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December 2, 2019

Content Engagement: What Is It, and How Do You Measure It?

Written by
David Scott

60% of marketers have a dedicated content marketing strategy. It's one of the most effective ways of growing your organic search traffic and consistently attracting qualified visitors to your website.

Despite the popularity of content marketing, only 34% of bloggers say that they always check their analytics to track the success of their content.

If you're regularly publishing content you need to be tracking its success.

In this article we're going to explain what content engagement is, and why you need to be measuring the engagement with your content, whether it be articles, infographics, eBooks or webinars.

Let's jump into the article.

What is Content Engagement?

Content engagement is when visitors take action on your web content. There is a range of metrics can indicate someone is engaging with your content, such as page views, comments, bounce rate, goal conversion rate, and more.

By tracking content engagement you'll be able to understand what type of content your site visitors enjoy reading and will be able to determine if it's a success or not.

Why You Should Measure Your Content Engagement

Measuring your content engagement isn't always a simple task.

You might have hundreds of articles, all with different goals.

In cases like this, it can be easy to overlook measurement and just assume that your content is working.

But there are many reasons you should be measuring your content engagement. Let's look at some of the best reasons it's worth the time and effort.

1. Calculate Return On Investment (ROI)

At the end of the day, you want your content to contribute towards your bottom-line growth.

It can be difficult to attribute content to purchases if you're a B2B company with a longer sales cycle. It's highly likely that your customers will engage with your brand at multiple touchpoints and the last of those is unlikely to be a blog post.

It will be relatively simple to attribute bottom-of-the-funnel content to certain goals, such as page views to top-of-funnel keywords, or how well your pages rank according to Ahrefs or SEMrush.

As your content types can vary greatly, by closely measuring your results you can start to drill down and discover what truly drives results.

For example, you may have several blog posts, and want to know which one drives more qualified leads. By having a content measurement system in place you'll discover which articles are successful.

If you're offering an eBook download in exchange for contact details, you'll need to measure this to see if it's worth it or not (if the eBook isn't driving downloads it may just be leading to higher bounce rates, for example).

2. Understand Your Customer Journey

It's one thing knowing if your content marketing as a whole is driving results, but marketers who see the most success with content are those who see it as part of their customer journey.

When you have goals set up you'll be able to easily track which content is performing well and driving conversions, and which content isn't.

For example, you'll be able to understand which articles are driving bottom-of-the-funnel leads, and which are driving top-of-funnel leads.

You'll also be able to understand if your eBooks, webinars, or other types of more interactive and bottom-of-funnel content are worth the effort it takes to create them and if they're driving ROI.

Once you start measuring your content engagement you'll be able to attribute different pieces of content to purchases and map them to your sales funnel. Having a clear understanding of your customer buying journey has zero downsides and we definitely recommend taking the time to understand it.

3. Guide Future Content Creation

B2B marketers that regularly publish know that consistently publishing highly relevant content is a challenge. You won't always know what your ideal customer wants to read, and you may end up publishing content that doesn't drive the results you hoped for.

That's inevitable, to an extent.

Ideally, you will have insight into your customers' pain points, needs, and questions, and these will all help you generate new content ideas.

With a content measurement system in place, you won't need to leave your content ideas to chance.

You'll have the ability to see what content converts highly, and what content gets read by your customers before they converted into paying customers.

Only 30% of bloggers say they consistently see 'strong results' from their content, and one of the main reasons for that is their lack of visibility into content results.

Once you have visibility into your content engagement your team will be able to find out what content works, and guide your future content efforts to success.

Content Metrics You Should Measure

Now, we'll look at some of the key content metrics you can measure to evaluate to see how successful your content is.

It's important to note that not all of these metrics may be relevant to you. Every business has different goals, and you should measure the metrics that are important to you.

With that said, it never hurts to have a clear understanding of all your metrics. These will help you understand the complete picture.

Here are the content engagement metrics you should be measuring:

1. Pageviews/Unique Pageviews

This is the most basic metric you should be looking at. If no one ever sees your content, it's safe to say that it's not helping you reach your goals.

Even if Pageviews aren't your key metric (they're rarely as important as Goal Conversion Rates) they can be a great indicator of basic success.

If you're competing for a keyword in Google then seeing a high amount of traffic to a certain page will be a good indicator that your content is doing what you intended.

When evaluating the success of your content it's always worth keeping an eye on page views, and in general, the more the merrier.

2. Goal Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is one of the key metrics that any marketer cares about, and ensuring your content is optimized for conversions and reliably drives traffic to your key pages is an important task.

It refers to the number of people who viewed a page on your site that then took a valuable action on your website.

You can easily track your goal conversion rate using Google Analytics as well as a range of other tools.

You can easily setup goals in Google Analytics

Firstly you'll need to define your Goal, and once that's created you'll be able to see your goal conversion rate in the page Behaviour section of Google Analytics. All analytics tools will be slightly different, but any good tool will let you analyze your goal conversion rate.

3. Return on Investment (ROI)

At the end of the day, your CEO cares about one thing: the ROI of your marketing efforts.

If your content isn't driving ROI, you need to assess why and adjust your strategy accordingly.

You can calculate the ROI of your content by adding up the costs, and then looking at sales that you attribute towards your content.

However, this can be misleading and lead to false judgments.

When creating your content marketing strategy it's highly likely you're creating content that will map to every stage of the sales funnel, from top to bottom.

For this reason, not all of your blog posts are going to drive qualified leads. Instead, you may be targeting top-of-funnel keywords and queries in a push to educate them on their initial pain points and introduce your solution.

These leads won't be ready to purchase and are likely to end up engaging with your brand in several other ways before purchasing.

This could involve:

With a last-touch attribution model, you may end up attributing your sales to other channels, and end up ignoring the initial piece of content that brought them to your site, thus devaluing it's ROI.

4. Comments

Another good judge of content success is the number of comments your post gets.

Even if your company blog doesn't have a comments section, you can share your content to social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to generate healthy engagement in the form of comments.

It's a more qualitative metric (you don't want a comments section full of negativity) so you'll need to actively look at the comments your articles receive and decide if they're an indicator of success or not.

5. Social Shares

Another popular content engagement metric is social shares. This is how many times your content gets shared across social media by your readers.

Social shares are free promotion for your content and social proof for readers

Not all content you create will be designed with shareability in mind, but if you can encourage your readers to actively promote your content for you, you'll have a far easier time growing your blog traffic and attracting more leads to your website.

Social shares are free promotion for your brand, so it's nearly always worth including widgets that make it easy to share your content on their favorite social media platforms.

6. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the number of visitors who leave your website after only viewing one page. In an ideal world, someone would see your blog post, navigate to your pricing page, then sign up immediately.

As you know, it doesn't always work like that.

Bounce rate is an important metric to keep an eye on because when it's too high it could indicate deeper problems with your website such as slow page speed or other accessibility issues.

Average bounce rates for various types of website

Your average bounce rate will depend on the type of content and page. You should be designing your content to reduce bounce rates as much as possible and drive people to read and engaging with more content on your website.

Tools to Measure Content Engagement

To effectively measure your content engagement you'll need to use analytics tools.

Let's look at some of the most effective content measurement tools out there:

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the benchmark for all analytics tools. It's completely free and you'll be able to measure everything you care about, from page views to bounce rate to goal conversion rate.

For the majority of smaller B2B companies, Google Analytics is going to have all of the key features you need to track the success of your content.

For larger companies, you may want

2. Adobe Analytics

Another popular option is Adobe Analytics. If you run an eCommerce site, Adobe Analytics is a slightly stronger tool. It also has more data connecting functionality.

The downside is that you'll need someone familiar with the tool to ensure it's configured correctly and set up to your needs, as it's highly customizable.

3. Woopra

Woopra is a customer journey analytics tool that you can integrate with your website. Its strengths are that you can use it to easily attribute conversions to every part of your funnel. That means you'll be able to see what content your customers engaged with, and how they engaged with it.

Woopra makes assessing the ROI of your content - even if it's top-of-funnel - very simple.

Once you can successfully attribute conversions to content, not only will your content marketing function be seen in a better light by your CEO but you'll have more knowledge that can help guide your content strategy moving forward.

4. Hotjar

Hotjar is a behavior analytics tool that can help you assess how people engage with your pages.

It's a great way to see how visitors are engaging with your content and provides more qualitative feedback than other analytics tools.

Two of the most powerful features you can use to assess content effectiveness are the scroll-depth and heatmaps. You can use these to see how far down your content readers go, and what part of the screen they engage with.

This can help you optimize your content creation and formatting to keep readers on the page and reading. You'll need to spend time in Hotjar to benefit from it in full, but it can definitely be worth it.

Conclusion

All marketing teams investing in content need to assess how effective it is. If you're not measuring your content engagement you'll be in the dark about whether it's driving ROI or not, and if you should continue to invest in it.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to measuring your content engagement, as every business is different. You'll need to determine which metrics you care about most, and always keep a close eye on them, and regularly assess how your efforts are paying off.

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