An oft-ignored key performance indicator (KPI) of your content marketing campaigns is measuring your on-site and competitor traffic ratios.
In this post we’ll discuss the following:
Traffic ratios are simple calculations that measure how efficient a single page is at drawing-in regular traffic on a recurring basis.
It is a calculation that measures how much traffic a page gets relative to other sites in your niche and other pages on your website.
It is a simple calculation:
There are two ways the content efficiency equation can be used, which change the denominator, depending on which you choose.
First, it can be used to compare various pages and posts on your own site with other pages and posts on the same site.
When measuring the effectiveness of your own pages with other pages, it is best to use the most accurate data available.
In most cases, this means using Google Analytics traffic data from the same time reference (i.e. the last month, if your content is fairly new or the last six months if you want to compare older, more established pieces).
An on-site comparison of various pages should be a key component of your on-site content audit. If you’re not using the content efficiency calculation in your content audits, you should be doing so at least annually, preferably quarterly. The on-site content audit run-down includes only page-level traffic on the numerator. The denominator could include any other numeric page-level metric, including:
We have even experimented with weighted results. That is, we have mixed and matched the above to see what elements on the page may be helping to drive traffic, controlling and tweaking weights based on math and some gut instinct (images, for instance aren’t likely to be weighted as heavily as total word count or total % of desired keyword, for instance).
Again, none of this includes any control for content quality using artificial intelligence or BERT, but when compared with competitor site data, you will be surprised to find areas of overlap and how you can improve.
Second, it can be used to compare the efficiency of your content with your competitors’ pages covering the same general topics.
In this scenario, it is best to utilize data from a third party tool like Ahrefs, SEMRush or Spyfu. Just make sure you’re using the estimated traffic numbers from the same third-party tool. Here’s a great example:
In both the on-site and competitive comparison scenarios, just make sure you’re only using estimated traffic from organic visits only. Social shares, referral traffic and direct visits should not count in the calculation. The denominator is simply the total number of indexed pages. Click here if you need a “how to” for finding a site’s total indexed pages in Google.
A comparison of your competitors’ sites should be a key component of your in-depth competitor analysis, wherein you gauge your site’s effectiveness vis-a-vis your competitors.
A single piece of pillar content can rank for literally thousands of keywords.
While this is the exception, rather than the rule, you will find that most of your most successful landing pages and blog posts will rank for at least more than one phrase that matches user intent.
There is a reason I have bolded this point as it should be the take away from anyone performing this analysis, particularly off-site. You will notice a a direct correlation to the number of published pages and the overall traffic of a website. While most sites have money pages, it is rare to find 80% of the traffic coming from 20% of the pages.
While it may appear overly simplistic, the very best way to increase your content efficiency is to increase site traffic to your existing pages or create new, hard-hitting pages that match user intent.
Increasing content efficiency for existing pages:
Preparing new content to be efficient from day one:
After diving into the data, you will always find areas where you can improve. However, the biggest take away may be that in order to compete, you simply need to blog more. The data will always tell you that.