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Measuring Content Marketing Effectiveness [9 Easy Metrics]

Content Marketing


The modern world of Internet marketing brings with it a number of tools and analytical methods for determining success. In some ways, it’s information overload. For a business to succeed it needs to know what to focus on and what information is prudent in identifying marketing performing as desired and content not delivering as desired.

There are plenty of applications out there capable of diving deeper into the data. Many of these programs are especially helpful and need greater consideration. However, these are the primary metrics and methods a business owner or advertiser needs to consider and look at in order to measure their content marketing effectiveness.

  1. Cost Per Acquisition

A number of other “cost per” analytics exist. A business likely focuses on cost per click, but in terms of the big picture, cost per acquisition is a must. This tracks the amount of revenue coming in based on an entire marketing campaign. It directly compares the cost of a campaign with the number of sales it generates.

While the cost per click is how much each marketing interaction costs, it’s necessary to determine whether or not a marketing campaign is cost-effective or whether it needs retooling (or complete abandonment). The CPA is designed to provide this exact information.

DMC Report: Cost-Per-Acquisition by medium(Source)

By looking over the complete CPA of an advertising campaign, the business will have the necessary information to determine if it should continue on with the campaign, whether continuing it is financially feasible or if the business should abandon it due to the lack of revenue generated.

It doesn’t matter how great short-term campaign metrics look. If the CPA is abysmal, that’s all that matters. Other “cost per” data provides short-term information, whereas Cost Per Acquisition is the big picture.

  1. Return on Investment

A company’s ROI is directly connected with the CPA. Both are big-picture approaches to breakthrough advertising and developing a successful paid advertising approach. Most marketing metrics measure lead generation, which is fine. However, if it costs $20 per lead and the closing rate is 20 percent, the entire process costs a business $100 for a new customer.

When the cost per new customer is lower than the value of a new customer, it’s worth the investment and the advertising (or the entire marketing approach) campaign is working. If it costs more than the value of a new customer, a new approach is needed. All of this may hinge on the value of goods and services sold.

ROI Equation(Source)

If a company sells t-shirts, the average t-shirt sale may linger around $30 or so. If bringing in a new customer costs $100, it points to a loss in investment. Focusing on the ROI, both projected and real, represent crucial analytical data a business needs to stay on top of.

  1. Total Website Visits

Generated traffic indicates the overall popularity of a website. It doesn’t indicate sales, the development of new leads or the overall effectiveness of a specific marketing approach, but total site visits still play an important part in determining whether a particular content marketing campaign is effective or not.

Unique pageviews and visitorers


Total website visits aren’t the end all-be all bit of analytical data. However, it is a big picture approach, which can demonstrate the growth of visibility a site possesses. A business owner can watch at traffic based on blog posts, new ad campaigns, social media publications and news releases. A healthy website should experience an overall increase in total website views over time.

  1. Traffic By Channel

A company’s total Internet presence spread across a number of channels. For a company producing e-commerce product videos, it likely has a YouTube channel. Other social media profiles also likely exist. All of these numbers go into identifying the effectiveness of a marketing approach. A company might determine product videos fair better on Facebook than through shared links on Twitter or LinkedIn.

In order to develop a big picture visual of an entire marketing approach, a business needs to know what generates traffic and where the traffic comes from. Each of these targets provides a new piece of the marketing puzzle. Measuring social media interactions and traffic helps indicate which social media platform works for the business and what content a target demographic connects to.


Other forms of traffic by channel analytical data includes direct visitors (people type directly typed in a URL into their browser to reach a site), organic searchers who came by the site via search engine, and referrals (clicked on a link placed elsewhere on the Internet).

As the Internet continues to evolve and new methods of outreach develop, the need to monitor new channels becomes more and more important.

  1. Sticky Visitors

Sticky visitors build off of general traffic analytical data. A sticky visitor is someone who returns to your website a second time.

General website traffic numbers indicate how well a specific marketing campaign, blog post or other outreach program is too interesting customers and bringing in visitors. However, it fails to provide any kind of information in regards to whether visitors like what they see. In order to determine this, it’s necessary to look towards other analytical data.

Sticky visitor data provides this kind of information. By identifying a repeat IP address, a business knows this is a return visitor. If someone is returning to the site it means they saw something they initially liked.  

The number of regular visitors highlights the potential effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Sticky visitor information highlights the quality of content on the site. If a website sees a high level of initial visitors but lacks a sticky visitor, it means there’s a problem with the site content and not the marketing campaign. It may also highlight the failure of a marketing campaign’s ability to attract the right demographic.

All of this provides helpful insights into whether a business needs to alter the demographics it’s targeting or whether it needs to improve the site content (or both).

  1. Bounce Rate

Of all the data different tools and programs provide a business, the bounce rate represents some of the most important information a company should monitor. In a way, it provides helpful insights as to the quality of a visitor’s experience on the site (similar to a sticky visitor).

A bounce rate indicates whether someone clicked on content within the site or whether he or she exited the site before clicking on anything. A high bounce rate means someone landed on the site then immediately “bounce” away from it.

Bounce rate in Google Analytics(Source)

A high bounce rate indicates a number of potential problems within a company’s content marketing approach. It may suggest poor campaign targeting, in which the marketing focused on the wrong target audience. It can also suggest a less than desirable landing page, a long load time, poor traffic sources or a number of other problems.

Additional insights may help fill in the blanks for why a high bounce rate occurs. However, it all begins with looking into the bounce rate of the site.

  1. Exit Rate

The exit rate fits in alongside the bounce rate. However, unlike the bounce rate, an exit rate highlights what page someone left. Reading and understanding the exit rate may indicate what pages perform well and what pages send visitors away.

Monitoring the exit rate highlights underperforming content on the site, making it possible to go in and correct the issue and improve the quality of the company’s content marketing effectiveness.

  1. Backlinks and Social Signals

Remember, one important purpose of blogging is to rank better in search engines. Google sees a link as a “vote” for authority, particularly those links coming from authority sites.  The more links you have, the higher your rankings will be. We like using Ahrefs and Moz’s Open Site Explorer for this.


Social signals, on the other hand, are any social media activity which links to your blog. Facebook likes and shares, retweets, pins–these may all look like vanity metrics but the thing is, this is how your content gets around. More so, social signals affect your site’s authority and search engine ranking. When people are sharing your content, it means they find your post useful and therefore see you as an authority in your niche. So check out which of your posts garnered more social activity than the others & consider making more of these types of posts.

  1. Email Subscribers

You may have a general picture of where your readers are coming from, but you want to get to know them more. You want to know their names. More specifically, you want to know their email addresses because email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing channels.

See how many people subscribe to your blog and make it your goal to keep growing your mailing list. If you’re not getting many subscribers, maybe you need to rework your content strategy or your newsletter conversion points. If your subscriber base is constantly growing, you can rest assured that your content is doing it’s job to engage and build relationships with your audience.

In Conclusion

For a business to succeed it needs to know if its marketing works. While there are a number of metrics and measuring tools designed to provide a near overabundance of informational wealth, only a handful of this analytical data actually indicates the effectiveness of content marketing.

From bounce rates to click through rates, this information clearly shows what works, what brings in customers, and what isn’t delivering the desired performance. By focusing on these different tools and site data, it’s possible to determine where you should be focusing resource investments to maximize content marketing ROI.


Content Marketing Toolkit