19 Metrics to Track Your Results

​​​What Is Content Performance?

Content performance refers to measuring the impact your published content makes on your target audience as well as your business. 

Marketers measure the performance of their content through different sets of metrics that we’ll go over shortly.

And the purpose is to gain insights into how aligned your content is with your target audience, learn more about your customers, and understand whether your content is driving business results.

Why Is Content Performance Important?

Content performance analysis is a key part of your content marketing efforts.

Implementing a content strategy can take a lot of effort, time, and money. So, you want to make sure your content is generating your desired results.

Diving deep into content marketing performance metrics lets you:

  • Find ways to improve and optimize your content
  • Make better decisions based on the data you collect
  • Allocate your resources better 
  • Advocate for leadership buy-in for further investments into content marketing

Key Content Marketing Performance Metrics to Track

Let’s explore 19 content performance metrics to measure for better results.

User Behavior Metrics

User behavior metrics help you understand visitors’ behavior on your website or app.


Views represent the number of total visits your website or app got within a specific time frame. 

They refer to visits from all sources. Like organic (unpaid) search, social media, email, referrals from other websites, and more.

This metric helps you understand which content formats and pieces are most popular among your audience. And they also allow you to identify the ones that are the least popular.

This information can inform your content strategy in the future. For example, you can choose to create more content about the topics that gain the most attention.

Track your website views in Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Here’s how:

Log in to your GA4 account.

Click “Reports” in the menu on the left.

“Reports” selected in GA4 menu

Then, click “Engagement” > “Pages and screens.”

"Engagement" > "Pages and screens" selected in GA4 menu

Scroll down to see the table. The first column will show you how many views each page gets, sorted from highest to lowest.

"Views" column highlighted in the Pages and screens table

To customize the time period, click on the date range in the top-right corner.

Choose a predefined range from the left-hand menu. Or select a custom time frame in the calendar on the right.

Then, click “Apply.”

Setting up custom time period in GA4

You can now analyze this metric for the selected date range.


The number of users refers to the number of unique visitors to your pages. It can help you understand the size of your audience and how frequently they visit your site.

For example, let’s say a certain page gets 100 views from a single user. Your audience isn’t 100 people—it’s one person.

You‘ll see users in the second column of the “Pages and screens” table we explored before. Right next to the number of views.

"Users" column highlighted in the Pages and screens table

New Users

New users are visitors who are seeing your website for the first time.

Having a steady flow of new users indicates that your traffic acquisition efforts are working well. And it also means that the number of potential leads is increasing.

To see this metric, go to your GA4 account.

In the menu on the left, click “Acquisition” > “Overview.”

"Acquisition" > "Overview" selected in GA4 menu

You’ll get an overview of both users and new users. And in the top right corner, you can choose a specific time frame to analyze.

Acquisition overview report in Google Analytics 4, showing users and new users

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate shows the percentage of all sessions on your website that were unengaged. Here’s how Google defines engaged sessions:

An engaged session is a session that lasts longer than 10 seconds, has a conversion event, or has at least 2 pageviews or screenviews.

When a page has a high bounce rate, there could be an issue you may need to assess and fix.

For example, your content may not be aligned with what the user’s looking for. Or, your website might have a technical problem that affects how quickly the page loads.

In GA4, the bounce rate isn’t visible by default. Add it on your own by customizing specific reports. 

To do that, you’ll need to have Editor or Administrator access to a GA4 account. 

In the menu on the left, click “Reports,” then choose a report you want to customize. For example, “Pages and screens.”

"Engagement" > "Pages and screens" selected in GA4 menu

In the top right corner, click on the pen symbol to customize the report.

Pen symbol with "Customize report" text

Click “Metrics.”

"Metrics" selected under "Customize report" window

Click the “Add metric” field and enter “bounce rate.” Then, click on the metric once it shows up in the menu.

"bounce rate" added under "Add metric" field

Click “Apply” to save your customization.

"Apply" button at the bottom of "Metrics" window

You’ll now see the bounce rate metric in your report.

"Bounce rate" column highlighted in the Pages and screens table

Traffic Sources

Traffic sources show you how many users come from each specific type of traffic source (e.g., organic search results, social media, email, etc.).

This content marketing metric can help you discover the most and least effective marketing channels for specific content. 

For example, let’s say you’re working on increasing organic traffic to your website. 

If your content gets little traffic from organic search and significantly more traffic from other sources, you may need to revisit your SEO efforts.

To see traffic sources, go to GA4. In the menu on the left, click “Acquisition” > “Traffic acquisition.”

"Acquisition" > "Traffic acquisition" selected in GA4 menu

You’ll see metrics for different groups of traffic sources like organic social and referral traffic.

A table showing groups of traffic sources and metrics in GA4

Go a step further and identify specific platforms and websites that bring traffic to your website.

Click “Session primary channel group (Default Channel Group).” Once the drop-down menu opens up, select “Session source / medium.”

“Session source / medium" selected under “Session primary channel group (Default Channel Group)" drop-down menu

You’ll see a list of sources (platforms and websites) and their medium (which channel group they belong to). Like this:

A list of sources and their medium in GA4

SEO & Visibility Metrics

SEO metrics show how well your website is ranking in search engine results and driving organic traffic.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to the number of sessions your website gets from organic search.

This metric will show you how successful your SEO strategy is and whether you’re optimizing your content properly.

To see organic traffic measured in sessions, log in to your Google Analytics account.

In the menu on the left, click “Reports” > “Acquisition” > “Traffic Acquisition.”

"Acquisition" > "Traffic acquisition" selected in GA4 menu

You’ll see a broad overview of traffic sources for your website.

An overview of traffic sources in GA4

Let’s see which search engines visitors use to find your website. 

First, click on the blue “+” to the right of “Session default channel group.” 

“+” to the right of “Session default channel group"

Then, search for “Session source” and choose it from the drop-down menu.

“Session source” option selected under "Traffic source"

You’ll see sources of traffic for all types of channels. Let’s narrow it down.

A list of sources of traffic for all types of channels

Type “organic search” in the search bar and press “Enter” or “return” on your keyboard.

Now, you’ll see how many organic sessions your website gets from each search engine.

A table showing organic search traffic from each search engine

Check out our organic traffic in GA4 guide to learn more about analyzing it with different dimensions and metrics.

Dwell Time

Dwell time refers to the amount of time users’ coming from search spend on a page before going back to the search engine results page (SERP).

Analyzing dwell time on your pages can help you understand if your content is addressing search intent—the reason behind searchers’ queries. 

There’s no official metric or formula to calculate dwell time, but the new GA4 metric “Average engagement time per session” comes pretty close. 

Let’s explore:

Log in to your Google Analytics account. In the menu on the left, click “Reports” > “Engagement” > “Landing page.”

"Engagement" > "Landing page" selected in GA4 menu

You’ll see a list of pages that users “land on” first when visiting your website.

The metric “Average engagement time per session” shows how long a user was engaged on your website before leaving. 

Note that we don’t know whether they went back to search results, closed the tab, or went to another site.

“Average engagement time per session” column highlighted in Landing page table in GA4

Right now, we’re seeing metrics for all traffic sources. Let’s narrow it down so it’s showing results just for people coming from search.

Click on the blue “+” sign next to “Landing page.”

Once the menu opens up, click “Traffic source” > “Cross-channel” (in the “Session-scoped” section) > “Session default channel group.”

Navigating to “Session default channel group" option

Now, type “organic search” in the search bar to see only the metrics for organic traffic.

Out of this list, the pages that have a low “Average engagement time per session” can be considered to have a low dwell time.

“Average engagement time per session” column highlighted for organic search sources

Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings show the position of your pages in search results for their target search terms.

Following your keyword rankings lets you know whether your content is getting visibility among your target readers.

And if you notice some sudden drops in your rankings, you can react quickly. And examine what the issue is before it becomes a bigger problem.

Semrush’s Position Tracking makes it easy for you to track a large number of keywords for your website.

Here’s how to set it up:

Go to the tool, enter your domain, and click “Set up tracking.”

Position Tracking tool

Choose the parameters you want to track rankings for. Like search engine, device type, location, and language.

Click “Continue To Keywords.”

"Targeting" window in Position Tracking settings

Enter the keywords you want to track, click “Add keywords to campaign,” and select “Start Tracking.”

"Keywords" window in Position Tracking settings

The tool will generate a list of your website’s positions in search results. And how those rankings change over time.

Rankings Overview table in Position Tracking tool

Position Tracking also allows you to add more keywords to your tracking campaign in the future.

Authority Score

Authority Score (AS) is a Semrush metric that represents a website’s online reputation and SEO performance. It’s expressed as a number on a scale ranging from 0 to 100.

The metric takes into account these factors:

  • Link power: The number and quality of backlinks a website has
  • Organic traffic: Estimated monthly organic traffic
  • Spam factors: Whether a website has an unnatural amount of low-quality backlinks

Check your website’s Authority Score with Backlink Analytics.

Enter your domain. Then, click “Analyze.”

Domain entered into the Backlink Analytics tool

You’ll see a report like this:

A section of overview dashboard in Backlink Analytics tool

In the “Authority Score” section, you’ll see the number grading your website and a graph analyzing the three contributing factors (link power, organic traffic, and spam factors).

Authority Score metric in Backlink Analytics tool, showing 30 good and niche relevant result

Next to the number, there’s a blurb that will give you more information about your domain. Hover over it to see more.

Hovering over "Good and niche relevant" explains the AS in more detail

Why is AS helpful?

Because it helps you understand your chances of ranking highly. And whether you need to engage in activities like link building. Which we’ll go over next.

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. And it’s one of the key factors Google uses to evaluate and rank websites in search results.

Check the number of backlinks any website has with Backlink Analytics. You can even evaluate a specific page like a valuable resource you’re hoping will attract attention as part of a link building campaign.

Enter the URL of the page you want to check. Then, click “Analyze.”

URL entered into the Backlink Analytics tool

This URL has 192 backlinks from 99 referring domains.

Backlink Analytics tool results for a given URL shows it has 192 backlinks from 99 referring domains

Having a higher number of backlinks than referring domains means that some of these sites link to your page more than once. 

If a page you created for PR and link building purposes isn’t getting links from topically relevant and authoritative websites like this, you may need to engage in direct outreach or another link building tactic


Mentions are whenever your brand is mentioned online—on social media and other websites.

Keeping track of brand mentions can help you understand how much brand awareness you have. And gauge the sentiment around your business.

Easily stay on top of your mentions with Brand Monitoring.

Go to Brand Monitoring, click “New query,” then select “Brand.

"New query" > "Brand" selected in the Brand Monitoring app

Enter your brand name and an email address where you want to receive notifications about new mentions.

Enter brand name and email address to Brand Monitoring app

Scroll down to fill out other relevant information. 

For example, you can add your domain to track backlinks. Or specify the country where the mentions are coming from.

Next, click “Create query.”

"Create query" in Brand Monitoring app

The tool will generate a report with existing online mentions of your brand. 

"Mentions" dashboard for Semrush in Brand Monitoring app

And you’ll receive emails with new mentions. Which you can set to be daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

"Set up email notifications" window in Brand Monitoring app

Revenue-related metrics show whether your content is supporting your business’s financial goals.

Number of New Leads

A sales lead is a potential client who’s shared their contact details with you. They could do that by signing up for a free trial, downloading some free material on your website, inquiring through a contact form, etc.

Generating new leads through your content is a good sign you’re on the path to getting more customers.

Track your leads using ImpactHero.

You’ll easily be able to see how many users you’ve converted in a dashboard like this:

ImpactHero's overview dashboard showing how many users converted

ImpactHero can also help you understand what kind of content performs best at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Including which pieces bring in the most leads.

"Content Performance Insights" section of ImpactHero's dashboard

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate represents the percentage of users that land on your site and complete a desired action (e.g., buy, download, click, sign up, etc.).

Measuring conversion rate is essential to understanding how effective your content marketing funnel is. And whether there’s room for improvement.

You can track conversion rates in Google Analytics. You’ll need to set them up first, so follow these steps if you haven’t done this yet.

Now, let’s explore where to find conversions in GA4.

In the left-hand menu, click “Reports” > “Engagement” > “Conversions.”

"Engagement" > "Conversions" selected in GA4 menu

You’ll see a breakdown of all the different conversion events you’re tracking. 

A breakdown of different conversion events in GA4

The conversion rate won’t be available by default, but you can add it to the report if you have Editor or Administrator access to the GA account.

Click on the pen icon in the top right corner to customize the report.

Pen icon with "Customize report" text

Click “Metrics.”

"Metrics" selected under "Customize report" window

Select the “Add metrics” field and look for “conversion rate.”

You’ll notice there are two metrics:

  • Session conversion rate: Shows the percentage of converted sessions
  • User conversion rate: Shows the percentage of converted users

Add them both and click “Apply.”

“User conversion rate" added under "Add metrics" field

You’ll now be able to see these two metrics in your report.

"Session conversion rate" and "User conversion rate" metrics highlighted in the report

Content ROI

Content return on investment (ROI) represents a correlation between the revenue you gained from content and the resources you invested in content production and distribution. To help you see whether your content marketing efforts are paying off.

If your ROI is high, it can help you advocate for more resources. And if it’s low, take action toward maximizing results.

The most common formula for calculating content ROI is:

Content ROI = ((Return – Total Content Investment) / Total Content Investment) x 100

The final number is represented as a percentage.

Formula for calculating content marketing ROI

Let’s say your blog content generated $10,000 in sales, and you invested $2,500 in content production and distribution. 

That means your blog content ROI would be 300%.

Applying content marketing ROI formula

Content Production Metrics

Content production metrics help you optimize your editorial processes.

Time to Publish

Time to publish refers to the time it takes from coming up with a content idea to the publication of the content piece. 

Monitoring time to publish helps content managers stay on top of their workflows and identify potential bottlenecks in content production.

If it takes a long time to publish a piece, there could be issues within the workflow you need to identify. 

For example, the briefs could be unclear, the topics may be challenging, or there might be specific team members who are late with their delivery.

Keep in mind this metric will greatly depend on your content editorial standards, the number of revisions, and other factors. There’s no specific number to aim for, but tracking it will help you identify specific situations to address.

Here’s an example of what a workflow might look like:

Content Workflow

As you can see, there are numerous steps where slow-downs could occur.

Production Cost

Production cost refers to how much money you allocate for creating content. And you can measure it for all your content as well as for specific pieces.

Measuring production cost helps with calculating ROI. And is essential for making data-driven decisions about which content to invest in.

For example, let’s say an article costs a lot to create but doesn’t drive the desired results. You might want to have a look at similar topics in your content strategy and evaluate whether it makes sense for you to cover them.

Distribution Cost

Distribution cost refers to how much money you’re spending to distribute and promote your content.

This cost could involve paid ads on Google and Meta platforms, distributing press releases to a PR wire network, collaborating with influencers who promote your content, and a lot more.

Tracking distribution costs is critical for calculating ROI. And lets you see whether certain channels are more cost-effective than others.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics give you insights into whether your content is resonating with your audience.

Average Engagement Time

Average engagement time shows how long an active visitor (someone whose primary focus is on your website) stays on your site.

A longer average engagement time can indicate that your content resonates with your target audience. And that it matches search intent.

You can view this metric in Google Analytics.

Go to your GA4 account. And then click “Engagement” > “Overview.”

"Engagement" > "Overview" selected in GA4 menu

You’ll see average engagement time across your entire website for the specified time frame.

Average engagement time metric under Engagement overview in GA4

To see numbers for specific pages, scroll down.

Click “View pages and screens” in the “Views by Page title and screen class” section.

“Views by Page title and screen class” section in GA4

A table showing the pages on your website will open up. The “Average engagement time” column will show you how long active users stayed on your site based on the pages they visited.

“Average engagement time” column highlighted in the table showing the website pages

Reactions, Shares, and Comments

These metrics refer to how many social media users reacted to (which includes likes), shared, and commented on your content.

By analyzing these metrics across your social content, you’ll learn what kind of posts your audience likes the most.

Keep track of these metrics across several platforms in Semrush Social.

Follow these configuration instructions to connect your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts.

Now, let’s explore engagement metrics for Instagram.

Click on the “Instagram” tab in Social Analytics.

“Instagram” tab in Social Analytics tool

Then, click “Posts” to explore the number of likes, shares, and comments your posts get. And find the best- and worst-performing ones.

Instagram published posts page in Social Analytics tool

The insights you gain from doing this can inform your future social media content. So you create more of what your audience enjoys.

Create a Content Performance Monitoring Dashboard

Setting up a content performance dashboard will help you keep track of important metrics in a single place. 

Semrush’s Organic Traffic Insights tool helps you achieve that by combining data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console (GSC), and Semrush.

To set it up, open the tool, enter your domain name, and click “Get Insights.”

Organic Traffic Insights tool

Next, click “Connect Google Account.”

"Connect Google Account" button in Organic Traffic Insights tool

You’ll be taken to a login page where you need to choose an account you want to connect to. This is the email address that’s connected to your GA4 and GSC.

Choose an account to continue to Organic Traffic Insights

Review the terms and conditions, then click “Continue.”

"Continue" button

Review the permissions, then click “Allow.”

"Allow" button under Organic Traffic Insights permissions

Next, you’ll be taken back to the Semrush interface. Where you’ll connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts.

Once setup is complete, you’ll see the metrics from these three sources combined in one dashboard. 

Organic Traffic Insights dashboard

You can see many of the metrics we’ve covered: keyword rankings, users, average engagement time, engagement rate, etc.

And a great feature in this dashboard is the keywords from the Google Search Console.

View a list of all the keywords driving traffic to a particular page by clicking the number in the “GSC” column for the page you want to analyze.

Number "744" highlighted under the GSC column

Analyze the search terms you see here.

Google Search Console keywords page

If you notice ones that are relevant but you haven’t targeted, consider adding them to that content when you update it in the future.

You can also see which pages are ranking well but aren’t getting many clicks. 

Maybe these pages could perform better if you improve their title tags (HTML that indicates the page title and might show in search results) and meta descriptions (HTML that provides a brief page summary and may show in search results).

Start Measuring Content Performance

Tracking content performance is a key step to understanding your audience, the impact you’re creating, and how to improve.

And tools like Semrush can make the measuring process a lot easier. 

Sign up for a free seven-day trial and gain access to:

And a lot more.

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