Content Metrics

Learn about the key content metrics to track to assess how well your content is performing for your business.

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

Learn about the key content metrics to track to assess how well your content is performing for your business.

Content Metrics - Laptop with Analytics chart

Do you know how well your content is performing and which metrics you should be tracking and measuring to ensure this?

In this lesson, we look at the key content metrics that will help your organization assess your content’s performance by content type and track performance in areas like:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Audience Engagement
  • Customer Retention & Loyalty
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Lead Generation
  • Sales

Additionally, we will look at other areas of content performance where knowing which metrics to track can be useful.

Before You Get Started

Getting results from your content marketing activities can take time. Nonetheless, it’s important to set clear goals, as these will help you determine what type of content your team needs to create and how often to publish. Defining measurable goals will also help you track your content’s progress and performance over time and provide you with insights on ways to adjust and improve your results.

Your content goals should be defined in your organization’s marketing plan and content strategy.

These goals should include key performance indicators (KPIs) and the quantitative and qualitative metrics that will be used to measure content performance. Metrics should be relevant, actionable, and easy to measure.

KPIs vs Metrics

While all KPIs are metrics, not all metrics are KPIs.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the “key” metrics or benchmarks that let you measure how you are progressing toward specific goals. Metrics are the measurements. KPIs can also be comprised of multiple metrics.

Table showing KPIs and Metrics
KPIs can comprise various metrics. Source: HubSpot

While all metrics can provide data about your business or your activities (e.g. your content marketing performance), some metrics may be more valuable to your business than others, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Some metrics may just be “vanity” metrics, i.e. they make you feel good, but they’re not very meaningful. For example, an article may get many “likes” on social media but result in no increase in business (i.e. no subscribers, leads, sales, etc.).

It’s important, therefore, to define which “key metrics” you will be tracking when assessing your content’s performance.

Quantitative & Qualitative Metrics

Quantitative metrics measure things like how much content your business produced and over what period of time. This can be used to determine ways to increase content production and look for processes and tools that will result in greater content production efficiency.

Qualitative metrics measure aspects of content consistency, such as how accurate and relevant your content is for your audience, how well they engage with it, and how satisfied they feel consuming it.

Industry Benchmarks

Knowing what kind of metrics others in your industry are averaging and using to measure their content’s performance can be useful to help you understand how well your content is performing.

For example, WordStream looked at the performance of Google paid search ads across 20 common industries to benchmark click-through rates (CTR). If your organization uses paid search advertising, knowing the average CTR for your industry can tell you a lot about your own ad campaigns.

Google Ads Industry Benchmarks.
Google Ads Industry Benchmarks. Source: WordStream.

Similarly, Mailchimp published benchmarking data on email marketing campaigns CTR by industry

Mailchimp Email Marketing Campaigns By Industry
Email Marketing Campaigns By Industry. Source: Mailchimp . Click on the image to view a full list of industries.

Before embarking on content marketing and promotion activities, your organization should have also engaged in content planning and implemented content production processes and tools to help make content tracking easier (e.g. an editorial calendar, content workflows, etc.).

Track Only The Metrics You Absolutely Need To Know

We live in a world of information and it’s easy to get lost in (or drown) in an ocean of “interesting” and “useful” data.

With content like social media, for example, there is so much information you can track.

“The great thing about social media is that you can track almost every single detail through social media metrics. The tough thing about social media is that… you can track almost every single detail through social media metrics.”

Source: Hootsuite

It’s important, then, to be very clear about the metrics that matter to your business.

One key aspect of creating an effective content strategy is defining the content metrics that will be used to measure the success of your content.

The content metrics you define are then used to track the performance of individual pieces of content, as well as the overall effectiveness of your content strategy.

Here are a few examples of content metrics that you can set as goals in your content strategy:

  • Traffic: The number of people who visit your website or a page on your site. This is a basic measure of the reach of the content and can be used to determine which pieces of content are the most popular.
  • Engagement: The amount of time people spend on your website or a page on your site, or the number of actions they take (such as commenting or sharing). This can be used to measure the quality and relevance of the content and how well it resonates with the audience.
  • Lead Generation: The number of leads generated from your website or landing page. This can be used to measure the effectiveness of the content in converting visitors into potential customers.
  • Sales: The number of sales generated from your website or landing page. This can be used to measure the effectiveness of the content in converting leads into customers.
  • Conversion: This metric measures the percentage of visitors who complete a specific action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. A goal for conversion might be to increase the number of visitors who make a purchase by a certain percentage.
  • Bounce Rate: These metrics measure the percentage of visitors who leave your website or page after only viewing a single page. A goal for Bounce Rate might be to decrease the percentage of visitors leaving your website or page without visiting other pages.
  • Return Visitors: This metric measures the percentage of visitors who return to your website or page. A goal for Return Visitors might be to increase the percentage of visitors who return to your website after their first visit.
  • Return on investment (ROI): The overall return on the investment made in creating, publishing, and promoting the content. This measure the overall effectiveness of your content strategy and can help in determining whether or not a content program is delivering results.

These are just a few examples, depending on your business, other metrics may be relevant such as :

  • Brand awareness,
  • Product adoption,
  • Referral traffic,
  • Social shares, etc.

Content metrics will vary by industry and organization. The important thing is to select metrics that are directly relevant to the specific business goals of your organization and align with your overall content strategy.

The sections below will point you to many useful resources on content metrics.

We recommend:

  1. Visiting the links to the references and resources that apply specifically to the types of content your organization produces and publishes.
  2. Familiarizing yourself with the metrics associated with these content types. Understand the terminology and what it means.
  3. Deciding on the key metrics that you will track to measure your content’s performance.
  4. Implementing these metrics into your content tracking process.

Metrics By Content Type

You can track metrics by content type, as shown in the chart below:

Chart - KPIs By Content Type
KPIs By Content Type. Source: Content Marketing Institute.

There are a number of content promotion tracking tools and reports from various services you can use to measure your content’s performance when looking at metrics by content type.

For example, looking at the KPIs listed in the chart shown above for:

Blog Posts & Articles

All of the data listed above can be obtained from reports generated by tools like Google Analytics.

These articles provide more information on blog metrics:


Some of the key email metrics to track include open rates, click-through rates (CTR), conversions, bounce rates, asset downloads, number of unsubscribes, list growth rate, churn rates, spam complaints, and more.

Email marketing providers like Aweber, Mailchimp, etc. provide tools for tracking these metrics.

These articles provide more information on email metrics:

Social Media

Social media performance can be tracked using metrics like engagement, follower counts, impressions, reach, shares, response rates, comments, and more.

Social media platforms and many 3rd-party services provide useful reporting tools and analytics to help you track the performance of your social media content.

These articles provide more information on social media content metrics:


Important metrics that will help you track the performance of your video content include view counts, engagement, play rates, watch times, social shares, clicks, click-through rates, conversions, and more.

There are a number of tools and platforms you can use to track the success of your video campaigns, including YouTube, Facebook, etc.

These articles provide more information on video metrics:


The number of unique listeners, subscribers, downloads, rankings, reviews, social sharing, and episode-by-episode metrics are just some of the key metrics you can use to measure the success of your podcasts.

These articles provide more information on podcast metrics:

PPC Campaigns

There are many metrics you can use to measure the success of your pay-per-click campaigns, including clicks, click-through rates (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), conversion rate (CVR), and lifetime value (LTV).

These articles provide more information on PPC campaign metrics:

Content Performance Metrics

Here are some of the main metrics to track when measuring your content’s performance:

Brand Awareness Metrics

  • Website traffic
  • Page/Unique Page views
  • Video views
  • Document views
  • Downloads
  • Social chatter
  • Referral links

Audience Engagement Metrics

  • Blog & social comments
  • Likes/shares/tweets/retweets/pins, etc.
  • Follower counts
  • Forwards
  • Inbound links

Customer Retention & Loyalty Metrics

  • Percentage of content consumed by existing customers
  • Retention/renewal rates

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Metrics

  • Keyword ranking
  • Backlinks
  • Organic search traffic
  • Top exit pages for organic traffic
  • Breakdown of organic traffic from search engines
  • Page views per user
  • Average time on page
  • New vs. returning users
  • Bounce rate
  • Page speed
  • Conversion rate
  • Page Authority (PA)
  • Domain Authority (DA)

Lead Generation Metrics

  • Form completions and downloads
  • Email subscriptions
  • Blog subscriptions
  • Conversion rate
  • Leads generated
  • Lead quality/score
  • Existing leads influenced

Sales Metrics

  • Demo requests
  • Funnel conversion rate
  • Pipeline generated
  • Revenue influenced
  • Online sales
  • Offline sales
  • Manual and anecdotal reporting
  • Sales for new products/services (upsells and cross-sells)
  • Sales conversion rate
  • Sales cycle length

Content Marketing Metrics

Depending on the content marketing strategy that best suits your business, you may want to track and pay attention to different metrics.

For example, for B2C content marketing campaigns, you may want to focus on metrics like:

  • Social Engagement
  • Website Traffic
  • Conversion Rate
  • Lead Quality
  • Customer Retention and Loyalty
  • Marketing Revenue and Sales
  • Marketing ROI

Whereas B2B campaigns may also include tracking metrics like:

  • Current stats:
    • Total social impressions for recent posts
    • Total views for recent posts
    • Total conversions for recent posts (email subscribers, free trial sign-ups, purchases, etc.)
    • Number of social media shares for recent posts
  • Benchmarks and trends:
    • Changes in reading time versus the previous time period
    • Changes in bounce rate versus the previous time period
    • Number of active email subscribers versus the previous time period
  • Highest performing content:
    • Top 20 posts with the highest views
      Top 20 posts with the highest read time
      Top 20 posts with the highest conversions (email subscribers, free trial sign-ups, purchases, etc.)

Other Content Performance Metrics

Additional content performance metrics to track include:

  • Consumption Metrics: Metrics like page views, unique visitors, average time on page, and behavior flow tell you how many people view and consume your content, and how much time they spend engaging with it.
  • Website Engagement Metrics: Inbound links, session duration, page depth, and click-through rate (CTR) can tell you how interested your audience and site visitors are in engaging with your content and what you have to offer.
  • Retention Metrics: Return rates, pages per visit, and bounce rates tell you how well your website is retaining visitors.
  • Content Production Metrics: Tracking the time spent on content creation and its performance over time can help to inform decisions and choices about future content creation.
  • Cost Metrics: Cost per content piece and distribution costs let you track how much your content marketing activities are costing your business.

For more information about these metrics, see this article: Key Metrics To Measure Content Marketing Performance

Which Content Metrics Are Right For Your Organization?

Ultimately, the metrics your organization chooses to track to assess content performance will depend on which content promotion strategies it uses and which KPIs it choose to measure.

For example, while SEO, paid advertising, and content marketing can all deliver benefits to an organization in terms of content promotion, each strategy requires different time frames to assess the results of its campaigns and uses different content metrics to track performance.

Content marketing and SEO are a longer-term strategy than paid advertising and pinpointing an ROI for long-term strategies is more difficult than something that yields more immediate results, such as paid ads.

The infographic below shows a number of metrics and KPIs that are useful for measuring the performance of your content marketing strategy.

15+ Content Marketing Metrics to Measure Performance
Infographic: 15+ Content Marketing Metrics to Measure Performance. Source: Agency Analytics. Click on the image above to view a larger version.

Here’s another approach suggested by Semrush for tracking content metrics, which measures 4 key groups (user behavior, engagements, SEO outcome, and company revenue):

Infographic: Essential Content Marketing Metrics to Track.
Infographic: Essential Content Marketing Metrics to Track. Source: Semrush. Click on the image above to view a larger version.

Content Metrics – FAQs

Here are frequently asked questions about content metrics:

What are content marketing metrics?

Content marketing metrics are measures used to assess the performance of your content strategy. They help determine how well your content engages with your audience and achieves your marketing goals.

Why are content marketing metrics important?

Metrics are crucial because they provide insights into the effectiveness of content in engaging audiences, generating leads, and driving conversions. They help marketers optimize strategies for better results.

Which metrics should I track for audience engagement?

For audience engagement, focus on metrics like page views, time on page, bounce rate, social shares, and comments. These indicators reflect how compelling and relevant your audience finds your content.

What metrics are best for measuring content reach?

Track reach through metrics such as unique visitors, impressions, and the geographical distribution of your audience. These help you understand the breadth of your content’s influence.

How can I measure lead generation from my content?

Measure lead generation by tracking metrics like form submissions, newsletter signups, and downloads. Analyze which pieces of content most often lead to these actions to identify what attracts potential customers.

What are the key metrics for assessing conversion rates?

For conversions, important metrics include conversion rate from specific calls-to-action, the number of sales directly linked to content pieces, and overall ROI from content campaigns. This shows the economic value your content brings.

How do I use Google Analytics for content metrics?

Google Analytics can track many content metrics, including traffic sources, user behavior on-site, and conversions. It provides detailed insights to optimize your content based on performance data.

Can content metrics improve SEO?

Yes, analyzing metrics like organic search traffic, click-through rates, and keyword rankings can provide insights to enhance your SEO strategy, making content more visible and effective in search engines.


Content metrics help you track how well your content is performing and measure the success of your content marketing strategy.

Selecting metrics to measure your content marketing activities requires identifying your core objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Action Steps

Review this lesson and your organization’s content strategy. Create a list of the most important metrics to track to ensure that your content marketing strategy aligns with defined KPIs to meet the strategic goals and objectives of your business.


  • Content Tracking – Refer to the “content tracking tools” section of this lesson for links to useful tools to help you track content metrics.


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Image: Analytics Charts

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is a trainer, educator, blog writer, and online publisher. He runs various training websites on digital business, including,,, and View all posts by Martin Aranovitch