3 Ways SEO Metrics Can Help Demonstrate Content’s Effect on Sales and Revenue
By Nate Dame
70% of business leaders expect marketing to drive revenue growth, but only 57% of content marketers know how to demonstrate the impact of their efforts on business revenue. Content marketers who struggle to provide revenue-impact data may find that it’s increasingly difficult to secure future funding and earn budget increases.
But demonstrating the impact of content marketing on revenue isn’t impossible. One simple option is to use common SEO metrics to tie content efforts directly to sales and revenue. By establishing some goals in your analytics program and framing nebulous metrics in a context that business leaders understand, you can highlight the value of content marketing in a demonstrable and irrefutable way.
Measure Visibility to Highlight Content Marketing Effectiveness
Increased traffic and social shares may lack significant meaning on their own, but in the context of increased visibility and brand awareness, they’re powerful. Content that performs well in organic search provides as much visibility as participating in your industry’s biggest trade shows—but it happens all day, every day.
When reporting increased site traffic, consider framing it in the context of increased visibility to provide more meaning for the importance of the metric. Additionally, highlighting content that’s outperforming competitors for high-value keywords and topics illustrates how content marketing is adding value from the perspective of both visibility and competitiveness.
Visibility doesn’t necessarily equal revenue, but no visibility certainly equals no revenue.
Executives can often be skeptical about the value of visibility metrics, and they should be: increased visibility may or may not result in increased revenue. To establish proof of the connection, you’ll need to take additional steps to connect visibility to more valued metrics.
Correlate Content Metrics and Sales Trends
By comparing trends in sales-ready leads or closed deals with top-performing content, you can look for correlations between content and leads/conversions.
For example, Propecta helped one of our clients build a wireless networking guide that quickly became one of their top-performing pages in organic search. For about a year after that, they noticed a significant increase in the number of leads pertaining to wireless networking. The correlation between the increased leads and a high-performing piece of content pointed to content’s role in driving those leads.
Correlation doesn’t necessarily prove causation, but it certainly presents a stronger argument than an isolated increased-visibility metric.
To find top-performing pages in Google Analytics:
- Expand the “Acquisition” tab.
- Select “All Traffic.”
- Click “Organic Search.”
- For “Primary Dimension,” select “Landing Page”
This report shows which site pages are driving the most organic search traffic. Next, you need to compare high-traffic pages with trends in sales-ready leads and closed deals to connect increased visibility to increased leads and revenue.
Look for spikes in demand for specific product or service categories, and compare the timeline of leads/sales in those categories with timelines for organic traffic increases. If the timelines follow the same pattern—spikes in sales happen in conjunction with spikes in organic traffic for related content—you can make a strong case for content’s role in driving increased revenue in those categories.
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