Most people with any SEO experience have heard the saying, “Content is king”. It's been repeated as one of the most important pieces of marketing advice for more than a decade. However, while we may understand that content is extremely important, how do we know if our king is actually doing a good job? Content seems subjective, which makes it difficult to gauge its effectiveness. There are actually some sound techniques you can use to do just that.
The first step to measuring the effectiveness of your content is to create relevant metrics. Then, instead of focusing entirely on the content itself, you analyze these metrics on each page that contains content. You can then assume that if these metrics are below your goals, then the content on that page is not effective. There are certainly other factors that can affect these metrics, but because the content is king, it must assume all responsibility.
What is the point of a particular web page? What is the point of the content on that page? In many cases, the goal is to convert the visitors. You may want to convert them into paying customers, into newsletter subscribers, or into eBook downloaders. The only wrong goal to have is no goal at all. Without a goal and a purpose for a page, then it's extremely difficult to measure its effectiveness.
Once you have a goal in mind, you can easily track those goals using free online goal tracking tools. You simply input your goals and then measure whether people who interact with your content eventually convert. If people are reading your content and converting, then you are meeting your goals, and your content must be effective. If you are not meeting your goals, then you may need to publish new content.
You can measure a degree of effectiveness outside of conversions as well. Many of these metrics relate to site visitors regardless of whether or not they convert. This includes overall website traffic, time spent on the site, and bounce rates.
For example, a piece of high-quality and effective content will cause people to want to return to your website in the future for more content. Therefore, if you publish new content and your website traffic increases over the next few weeks, then you can assume that the content is effective. It's also good news if people are spending more time on your site and fewer people are immediately bouncing back to Google.
There are other ways to measure the effectiveness of a particular piece of content. One such way is through social media. Shares themselves are already a metric, which makes it an extremely easy tool to use. If a piece of content is receiving a lot of shares, then you know it is connecting with your target audience and must be effective. This should also lead to an increase in your number of social media followers.
Content may be king, but not every piece of content is ready to rule. Use these analytic methods to gauge whether a piece of content is working as effectively as possible or if it has missed the mark. You can then use this information to help you create better content in the future.