Why Impact Versus Traffic is the New Black for Content
Traffic for the sake of traffic has been an important benchmark for years in the content marketing game, but as wonderful as lots of views are, it is actually the engagement your content inspires that is really what is important. Buzz is nice but does that achieve anything for you? As one of the top web development companies we have studied the numbers and seen the responses on customer’s websites so today we are going to explain why Impact versus Traffic is the New Black for Content.
Buzz is just noise
Buzz can be awesome, cool, ego pumping and a great line on your resume, but it is also just noise. As nice as it is to have a piece of content that has been viewed over a million times, it is really all for nothing when those views did not result in at least a moderate level of engagement.
The impact your traffic has with your audience is much more important than the total number of views or shares your content had.
While certain metrics like tweets, likes, etc. are nice, much nicer than having your content ignored, at the end of the day all that really tells you is that people saw your content for a few seconds and briefly considered it.
While many people are satisfied with just generating buzz, assuming that the more buzz will equal higher engagement based on numbers alone, the goal should be a solid level of engagement each and every time.
How do you measure engagement?
Here are some of the important metrics to look at for tracking the engagement level of your content rather than the buzziness of it:
- Reading Time – The Total Time Reading metric is invaluable when it comes to understanding the impact of your content. If you have a nice piece of content that takes about 2 minutes to digest and the TTR is 100 minutes for 100 viewers then you know on average people are not taking it all in.
- Page Actions – Two specific metrics work in combination with TTR to give you a more complete picture of what readers are doing; Average tine on page and Scroll depth. This lets you understand how long a person is on a page and how far down they actually scrolled (which is important in relation to the length of your content) which when combined with the TTR metric can show you if people are staying past intermission for the whole show.
- Comments – When people take the time to comment on a blog post, social media post or even a tweet that typically shows engagement. Yes, there are always a handful of people who are commenting to try and drive traffic back to themselves, but for the most part if you can get a lot of comments or discussion taking place then you have achieved a solid level of engagement with people.
- Links Back – This is a powerful metric because if people actually feel the need to link to your content from their website you have truly shown value with them so much that they want to promote you. Backlinks to your page or domain mean solid engagement.
- Downloads – When people download a PDF, infographic, white paper and the like it is because they either want to save it for personal reference or to show to others.
- Social Score – There are a few ways that publishers can track the social strength of content. One of the simplest methods that anyone can do it to calculate a social score by taking Social Shares divided by Page Views plus one. The higher this number is, the more social strength your content has because more people who view the content then feel impacted enough by it to want to share it with other people in their social circles. The ultimate score would be 2 with the worst score would be 1.
Impact is the New Black
Buzz is still nice; it means that your message is getting out there to a lot of people which is an accomplishment in itself, but it’s not enough. You need to also make sure that when people are getting your message it connects with them which will mean looking at metrics and obtaining feedback from existing content to then improve on the process.
The bottom line is that the engagement level of your content relates directly to your ROI. It will vary within businesses as to exactly which engagement metrics have the largest impact to your ROI, but it has been proven that there is a direct relationship between the two categories which is why impact versus traffic is the new black for content and what your business gets out of that content.
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