Content marketing has emerged as a critical strategy in the SaaS landscape, shaping the way businesses attract, engage, and retain customers. However, the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy is only as good as the metrics used to measure it.
This is where many SaaS businesses find themselves at a crossroads. With an overwhelming number of metrics to monitor, content teams often end up focusing on vanity metrics—data points that appear impressive on the surface but offer little insight into the actual performance of their content.
In an earlier post, we talked about 21 SaaS marketing KPIs and metrics where we also highlighted the difference between KPIs and metrics and explained why businesses need to track them.
There we explained how business performance metrics such as daily active users and monthly recurring revenue and marketing performance metrics such as demo requests and sales-qualified leads reflect your SaaS product’s performance and what they signify.
In this article, let’s look at eight content marketing metrics that will help you cut through the noise to gain a nuanced understanding of your brand’s content performance and help you make data-backed decisions to enhance your content strategy.
- Understanding the right metrics is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of a SaaS content marketing strategy, beyond mere vanity metrics. This requires aligning metrics with well-defined content marketing goals.
- Using the SMART framework to set goals can enhance your content strategy by making it more measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Key content marketing metrics include monthly organic traffic, session duration, pages per visit, free trial/demo conversion rate, top-performing posts, keywords ranking, backlink profile, and returning visitors.
- Extracting actionable insights from these metrics can help you refine your content strategy and enhance your brand’s success.
Your content marketing strategy should be driven by well-defined goals. Before delving into the metrics, align them with your content marketing goals based on what defines success for your brand in its current growth phase.
This alignment ensures that your tracking mechanisms are not only relevant but also beneficial to your business.
The SMART framework helps you set tangible goals for your content strategy which allows you to align your marketing efforts with broader business goals while making it easier for your team to track their progress and stay motivated.
It’s crucial to navigate the ocean of data with a compass that points toward your brand’s specific goals. This compass comes in the form of key performance indicators (KPIs) – tangible metrics that tie directly into your larger marketing objectives.
Choosing the right KPIs, however, is more art than science. It’s not about spotlighting the metrics that shine the brightest but highlighting those that light the path toward your goals.
In other words, avoid the allure of vanity metrics that might look impressive on the surface but offer little insight into your actual progress.
For instance, you might be tempted to celebrate a spike in your website’s page views – a classic vanity metric. But if your goal is to boost lead generation, and those additional views are not translating into more form fills or demo requests, then they’re not the KPIs you should be focusing on.
Instead, dive deeper into metrics that give you a real sense of engagement and conversion.
Track metrics like ‘Conversion Rate,’ the percentage of visitors who complete the desired action, or ‘Return on Investment (ROI),’ which quantifies the profitability of your marketing efforts. If you’re aiming to improve customer retention, ‘Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)’ or ‘Churn Rate’ might be more relevant KPIs.
In the realm of content marketing, it could be tempting to track ‘Content Shares’ or ‘Likes.’ However, if your objective is to increase organic traffic, then ‘Organic Search Traffic’ or ‘Keyword Rankings’ are far more pertinent.
Remember, the key to effective KPI tracking is relevance. Only by aligning your KPIs with your brand’s specific marketing goals can you gain the insights needed to steer your strategy toward success.
The following eight metrics will help you measure the success of your content marketing efforts directly or indirectly. Of course, based on factors like the preferences of your audience and the nature of your industry, you might have to modify this list.
Think of organic traffic as the lifeblood of your online presence. This metric represents the influx of visitors that discover your website naturally through search engines, without any paid promotion.
It’s a testament to the strength of your SEO practices and the relevance of your content. An uptick in organic traffic is a clear signal that you’re hitting the mark with search intent and delivering real value to your audience.
For instance, Document360, a cloud-based knowledge management system, saw a dramatic increase in their monthly organic traffic after we took over their PR campaigns. By developing unique PR stories and executing an aggressive link-building outreach, we were able to boost their organic traffic by an impressive 585%.
Similarly, we helped Whatfix, a digital adoption platform, double their organic traffic through a customized marketing strategy involving high-authority link acquisition and thought leadership content creation:
Let’s consider session duration as an invisible meter that gauges the stickiness of your website. This metric quantifies the average length of time visitors choose to explore your site within a single visit. The longer they stay, the more your content is resonating with them.
It’s a telltale sign of user experience quality and the engaging nature of your content.
With WotNot, a no-code chatbot platform, we identified and corrected several technical SEO issues and developed a strategic content calendar. This led to a stunning increase of 116.27% in their average session duration, indicating that visitors were finding the content more engaging and relevant.
Pages per visit, or pages per session, acts as a mirror reflecting your website’s allure. It calculates the average number of pages a user navigates during one session. An increased number signifies the captivating essence of your content that compels visitors to keep clicking and browsing.
After we developed a strategic and coherent content calendar for WotNot, their pages per visit metric saw a significant increase, with pageviews rising by 48.89% (image in the previous section). This showcased the effectiveness of our content strategy in getting visitors to engage more deeply with WotNot’s content.
The free trial/demo conversion rate can be seen as the pulse of your lead generation efforts. This percentage quantifies how many visitors are so convinced by your content that they decide to trial or demo your product or service.
When this metric is robust, it’s a strong affirmation that your content and SEO strategies are not only attracting visitors but compelling them to take action.
Identifying your top-performing posts is like unveiling the stars of your content repertoire. These are the posts that magnetize traffic, trigger shares, or spark engagement. Tracking these superstars provides a window into what truly clicks with your audience, shaping your content strategy with insights directly from your audience’s behavior.
If you rank for more keywords, you will be visible on the SERPs for a wide range of queries. Apart from increasing your brand awareness, you can also direct more traffic to your website, and potentially boost your conversion rates.
For Whatfix, we executed a customized marketing strategy that included earning links from high-authority websites and creating content for thought leadership campaigns. As a result, Whatfix began to rank on the first page for 3000+ keywords, effectively enhancing their online visibility:
Your backlink profile is made up of all the external websites that link back to your site. A strong backlink profile, composed of links from high-authority and unique domains, significantly boosts your SEO, improving your site’s visibility and authority.
In the case of Whatfix, we built over 250+ backlinks from high-authority and unique domains, which played a key role in increasing their domain rating from 52 to 72 within a year:
Similarly, for Zeda.io, a comprehensive product management suite, we built over 40 backlinks from high-authority, relevant domains, helping to more than double their Domain Rating (DR) from 24 to 53:
Returning visitors are users who visit your site more than once within a set period. A high rate of returning visitors is a sign of a successful content marketing strategy, suggesting that your content provides enough value for users to return.
For WotNot, after developing a strategic content calendar and executing a targeted link-building strategy, we managed to increase the rate of returning visitors by 72.92%. This indicated that the newly implemented strategies were effective in getting visitors to come back to the site.
Navigating the sea of metrics in the content marketing realm can be overwhelming. However, by focusing on the key metrics that align with your brand’s specific goals, you can transform this challenge into a strategic advantage.
The metrics we discussed – monthly organic traffic, session duration, pages per visit, free trial/demo conversion rate, top-performing posts, keyword ranking, backlink profile, and returning visitors – offer you a comprehensive view of your content marketing effectiveness.
By tracking and analyzing these, you can glean actionable insights, refine your strategies, and ultimately, drive your SaaS business towards success.
However, doing all of that requires a considerable amount of time and effort which might be challenging for growing brands with limited resources.This is where you can consider partnering with an experienced SaaS content marketing agency that specializes in not only running successful campaigns for SaaS businesses but also recalibrating them as needed to get you the best results in changing market conditions.