If you are into Web marketing these days the name of the game is Content.
- Inbound Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Engagement Marketing
These titles all make up what we used to solely consider “SEO.”
Content, we are told, is the holy grail. Write compelling content and you will succeed.
But the fact is, content is not a guarantee. Just writing, videoing or podcasting without careful measurement is not a surefire way to grow your business.
In fact, at best, it will only slowly grow your business.
Content is a long-term, slow and steady process.
Even if you can get your traffic numbers up relatively quickly, my experience is that you won’t see immediate results from that traffic.
Take a look at the SageRock site stats for the last thirty days compared to the same time period last year:
Our traffic is up 66%. But that number doesn’t really impress me.
So much of our traffic reads one page and leaves.
The number that interest me the most is the Bounce Rate. It’s slowly coming down. It’s down 9% from last year.
But it’s still too high at 77%. I want it to get to 70% and below.
If you aren’t familiar with that number, the bounce rate in Google Analytics is anyone who has looked at just one page. The amount of time they spend on the page is not taken into account.
You can see that my average time on a page is up 46%. That number encourages me. But again, I’m not looking for people to come to one page and leave… no matter how long they stay on the page.
The number that is most meaningful to me is actually the one that is the smallest: A 9% decrease in bounce rate.
I don’t actually want content. I don’t want “inbound” traffic. I want “engagement.”
I want these people to take the next step with me. I want them to sign up for the Friday Internet Marketing show. I want them to sign up for our newsletter. And the ultimate success: I want people to contact us to talk about how we can help them with their Web marketing.
We track a lot of other things as goals. But none of those things will happen with a high bounce rate. Getting your bounce rate down below 70% and then 60% has to be your first line of tracking.
If my bounce rate is too high I guarantee none of the other things I am looking to achieve will ever happen.
So, if you are seriously working a content marketing strategy, sure, make certain it is increasing your traffic. It most likely will be.
But don’t let that number lull you into a false sense of security. More traffic is meaningless. That traffic has to be engaged with your company in some way.
Ultimately, your goal is to get leads or sales (in an ecommerce site). But that’s a “down the road” goal.
The first goal of determining success is a good bounce rate.
70% is good.
60% is great.
50%… you are a rock star (literally. you probably are a rock star)