Businesses big and small are swimming in a sea filled with unlimited access to data. Even though the waters are murky with all sorts of metrics, they can be cleared when digital marketers fish for the most important data, and know how to present it. After a few months working as the Digital Marketing Specialist for a Lehigh Valley Marketing Agency, I have developed a passion for data, analytics and the visually dynamic reporting tools that we use to present our results to clients. Before I dive into why I believe that visual and dynamic reporting provides much more value than a stand-alone spreadsheet, I would like to talk data. We know that reporting is great, but intuitive reports cannot be generated without the right data. Below are my 5 must-collect data metrics that every brand should measure to determine the overall effectiveness of a content strategy.
What data should you be collecting to determine the value of your brand’s content marketing strategy? In my experience there are 5 metrics that every brand should use to determine the value of their content marketing strategy.
- CTR (click-through rate) – A strong click through rate determines that content is engaging and encourages users to click around on a website. The CTR shows which pieces of your content have the strongest engagement.
- Conversions – How many users completed a desired action? A conversion may refer to a sale, calls or form completion. If conversions are low, the content strategy may need to be reconsidered. If you have low CTR’s, ask yourself why your content is not leading to conversions on your website. If you have strong CTR’s but low conversions, the content you are providing on your landing pages may not be strong enough to earn the conversion of a user, and needs improvement.
- Bounce Rate – The bounce rate helps to determine if the content on a landing page needs improvement. The bounce rate will tell how many people have left a site after viewing a page. If you have a high bounce rate, that could mean that your users did not find the information they were searching for, or simply did not see value in the content you were providing. A low bounce rate shows that users viewed multiple pages across your site before exiting, which is great!
- Time on Page – There is another crucial factor to consider when looking at bounce rate; time on page. This metric helps to determine the value of your content. If you have a high bounce rate, but the user is spending a long time on a webpage, you may be providing too good of content. This means that it may be beneficial to break up your content by utilizing internal links within your text to drive users to other articles and pages within your content.
- New vs. Returning User – Last but not least, type of user. In order to determine the overall effectiveness of your content, it is important to pay attention to how many users come back to your site after an initial visit. If your content is not bringing users back to the site, you may want to look at the value of your content to a user. As mentioned before, including internal links within your content will show users that you also provide other valuable information. (Tip: Internal linking benefits SEO, too!)
Now that you have the metrics, let’s assume you have collected the data and are looking at multiple reports filled with numbers and line graphs. As a digital marketer, you may understand this data and can easily provide an analysis with just Google Analytics alone, but presenting this type of data to a manager or client does not go over well. Visual and dynamic reports are the key to analyzing and interpreting data with easy-to-read proof of the recommendations you are making. One of my favorite tools that combines both visualization and dynamic reporting is Google Data Studio, which actually just left beta a few weeks ago.
This F R E E visualization tool offers chart and graphic tools that are not only easy to create, but also easy to manage. The reports are dynamic, which means that as your data processed in Google Analytics and Google Ads (or from any of the multiple other integrations available), your report updates without having to manually generate reports. Additionally, Google Data Studio just announced that PDF downloads will now be as interactive as well. This makes sharing reports with managers and clients even simpler.
Do not let an influx of data overwhelm you from analyzing your content marketing strategy. Choose a few metrics, create simple KPI’s, and report using dynamic visualization tools to determine your content marketing strategy’s overall effectiveness.