Google Analytics (GA) is one of the best analytical tools available out there for this purpose. Be aware though, GA is a very comprehensive analytics tool, therefore it can be difficult to determine exactly which information will be most informative. Once you set it up with your domain, refer below suggestions to start basic measurement of your content marketing strategy:
Measure both traffic and time spent on page
Traffic alone is not enough to indicate success with content marketing. Example, your home page is usually one of the most visited pages on your site even though it may not have lo of content there. When you us SEO and promotion strategies correctly, chances are your home page will receive hits.
Note: Study and compare traffic volume of pages with similar content. Because not all pages are created equal, you may notice useful insights.
For instance, below traffic spike could be due to one of our blog posts that got shared on a popular Facebook page. A business with a socially active online community prompted many “likes,” comments, and shares. All of this contributed to high volume of traffic and amount of time spent on that post.
Posts that get shared over and over again due to social media or active audiences continue to garner visits a day, even though they were published months ago.
Measuring referral traffic
Referral traffic is those visits to your website that came from an outside source. So if a visitor clicks a link on a social media site like Facebook that leads to your website, that visit is called a referral.
Under Google Analytics, you can measure referrals through the referral traffic report (under “acquisition”). You can also do so by choosing “referral path” or “full referrer” from the list of secondary dimensions.
If your content is of value and backed by a content promotion and distribution strategy – such as sharing your content on social media sites, promoting it through email marketing and submitting the links to bookmarking sites – the audience will share, email, and bookmark your content on their own. As sharing increases, so should your referral traffic.
Note: Once you obtain insights on which sites are referring the most traffic, and the timing of the traffic being referred, you can further optimize / adjust your promotion and distribution strategy.
Don’t you think content marketing (and its measurement) is an ongoing process?