29 Content Marketing KPIs to Track in 2024

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By Tomislav

Key Takeaways

Essential Role of KPIs: Key Performance Indicators are critical for evaluating the success of content across SEO, engagement, demographics, business results, and traffic.
Strategic KPI Selection: Choose KPIs based on their relevance to content goals, focusing on those that align with desired user actions and business objectives.
Comprehensive KPI Categories: SEO-related KPIs assess search engine performance and reader engagement; Engagement-related KPIs measure user interaction; Demographics-related KPIs provide audience insights; Business Results-related KPIs reflect content’s impact on sales and marketing goals; Traffic-related KPIs reveal reach and effectiveness.
Adaptive Content Strategy: Regular monitoring of KPIs is key to adapting content strategies for optimal performance and alignment with audience needs and business goals.

What are KPIs?

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator.

KPIs are crucial data points used to measure progress towards goals in your content marketing strategy.

They enable you to evaluate the success of everything from a single article to entire campaigns.

To organize this discussion, I’ll categorize KPIs into five groups:

  • SEO-related KPIs
  • Engagement-related KPIs
  • Demographics-related KPIs
  • Business results-related KPIs
  • Traffic-related KPIs

Remember, not all KPIs are equally relevant in every context.

Tracking the Most Relevant KPIs

There are countless KPIs you could track.

However, tracking them all is not practical and can be counterproductive.

Overemphasis on irrelevant KPIs can skew your content marketing strategy.

Consider measuring the performance of an informational blog article. Ideally, you’d want visitors to:

  • Spend time on the page
  • Read thoroughly
  • Explore more pages rather than returning to search results
  • Share your content
  • Leave comments
  • Subscribe to your newsletter, if available

With these goals, the KPIs worth monitoring include:

  • Time on Page
  • Dwell Time
  • Bounce Rate
  • Backlinks
  • Comments
  • Social Shares
  • Scroll Depth
  • CTR (Click-Through Rate)
  • Overall Traffic
  • Traffic Sources

This scenario is just an example. In other situations, like with transactional content, some KPIs may become less relevant or even irrelevant.

Ultimately, you determine the most pertinent KPIs for each piece of content.

As a rule of thumb, always track KPIs that reflect desired user actions to achieve your content’s key goals.

SEO-Related KPIs

Average Time on Page

Definition: The average duration visitors spend on a specific page or set of pages.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: This KPI is crucial, especially for lengthy content. If you have a 5,000-word article but the average time on the page is only 17 seconds, it’s a red flag. It suggests visitors are leaving before fully engaging with the content. A decent average time is 2-3 minutes; anything less is concerning, while more is exceptional.

Average Session Duration

Definition: The total time of all sessions divided by the number of sessions.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Longer session durations are generally better. But, its calculation can be complex, and a lower average isn’t always bad. For transactional content, a shorter average session is acceptable. However, for informational content, you should aim for at least 2-3 minutes to be satisfactory.

Bounce Rate

Definition: The percentage of single-page sessions on your website.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: While reducing the bounce rate is a universal goal, it’s not as critical for informational content if users are spending a few minutes reading your posts from SERPs. However, a high bounce rate in transactional content is alarming, indicating that users are not engaged enough to click on your CTAs or complete a purchase.

Backlinks

Definition: External links pointing to your domain.

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: While backlinks to sales pages are rare, links to high-quality informational content are more common and beneficial. These backlinks positively affect your entire domain, not just the linked page. Therefore, they indirectly boost your transactional pages as well.

Search Engine Rankings

Definition: Ranking placement of your content in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: It’s crucial for both your informational and transactional content to rank highly in the SERPs. While you might think ranking is more vital for transactional content due to revenue generation, high-ranking informational content also leads potential customers to your transactional content.

Engagement-related KPIs

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

Definition: The percentage of impressions leading to a click.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: CTR is vital for all content types. However, it’s especially crucial for transactional content to achieve high CTR, as this is where conversions occur. A/B testing headlines and CTAs to find the most effective ones is recommended.

Scroll Depth

Definition: Measures the extent of user engagement with your content.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: Knowing how far users scroll is critical. If your CTAs are at the end and few reach them, it’s a significant issue. This metric is also important for informational content to ensure ease of consumption and engagement.

Likes

Definition: Users expressing agreement or enjoyment of your content.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Treat Likes as a basic form of audience approval but don’t overvalue them. Creating content solely for likes isn’t advisable. However, being aware of Likes as a KPI can be beneficial.

Comments

Definition: User feedback after engaging with your content.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Comments indicate strong audience engagement. They require effort and thus carry significant weight. They also foster community building and even attract Google’s attention.

Reviews

Definition: Reviews are opinion-based feedback on products or services.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: Reviews are a crucial KPI for anyone selling products or services. Incorporating reviews and testimonials into your transactional content boosts its effectiveness. Reviews provide social proof and enhance SEO.

Social Shares

Definition: Social Sharing is the audience’s organic promotion of content.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: People often share highly relevant informational content. Social shares not only increase traffic but also signal to search engines the usefulness of your content. Analyzing social shares can reveal which content has viral potential.

Customer Retention

Definition: Customer retention is about keeping customers returning and continuing to buy from you.

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: Returning customers are a reflection of your overall business health. Customers return only if they consistently receive value. Tracking this KPI is vital, especially if your business model relies on customer retention.

Downloads

Definition: Audience saving your downloadable content to their devices.

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: Tracking downloads shows audience interest in your content. For instance, if a free template isn’t being downloaded, consider whether the pitch effectively conveys its usefulness. This insight can guide adjustments to improve engagement.

Influencer Mentions

Definition: Influencers discussing your product or service with their audience.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Monitoring influencer mentions helps identify the demographics your product or service appeals to. This information is key in creating value-driven content tailored to specific audiences, making it more relevant and impactful.

Demographics-Related KPIs

Geography

Definition: The geographical location of your visitors.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Understanding where your visitors are from helps create more relevant content for specific audience segments. Relevant content provides more value and converts better.

Age

Definition: The age data of your visitors.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Similar to geographical data, knowing your audience’s age helps tailor content specifically for them.

Gender

Definition: The percentages of male and female users.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Gender data enhances content relevance. For instance, if your content is predominantly consumed by women, you can use this insight to create content that resonates more with them.

Business Results-Related KPIs

Market Share

Definition: The portion of a market controlled by a company or product.

Most important for: Informational content

Context: Tracking market share provides insights on where to target for growth and what content to create to support it.

Leads

Definition: Leads are potential customers who enter your funnels.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: Lead generation is a crucial marketing goal. Monitoring and optimizing transactional content for lead generation identifies effective strategies to convert visitors to leads.

Lead Sources

Definition: The origins of your leads.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: Understanding lead sources allows you to focus on successful channels and improve content on underperforming ones.

Sales

Definition: Selling your products or services.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: Sales are a crucial KPI in content marketing. It’s essential to monitor the sources of your sales and, importantly, identify where they are not coming from.

Conversions

Definition: Conversions occur when visitors interact with your content and achieve your content’s goals.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: With a strategic approach, your content has specific goals. Understanding if these goals are met – if conversions are happening – is vital. Tracking conversions is key to determining the effectiveness of your content and whether adjustments are needed.

Newsletter Subscribers

Definition: Individuals who opt-in to receive your email newsletter.

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: Your newsletter and email list are invaluable assets. They connect you to people interested in your offerings. While email selling is powerful, never cease providing valuable informational content to your subscribers.

CAC (Customer Acquisition Costs)

Definition: The expense incurred to make a sale.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: Calculating CAC in content marketing can be challenging but is essential. Excessively high CACs signal issues in your content strategy, indicating a need for evaluation and modification.

Order Value

Definition: The total expenditure by a customer in a single order.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: For single-product sales, the order value is constant. However, with multiple products or services, it’s wise to monitor average order values. Enhance your transactional content to promote related products, bundle deals, and upsells.

Traffic-related KPIs

Overall Traffic

Definition: Total visitor count over a specific period.

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: While Overall Traffic is important, it’s not a sole indicator of financial success. Its significance diminishes deeper into the buyer’s journey. Nonetheless, an increase in traffic suggests effective strategies.

High Performing Pieces

Definition: Content that excels based on chosen metrics.

Most important for: Transactional content

Context: Tracking and analyzing high-performing content is crucial for gaining insights applicable to other materials. This is especially true for transactional content, where optimizing CTAs can boost revenue from the same content volume. Analyze exceptionally performing transactional content to understand and replicate its success factors.

Organic Traffic vs Paid Traffic

Definition: The distinction between visits from search engines and those from paid marketing efforts.

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: When using paid marketing, it’s crucial to separate the metrics of paid and organic visits. Content marketing focuses on organic traffic, and the best way to evaluate your content marketing strategy regarding traffic is by analyzing organic visits.

Traffic Sources

Definition: The origins of your website traffic.

Most important for: Both transactional and informational content

Context: Understanding your traffic sources is a key performance indicator (KPI) because it helps assess the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. For instance, if your aim is to attract organic traffic from Google and you see no results after 8-12 months, it’s a clear sign that changes are necessary.