Creating unique, top-quality content that engages audiences is one of the fundamental pillars of every online site.
We see how Google encourages digital marketers to create exceptional content, content that provides the best answer to users’ questions. The thing is that creating successful, attractive content that drives audiences to your site is not always easy, especially if you are trying to sell a brand/service/product in a very competitive market.
Creating quality content means that you need to address all those queries by creating a compelling message. Then, the key question here is: How can we make sure that our piece is great and over the top, so we are not wasting our time and resources? And most importantly, what can you do to measure the impact and uniqueness of your content?
The truth is that there’s no exact way to measure quality. However, there are some marketing metrics and indicators that will help you out when evaluating your content. In this guide, you will find content performance metrics that will guide you when analysing a good piece of writing.
Let’s dive in!
What is high-quality content and why is it important?
Creating high-quality content will drive more visitors and conversions to your site and lower your bounce rates. Content that performs best always has a clear search intent. That’s why it’s important to know what your audiences are looking for, so you can craft your message accordingly.
For example, I had a client in the finance niche with bad credit loans as their main product. This is a very competitive and challenging industry in the online market.
We knew what we had to do to beat the competition — create content from an expert point of view.
We decided to create a series of new blog posts on our site that reflected different opinions from top experts in the finance niche. We interviewed these experts on topics such as “how to save money”or “how to build credit” and we linked back to their sites.
This way, we increased the authority and trustworthiness of our website, and multiplied our organic traffic in only four months. Google started to see us as an authentic site.
Here’s the lesson: Make sure that you are writing the content for your users, and prioritise writing content that has value to the reader instead of writing with the hope of increasing traffic. This will naturally increase the audience size.
Google is now looking more closely at what kind of content is out there and will penalise your pages if they are not adding extra value to your audience. The helpful content update is a clear example of what Google is focusing on now and how this can affect your organic rankings.
How can we measure content quality?
Reviewing your organic traffic
Organic traffic is the most important metric to look at when measuring content success. It will show you the total number of people that found your site through the search engine. If your site is not getting enough organic traffic, it might be time for you to review your keyword strategy and content optimisation options. Make sure that you are offering the best possible information on a given topic.
Social referrals and interactions
How often a piece of content is shared on social media channels is a very important indicator of high-quality content. Checking how people react and engage with your content on social media helps you understand how your brand is received.
Keep an eye on likes, shares, and re-posts. All this data gives you a rough idea of how your content is doing. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter have analytics tools you can use to gather data on your site’s social media accounts.
To measure social media success, you can also take a closer look at the post-engagement rate. By doing this you can compare the number of interactions with a post to the total number of followers on your account.
Average time on page and scroll depth
The average amount of time your users spend on your site will tell you a lot. If one of your pages is getting loads of clicks, but the average time spent on the page is no more than a few seconds, you know that your content is not performing as expected. On the contrary, if a page with fewer clicks shows a higher amount of time spent there, then you know where your most valuable content is.
You can also use tools such as Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics to track another metric called scroll depth. Through this tool, you will see how far website visitors scroll down on a page. You can check up to two types of scroll depth:
- Horizontal: Measures how far visitors scroll on your page from left to right.
- Vertical: Measures how far your visitors scrolled from the top to the bottom of your page.
Search engines and content quality
SEO professionals and businesses often evaluate the impact of a piece of content in different ways. For example, many search engine optimization professionals will look at pure search-focused metrics such as rankings, mentions, links, and organic traffic. Meanwhile, businesses will want to track conversions, qualified leads and revenue.
As we all know, Google has created many algorithms to determine what content is the best for users. Some of the signals linked to high-quality content are E-A-T (Expert Authoritative and Trustworthiness), comprehensive, insightful, factual and user-centric content.
By following Google’s Quality Guidelines and best practices, you will be able to evaluate your content and see if you are going in the right direction.
Tools to measure content quality
The best part of measuring content success is that you can use tools to do this for you. They will help you measure clicks, sessions, bounce rate, goals etc. Here are the most popular tools that digital marketers use daily:
- Google Analytics. GA is the most popular, favourite tool of SEOs and content marketers to measure content quality. Apart from page scroll, you can gather your data on page views; goals and conversion while creating different report views and applying filters.
- Google Search Console. The number of clicks, impressions, CTR and average position of your site will also give you a wide overview of how your content is performing and what you need to improve on a more technical level (index report).
- Ahrefs. Another basic SEO tool for almost all online marketers. With Ahrefs you will be able to see your top content pages, how your organic rankings are doing, what your top competitors are doing, and most importantly, what the gap is between their content and yours.
- Page speed insights. Page speed signals are more linked to user experience. However, you can also use them to see which score your pages get in terms of speed quality.
- SEO auditing tools, such as Screaming Frog Spider or Sitebulb. By auditing your website you can find out pages that have thin content. Thin content is content that has little or no value to the user, and as you probably know, Google doesn’t like these kinds of pages.
It is never too late to start measuring your content success. By doing this, you will understand your business needs and what is missing. Getting more involved in the process of content creation will open new doors for you by attracting new users and customers. Create the right content your audience wants today, and make the impact your business deserves.