How do I measure the content performance of my site or mobile app?

Metrics are becoming increasingly important for content marketing. Simply measuring visitors or users, and displaying the results in colored graphics is no longer sufficient. A CMS solves this by going to the source: the content.

Content Performance Metrics

You've probably been measuring users or page visitors on on your site or mobile app for a long time. Thanks to free systems like Google Analytics or open source analytics software like Piwik, you have a (more or less) accurate picture of the pages that your visitors or users have visited. 

What these systems have in common is that they base their results on the final rendering of html pages and not on the substance from which they are generated: the content itself. Because only the html rendering is measured rather than the resource itself, it is not easy to infer from this data why certain pages are popular and others are not. It's here that content performance comes in.

  • Is the topic interesting or relevant to the visitors?
  • Is the piece well written? Is the piece SEO friendly?
  • Does it have a good, catchy title?

To draw meaningful conclusions, you'll need more than a visitor count. A modern content management system (CMS) is much better able to measure this extra information than standard analytics software. This is because this information is closely connected with the content itself: the metadata.

Metadata for Effective Content Marketing

Beyond publishing content with your content management system metadata, you can supply additional information that says something about the text itself. Add the author's name, or the estimated reading time on a text. This data is most likely not shown on the website or in the app, but is very important. Combined with data on visitor or usage, this metadata can help you answer relevant questions such as "which author has written the most read text this quarter?" or "which author hooks readers halfway through the piece?" or  conclude that "longer pieces don't do well in the mobile app, but do just fine on the site." You can leverage all this information to determine which content which visitors prefer to read in which context, and where that content brings the most value.

Mapping the Customer Journey, Personas and Marketing Funnel

By analyzing metadata instead of the much more superficial visitor and use data, you can actually analyze your content's performance in terms of business variables. By adding metadata such as "marketing persona" "and" "user journey stage", content performance maps back to business goals.

Suppose, for example, you have an online sporting goods store. You use the persona "novice runner" in your marketing plan. This persona as a key target group for the products you market. This customer persona is added to your CMS as metatdata for the content you create. You also tag each piece of content with metadata indicating which "user journey stage" that persona corresponds to (for example: "seeking information.") You can now actively create and deliver content relevant to the customer as he or she looks for information, or even help move them to the next stage of the customer journey (for example "evaluating products offered").

After a while, you can precisely analyze whether the approach has worked and whether the persona and user journey internship for which the content was created match the persona and user journey stages of actual visitors.

Data-Driven Content Strategy

If you do this for all your marketing persona in all steps of the customer journey and marketing/sales funnel, you can accurately measure which content performed best (or worst) on which channel, which funnel stages are growing (or need improvement), and where your content gaps are. You can even see which author writes the strongest copy on a particular topic, and optimize your content marketing calendar accordingly. With content performance metrics, you can make data-driven decisions for your content strategy, creating a more relevant digital experience for your customers.

Written by Mark Peerdeman, Product Manager at Hippo