Last Updated on 31st May 2024

The Key Metrics for Content Marketing Every CMO Should Track

In a digital landscape awash with ever-changing content marketing, you can’t just be producing great content anymore; you have to know how well your content is doing and why. To the CMOs out there trying to balance between strategy formulation and execution oversight, this piece will bore into everything that matters about metrics in content marketing hence helping you give it your all for maximum ROI.

To measure the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign, make improvements and increase your ROI, you need to track key metrics. These valuable stats tell you where your efforts are paying off and where your weaknesses are and also provide you with key insights to potentially enable a scaling strategy once you have identified clearly what works well.  But to turn this into better performance and extra profit you have to know what you’re looking for.

There is an incredible amount of data available from analytics tools these days, and a fast growing number of analytics tools too. The trouble is this can all be overwhelming unless you know what to look for and what it means. Some metrics are more significant than others and to illustrate this let’s look at the key measurements of a content marketing strategy.

Measuring successful content

Of all the metrics your marketing strategy can throw at you conversions are the most important. Whether it’s a purchase, subscription, email or some other action, these are the conversions you work so hard to achieve. Your ROI is essentially determined by the amount of conversions you can close and everything else is a simple stepping stone to maximised profit.  But before conversions in a digital environment comes traffic and the various metrics used to slice and dice it as follows:


A foundational metric that reflects the number of people who visit your site is website traffic. These helpful data are what often gives actionable insights even though any spike on traffic may be celebrated.

To track the progress of your content you want to focus on a range of traffic metrics – including total visitors, new visitors and channel specific data. You should see a steady increase of total visitors as your content strategy matures, with a healthy influx of first-time guests. Channel-specific metrics will tell you where they are coming from and which parts of your content strategy are performing most (and least) effectively.

Number of Unique Visitors: This metric informs the user of how many individuals have had a look at their content. Steady increase in unique visitors shows your content is reaching a wider audience.

Page Views: Counts the number of times a page on your website has been viewed. High page views on specific posts indicate what is resonating with readers.

Source of Traffic: By analyzing where your traffic comes from (i.e., organic search, social media, direct, referral), it’s possible to determine which channels work better than others and therefore necessitate more investment.

Fact : Companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month get 3.5 times more traffic than those publishing 0-4 monthly posts(HubSpot).

Lead Generation

Content marketing is not just about attracting visitors; it’s about generating leads from them and making them customers.

The key metrics of profitable lead generation content marketing include ROI, cost per lead, lead to close ration, customer value and retention rate. ROI is simply the profit you make on your marketing investment and the other metrics in this list play a vital role.

Cost Per Lead (CPL): Measuring how much it costs to acquire each lead, it gives an insight into how efficient the company’s content marketing process is. Reflects the average expense of every visitor, message and other types of lead.

Lead to Close Ratio: Shows how many leads turn into paying customers as a proportion of overall leads. Combining lead to close ratio with cost per lead will tell you how much each customer costs you and as long as your average customer value is above this number you’re in the money.

Conversion Rate: What percentage of visitors to your site complete a desired action such as filling out a form or subscribing to a newsletter. A high conversion rate suggests that the content is very persuasive and drives action effectively.

Number of Leads Generated: This refers to the number customers acquired through content marketing efforts. Determining this will help you know which content pieces are best for lead generation purposes.

Stat: Companies with mature lead generation practices achieve 133% greater revenue versus their plan than average companies (Marketo).

Customer Retention Metrics

Attracting new customers is important; however, retaining existing ones is what really matters for long-term success.

Retention rates and Customer Lifetime Value: You want to track retention rate to see how many of your customers return to make further purchases and interact with your brand.  Gaining an understanding of how much the average customer spends with you over the whole of the lifetime of their relationship with your brand will also help you to justify the value of successfully converting content marketing.

Return Rate: Refers to the percentage of site visitors who come back to visit again. High return rates indicate strong brand loyalty and satisfaction with your offerings.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This measures the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer account. Higher CLV suggests effective customer retention and engagement strategies.

Churn Rate: It is the percentage of customers who stop using your product or service over a particular period. A low churn rate indicates effective retention efforts.

Stat: HBR reports that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

Social metrics

Social metrics are a huge part of your content strategy and one of the hardest to prove an ROI. So it’s important you can prove success by tracking likes, shares and comments – as well as other social metrics. More importantly, you need to show your social efforts are driving traffic to your site, building brand awareness, adding to the ‘halo’ effect, and contributing to conversion rates.  Considering which analytics attribution model would be most appropriate is also a key consideration given much of social metrics don’t necessarily convert as a last-click visit, but rather assist other channels in converting.

Engagement as a Content Marketing Metric

Once a visitor lands on your site you need to keep them there and guide them through the conversion process. Bounce rate, time on page and pages per visit tell you how many visitors leave before they view a second page, how long they spend on each page and how many they view before leaving. All pretty self explanatory, but the these metrics indicate how effective your on-page content is at engaging with visitors and meeting your content marketing goals.

Engagement metrics help marketers understand how well their content is retaining its audience and encouraging them to take part in it.

Average Session Duration: This tells you how long people are sticking around once they land on your site. Longer durations can sometimes suggest good engagement levels with the presented materials.

Bounce Rate: It indicates the percentage of people visiting one page then leaving a website without going further inside. A high bounce rate means that either the content was not interesting enough or did not meet expectations no matter what.

Pages Per Session: It indicates how many pages are browsed on average in a single session. More pages per session means that your content resonates with visitors and they explore it further.

Comments, Shares, and Likes: These help determine the level of engagement between your audience and the material you wrote.

Fact : Engaged blog readers spend an average of 37 seconds reading an article(NewsCred Insights).

SEO Performance

SEO metrics are important because they provide insights into the success of your web copy when it comes to organic traffic from search engines.

Keyword rankings: Tracking the keyword rankings of your content would help you to know how effective is your SEO and make necessary changes in your strategy.  It is vital you identify the right keywords or topics you want to rank for and focus your content marketing around these topics.  Ranking for many queries (keywords) doesn’t matter if they are not the keywords which will move you forward to success via content and move your potential customers closer to the brand.

Number and quality of backlinks: The rating determines the number of backlinks linking to a page. When these links are valuable, it will result in better ratings on search engines, bring more traffic from organic searches.

Stat: 70-80% of users ignore paid ads and focus on organic results (Search Engine Journal).

Content-Specific Content Marketing Metrics

Drilling down into specific content pieces can provide deeper insights into what’s working and what isn’t.

Content Shares: It measures the number of times your content is shared on social media. High shares can indicate highly resonating content.

Scroll Depth: This quantifies how far visitors scroll down a page.Higher scroll depth will indicate more engaging content.

Heatmaps: These visual tools show where users click and how they navigate your site. Heatmaps give insight into visitor interaction with your content and where you might have UX improvements in place.

Stat: Jeff Bullas states that Articles with images get 94% more total views than articles without images (Jeff Bullas).

ROI Metrics

Ultimately, you need to know if your efforts are paying off.

Return on Investment (ROI): This determines the overall profitability of your content marketing investments.Its calculated as net profit divided by cost of investment in content marketing.

Revenue Generated: The total revenue attributed to your marketing through contents.This will help you understand the direct financial impact of your content.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): It is the cost incurred while gaining new customers from content marketing .Reducing CAC while maintaining or growing revenue means efficient use of content marketing .

Stat: According to Demand Metric, Content Marketing costs 62% less than traditional forms of advertising and brings about three times as many leads as it does..


Navigating the vast ocean of content marketing metrics can be daunting, but focusing on these key areas will help you stay on course. By paying close attention to website traffic, engagement metrics, lead generation performance, SEO performance, customer retention rates, content-specific metrics, and ROI you can fine-tune your strategy for better outcomes. Keep in mind that the overall objective is to create content that not just attracts and engages but also converts and retains customers thereby contributing to long-term business success.

So, next time you’re snooping around your analytics dashboard, be sure to pay attention to these metrics. They will offer you insights that enable informed decision making and take your content marketing game to the next level.

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