Metrics can be a confusing realm for the untrained eye to be lost in; luckily we’ve got some top tips on how you can use them to your content’s advantage.
Creating content isn’t all planning and punctuation.
There’s a lot more to a sound content marketing plan than simply thinking up an idea and hoping it works in your favour – if you want something to do well you need to create a cohesive plan that will take into account what content currently performs the best.
If you’re creating content that’s only vaguely related to your business in hopes that you’ll get more traffic to your site you might want to rethink your current methods.
Engagement metrics are a huge part of coming up with a content marketing plan that works. Here’s just how – used in the right way – they can help you improve your content marketing.
What is engagement?
Briefly put, engagement is exactly what you might think it is. When someone interacts with content on your website you’re able to see this and define from this what works well and what doesn’t.
Content engagement metrics, unlike views or visitors, can tell you whether your content is actually creating an impact on the people reading it. This in depth overview allows you to work out what kind of content garners the best response and what you should continue to create (and what you shouldn’t).
How it’s tracked
Engagement is measured through a variety of means, which means you’re able to determine exactly how it’s performing and see which method of pushing it is working best.
The main way you’ll be able to view the performance and engagement of any given metric is via Google Analytics.
Through this you can see specific data relating to a piece of content, such as time on page, average session duration, bounce rate and any comments which have been left.
The time on page determines how long an individual stayed on the content for. This is usually quite a telling metric – especially when coupled with the average session duration metric.
With these two metrics you can see which content encourages people to stay on for longer. You can then determine what types of content going forward will gain the same reaction, although it’s worth noting that timing and circumstance can often have an input, so it may take multiple posts at various times to determine what really does work.
The bounce rate determines how many users click off the content right after they have arrived on the page. You might do this if you’ve been taken to the wrong page or if there was a click-bait headline that doesn’t reflect the content within the article.
Finally, comments. These are the most insightful pieces of data you can gather, as they’ll show you exactly how a person responded to the content. Often people choose to comment on a piece because they’re passionate about the cause it represents – or because it evokes another strong emotion (such as anger).
Whatever the reason is it will become apparent in the comments left. Comments are an important metric because a lot of commitment has to come from a user; first they have to read the whole post so they can comment on its entirety, then they have to form an opinion of what they want to say themselves and then potentially log in in order to comment.
Another way to measure the engagement of your content is to see how well it performs when pushed on social channels. Other factors could influence its performance here, so it’s important that you look at all the metrics as a whole, rather than just in isolation.
On social media your likes, mentions, shares, comments and follower growth all act as an indicator as to whether your content is working or not.
While likes, comments and shares will determine the success of a specific piece of content, measuring your follower growth will help you see if your content as a collective is interesting enough for you to gain followers from.
As well as through Google Analytics and social media, you can also monitor engagement metrics via email.
As with any channel you push through, how you push will be a big determining factor on whether the content performs well.
Another factor to consider when you’re sharing content is how it’s branded and what images you’re using to depict the content. High quality photos directly related to the subject will usually perform well – however unless you hire a photographer or are willing to run the risk of a fine for use of a copyrighted image you’ll need to think up something different.
There are plenty of creative commons images and low cost stock site images that can be used to help you boost your post and give it the branding it deserves.
Are you in a tizz over engagement metrics? Or do you have your content strategy perfectly planned with metrics in mind? Leave your comments in the section below or get in touch over on Twitter by tweeting @MyDigitalWirral.