The KPI’s for Content Marketing ROI

KPI's to help measure your content marketing ROIThe How-To’s of Content Marketing ROI

It’s safe to say that 2013 was the year where content marketing took centre stage as the “new” thing or the next buzzword. Content marketing strategy has been around for some time, only up until recently has it really started to affect search engine results and website rankings. But what are the KPI’s to look for when determining content marketing ROI?

Those who work in SEO have always known that the many forms of content and optimizing this content are keys to boosting search engine rankings. If that content is relevant and “share worthy”, good things happen.

Content Marketing is certainly important to search. It’s also a major component in social media marketing and optimization (SMO).

Search Engine Watch as an insightful article on 11 Must-Measure KPI’s for Content Marketing Success. What metrics and sub-metrics should we look at when determining the ROI of our client’s content marketing strategy?

What many people are now starting to realize coming into 2014 is that content creation has incredible value above and beyond just website optimization.

“Content marketing, when done correctly, has its own ROI as a channel, and thus must be measured by a set of unique key performance indicators (KPIs).”

The article wisely states that the issue is in identifying the value of the KPI’s most people tend to use when breaking down their content marketing campaigns. What’s important is how you gauge the over all value of content marketing KPI’s such as social shares, links, and other usual suspects. Let’s take a deeper look, keep reading for the KPI’s you need to be aware of for the success of your content marketing ROI.

KPI’s For Content Marketing Success


I’d say this is one of the most important metrics to measure when looking at your content marketing ROI. Content, Search, and Social, work dependent on each other in effective internet marketing strategies.

Good content that is well optimized and shared to influencers, early adopters, tastemakers, and thought leaders has the chance to spread far and wide across the inter webs and referrer copious amounts of traffic to your website.


  • Traffic per Referrer
  • Moz Rank/Trust Flow if Referrer
  • Time spent on site from Referrer
  • Conversion Rate from Referrer

How To Measure:

In order to gain insight into the value of each referral source, you need to look for patterns in your analytics to see how referrals to content based landing pages converted when compared to other types of landing pages.

This info is great for SEO and also let’s you know what referral sources are most important to your website traffic and where you should spend more time forging relationships. This can only increase your content marketing ROI.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement is a great metric. I love showing clients their engagement statistics. For example, what I love is showing a client that although a Tweet received only 2 favours, 2 ReTweets, and maybe just 1 @ mention if you’re lucky, the actual link was clicked on 368 times!

If that link was going back to an article or blog post on their website, the “engagement” level might not be high, but the “engagement” in terms of interest in the topic, leading to a visit to the website, is priceless!

Great for SEO and possibly content marketing ROI if that visitor converted. However, apparently this is not always the end of the analysis. This makes a lot of sense:

“Engagement with content is one thing marketers lose perspective of most often. They cite concepts like social sharing figures and overall traffic, but rarely quote serious engagement statistics to show the value of the content on the site.These figures are the core of how well your content is working. Getting people to the site, and even shares, is more of a display of your headline writing and social media capabilities.

Sub-metrics to look for:

  • Pages Per Visits
  • Time on Site
  • Bounce Rate

How to Measure them:

You want to measure these based on the baselines given for higher performing portions of your site. Content will undoubtedly underperform your money landing pages, however by how much is what is important. Again you want to get a relative ROI and value from what you’re producing, and you already have a barometer by way of other pages and traffic.”

Social Sharing

Social Signals have been around for most of 2013. It’s no secret that search engines pay attention to what’s being shared on social media networks. If users are +1’ing content and posts on Google+, you can bet that Google is aware and will look to that content if it’s relevant to future user search queries.

Produce regular, relevant, share worthy content that gets shared on social media networks and you’ll see your efforts bring your clients decent content marketing ROI.


  • Social Shares
  • Referring Platforms

How To Measure:

The Search Engine Watch article makes a great point about the importance of measuring social sharing in context. For example how many shares equal a visit? Is your site able to convert those visitors into paying customers?

“This is an incredibly important question to answer and most marketers aren’t making the connection. For example, we often see Facebook “like” counts outpace traffic for that content, suggesting users click like on content they have never read.”

Measuring the success of your content marketing is essential for the success of your business and your future content marketing strategy.

If you have questions about content creation and curation or you want to step up your content marketing strategy, please reach out and let me know. I’ll be happy to offer you an insightful 1-hour marketing consultation via Skype, on the phone, or in person.

To read the rest of the article and more must-measure KPI’s go here.


7 thoughts on “The KPI’s for Content Marketing ROI

  1. I really appreciate the call out to the importance of measuring engagement metrics. The issue we’ve seen is that it is often difficult to measure true engagement with longer form content, which is typically downloaded and untrackable.

    To help address this, our company created a platform that allows marketers to extend their standard web/engagement analytics into the downloadable document experience. By giving marketers this capability, they’ve seen that the metrics they originally relied on so heavily (landing page visits,downloads, shares etc) were in fact vanity metrics, that didn’t tell the full picture of how content was being perceived / consumed in the marketplace. So, finding ways to understand these engagement patterns is certainly an important part of any marketing plan…

    Is this something you are tracking in long form content like white papers and ebooks and if so, how do you go about doing so?

    1. Hey Steve. Thank you for reading and especially for commenting.

      You raise a great point – it is different to measure engagement for long form content. Although I still believe in the significance of the vanity metrics (page visits, downloads, shares, likes, etc), i agree that it’s certainly not giving us the full picture.

      With all the time and effort we all go though creating engaging content for our client’s or ourselves, it would be good to track understand metrics from long form content.

      Through my agency’s partnership with HubSpot (early stages), we’ll be using inbound marketing tactics to engage with users who download (upcoming) ebooks, case studies, podcasts, and slideshare decks. will be offering the same to our clients.

      Can you share more about this platform your company created?

      1. Vee – I’d be more than happy to provide a demo of our platform, or even get you up and running so you can try it yourself with one of your clients. We are HubSpot users ourselves and have a full integration with the system, so it sounds like it is definitely a tool that could bring value to your clients as you look to distribute your upcoming ebooks, case studies and presentations.

        You can learn more on our website (, however at the highest level, through our proprietary viewer, we give marketers the ability to measure exactly how prospective customers consume a specific piece of content. We report page level analytics around time spent, bounce rates, social shares, mobile vs. desktop engagement, links clicked, text searched or highlighted, etc. This information is reported in aggregate (i.e. 1,000 people viewed eBook X and on average did these things) or at the individual level (i.e. John Smith accessed these documents on this data and did these things) and synced with your CRM or Marketing Automation platforms in order to facilitate more tailored sales and marketing follow-up.

        All of this will effectively allow you to:

        CAPTURE more leads from your content.
        CONVERT more sales from these leads.
        CREATE better, more engaging content.

        Would love to continue the discussion, so will submit my contact info via your website and if you’d like to connect to learn more please let me know.

        Co-Founder Docalytics

        1. Steve that platform sounds amazing. certainly a great addition to HubSpot’s awesome portal. I’m interested in learning more – I got your contact info via email and respond accordingly. Thank you.

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