Brand health measures how your digital audience feels about you. In our first post, we covered how we can measure this through engagement metrics. For this post, we’ll focus on how to measure this with the audience growth metrics below:
- Paid vs. Organic Search Traffic: Search traffic your site receives from paid search advertisements versus traffic due to a high organic search ranking.
- Social Shares/Followers: Users who have subscribed to updates on your brand’s social accounts.
- Share of Voice/Offsite SEO: What “they” say about you.
1. Paid vs. Organic Search Traffic
Because content marketing allows you to gain additional reach, engagement, and conversion with no ad budget, you can literally earn your audience’s attention versus buying it. To calculate the value of this, we want to compare how much we’re paying for traffic versus earning organically. This can be easily calculated via Google Analytics. First, go to:
- Organic Keywords
You’ll then see the keywords people have used to find your website. This will include the number of visits and percentage of overall visits you have received from each keyword. In this example, the site has received 359,953 visits from organic search traffic, totaling 25% of overall traffic.
Next, we want to see how much paid traffic we’re receiving. To find this, go to:
- Paid Keywords
For this example, let’s say we spend $100,000 on for 1,078,779 visits. Based on those numbers and percentages, we can calculate the value of that organic traffic. We can use the chart below to cross multiply and divide to find “x.” Keep in mind our total site traffic is 1,410,977 visits.
Based on those calculations, we find that organic search traffic is worth $33,333.
2. Social Shares/Followers
While social shares can be seen as an engagement metric, they should also be quantified as a free source of distribution and reach. Let’s say you spend $1,000 on paid social distribution and reached 5,000 viewers. For this example, each view was worth $0.20 ($1,000/5,000).
Now let’s say a social post was shared organically by your followers and reached 500 viewers. Based on the value of each view from our paid distribution, we can also value our 500 organic views at $0.20 each, or $100 total.
Brands should also track if their social follower growth positively correlates with their total number of shares. If it does, this would indicate that your organic social shares are reaching the right audience for your brand.
3. Share of Voice/Offsite SEO
Google has stated it considers over 200 factors in its search ranking algorithm, with some variables weighted with more importance than others. While no one knows the exact algorithm, there is one thing virtually all SEO experts agree upon: The number and quality of links coming into your site, or offsite SEO, is near the top of the list. When you think about it, heavily weighting this importance makes sense. You can say great things about yourself on your site, but it means considerably more for an objective and reputable third party to reference you as an expert.
The way to measure your offsite SEO is to look at your inbound links and their value. An easy way to do this is by plugging your site’s URL into Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer, which allows you to see all inbound links, see your top-linked pages, sort by linking domains and see the anchor text other sites use to link you. You should also do the same with your competitor’s sites and compare the results to see how you stand. When analyzing the results, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Scan your site’s highest-authority inbound links and think of opportunities to get other similar links.
- Scan you competitors’ highest-authority inbound links. Can you get those links too, or do they provide any ideas for obtaining similar links?
- Inbound links from non-profit (.org) and education (.edu) sites are especially powerful.
- Remember to build your inbound links gradually. Google algorithms will notice a quick accumulation of links and may penalize as a result.
Want to learn more about calculating and proving content marketing ROI? Join us for a webinar on August 5th at 1pm with Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy at NewsCred and myself as we explore:
- How to build the content marketing business case internally
- How to find budget for content marketing
- How to calculate KPIs for each content marketing business case
Liz Bedor is a Brand Strategist at NewsCred
Originally published on Aug 4, 2015 9:59 AM, updated Feb 11, 2016