A Guide To Measuring The Success Of Your Website Content
Planning content is no small feat and understanding how to measure the success of your website content is a crucial aspect of building a winning content strategy.
Creating compelling content helps to attract and retain website visitors by engaging them early on in their awareness phase before they are ready to convert. But how do you know if your website content is successful? Measuring the performance of your website content can help you better understand how visitors are interacting with your website and how successful your content strategy is.
Understanding your user personas and their specific journeys is a key first step in deciding what type of content is needed to guide visitors to reach their website goals effectively. From here, through regular analysis of your content’s performance, you can optimise your strategy to increase levels of engagement from your website traffic and ultimately, grow your conversions.
In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of measuring the success of your website content and which content metrics to track. We’ll also explore hidden metrics and why tracking them could impact your content optimisation.
What is website content?
This may seem basic, but it’s important to clarify what we’re focusing on when we talk about website content. When we refer to website content, we are talking about any text, image, videos, animations or animated videos on your website. It’s what visitors read, watch, and interact with when they land on your website. There are several goals for website content and these can include informing visitors, providing value, and persuading them to take action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or getting in touch. Generally, the overarching goal for website content tends to be to ‘convert’ users from intent to purchase, especially within the B2B space.
Website content can also be downloadable content such as whitepapers, guides and sales collateral that all aim to nurture users through the content funnel. Downloadable or ‘gated’ content sits behind a lead-capturing form that marketers may use to generate new leads and nurture leads through the sales funnel.
Effective content metrics to track
To measure the success of your website content, you need to track metrics that reflect your content and business goals. Determining the right metrics to track can be difficult as you want to stay away from vanity metrics that don’t provide the valuable insights you need to optimise your content efficiently.
Instead, you should begin by focusing on tracking actionable metrics. Actionable metrics are specific and accurate and they can be used to optimise content over time (eg. new leads generated or conversion rate). Some other examples of actionable metrics to track are:
- Page Views: Page views refer to the number of times a particular page on your website has been viewed. Tracking page views can help you identify the most popular pages on your site, which can help you optimise your content strategy and guide content planning and ideation.
- Time on Page: Time on page measures how long visitors spend on a particular page. If visitors are spending a lot of time on a page, it indicates that the content is engaging and valuable. As a stand-alone metric, it may not paint a full picture, however, when combined with related metrics such as bounce rate, you will be able to gain a better understanding of how your website is performing.
- Bounce Rate: Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing a page. A high bounce rate can indicate that your content needs to be more relevant and engaging to keep visitors on your site. It’s important when tracking bounce rate, to also consider your site’s overall traffic and its channels. Oftentimes, as traffic increases from one source, bounce rates will also increase, especially if the content is not relevant to the audience. It’s crucial to keep track of this to ensure that the channels you choose to distribute your content are effective for your target audiences.
- Conversion Rate: Conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who complete a specific action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. A high conversion rate indicates that your content and UX are effective and that your target audiences are responding well.
Tracking the right metrics for content success is trial and error but should be based on what metrics are important for the business. These metrics will vary dramatically depending on what the business does and it’s often more about finding what works before the business. Content success varies greatly depending on the type of content you are creating, for who it is and the time of year. It’s important to consider this when trialling new content by initially tracking a more diverse set of metrics. Over time, you’ll have a much better understanding of which metrics are best serving your wider business goals and those that are less relevant.
What are hidden metrics & when should you track them?
Hidden metrics are harder to define accurately but can provide valuable insights into the success of your website content. For example, the number and general tone of social media comments can provide insight into the relevancy of your content or how controversial it is.
At the same time, customer lifetime value measures the total value of a customer and their relationship with the business, which includes the many journey touch points and the various content pieces that help to nurture their journeys.
It could be a good idea to track hidden metrics when you want to gain a deeper understanding of how visitors interact with your content and business. By identifying patterns and trends, you can optimise your strategy to meet your audience’s goals and objectives better. Some other hidden metrics to track can include:
- Scroll Depth: Scroll depth measures how far down the page visitors scroll. If visitors are scrolling to the bottom of the page and spending time there, it indicates that the content is engaging and valuable.
- Click Heatmaps: Click heatmaps show where visitors are clicking on your website. By analysing heatmaps, you can identify which parts of your content are engaging and the areas that need urgent attention.
- Rage Clicks: Rage clicks show where users repeatedly click on specific elements on your website out of frustration. Rage clicks can indicate UX or functionality issues and may need to be addressed urgently.
- Dead Clicks: Dead clicks refer to users clicking on elements on your website that don’t do anything. Dead clicks can be confusing and frustrating for users and may lead to increased bounce rates.
- Search Terms: If your website has a search function, tracking the search terms visitors are using can provide valuable insights into what they’re looking for on your site. You can then use this data to tailor your content strategy and work out what they are finding difficult to find and amend your UX as a result. (Link to journeys blog)
Why you should measure content success
Measuring the performance of your website content is crucial for its success. Data allows you to optimise your content strategy by making data-driven decisions on what types of content to create and which channels work best for distribution. Most importantly, measuring your website’s content performance helps you to improve user experience. Through the data collected, you will be able to identify user pain points, such as complicated menus or high bounce rates and improve overall UX.
Putting it into practice
Every website content strategy should have a performance review process where the chosen metrics are analysed and used as a basis for future optimisations and new content ideas. Every business will have its own performance review process and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to analysing website content data. Depending on the size of your team and business goals, some marketing teams will opt for in-depth content performance meetings and others collaborate online through platforms like Monday or Trello. Find what works best for you and your teams and put measuring content success into practice.
Measuring Content Success: Guide & Checklist
We’ve detailed everything in this blog further in our Measuring Content Success Guide & Checklist which is available for download. In this guide, you’ll get even more insight into trackable metrics, and we’ve also included an interactive checklist so you can ensure you’ve got everything you need to measure your content effectively.