29 Content Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking Already

content-marketing-kpis-you-should-be-tracking-alreadyYou’ve heard all the content marketing success stories—that’s why you started doing it in the first place. But now that your efforts are in full swing, you’re having trouble knowing if it’s actually working. And I don’t blame you. There are so many moving parts to a content marketing strategy that it’s hard to know what to track and what to even call a success or a failure.

If that sounds familiar, it may be time for some content marketing KPIs.

Download Our Inbound Marketing WorkbookIn case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a KPI—key performance indicator—is a measure that helps you determine how a specific role or department in your organization is performing. Choosing the right KPIs to measure performance within your company is critical in helping you and your team understand whether or not you’re achieving your goals.

Keep in mind that KPIs aren’t the goals (or “targets”) that you’re trying to accomplish—KPIs are simply a way to measure your progress toward those goals. You can review KPIs weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or annually—whatever is best for your company. (Get a more in-depth explanation of KPIs here.)

So which content marketing KPIs should you be tracking? We’ve broken down our list below into categories—“need to track,” “should track,” and “may want to track.”

Which content marketing KPIs should you track?

KPIs You Need To Track

These KPIs make up your marketing funnel. Tracking the number of visits, leads, and customers your website generates will bring key insight into how well you’re doing with your content marketing efforts.

  1. Number Of Website Visits: Measures the number of visits to your website.
  2. Number Of Leads: Measures the number of website visitors that become leads.
  3. Number Of Customers: Measures the number of customers generated through content marketing.

KPIs You Should Track

For most organizations using content marketing, these KPIs will also be important in measuring success.

  1. Number Of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): Measures the number of leads generated that are marketing-qualified.
  2. Cost Per Lead: Takes into account all the costs associated with generating one lead.
  3. Cost Per Customer: Takes into account all the costs associated with generating one customer.
  4. Percentage Growth In Visits: Measures how your number of website visits has grown over a certain period of time.
  5. Percentage Growth In Leads: Measures how your number of leads has grown over a certain period of time.
  6. Percentage Growth In Customers: Measures how your number of customers has grown over a certain period of time.
  7. Cost Per Lead By Source: Takes into account all the costs associated with generating one lead from a specific source (e.g., organic, paid, direct, referrals, social, etc.).
  8. Visit-To-Lead Conversion Rate: Measures the percentage of website visitors that become leads
  9. Bounce Rate: Measures the percentage of website visitors that leave your website after viewing only one page.

KPIs You May Want To Track

Every company is different, which means each should track different metrics based on their unique strategy and goals. Here are some more KPIs you may want to track, depending on what’s important to your business.

  1. Average Page Views Per Visit: Measures the average number of pages a user views when they visit your website.
  2. Number Of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs): Measures the number of leads generated that are sales-qualified.
  3. Number Of Visits By Source: Measures the number of visits to your website from a specific source (e.g., organic, paid, direct, referrals, social, etc.).
  4. Number Of Leads By Source: Measures the number of leads generated from a specific source (e.g., organic, paid, direct, referrals, social, etc.).
  5. Number Of Customers By Source: Measures the number of customers generated from a specific source (e.g., organic, paid, direct, referrals, social, etc.).
  6. Lead-To-MQL Conversion Rate: Measures how many of your leads are converting to marketing qualified leads.
  7. MQL-To-SQL Conversion Rate: Measures how many marketing qualified leads generated are converting to sales qualified leads.
  8. Lead-To-Customer Conversion Rate: Measures how many of your leads are converting to customers.
  9. Visit-To-Customer Conversion Rate: Measures how many of your website visitors are converting to customers.
  10. Number Of Keywords In The Top 3: Measures the number of keywords you rank for on Google that can be found in the top three results.
  11. Number Of Keywords In The Top 10: Measures the number of keywords you rank for on Google that can be found in the top ten results.
  12. Average Time Spent On Website: Measures the average amount of time a visitor spends on your website.
  13. Percentage Growth In Subscribers: Measures how your subscriber base has grown over a certain period of time.
  14. Number Of Follows/Likes On Social Media: Measures the number of followers your organization has on specific social media channels (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).
  15. Number Of Content Shares: Measures the number of times your blog posts or landing pages are shared over a social media channel.
  16. Number Of Comments On/Interactions With Content: Measures either the number of comments that are made on your blog posts or the number of times a user likes, comments, or shares your content on a social media channel.
  17. Number Of Inbound Links: Measures the number of times another website shares a link to your content or website.

How To Get Started

If you have a platform for inbound or content marketing, like HubSpot or Marketo, it’ll make tracking these metrics much easier. Otherwise, you may have to find some creative workarounds to get the numbers and information you need. Even though we use HubSpot for both our marketing efforts and our clients’, we also use Google Analytics for deeper detail. You’ll probably need to look into your budget and spending reports, too, for the KPIs associated with cost.

Moving Forward

Success in content marketing is going to look slightly different for every company.

Let’s say that after six months of content marketing, you’ve increased your average number of website visits per month by 300. That may be a victory if you started with an average of only 500 visits per month! However, if you started with 20,000 visits per month, an increase of 300 probably wouldn’t be anything to get excited about.

The first step in figuring out whether or not you’re succeeding with content marketing is defining what a success is within your unique organization. What are your goals? Then, choose and track the content marketing KPIs that correlate with those goals to make sure you’re succeeding.
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