The purpose of ecommerce marketing is to generate sales. Period. While content creation is a proven method to achieve this goal, it can be difficult to see the results you want if you don’t have a solid understanding of the content metrics that influence your strategy.
We have compiled a list of the 5 most powerful metrics and considerations to properly optimize sales content. Read on to learn how to use these content marketing metrics to monitor progress towards business goals, improve future content, and drive sales.
Why am I getting traffic from content, but no sales?
Unfortunately, even great content doesn’t always get the results that you are looking for. This does not mean you should stop making and publishing high-quality content. While Google is getting better than ever at finding great content regardless of the technical optimizations, seeing results on your content, especially quick results, is not always easy.
If you’ve created content that you believe has merit but you’re not seeing the results you expected and you’re beginning to question the benefits of content creation, don’t give up. A few simple tweaks to your existing content based on content metrics may be all that’s needed to get the results you want.
Understanding Website Engagement Metrics to Optimize Sales Content
Website engagement is one of the most important areas to monitor when tracking the success of your content. There are a number of aspects that go into your on-site engagement numbers, but a few stand out as being extremely important including:
- Click-Through Rate
- Session Duration
- New Users
- Visible Engagement
1. Click-Through Rate
Click-through rate is the ratio between the number of users who click on a link to the number of users who view the content containing the link. It is a superb measure of how well your advertisements, pages, and email campaigns are working to convince people to visit your site.
Don’t expect extremely high numbers in a click-through rate. Keep in mind that users who are considering your ad or content may be too busy to click on a link or that the link may not be relevant to everyone who views the content.
Click-through rates can vary considerably depending on where the links are located. For instance, on Google AdWords, you can expect an average click-through rate of about 2%, so anything over 2% is a very good click rate for Google AdWords campaigns.
On the other hand, email campaigns typically average at about 2.5%, so you’ll want to see higher numbers than that to indicate that your email campaign is doing well.
When you are looking at internal links within your website, you can expect to see highly relevant internal links with as high as an 11.4% click-through rate.
The higher your click-through rate, the more likely you are to convert viewers of your content into visitors or buyers consistently.
Asian Cuisine Company Improves Click-Through-Rate With Focused CTA’s
Wok to Walk, an Asian Cuisine company focused on fast, healthy take out was able to boost their email click-through rate by 7.7%. The goal of their campaign was to encourage people to order a meal or ask a question by employing a call to action.
Initially, their click-through rate was around 18.1%. They looked at which email subscribers didn’t open the original email and sent a second email with a different subject line that included a phone number. Just this tiny change was able to boost results by 7.7%.
Without monitoring their click-through rate they would’ve had a harder time discovering and testing new ways to drive results.
2. Session Duration
Session duration measures the amount of time a user spends actively interacting with your website. Session duration times out if the user does not perform any activity for a particular amount of time, typically about 30 minutes.
The Session Duration content metric measures the length of time someone spends on the entire website. If someone visits multiple pages, the time spent on each page is added up to calculate the session duration for that specific user.
Session duration is an important meter for your sales content optimization success because it can only be won by the merit of your content. No amount of keyword stuffing in content,
or headlines, or advertising campaigns can keep people engaged on your website. Only high-quality content can do that.
For most websites, a session duration of around two or three minutes is considered quite good. Keep in mind that many people who click into your website may realize it’s not what they’re looking for and click right out. Many more will get the answer that they need or even better, click on the link to buy a product or service, without spending a lot of time browsing.
Session duration is affected by several factors, including the purpose of your website. Needless to say, in-depth informational websites may tend to have a longer session duration than quick answer or listicle style sights.
Sites with easy-to-read formatting broken up with headers, pictures, and white space tend to keep users longer. A solid block of text is intimidating and often causes readers to give up before they begin.
Videos can dramatically improve session duration as well. It is very important to provide plenty of links to other areas of your website to keep readers engaged even if they begin to grow bored of the content on a current page or finish reading the content they came to your site to see.
Dress Company Improves Session Duration with Decreased Load Time
Some technical aspects are important to your session duration, as seen in the case of Revelry, a bridesmaid dress company. Perhaps because of the heavy load of pictures on their site, pages used to take about seven seconds to load and sometimes took as much as 30 or even 50 seconds to load.
When the retailer revamped its site using content marketing metrics and tactics to reduce the load time, pages took an average of only 3.4 seconds to load. Revelry saw a significant increase in their session duration and a reduction in their bounce rate as a result.
Pages-per-session measures the average number of pages that a user looks at in any given session duration. It can be a great measure of how engaging your website is overall.
A high pages-per-session may indicate good internal linking and navigation within your site. The vast majority of users who stumble onto a website by doing a search or clicking on a link are most likely to only be interested in the direct answers given by the page they land on first, so getting users to click on even one additional page is a great sign for your website. More than two pages-per-session is pretty good, and more than four puts you in the highest average percentage.
Frequently, the same SEO that can increase your session duration can also have a powerful impact on your page per session rate. Good site navigation and highly relevant internal linking are both key factors in a high pages-per-session rate.
The higher your pages-per-session rate, the more likely users are to engage with your pages in a meaningful way. Users who are clicking through multiple pages are more likely to be led from strictly informational pages to the call-to-action pages you want them to find.
Japanese Tech Company Boosts Pages-Per-Session with Customer Research
Panasonic’s Japanese site does not sell products, so their goal was to improve customer engagement, including pages-per-session. They looked more closely at their target audience and divided metrics such as pages-per-session by gender, age, and interests.
They then tailored their marketing campaign to specifically target those users for the goal of increasing pages-per-session. Pages-per-session increased considerably as a result and bounce rates were reduced by 50%.
4. New Users
New users are people who have never visited your website before. Google can identify them using browser cookies. Of course, if users are searching incognito or have cleared cookies, they will be counted as new users even if they’re not. Typically, visitors who have not visited your site for at least two years are considered new users.
Ideally, you’ll want a balance of new users and returning visitors. If your site is primarily getting only new users, it may show that you are not building client loyalty. However, if you don’t attract hardly any new users, it may be an indication that your advertising is falling short of your goals.
In general, you want to see a 50/50 balance of new versus returning users. At this rate, you know that you are doing a good job of attracting people to your site but are also holding onto enough previous viewers to show that your site has value.
Having your pages rank in organic searches is a superb way to attract new users. If your pages can answer questions that new users are asking, you will keep attracting new users and make it very likely that they will return to your site to have other questions answered or to engage in other ways.
Dieting Company Increases New Visitors by Reposting Content
Weight No More, a dieting company, was able to increase traffic by 37% and develop a ratio of new to returning two new visitors of 1.5 to 1, which is close to Ideal.
To do this, they reposted content that had been published on other sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and committed to creating new content regularly using sales content optimization strategies based on their metrics.
5. Visible Engagement Considerations for Sales Content Optimization
Visible engagement is the engagement on your site that is clear to everybody. It’s not just available on the analytics side of things. Websites with lots of visible engagement may be more likely to be trusted by new users. Posts that are liked, shares to social media and other outlets, and comments on your post all contribute to visible engagement.
What is considered a good visible engagement rate depends on the platform. If your blog allows likes, shares, and comments, you may hope that many of your visitors engage, but the fact is that many more people will visit these types of pages than will engage with them.
That’s because blog pages are just not as intuitive for engagement as other areas like social media. An engagement rate of around 5% is a good expectation for a smaller business making posts on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Expect a considerably lower rate on your blog site.
Several factors go into how likely a viewer is to engage. Content that has viral value, which is to say content that users want to share for their own reasons, is the most likely to get great engagement. Engagement can also be increased by requests from the company to interact with a given post or the opportunity to win something if you engage with a post.
Car Company Sees Engagement Boost After Investing in Content Creators
Great visible engagement doesn’t just prove to others that your company is reputable and increases additional organic views. It can also generate content that can be valuable to your company, as in the case of Mercedes-Benz.
In 2013 the company hired Instagram photography influencers to drive a new Mercedes. Not only did they receive millions of visible engagements on their campaign, but they also got wonderful photos to use for their marketing campaigns.
How does engagement impact your authority?
To get good site engagement, you need to focus on SEO, but you’ll also likely find that better site engagement leads to superior SEO. Search engines carefully observe engagement to determine whether the pages that they have suggested to users are the right ones for that search query.
How long a user spends on a page and how much they explore the website indicate to Google how useful that site was to the user. The more useful your pages appear to be to users, the more likely Google is to suggest them.
It all goes back to creating the highest quality content out there. The best content is put before users and users respond by engaging with it, a cycle that continuously increases your rankings.
See the Sales You Deserve
Content marketing metrics are an incredible way to level up your website content and drive sales. Hopefully, you’ve learned that they aren’t so scary and can be great allies in your marketing mission. Employ these metrics to optimize sales content and increase engagement, authority, and revenue.
For expert consulting on how these content metrics can improve your website, learn more about Fire&Spark’s eCommerce SEO services.