Content and Web Traffic: Tracking Success Through Analytics

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What does digital content success look like?

Is it measured in the total number of hits? The time a user spends on a page? The amount of new readers a post attracts? The effectiveness of a call to action?

Tracking content and web traffic is undoubtedly the biggest question of the digital marketing age.

Regardless of what metrics you use for your business, two things are for certain: no matter how you define success, it must be measured. And once measured, the results must lead to a future process of improvements.


The use and analysis of metrics are constantly changing as technological platforms change. It’s important for digital brands and business to keep up with the times, and especially important now with the move to mobile branding.

Some of the old metrics still apply, from time on site to bounce rates. And of course, this being a business, lead generation is the lifeline of your content and web traffic.

From apps to Facebook shares, mobile users consume traffic in a different manner than desktop web pages. 60% of users spend time on mobile compared to desktops, and 7 out of every 8 minutes of media are consumed on mobile devices. 79% of smartphone users use apps every day.

Go where your users, and potential customers, are. Increasingly, it’ll be on a smartphone. In a couple years, it may be watches or virtual reality.


Whatever goes online stays online forever, right?

But with Snapchat’s meteoric popularity, it’s time to re-examine the permanence of digital marketing, and thereby re-imaging metrics themselves.

You might see the impermanence of Snapchat as something you don’t want to put energy into. You work hard to create a campaign, and then it’s gone without a trace.

No page views, no linking back to your work – nothing.

But what Snapchat gets right is engagement through personal storytelling. Or, as Bobby Hundreds says, look at Snapchat (and other platforms of disappearance) as a text messaging app.

When you text your friends, you know you won’t remember the exact wording; but you will remember the engagement.

Going back on topic, if that is the future of digital marketing, what metrics do you apply?


But back to the present for the time being … yes, traditional analytics for content and web traffic remain key. But as news organizations are finding out, we are living in Facebook’s world. And in Facebook’s world, social sharing is the key metric.

Facebook drives 20% of traffic to news sites, and has transformed journalism to make it more like the music industry – driven by singles rather than the album, or the home page.

If you want your web content to go viral, Facebook is the platform to share it on. So while you may have at one point delivered content that was information based, it’s emotion that sells (and shares) on Facebook.

It’s another wrinkle to add to traditional measures of content and analytics. As a final word of advice, don’t get caught up in numbers. Measuring content and web traffic to your online business isn’t the goal in itself. It’s what you do with the information that makes analytics worthwhile.

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