Content marketing metrics that matter, part 2: How to measure bounce rate, time on page, and CTR

The Scribble Weekly
Vol. 1, Issue 7

Now that we’re in the dead heat of summer, you may find yourself between travels and with a little time to dig deep into how your content is performing.

Last week, we kicked off with 3 top content marketing metrics to determine your content marketing ROI, which were traffic, engagement, and conversions.

These, on their own, are certainly worth an eyebrow raise.

This week, we open your eyes to even more metrics to understand the fruits of your content marketing labor. You just might want to open up Google Analytics to follow along.

Next week, we’re going after the data that is virtually impossible to find without some excavation work, but will prove to be some of the most groundbreaking numbers you’ll learn about your strategy.

Excited yet? We’re just scratching the surface, so if you’re hanging with us until last call to geek out on content analytics, then this Scribble’s for you.

Metrics that matter, part 2

Here are our next 3 content marketing metrics that show how well your audience is consuming your content:

Bounce rate

This metric refers to the percentage of people who navigate away from your website content immediately after landing on it.

There can be a number of reasons why people quit you after seeing one page.

In many cases, it’s your content. How appealing is your title? How catchy is your top headline? Is your blog visually cluttered or are there too many overwhelming elements, e.g., too many buttons and colors?

Your audience goal:

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(Awesome GIF here - maybe your mobile won't show it.)

To view the bounce rate for each of your pages, go to Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.

If you’re like, “Whoa hold up, I’m not there yet,” then here’s a primer and a great video tutorialfor getting your website set up with Google Analytics.

Time on page

This is the amount of time a reader spends on a page. If you have an article that doesn’t seem to gain the attention you hoped, you can tweak a few things.

Try to improve your content’s title or blog post headers, add engagement tools like calculators or questionnaires, or streamline the reading efficiency of your content with listicles or bullets.

Similarly, if you have a page of content that viewers stay on for some time, then you may wish to re-use this content structure to guide other pieces going forward, i.e., do what works!

To view the bounce rate for each of your pages, from Google Analytics go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.

Note: There are a number of ways Google Analytics tracks time on site, as well as session duration. There are more nuanced paths to track reader behaviors, which usually involve installing custom metrics or a User Timing API like the one we found here.

Click-through rate (CTR)

If you’re putting money into paid content distribution and ads, CTR is crucial to track the correlation between ad impressions and actual website clicks.

CTR can be found using the "Search Analytics" feature in Google Search Console.

Head over to your Search Console Dashboard > Search Analytics, check off Clicks,Impressions and CTR boxes, and filter results by Pages as shown in the image below:

Then, scroll to see a table of your content URLs receiving the most clicks. You may wish to tweak your meta descriptions, placement, and targeting. The average Google AdWords CTR is 1.9% — a pretty low bar!

Easy = Vanity, Hard = Breakthrough

We stumbled upon this Orbit Media post and found it rather amusing in its comprehensive breakdown of “easy-to-find” versus “hidden” content metrics. 

A general rule of thumb is this: The more visible the metric = The less important it is

Easy to find metrics are always less important.

They are often just “vanity metrics” or “ego metrics.” They are often trivial and unrelated to business success.

- Examples: Facebook likes, Instagram followers, retweets

Harder to find metrics are more important.

They require tools and analysis. These correlate with business success.

- Examples: change in rank and traffic to a high-converting service page, conversion rate per blog post, conversion rate per traffic source

The hardest to find numbers are the most important.

They require research and math, or even customer outreach, but they are the most important numbers in your business.

- Examples: form submissions, the percentage of leads that are qualified, customer satisfaction

At Scribe, we can help you create original content that grows not just the obvious, but also hidden content metrics, too.

We can help you create stellar content from scratch and improve what’s not working.

Want to learn more? Get in touch by replying to this email or contact us at hello@thescri.betoday.

— Your friends at Scribe

Join us next week:

  • Woo baby! Our final 3 favorite content marketing metrics

  • A TV, movie, or book review, OR

  • Did you know? Productivity tip

P.S. A 20 second-ish streaming TV review

Aziz Ansari: Right Now (Netflix)

Refreshing, endearing, emotional, and full of hilarious observations on “woke” culture as we know it, Ansari opens by tackling, very candidly, last year’s alleged sexual misconduct — an allegation which in many women's eyes discredited the #MeToo movement.

With that out of the way, an older, wiser, and humbled Ansari delivers his finest comedic performance yet. A mix of laugh-out-loud and quiet, reflective moments show his range and mastery of comedy vs. drama, respectively.