You should be measuring your content engagement metrics because everything that is worth doing and worth having comes back to the foundational relationships you make and grow.
And relationships start with engagement.
Have you considered which content engagement metrics matter? Do you know how to measure your content engagement or why it even matters?
Hands down, engagement is the key to marketing success. Whether you’re into content or not, you can’t deny the numbers.
82% of marketers use engagement metrics to measure the performance of their content. There are hundreds of metrics you could track to measure content engagement, but it’s best to focus on the right ones that provide you with the most valuable information to improve your overall content strategy, wouldn’t you agree?
Let’s talk engagement. (Not the wedding type, the content type.)
What are Content Engagement Metrics, Anyway?
Think of content marketing engagement as your toolbox. And the metrics of your content are your tools. Each tool does something different – but they all benefit you (and your bottom line).
Content engagement metrics can be a wide variety of tools that measure whether or not visitors are taking your desired action. This will vary based on your brand, the type of website you have, and where this content lands in your content marketing funnel.
Here are 19 content engagement metrics that we feel are crucial to your success:
- Organic website traffic
- Unique pageviews
- Bounce rate
- Time on page
- Scroll depth
- Click-through rates
- New and returning users
- Top performing pages
- Pages per session
- Session duration
- Social shares
- Visitor feedback
- Social engagement
- Referring domains
- UTM campaigns
Now, let’s talk tools.
19 Content Engagement Metrics and Tools to Help
It’s important to understand how people find you and what they do when they find you so you can make adjustments to keep them engaged with your content. The longer they stay and the more they do while they are on your website, the better it will be for you (with the search engines and most likely with your content funnel).
1. Organic website traffic
Increasing your organic website traffic is the ultimate goal of driving new revenue. To get money in the door you need eyeballs on your website. To get eyeballs on your website, you need blogs that interest people.
By organic website traffic, we mean the visitors to your website that come to you on their own. They searched your keywords and (BAM!) there you are. Your website traffic is the cornerstone for growth and scalability.
Track your website traffic with plugins like Jetpack or WP Engine. Or you can use Google Analytics for real-time data. For a membership site, your website traffic should be steadily increasing if you are gaining subscribers.
Simply put, the more website traffic you have, the better your content strategy is doing.
2. Unique pageviews
Unique pageviews are the number of (unique) times a visitor views a post or landing page on your website. Repeated views of a single page are NOT considered unique.
Why are pageviews important? Your content should be reaching new people who have never heard of you before – quite a bit. If all you have a returning visitors and no newbies, there may be a flaw in your content strategy.
Growing unique pageviews is how you build brand awareness and amplify your content’s engagement.
Track your unique pageviews in Google Analytics. Check if your unique pageviews are consistently increasing month-over-month like you expect and adjust your strategy accordingly.
3. Bounce rate
Your bounce rate is the number of people that come to your website and leave without clicking anything at all. Think of it like they “bounce” off your site almost immediately – it’s not a good thing.
Your bounce rate matters. It will depend on a number of factors like the source and type of traffic you’re attracting, the pages your visitors are landing on – and the design, layout, and usability of your website.
If you write consistent content, your bounce rate may be lower because you’re engaging your visitor with their interests.
4. Time on page
Similar to a bounce rate, the amount of time that a visitor spends on one of your pages should be an engagement metric you want to follow. Time on page refers to how long the visitor stuck around. It gives you insight into how well your content is actually performing.
To properly evaluate your time on page metric, base it on the type of content that you have on each page, as well as where people go after they leave. Note that time on page can be too “short” if they leave early (see bounce rate), so your goal is to keep your visitor happy with your content.
5. Scroll depth
Now that we’ve learned the importance of getting people to your website, and keeping them there…let’s talk about how they interact with it.
Scroll depth refers to the percentage of the web page that the visitor scrolled through. So if they are scrolling down a landing page at 25% depth, they are only a quarter of the way there. Ultimately, you want more scrolling, and more engaging.
A good scroll depth for short-form content of 1250 words per page and under is 50%, and long-form content of 2000 words or more per page is about 75%.
Use a tool like HotJar to measure your visitor’s intentions – from scrolling to heat maps, you will have all the insights you need to make your website more scrollable.
If you know content marketing, you know that subscriptions are the ultimate goal. You write the blogs, they like the content, they subscribe to the blog, and you turn those into ever-loving nurtured leads that convert to sales. That’s the circle of content life.
Subscriptions are the “ask” for an email to sign up for more of your content. They find value in your content and want more in your inbox. But these days, subscriptions are like gold as inboxes are getting harder and harder to get into.
To increase subscriptions, make a clear call to action in several places within your website and blog. Your messaging and context should be straightforward with the appropriate follow-up – and cadence of content they asked for.
Keep track of these subscriptions in your membership site dashboard or email marketing tool.
7. Click-through rates
Click-through rate (CTR) refers to the ratio of the number of visitors to a specific link who click it and view it. CTR is primarily used by marketers to quantify the success and effectiveness of a campaign. It’s also used to see who clicks on a CTA in a piece of content.
As ads have become less engaging, click-through rates have fallen over the years as users get used to ignoring them. But that doesn’t diminish their power as an engagement metric.
A high click-through rate means that lots of users are clicking, but it does not show the revenue ultimately generated from that. For this reason, the conversion rate – the percentage of click-throughs that lead to actual sales – may be a more useful metric of any campaign’s success.
Keep an eye on your clicks throughout your website too. Clicking typically means interest and you can build an entire content strategy on that!
Conversions refer to the total number of goal completions – whatever that means for you (sales, subscriptions, etc) divided by the total number of sessions on your website.
If people are taking action like purchasing a sale, downloading your gated content, or installing your plugin, it’s safe to say they find your content engaging. They like you, they really like you.
Track your conversion rates in Google Analytics or if you’re connected to a marketing automation tool – they should be easy to measure.
Check if your goal conversion rates are consistently increasing month-over-month and if they are, keep doing what you’re doing. Our advice is to make small changes and A/B test them when you are evaluating your content strategy for conversions.
9. New and returning users
A new user is when a visitor views your website when a ‘session’ is started. Wherever they go from there, it’s tracked in analytics.
A returning user would be classified as someone who has already been to your website but comes back for more. You should consider that an honor.
Similar to unique pageviews, these metrics rely on cookie data, so treat them with a grain of salt and look at trending rather than absolute values.
Returning visitors are typically more engaged with a higher conversion rate because they are interested in what you have to say. They are worth keeping an eye on for a future engagement strategy.
10. Top performing pages
When it comes to content, you want to know which pages perform the best. Knowing what pages receive the most traffic is important because it gives you insights into what your audience really likes.
Experiment with different types of content, and you can begin to analyze what’s working, and produce more of what your readers enjoy – which brings them back.
Check your analytics for specific traffic numbers on your “top” pages. You could also look at the number of social shares per page as an indicator of a strong piece of content. There are a ton of WordPress plugins that can help with this, like Social Metrics Pro.
Once you find out your top-performing pages, start the replication process.
11. Pages per session
Pages viewed per session is a metric that shows the average number of pages viewed per visit on your website. The more pages someone visits in a session, the higher the user engagement rate is, which is a good thing. This metric is calculated by dividing the number of page views by the total number of sessions visited.
This content engagement metric can be helpful for evaluating how engaging your website is. In general, any content site that relies on advertising, or affiliate revenue wants to increase the number of pages that each user sees. More eyeballs and time spent browsing pages on your site means more revenue.
The best way to increase more pages per session is to listen to what your visitor wants. Test out new pieces of content and analyze the results. Lather, rinse, repeat.
12. Session duration
Average session duration is basically how long users stay on your site. It’s a helpful metric for indicating the true engagement value of your content.
As far as a solid session duration, the standard is 2 -to 3 minutes. That’s enough time for users to read content and interact with your website. And for this reason, longer sessions indicate more engaged visits. Time is a precious resource for people, and this number shows us how much time users are willing to dedicate to your content.
However, because this number is an average-based metric, be careful to trust it without further context. This metric is helpful when looking at segmented views, traffic sources and in consideration with other engagement metrics.
13. Social shares
Sharing is caring, right? Tracking your social media shares is a great way to see how people are engaging with your content.
By now, you hopefully have a blog set up. If you’ve added a “social share button” or a few different CTAs to share your blog, you’re on the right path. If people are resharing your content from your social media platforms, even better.
There are a few tools you can use to track your social shares. WordPress has a slew of plugins like Sumo for easy social sharing.
What you want to track is how often your content is being shared, when, and to what channels they are sharing it. With those three core metrics, you can take over the social empire.
14. Visitor feedback
As you grow your content marketing strategy, you’ll need feedback to ensure you’re keeping your visitors happy. This can come in many forms.
You can ask for feedback with surveys, comment fields, email outreach or social media polls. If you host events, you can ask how they felt about it. If you host social media engagements, find out if they enjoyed it. If you send newsletters, ask them what they liked (or hated) about it.
The more feedback you can get, the more you can evaluate and learn.
15. Social engagement
Any good content strategy includes social media engagement. That doesn’t mean how many followers you have, that means what you do with them.
It’s more than just gaining new fans and friends, it’s about interaction. A few good tactics in the social media world could be impressions and reach. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or others – it’s about responding, asking questions, and making your social connections count.
Be present, be attentive and be kind.
Ah, beautiful backlinks. A backlink is a link from another website to your content and it builds trust with your audience and the search engines.
Backlinks are important because they signal to the search engines that another resource finds your content valuable enough to link to it within their own content. As a website earns backlinks, search engines know that the website has valuable content worth ranking.
Earning backlinks is an important part of a solid SEO strategy.
17. Referring domains
All links are not created equal. This means two backlinks from one website may not be better than one backlink from a different referring domain.
Referring domains are the websites that direct visitors to your website through backlinks. You can get backlinks through guest posting and other forms of content swaps.
A good goal is to acquire a large number of unique referring domains to get more traffic sources, which means more site visitors and page views.
A website impression is the number of views or engagements of a piece of content – without interaction. This can include the same visitor viewing your content multiple times.
The higher your impressions, the more timely and relevant your content is. To increase impressions, focus on your keywords and placement of content in your blog and throughout your website. Your end goal would be to turn those impressions into clicks.
19. UTM campaigns
UTM (weirdly enough stands for Urchin Tracking Module) is a unique code that can be attached to any URL to generate analytics data for digital campaigns. Specific to Google Analytics, UTM helps track the progress of the campaign on all online platforms.
Creating a UTM parameter really enables you to find out where your visitors are coming from. It’s a great way to leverage new partnerships and backlink opportunities. Start a UTM campaign today to start building new linking paths.
Content Marketing Metrics That Matter
For content marketers, engagement may be one of – scratch that – is the most important way to know what’s working and how to improve.
Having the right tools in your toolbox is the only thing you need. With this comprehensive list of engagement metrics, you can dominate the space and help your community become aware of your brand – simply by measuring.
Content engagement measures all the things! These metrics are considered the most important when looking at the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and overall strategy – so good luck with your new toolkit.
At Restrict Content Pro, we help people build the membership site of their dreams. If you’re ready to find out more, reach out to us!
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