You’ve set yourself up for successful content marketing. You’ve hired a freelance writer, worked with a content editor and created the content calendar that everyone on your team believes will increase your brand value. 

Now what? 

C-suite executives like to see numbers, but you’ll want to show ROI (return on investment) data that is the most important. Tracking and gauging that ROI data becomes essential to rate the success of your content. 

Focus on these three areas to determine when your content is hitting the mark. 

Lead Generation 

What’s the hallmark of great content marketing? It attracts an audience. These audience members, in turn, generate leads.

What are two powerful ways to attract leads and convert customers? Landing pages and calls to action (CTAs).

Landing pages are standalone web pages. Unlike other pages, which tend to focus on a variety of topics, landing pages stick to one goal: the CTA.

What are some examples of CTAs? The language that encourages a customer to “click on this link,” “sign up for our newsletter,” or “buy now.” You’ve no doubt seen countless CTAs while browsing online.

One of the reasons that landing pages prove so useful at converting people is because they include just one CTA, unlike other website pages, which tend to contain many links.

Lead Generation ROI

How do you measure a landing page’s return on investment (ROI)? Conversions and sales are a great place to start. It’s critical to remember, however, that content marketing takes time.

You must build trust, brand awareness, and your company’s reputation over the long haul. In other words, don’t panic if sales remain somewhat stagnant at first.

Besides landing pages that lead to outright sales, you should also pay attention to the number of people following other CTAs. Are people subscribing to your newsletter? Are they signing up to receive your lead magnet?

These conversions don’t lead to immediate revenue, but they do show that leads are qualified and interested in doing business with your company. 

If you aren’t actively gaining newsletter subscribers — or worse, your subscribers aren’t opening the newsletter — consider how a freelance writer can help change your voice. Bring in a trained set of eyes to help adjust your tone and tactics so your brand will be noticed.

Web Traffic

CTAs also make up a vital component of traffic-driving blog posts. There are various ways to measure your ROI regarding content that drives traffic.

No matter how good your content is, if your customer can’t find it, you won’t see an increase in sales. Along with conversions and sales, pay attention to how your landing pages and blog posts rank in Google searches.

A whopping 39 percent of Google traffic goes to position number one in search, and 18 percent goes to position two. In other words, once you rank on page one (particularly in the coveted top two spots), expect a significant increase in traffic.

Web Traffic ROI

How do you determine how much traffic different blog posts and pages generate? Go to Google Analytics and explore audience behavior. Google even ranks these pages by highest-traffic drivers, so you have a clear sense of which pages are doing the most work.

Besides driving traffic to your website, look at analytics, such as bounce rate, to determine how well your content drives consumer engagement. If readers are coming to your site and bouncing within a few seconds, you have a problem.

When you work with a fully managed writing team, your content will be keyword optimized so that you can see movement from the second or third page to the first. It may mean reviewing old content to ensure that keywords have been utilized correctly. This extra work is perfect for your managed freelancers rather than your over-worked marketing team. 

After all, if readers don’t consume your content, how can they be expected to convert?

SEO Authority

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) success, you’ve got a variety of factors to consider.

These factors include:

  • Your domain authority (DA)
  • Your content rankings for target keywords
  • How many articles appear in answer boxes for relevant terms
  • The number of inbound links you’re receiving

Each of these factors proves crucial to ranking well on Google and bringing in revenue. How can you double-check your website’s SEO performance?

SEO Authority ROI

Open an incognito window and do a Google search for one of your target keywords. Do you see your content in the rankings? If so, where does it rank?

If your content ranks in the top three, you can be sure the blog post or landing page is bringing in significant traffic.

As for domain authority and inbound links? Go to Moz’s Link Explorer. There, you’ll type in your URL and hit enter. Right before your eyes, a snapshot of results will come up.

These results will include:

  • Metrics for inbound links from respected sites
  • Page and domain authority scores

If you’ve got both of these factors in your favor, then you know these pages are performing well and driving traffic. When your site ranks well, you gain exposure and authority.

One way to ensure this positive attention? By using your managed editor to help organize your content around topic pillars. A pillar page provides the foundation for building a topic cluster by broadly covering a topic.

Then, content cluster articles delve more deeply into themes and topics introduced in the pillar article. You’ll include hyperlinks in your main article that lead to each of your more detailed posts, thereby creating a well-organized website framework that performs well on Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

Content Marketing ROI

Ultimately, calculating content marketing ROI comes down to a simple formula: return minus investment, divided by investment = percentage.

Calculating return gets more complicated when it comes to newsletter subscribers, customers who opt-in for a lead magnet, etc. After all, how do you assign a numerical value to these factors?

You’ll need to explore your average customer’s behaviors and buying power. Crunching these numbers will give you a better sense of what cultivating leads is worth to your company.