Most of the time we cultivate content, align it to latest SEO requirements and after some time it fades away from our memory.
It’s great to see the numbers behind the content. Quantifiable characteristics can be easily measured by A/B testing. Vary content size, format, availability of CTA and visuals. Later, time will tell what works best for you.
However, it is seemingly unrealistic to evaluate content on a qualitative level. How can one tell which exact part of content peaks the engagement chart and which piece hinders users' attention? There is no uniform definition of “engagement” in digital world and, moreover, how it could be measured. How can you measure love?
Number of visits and CTR, as a volume of incoming traffic, reflect how effective is your traffic generation strategy. But not much they can tell whether your blog post was fully read through, abandoned after few paragraphs or misleadingly scrolled down.
Before revealing you the 2 key metrics to evaluate content performance, save your time and resources:
Don’t get lost in BIG DATA
Just the fact of being able to collect immense volumes of data gives us a guts feeling of full ownership over whatever situation. But most of data analysts admit, they are collecting way more data than they can operate with.
Many companies fall in data collecting trends, collecting information that has no impact on their business. Let’s say, what’s the reason to ask for leads' home address if company fully operates on digital basis with no tangible products at all. Moreover, users are getting pissed more with every additional question you ask.
And finally, the more information you have, more it is likely that you will measure one aspect that represents something absolutely different. Which will lead to wrong decision making based on wrong estimations. Coming back to visits and CTR’s which have nothing to do with the engagement level of readers.
Get to know new metrics to accurately measure your content performance:
Total Time Reading (TTR)
TTR is an absolute metric, defined by Medium, that measures the total number of minutes that users spend to study your content. This metric accurately displays how engaging your content is. A blogpost with 100 page visits can have greater TTR than one with 10000 views. At this point you can see how misleadingly CTR and page visits could tell you about content performance.
This metric can be improved by avoiding numerous calculation biases. For example, Medium platform lets you infer when visitor started reading, when they paused, and when they stopped altogether. This allows to make corrections for periods of user inactivity.
Is a complementing metric to track reader’s attitude towards your content. This feature is under your disposal within Google Analytics free services.
It measures to which extent your article was explored. Did the reader fully go alongside with your article to the page footer or lost interest right after having read an introduction.
In combination with TTR it gives you opportunity to track whether visitor spent time equal to estimate for finishing reading an article or did they skim it. Or probably, they wanted to have a full grasp on what they are going to dive into reading and come back to the top to start their reading journey.
Incorporated TTR and Scroll depth
...reveal numerous latent questions, which upon solving, will give way more control under content management:
- Why readers spend less or more time on reading the article than it was estimated?
- How do specific visuals and tables affect TTR?
- Which content lengths is optimal for my readers, with proximity up to number of words?
- What is the outcome of replacing 8 minutes-estimated article with two articles per 4 minutes each?
Vary and incorporate the data to find more insightful ideas. Get more ownership over your content and accurately determine the right content for right audience.