One of our clients is on track to get a million website visits this year and they’ve been working diligently with their team (of which Crossman Communications is an integral part) for several years to get there. That’s a HUGE number of visits and it confers a great deal of online authority to this business, while making its offer terrifically appealing to prospective advertisers.
Most small businesses don’t have the knowledge, determination or budget to leverage their web resources to get nearly as many visits. But you should at least be keeping tabs on how many visits you are getting. Are you?
The data you gather relating to your content marketing initiatives might relate to any number of criteria, and measurement can get quite complicated. Typically, though, we look at:
Number of website visits
Ideally you want this number to go up over time, regardless of what your other objectives might be. At the same time, you want your bounce rate to go down. Your bounce rate measures the percentage of site visitors who arrived on your site and left without visiting more than one page. A high bounce rate indicates lack of engagement with your material. This might be because a lot of your visitors were searching for something specific that the search engines indicated they would find on your website. When the human visitor got there, they didn’t find it, or perhaps they weren’t immediately certain that they would find it, so they left. So, for example, if you make bakery equipment and someone was looking for a countertop mixmaster, your company might show up in the search engine results page (SERP) for a “mixmaster” search. The searcher might click on your listing, get to your site, see the giant mixer in the image on your front page and think “Oh this is so not what I’m looking for,” and leave right away. That’s a bounce.
A high bounce rate might also stem from the fact that a lot of visitors found the subject matter they were looking for on your site, but they were so turned off by your presentation that they left. This could mean that it’s time for a new site. As a side note here, I wouldn’t worry too much if your bounce rate is over 40%, or even 50%. But if it’s north of 60% or 70% you definitely need to do some fine tuning.
One of the very important aspects of content marketing is that it is an extremely important way to boost your search engine rankings. There are people out there promoting the idea that you need to use massive amounts of verbiage to get you Googling well. But make no mistake: if the real human visitors to your site don’t understand what you’re telling them, then you won’t make the sale. They’ll bounce off your site faster than a superball.
Most content experts recognize that companies with blogs typically receive many more leads than companies without blogs because content-rich sites usually get more back links and social traffic, helping them generate more traffic overall.
This also makes intuitive sense: if you are consistently adding interesting, relevant content to your website, you are adding more opportunities for the search engines to crawl your site and assess your site’s value to visitors. A site with limited, static, content does not have nearly the appeal of a site with a lot of variety.
It’s important to note, however, that this is what the state of the art is today. The net is an ever-evolving creature and the algorithms that search engines like Google and others use to determine rank change over time. Conventions change. Staying on top of it all takes a lot of focus!
Number of Followers, Fans, Connections or Likes on Social Media
When I first got involved in social media I developed a strategy and peeked at my stats proudly every week to see how many new connections I had made. I watched my Twitter followers grow from none to 100 pretty quickly and I enthusiastically kept tweeting away as the numbers grew: 123, 147, 199, oh if only I could crack 200! It was a thrilling time. I was likewise bursting with excitement when my LinkedIn followers surpassed 250. And when I surpassed that magical 500 mark, I felt like a Somebody! What I completely missed, as a newbie, was the answer to the question “Why do I want the numbers to grow?” It was all very good to put strategies in place to increase my number of followers and the like, but the point of it all was…what? Oh yes, like any form of marketing that has surfaced on the planet over the past 100,000 years or so, the point of online marketing is to start conversations with the people who need what you’re selling.
We’ll dig a little deeper in our next post in this series on content marketing measurement. But meanwhile, if you would like to book a conversation to discuss how my team and I can help your business generate more revenue, please get in touch!