posts. Short form content is more commonly seen in eCommerce SEO but still has many applications in SaaS SEO.
Short form content can be just as effective as long-form content depending on the purpose and how the content itself matches the intent of the searcher.
For example, a user is not likely to read 1000’s of words of content in a product description, when they’re already at the purchasing stage of their buyer journey.
Long Form Content
Long form content, as the name suggests, is typically more comprehensive. This includes lengthy blog posts, eBooks and whitepapers.
Remember that even with long form content, user experience and readability should always be at the forefront.
Backlinko conducted a study that analysed 11.8 millions websites and found that ‘comprehensive content with a high “Content Grade” (via Clearscope), significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth.”
This indicates that there is a correlation between long-form content and ranking well in SERPs. But ensuring that the topic is only covered in as much depth as matches user intent is the sweet spot.
What type of content is right for me?
The answer to this question depends on the area of the marketing funnel that you want to target. Any content created for your website should perfectly capture your brand’s tone of voice and provide useful information to your users.
Top of the funnel searches – these are generally informational intent long-tail keywords. This would be blogs, eBooks, whitepapers.
Middle of the funnel searches – these tend to be more commercial intent keywords. This would be videos, landing pages, more product-specific blogs. Other types of content such as reviews or case studies are viewed here, while users are making a decision on if you’re the right fit for them.
Bottom of the funnel searches – these are often transactional intent keywords. These could be product or service names for example. The type of content focused on here is usually product or service pages.
Setting Goals For Your SEO Content
Before diving into metrics, it’s essential to set clear goals for your content. Whether it’s increasing organic traffic, boosting engagement, or generating leads, having a defined objective will guide your measurement efforts.
Without these initial goals, it can be difficult to benchmark and check the progress against the content marketing performance in order to understand if your efforts are paying off and bringing ROI.
Setting goals for your SEO content marketing can help you to:
- Focus on desired outcomes, allowing you to work on priority content
- Better measure the impact of your work
- Identify when things aren’t working
- Allow you to align with other marketing channels
Using the SMART framework can allow you to set goals clearly and efficiently.
|S||Specific – define a specific goal|
|M||Measurable – properly track progress|
|A||Attainable – make sure it’s realistic|
|R||Relevant – ensure it aligns with the business|
|T||Time-Bound – stay accountable and set a deadline|
There are a number of steps that you can follow to properly set your content marketing objectives:
Step 1: Identify your business objectives
Aligning your marketing channels with your overall business objectives can help to ensure everyone is working towards one common goal. Understand what the wider business is looking to achieve, and how SEO and your content marketing can play a part in that.
For example, if you’re looking to launch a new product or service that needs more publicity, create content around this – identifying problems via keyword research and how your product or service can help customers to overcome them.
If your business objective is to gain more revenue, then you may want to work on the bottom and middle of the funnel before looking at the wider brand awareness exercises.
Step 2: Benchmark against historical data
Benchmarking your historical data can help to clearly understand where you started and what you’re looking to achieve. Take into account seasonality by looking at a minimum of 12 months worth of data and use this to forecast the future performance.
Step 3: Conduct audience research
Understand what the current SERP landscape looks like and understand what your consumers are looking for not just from your site, but from your market as a whole. View competitors who are performing well and conduct keyword trend research to understand the overall sentiment within the total addressable market (TAM).
Step 4: Take resource into account
While as SEO’s we may want to create 100’s of pieces of content in order to capture as much of the market as possible, this isn’t always realistic. Be realistic about this and what your team or business can achieve within a set period.
Step 5: Set your goals
Using all of this information, set goals that you feel are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART).
Tools To Measure Content Marketing Performance
Now you have your goals set, it’s important to understand how you can measure the results of the content that you’re creating in comparison to the goals. Fortunately, there are a number of tools in the industry that can help.
Some of the industry favourites include:
- Google Analytics – a free analytics tracking software that tracks and reports on website traffic.
- SEMrush – is a SaaS platform that offers comprehensive online visibility insights.
- Ahrefs – is a SEO software suite that contains various analytical tools for measuring online visibility.
- SEOTesting.com – is an online SEO research tool that allows its users to run different tests
These tools provide insights into various metrics, from organic traffic to bounce rate, helping you understand your content’s impact. If you need some help with your analytics and conversions, our expert team can help.
Top 5 Content Marketing Metrics To Measure
SEO and content marketing are intertwined. For optimal results from search engines, producing high-quality content is essential. The relationship between SEO and content marketing is multifaceted, encompassing link-building strategies, ranking improvements, and user education and conversion.
However, the success of content marketing isn’t determined by a single metric. To genuinely comprehend the influence of your content marketing initiatives:
- Recognise the essential content performance metrics.
- Understand how to monitor them.
- Determine which metrics are relevant to your campaigns and business.
Here are some of the most prevalent SEO metrics you should be aware of:
For many SEO experts, the primary objective of content marketing is to acquire links. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines emphasise the importance of generating unique content to naturally earn high-quality, relevant links. It’s essential to note that not all links are created equal. The quality of the links is more crucial than their quantity. Creating link-worthy content can be a great tactic to enhance the authority of your site and is a commonly-used Digital PR tactic.
Achieving high rankings on search engines like Google and Bing is vital for driving organic traffic to your content. However, solely focusing on rankings can be misleading due to factors like personalised search and position zero. Most modern SEOs will keep track of rankings but in correlation with other content performance metrics such as organic search traffic and revenue or leads generated.
Organic Search Traffic
This metric provides insights into the amount of traffic your content receives from organic search. This is likely to grow over time or could benefit from a sudden surge in traffic if your content was to go viral for a particular reason.
It’s crucial to understand how organic search traffic compares to other channels, and what has directly impacted any growth (or decline). It is also important to track this specifically by the URL that you are creating, to properly attribute performance to any newly published content.
This data offers insights into the search queries driving traffic to your content, potential search traffic, and your organic click-through rate (CTR). This can be quickly and easily measured using the free tool Google Search Console. These metrics can be influenced by high positioning and any fluctuations in seasonal trends.
Organic Conversion Rate
This metric measures the percentage of visitors who take a predefined action, indicating the effectiveness of your content in driving conversions. This can be both directly from within the content or as a secondary click, attributed to the visibility of the blog leading to brand awareness.
This user-based metric measures the duration searchers spend on a page before returning to the search results. This has evolved from average time on page with Universal Analytics to average engagement rate on Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This can be found within Reports > Engagement > Pages, alongside a number of other engagement metrics. This can help to more closely understand if users are engaging with your content and any areas where they are not.
How To Analyse These Metrics
Analysing these content performance metrics requires a deep understanding of your goals and the tools at your disposal. For instance:
- A high bounce rate might indicate that your content isn’t resonating with visitors.
- An increase in backlinks can signify that your content is viewed as authoritative in the industry.
By regularly monitoring and analysing these metrics, you can refine your content strategy to better meet your objectives.
SEO Transformation with Content
The Entourage, known for its entrepreneurial coaching, lacked a strong online presence. The aim was to boost visibility for “business coaching” keywords.
We enhanced The Entourage’s authority by crafting quality blogs, creating keyword-targeted landing pages, and securing quality backlinks, aiming for a 15% organic growth.
The efforts paid off quickly:
- Business Coaching Pages: Achieved improved rankings within two months.
- Overall Website: Saw an 86% increase in organic traffic and a 155% rise in top-three rankings.
- Blog Pages: Experienced an 81% growth in keywords.
The question came up, how much revenue could we measure through SEO content. Because we were tracking this from the beginning we were able to show across 2 years, it had produced over $600,000 of revenue for the brand.
Learn more about this campaign with our case study.
Measuring your SEO content marketing performance is not just about numbers.
It’s about understanding your audience, refining your strategy, and positioning your brand as an industry leader.
By focusing on the right metrics and continuously optimising, you can ensure your content not only attracts but also engages and converts. Measuring your SEO content strategy can allow you to better understand where you came from vs. where you’re heading next.
Want to boost your online visibility with SEO content marketing? Speak to a member of our expert team today.