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Illustration showing a barometer with the needle pointing to yellow, and two floating message cards surrounded by stars, on a pale pink background. 50 Content Marketing metrics blog post

50 Content Marketing Metrics to Measure Your Campaign

Jayson DeMers

Sep 21, 2023

The effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns depend on hundreds of factors: your audience, your tone, your level of detail, your competition, your promotion methods...the list goes on. So how can you tell if you’re measuring the right things? And if you’re doing the wrong things, how can you tell what you’re doing wrong, and how to fix it?

There are hundreds if not thousands of metrics available and ways to measure content marketing success. So it can be easy to get lost in the weeds of data, or worse to not gather anything at all. That's why we wrote this article that delves into 50 important metrics for measuring your content marketing campaigns.

Use these 50 content marketing metrics to measure the success of your next content marketing campaign:

Tip: Use a media monitoring tool to track your content efforts, learn more about campaign measurement in general, and take a look at these helpful marketing metrics.

1. Organic search traffic

First up, we have organic search traffic. As you probably already know, content plays an important role in how your site ranks in search engines; producing more valuable content will help boost your domain authority, which is a measure of how likely your site is to rank highly in search engines, and producing targeted content helps you rank for specific keywords.

The combination of these effects will lead you to higher organic search traffic over time, which is a measure of the number of people who found your site through search. If your content is successful in boosting your search rankings, this number should continue to rise.

You can find the data for tracking your organic traffic in Google Analytics under the Acquisition tab.

2. Referral traffic

Referral traffic is mainly used for your off-site content efforts. In your guest posting and off-site content efforts, you’ll be publishing content on various outside sources. In the body of your posts or in your author bio, you’ll have links pointing to your site.

Referral traffic is a measure of the number of people who clicked on these links, and the breakdown here can tell you exactly which traffic came from which sources. You can then follow their journey on your site to strengthen your strategy and focus on those sites that drive you the most meaningful users.

3. Social traffic

Another type of traffic to look at is traffic coming from your social media posts. You can use this as a way to gauge two portions of your content marketing campaign; first, you can directly evaluate how effective your in-platform content is. For example, if you don’t see much overall traffic, it could be an indication that you aren’t posting enough, or that the posts you are making are unappealing.

Second, you can determine how effective your syndicated content is at attracting traffic to your site. If it’s poor, it means you need to pick better topics or write more attention-grabbing headlines.

4. Direct traffic

Direct traffic is a content marketing metric that is comprised of several different potential sources:

  • Typing in your website address in the URL bar
  • Clicking a link from an email
  • Clicking a link from a chat software
  • Clicking a link from a shortened URL (such as
  • Clicking a link from a mobile social media app such as Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Clicking a link from a secure site (https) that leads to a non-secure site (http). Watch out for this, because some major publications, such as, use https. So, if your site isn’t secure (http), then any referral traffic you get from it will actually show up in the “direct traffic” bucket in Google Analytics.


Direct traffic isn’t as directly related to your content efforts as the other three segments of traffic are. However, it can be a good indicator of your brand awareness. Don’t expect this one to grow as quickly or as steadily as your other segments.

5. New visitors

For almost any traffic-based report in Google Analytics, you can filter or segment users based on whether they’re new or returning.

Both are important to understand the role your content plays in attracting and retaining interested visitors to your site.

New visitors are a good measure for things like social traffic and referral traffic, where you’re trying to gain exposure. If you aren’t seeing your new visitor count rise, it could mean you aren’t doing enough outreach to tap into new audiences.

6. Returning visitors

Returning visitors are also a useful content marketing metric. You should see increases in returning visitors in all areas, but they are especially important when it comes to direct traffic — it often means these people are interested enough in your brand to visit you without being prompted, which in turn means your content made a significant impression on them.

You should also look for returning visitors in specific segments of your referral audience, such as email-based referrals, where returns are an indication of persistent interest.

7. Behavior flow

The behavior flow chart in Google Analytics is one of my favorite tools for understanding traffic patterns, and though it appears a bit confusing at first, it’s relatively easy to understand. Found under the Behavior tab, the behavior flow is a visualization of the average user’s path through your site. On the far left side of the chart, you’ll see a list of “entry” pages, where your users most often enter your site.

Oftentimes, this is the home page or a strong blog post. Then, you’ll see which pages users tend to click on next and how many users drop off. The chart continues for several click-throughs, so you can understand where users navigate throughout your site. This will help you identify how effective you are at keeping users on-site, and what drop-off points can be corrected to improve goal completions (such as subscribing to an email list) and retention.

8. User demographics

In the Audience -> Demographics section of Google Analytics, you’ll have the opportunity to get a glimpse of your users’ ages, genders, and other information.

This content marketing metric can help you understand how effective you are at attracting your target audience.

9. User location

You’ll also want to take a look at the geographic locations of your users. Do they tend to be concentrated in one spot? If so, it could be an indication that your campaigns are leaning too far in one direction, such as by favoring one publisher or syndication channel too heavily. On the other hand, if you find you’re especially popular with one geographic segment, you might choose to adjust your strategy to further target that segment, instead of expanding your message. This might be a good option for early-stage startups and small businesses with limited resources.

10. Search rankings (by keyword)

Search rankings, and therefore organic traffic, are directly impacted by your SEO (search engine optimization), so it's important for content marketers to have a solid understanding of various SEO metrics so you can continue to improve your ranking.

See also: Current content marketing trends

Keyword rankings show you how many search terms your site is ranking for. As a part of your content marketing strategy, you're likely producing content aimed specifically at certain keywords in the hopes of ranking for them. The more content you produce, and internally link around your site, the more chance you have of ranking.

As you continue to create content, you'll want to track how you're progressing. Though Google won’t provide you with this information directly, there are dozens of tools online (such as SERPs, AHREFs, and SEMRush) that can help you find and track your search rankings over time. You can also use Google Search Console to understand what certain pages are ranking for.

11. Domain authority

One of the primary factors that impact how high you show up in a search engine (ie: on the first page of Google) is your domain authority (DA).

This content marketing KPI measures the quantity and quality of inbound links your site has. Links from high DA sites signals that your content is valuable, factual, and authentic. The more high quality links you get, the better your sites DA score will be.

If you don't see your DA increasing, your content may not be high-quality enough to attract inbound links. You can check your domain authority and page authority using the Open Site Explorer from Moz, or a site like AHREFs.

12. Page authority

Page authority functions mostly the same way domain authority does, except on an individual page level rather than applying to the entire website. Individual pages can have a higher or lower authority than your domain based on their inbound links and your internal navigation structure. Therefore, if you have one standout post you’re trying actively to promote, or a page of evergreen content that’s especially high quality, you can use page authority to check and see how it’s likely to perform from a search engine ranking perspective.

13. Spam score

A spam score was invented by the search experts at Moz to help you gauge your risk of earning a penalty. It functions as the opposite of domain authority. While DA helps you understand the relative trustworthiness of your site and content, your spam score can tell you whether your content is putting you at risk of a penalty. For example, if you notice your spam score rising, you can run an audit to check for any duplicate, poorly written, or thin content that could be causing an issue for you, and take proactive action to protect yourself.

One of the most important roles content plays in bringing traffic to your site is earning inbound links from other websites. The more links you earn, and the better those links are, the higher your DA will rise, and the higher your website will rank for search terms related to your brand. Moz’s Open Site Explorer is a fantastic, free tool for evaluating your link profile, which you can refer to for this. Here, your goal will be to evaluate the number of links you’ve earned per piece. When you find a top performer, you can work to a) replicate that success in future pieces and b) continue using that piece in your link building strategy.

You’ll also want to take a gander at the number of links you’ve built manually, such as through guest posts. As we mentioned, your off-site content marketing strategy plays a pivotal role in the overall value of your content marketing campaign, but it’s about more than just referral traffic.

Any links you embed in content that is posted on external sites will pass authority to your site, so see how many links you’ve been able to build and how authoritative those links are. This is your chance to gauge the pace of your off-site growth efforts. Keep track of each link you manually build in your outreach efforts, so you can gauge the list’s growth over time.

Tip: Try to get a link that uses descriptive anchor text, rather than just your core homepage URL. For example, if we were building links to this blog post we'd want the linked text to say "content marketing metrics" rather than simply "".

Next, you’ll want to measure your total number of inbound links and compare the number of links you’ve earned against the number of links you’ve built. To see the links that point to your site, you can use Moz’s Open Site ExplorerAHREFsMajestic, or Google Search Console.

Is there one side of the equation you’re struggling with? If so, you may need to spend more effort optimizing that piece of your content marketing strategy. Have you seen explosive growth in one area? If so, what can you learn from that? What type of content is responsible for that surge, and can you take those principles and apply them elsewhere in your strategy?

Remember that not all links are good and that the sheer quantity of links pointing to your site isn’t what’s responsible for calculating your domain authority. If you have links built on questionable sources, or if you built them with poorly-written content or spammy anchor text, they could make you vulnerable to a Google penalty.

Take the time to look closely at all the links you’ve built, scanning for any weak points to increase the average quality of your links. If you notice any questionable links, make a request to their respective webmasters that those links be removed.

18. Page popularity

If you have a large library of blog posts, how can you tell which ones were most effective at bringing traffic in? Take a look at the user behavior report in Google Analytics (Behavior/Site Content/All Pages), to see exactly which pages of your site are most popular in terms of traffic and monitor this content marketing metric over time.

You can even break this down by traffic source to see how visitors arrive at each of your posts. To do this, take a look at the user behavior report in Google Analytics (Behavior/Site Content/All Pages), then click the URL of the page you want to learn more about. Next, click the “Source” option next to “Primary Dimension.”

You’ll likely find that a couple of your posts stand out more than the rest — ask yourself: what qualities do these have in common that made them such rock stars? And what about the posts at the bottom of the popularity list? What made them so ineffective?

19. Bounce rate

The bounce rate, which is displayed in Behavior/Site Content/All Pages on Google Analytics, is the percentage of people who leave a page after visiting it as the first page in their session. For example, if 100 people visit one of your blog posts (from any source) and 30 of them leave your site after seeing that page while 70 of them venture onto other pages on your site, you’ll have a 30 percent bounce rate.

It’s generally a good practice to keep your bounce rate as low as possible, because that means users are staying on your site longer. (And a low bounce rate is a very strong signal for our friends at Google!) However, if it is high, it doesn’t necessarily mean your content isn’t of a high-quality. You can also look at this metric for individual posts, to see if some are better at encouraging users to explore more pages on your site than others.

20. Exit rate

The exit rate, which is also displayed in Behavior/Site Content/All Pages, is the percentage of all people who end their session by leaving a particular page. But wait, isn’t that the same thing as a bounce rate? Not exactly — as Google explains, exit rates refer to users of all sessions, while bounce rates are specific to users who only viewed that one page in their session.

Simply put, if a user visits only one page of your site before leaving it, they count as a bounce and not an exit. Still, exit rates serve a similar purpose; you can use them to gauge how effective your content is at keeping users around, except this time, you’ll have a broader perspective.

21. Time spent on page

For almost any traffic-related content marketing report, you’ll see “average time spent on page” listed. This, as the name implies, indicates how long a person spent on a given page of your site, and it’s incredibly useful in indirectly measuring your audience’s engagement with your brand messaging, the subject matter of a blog post, or the general strength of the writing.

You can look at each individual blog post you’ve published and compare their time spent on the page — which ones seem to keep users around the longest? Are there any that seem to bore or disinterest your readers? How can you optimize low performers when it comes to time-on-page?

Watch out! In some cases this might not mean simply throwing more content on the page. It could mean editing out superfluous content or overly and unnecessarily wordy explanations. It could be that people are bouncing early because they simply find your content difficult to read.

22. Session duration

Along similar lines, take a look at the average session duration for your blog readers. Are your users sticking around for multiple pages? Are they spending more than a few minutes on your site? If most people seem to bail in the first five minutes, your site doesn’t do a good enough job of keeping them interested, or “hooking” them on your brand.

23. Social followers

Social media followers are what some marketers call a “vanity metric,” which simply means a publicly viewable metric. The number of likes and comments are also vanity metrics. While they are important, they don’t always tell the whole story.

For example, you might grow from 1,000 followers to 2,000 followers, but if none of those new thousand followers are interested in your brand or engaging with your content, they aren’t worth much; the high number is attractive, but it doesn’t correspond to value. Keep this in mind when measuring your social followers. Seeing a steady increase in your follower count is a sure sign that you’re moving in the right direction, but don’t get sucked in unless your engagement numbers also increase.


Again, the “likes” on each of your posts can be deceptive. On the surface, it seems like a valuable marker; after all, a person wouldn’t like a post unless they were somehow affected by it. A post that generates 100 likes is probably more effective than one that generates 20 likes.

Still, this doesn’t tell you how many people actually read your post, or what they did after reading it. Measuring likes is a valuable way to help you understand how content affects your audiences on different platforms, but don’t let it be the defining factor for whether or not your communications can be considered “successful.” (And always watch out for bots!)

If you aren’t getting as many likes as you'd...well, like, consider changing up your captions, hashtags, and the general appearance of your posts.

25. Shares from your blog

There are two different types of “shares” in the realm of content marketing. The first is a more direct type of share, defining how many users shared a blog post from your blog to their social media channels, or in an email to friends.

Though debated, there’s some evidence to suggest that this type of social sharing counts as a signal to Google that could factor into how that page ranks in search results.

26. Social media shares

The second, and more common, type of share to consider in your content metrics is a measure of how many people viewed your article on social media and shared it further to their respective audience. This type of share is easier since it only takes one click, and the content is easier for people to come across because they just need to be scrolling through their own feeds — rather than taking the extra step to find their way to your site.

In fact, this is the type of sharing that enables content to go viral due to its simplicity and scalability potential. Take a look at how fast and how far your posts travel once they get shared to your profiles; it can help you gauge overall appeal.

Tip: Use social listening tools to get a more comprehensive understanding of what people are saying in relation to your content, overall sentiment, related keywords, etc. See the Ultimate Social Listening Guide for more information.

27. Social reach

Next, you can take a look at your overall reach on social to see which platforms give you the greatest visibility. There are a few ways to look at this, with the most effective being a platform-specific breakdown under the Acquisition tab of Google Analytics (Acquisition/All Traffic/Channels/Social). The key here is to compare each platform against each other and determine what the best use of your time and budget is.

Always remember to use UTM codes on the links you share on social, to get the most accurate view of where your traffic is coming from!

28. Blog comments

Comments are a fantastic indication of your content’s ability to inspire reaction in an audience. You might attract agreements, disagreements, additions, anecdotes, or simply compliments — but whatever type of comment you receive, you’ve managed to evoke thought and feeling, both of which help build brand equity.

You can use the number and quality of comments on each of your articles to gauge which articles you should optimize, repurpose, and continue to share on social and in emails as part of your content strategy.

29. Comments on social

Blog comments are important, but social media comments are arguably even more important because they attract more eyes, and don't require someone actively visiting and reading your blog in order to participate. Additionally, you’ll get comments from a wider range of people, some of which may not be current customers, so you have the opportunity to capture very top-of-funnel interest.

30. Actions taken

Some of your content should be interactive. Interactivity draws readers in, encouraging them to get better acquainted with your brand and giving them a more memorable experience — but only if the interactivity actually works.

See an example of interactive content in our Social Media Holidays Calendar!

As a content marketer, you’ll want to measure whether your interactive components are working as intended. For example, tracking how often someone completes one of your online quizzes or makes use of that calculator you embedded in a recent post.

31. Money spent on content

The effectiveness of a campaign isn’t all about how much traffic or revenue you’re driving with it. It’s also important to track how much you’re spending on a campaign in the first place.

Are you contracting with an agency? Hiring contractors? Paying for full-time employees and subscription services like analytics software? Keep a running total of how much you’re actually paying — it will come in handy when you calculate ROI.

32. Time spent 

Money isn’t the only thing you’re spending when you create new artworks and posts for consumers. You’re also spending time. How much time does it take you to strategize every week? How much time do you spend per post? Even an effective post can be a downside for your campaign if it takes you too much time to complete and publish it.

33. Landing page views

Landing pages are a key content marketing KPI of any content strategy — you’re either driving traffic to them internally from some of your posts, or you’re using the landing page to promote your content.

Either way, it’s important to see how many views you’re getting, and from where. These are sometimes hosted separately from your main domain, so don’t neglect them when checking traffic numbers.

34. Impressions

Impressions are a content marketing metric that can be measured in a number of contexts. For example, you can gauge approximately how many impressions you’re getting from your keyword rankings in search engines using keyword data. And most social platforms will show you how many users you reached with a post.

You can even gauge how many impressions you’ve gotten on some external publishers. These are a good measure of how much initial reach your guest posts have gotten, but there’s another crucial ingredient to this equation...

35. Click-through rates

Impressions are nice, but they’re best viewed in the context of your click-through rates. For example, if you have a high number of impressions but a low number of click-throughs, it means your content is suitably visible in search engines, or by other promotion activities, but your headlines and copy aren’t compelling enough to encourage users to actually visit your site.

On the other hand, if you have a high click-through rate, but a dropping number of impressions, it may be time to readdress your visibility strategy with that particular channel.

36. Performance over time

Your new piece of content got 200 shares on Facebook during its first week of publication. But how is it faring now that a month has passed?

You should try to be earning residual traffic and engagement from past posts, even as you continue to promote new or recent articles. You’ll always see a drop after initial publication, but how big is that drop? What can you do to earn more ongoing attention for your older posts?

This is also why having "evergreen content" as a good-sized chunk of your content library is a strategic move. This content isn’t specific to any season, event, or time of year, so it can be re-shared and repurposed easily; in other words it doesn't need to be timely to be relevant.

37. Email open rates

Email is very likely a component of your content marketing strategy. If it isn’t, it should be, considering it’s practically free and can greatly increase the visibility and engagement rates of your content. However, emails are only effective if they’re being opened. The open rate is how you can track this effectiveness.

If you’re not seeing good open rates, it means you need better subject lines or offers for your customers. Most email marketing platforms provide this data, as well as some of the other email-related metrics.

38. Email click-through rates

If people are opening your emails, but aren’t clicking through, it means the content within those emails isn’t engaging enough to warrant a click. If you’re using emails as newsletters or content recaps, that means there might problem with the blog articles you're choosing to promote, but it could also mean the email copy isn't strong. Don't get discouraged. Email marketing takes a lot of trial and error before you really nail down its content strategy.

Tip: Learn how to measure email marketing performance in particular.

39. Subscriber rate

Pay attention to your email subscriber rate, too. If you notice an increase in subscribers over time, it means your content is doing a good job of retaining the readers you have and attracting new people to become regular readers (which could indicate that people are forwarding your emails to their friends and family!). If you see it plateau or drop off, however, you can tell something is wrong.

40. Subscriber churn

Subscriber churn refers to the number of people who unsubscribe from your email newsletters. Hopefully, you’re attracting all your subscribers organically (i.e., you would never buy an email list), so that means every unsubscribe changed their mind from liking your content to disliking your content. Pay attention to this metric. Why would they do this? How has your content changed?

41. Publisher success rate

Some bigger publishers will offer all their guest bloggers advanced analytics on how their pieces are performing. If you have access to this data, take advantage of it. What kinds of impressions, views, and engagement rates are you getting? How is your content stacking up to the competition? What other articles are successful on this platform? There’s much to learn from even the basics here.

42. Brand visibility

Brand visibility is notoriously difficult to measure, but one way is through the number of people searching for your brand’s name in Google. You can find this in the Google Search Console; just go to Search Traffic/Search Analytics, then check the “queries” section below. If this number is increasing over time, it means more people are searching for your brand name, and that means they’re hearing about your brand; it’s becoming more visible.

Tip: Learn how to measure brand awareness in particular.

43. Total growth (year over year)

It’s tempting to measure your progress constantly — even week to week — but seasonal fluctuations can have a big impact on those numbers. Instead, try to compare the data over a much broader time frame, such as year over year. It will give you a better perspective about how you’re improving over time.

44. Conversion rates

All of the content marketing metrics we’ve explored so far can help you tell how effective your content marketing campaign is, but we haven’t delved much into how valuable your campaign is. You’re spending real money and/or time on your campaign so you need to make sure your efforts are paying off.

The first step toward achieving this is looking at conversions — the number of people who are buying your products, filling out your forms, or otherwise being patrons of your business. You can measure these by setting up Goals in Google Analytics, and assigning a value to them (which Google will walk you through). If you have a low conversion rate, your calls-to-action (CTAs) may not be strong enough, or your content might not do a good enough job of selling your company to new visitors.

Tip: Learn how to boost your conversion rate with influencer marketing.

You should also look at conversion rates as they specifically apply to organic traffic — where the majority of your content-driven traffic is coming from. To find this report, go to Acquisition/All Traffic/Channels/Organic Search, then select “Landing Page” next to “Primary Dimension.” This will show you how frequently consumers convert on each individual page on your site that has had at least one visitor from organic search.

If you’re seeing a lower organic conversion rate than in your other segments, it could mean you aren’t targeting the right keywords or the right audience with your content.

You should also take a look at the conversion rates for other segments of your traffic, such as referral and social sources — are you getting more there? Why is that? How are you presenting your content differently?

46. Lead quality

While it’s tempting to use your content to generate as many leads as possible, you shouldn’t neglect the fact that lead quality matters just as much as, if not more than, lead quantity. Work with your sales reps to establish an objective system for measuring lead quality, such as gauging interest level and previous knowledge.

Then, calculate the average lead quality you’re getting through the conversions you’ve gained in your content marketing campaigns. If your lead quality is low, it means you aren’t targeting the right people, and you need to reevaluate your content topics and campaign direction.

47. Close ratio

You should also take a look at your close ratio. If you can, compare your online lead close ratio to any other channels you might be using — is it higher or lower? If it’s lower than you expect, it may be an indication of poor lead quality. In any case, you’ll need to know your close ratio so you can accurately calculate the value of an online conversion; once you know the average value of a customer, and the average number of customers resulting from your conversions, you can start calculating ROI.

48. Source-based ROI

This calculates your ROI from various external sources. Take a look at individual referral sources (external publishers), and how much traffic each refers to your site, as well as how many conversions you’re getting from each stream. Now that you know the value of a conversion, you can calculate about how much revenue each source brings to your site.

You can do the same for each of your social platforms, and even your organic traffic streams. Compare these figures to how much time you spend executing this segment of your strategy, then cut out the dead weight so you can favor your heavy hitters.

49. Keyword-based ROI

Next up, take a look at how much value your individual keywords and topics are bringing your site. You can find which keywords are driving organic search traffic through Google Search Console (Search Traffic/Search Analytics).

Which keywords are driving the most traffic? Which ones are driving the least? Compare this information with what you know about your keyword rankings (see #10) to discover low-hanging fruit and perhaps longer-tail keyword opportunities, and reallocate efforts toward those specific keywords.

50. Total ROI

Finally, you’ll want to calculate the total ROI of all your efforts, combined. How much time and money are you spending on various efforts to reach your content marketing KPIs? If you’re contracting with an agency, this is easier, but otherwise, you’ll have to make a projection based on your team’s salaries and time spent on content creation.

Then, compare that value to all the value your campaigns have brought you — conversions and traffic acquisition from all corners of the web. Are your efforts paying off?

There’s something important to remember about measuring and analyzing your marketing efforts: simply measuring and understanding them isn’t enough to make a meaningful difference. If you want your efforts to mean something, your analysis has to lead to action.

Every time you gain an insight through tracking a metric — make sure it leads to some meaningful change or direction for your campaign strategy. Do that, while measuring consistently, and eventually you’ll build a powerhouse content strategy that nets you the highest possible ROI. Make your content marketing count!

Fill out the form below to learn more about how Meltwater can help you improve your content marketing strategy through social listening!