Why You Should Ignore Vanity Metrics in Content Marketing

Do you know which metrics are truly indicative of your content’s success?

It’s tough to argue with hard data. Great analytics processes clearly show the who, what, when, where and why of a user’s relationship with your content. While key metrics are crucial to understanding user-to-content engagement, not all metrics are created equal.

In fact, some metrics don’t really tell you anything (see also: The 5 Most Valuable Metrics in Content Marketing). Content marketers have labeled these less-than-reputable figures “Vanity Metrics.” They include everything from downloads to raw page views to registered users and everything in between. If vanity metrics are prevalent, then where should content creators focus their attention? Here, we’ll uncover five actionable metrics that every content creator should know and be paying attention to closely.

1. Your Traffic’s Source

While it’s great news to see a spike in traffic when you check your analytics dashboard in the morning, this information is virtually useless without knowing where the traffic is coming from (see also: How Creative Market Increased Its Blog Traffic Tenfold).

Traffic source tells you exactly where your traffic is coming from — data like browser used, geographic location and the referring site.

2. Bounce Rate

For the uninitiated, bounce rate is when a user navigates away from a site after viewing a single page. This can be enormously helpful in understanding if content is effective.

For instance, if a user lands on your homepage and instantly leaves, this might mean your content needs to be more gripping, or relevant.

3. Click Rate

Click rates say a lot about the content you’re developing. In an analytics dashboard, click rates reveal just how many users are inspired to click through a web page. Expertly, strategically-crafted content engages and motivates users to take action.

4. Conversion Rates

Conversions are essential to any content marketer‘s or creator’s success. A conversion essentially translates to a completed goal. For instance, if you are developing a newsletter, an example of a conversion would be a new subscription. Conversions are a flexible metric that can keep you focused on your content’s end goal.

5. Social Shares

This particular metric is likely your best indicator of content success. If your content is making an impact, then users are sharing, tweeting and liking your content. Great content is worth sharing with a larger community, and this metric will detail exactly how often users are sharing your content.

These are tip of the actionable metrics iceberg. Just as important as using these metrics is understanding why you are using them. Quality metrics should serve one purpose: to help you improve the effectiveness of your content (see also: How to Measure the ROI of Your Blog). If it’s not helping you accomplish that goal, then it’s not worth your time.

To Read More About Web Marketing Metrics See Below:

Start Guest Blogging the Right Way (And How to Measure Results)
What Social Media Visits Bring to Your Content Marketing Strategy
Out of Ideas? How to Create Content Strategy with Google Trends, Discussions and Suggestions  

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