Your content may be captivating and well-written. But does it generate value in the form of leads or conversions?
Content monitoring answers this question.
By tracking the performance of your content, you can align your marketing strategy with your audience’s preferences to create valuable content that drives tangible results.
Let’s explore how.
What Is Website Content Monitoring?
Content monitoring is the practice of analyzing the performance of articles, landing pages, and other content assets across your website.
Monitoring content performance can provide actionable insights to iterate your strategy and improve your content.
Remember: Measuring content performance shows how users actually perceive the content on your website. And how well it drives important outcomes (e.g., impressions or conversions).
For example: let’s say you monitor your blog regularly and find multiple posts with a high bounce rate or low engagement.
This could mean your content doesn’t resonate with your audience. You can use analytics tools to identify potential issues, adjust, and reevaluate.
The Benefits of Content Monitoring and Reporting
How exactly does content monitoring unlock actionable insights, improving the performance of your websites? Let’s look at a few examples.
1. Higher Search Engine Rankings
Website content monitoring can boost search engine rankings by helping you:
- Optimize keyword targeting to increase your chances of people finding your page
- Create high-quality, user-friendly content aligned with search intent
- Analyze performance metrics and make data-driven improvements to your content
- Track competitor strategies to keep your edge in the market
The higher your content ranks on the search engine results page (SERP), the more eyeballs your page can draw organically.
Impressions and visits to your pages via Google and other search engines translate to organic traffic.
And more organic traffic means more opportunity to generate conversions like:
- Form fills
- Demo requests
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Self-assisted purchases
Backlinko found ranking first on the SERP yields an average click-through rate (CTR) of 27.6%. Ranking 10th brought a CTR 10 times smaller.
2. Improved Keyword Optimization
Keyword optimization is the process of identifying and including the most relevant keywords in your website’s content.
Having keyword-optimized content increases your website’s visibility and discoverability.
Why? Because search engines use keywords to understand the relevance of your content to user searches. Using the right keywords can help your pages rank higher and attract more targeted organic traffic.
Monitoring keyword rankings allows you to identify all keywords and phrases driving traffic to your site. Then you can find the keywords with the highest search volume or highest intent and prioritize them.
For instance, you may discover that you rank on page two for the keyword “best countertop microwaves.”
With this information, you can optimize your content around this high-volume keyword to increase traffic and conversions by attracting users looking for this product.
3. Alignment with User Intent
Aligning content with user intent matches your content to specific user needs, interests, and search queries. Intent is an important ranking factor.
If your blog post appears on the SERPs and the content doesn’t align with what the searcher wants, they’ll probably leave your site.
That increases your bounce rate, which can impact your organic ranking.
For example: If your blog post targets the keyword “best budget smartphones,” but the content primarily focuses on high-end smartphones, users searching for budget options will likely leave your site.
Monitoring metrics like bounce rate can ensure your content aligns with the expectations of your target audience.
4. Insights from Competitor Analysis
A competitor analysis reveals features, market share, strengths, weaknesses, and gaps to use to your advantage.
Monitoring competitors helps you see:
- The keywords your competitors target
- The channels that perform best for the audience
- Which social networks and hashtags work best for engagement
- The influencers who work closely with the brand
- Competitor keyword rankings
- Competitor most-shared content
In-depth competitor analysis also helps you catch up on industry trends.
Staying on top of trends prepares you for any changes that could affect your business, like shifting consumer preferences or product launches.
5. Mitigation Algorithm Updates Impacts
Google and other search engines are constantly deploying updates to their search algorithms.
Staying on top of these updates helps you anticipate potential impact on your rankings, visibility, and traffic.
For example, an algorithm update can cause you to pivot your content and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. When Google’s Core Web Vitals emerged, many websites had to adjust their page experience to meet the new ranking criteria.
Staying informed about algorithm updates allows you to adapt your content proactively. You want your website to comply with the latest guidelines.
What Should You Monitor?
Tracking website performance helps you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven changes. Here are key areas you should watch:
- On-page SEO: Monitor weaknesses in on-page elements like meta tags, headings, content quality, and keyword usage to identify optimization opportunities and improve rankings
- Keyword rankings: Track the performance of target keywords in search engine results to identify trends and make informed decisions to improve rankings
- Technical SEO: Look at factors like broken links, site speed, indexing, and other technical SEO issues to enhance visibility in search engines and the user experience on your website
- Brand tracking: Watch brand mentions across online platforms, assessing metrics like sentiment, domain authority, reach, and backlinks to gauge brand visibility
How to Monitor Website Content
1. Set Monitoring Goals
Just getting started with content monitoring?
You’ll want to begin by defining your goals—i.e., choosing the metrics to watch based on your business objectives.
For brand awareness, you might focus on social media impressions, post reach, and engagement rates.
For increased lead generation and conversions, you can track click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per acquisition (CPA).
To set your content marketing goals, identify the content type, funnel stage, and primary metrics.
For example: if you’re looking to expand your audience, that might look like:
- Content type: Blog posts
- Funnel stage: Awareness
- Primary metric: CTR
Choosing CTR as a main metric for your blog posts can help gauge user interest and engagement at the awareness stage of the funnel.
Once you have a target metric, establish benchmarks. Analyze similar content from your site or competitors. Look for high- and low-performance metrics.
With your benchmarks in hand, you can start identifying content areas to improve against your chosen metrics.
For example, a content gap analysis can help you evaluate existing content topics and determine any gaps to close.
You can use Semrush’s Organic Research Competitors Report to identify your main organic competitors and evaluate their content.
After entering your domain, Semrush populates a list of domains ranking for the same organic keywords.
You’ll see a competitor graph of domains according to how many organic keyword rankings and how much organic traffic they have.
You can also see a complete competitor domain list ranked by competition level. Semrush bases this on how many keywords each domain has and how many keywords the domains have in common.
Next, analyze your competitors’ content to parse the ideal format and length for optimal engagement.
To do this, go to their blog and look at their posts. Ask yourself:
- How detailed are the posts? Are they mostly long-form or short-form?
- What are they writing about? Are there common themes?
- How is their blog layout? Do they add a table of contents or a “related articles” section?
- What image types are they using in their posts? Stock images? Infographics?
Tools like the SEO Content Template and the SEO Writing Assistant will suggest optimal content length and other key recommendations, based on Google’s top 10, real-time competitors.
Finally, define a specific time frame to measure the results. The more specific and time-bound your goal, the better you can track your progress toward your desired outcome.
Going back to our example, a possible goal using this framework might look like this:
“Boost brand awareness and engagement through our blog by increasing the click-through rate by 20% within three months.”
2. Track On-Page SEO
Shoring up gaps in your on-page SEO execution can boost webpage visibility on the SERPs, increase organic traffic and enhance user experience.
One option to improve your on-page SEO is Semrush’s On Page SEO Checker.
To get started, configure On Page SEO Checker. Then, you’ll get a report with four tabs:
- Overview: An overview of your pages’ on-page optimization status. This view highlights areas that need improvement
- Optimization Ideas: Suggestions and recommendations to optimize your webpages. This can include things like meta tags, headings, content quality, and keyword usage
- Top 10 Benchmarking: A view of on-page optimization performance against the top 10 competitors who rank highly for your target keywords
- Idea Tasks: For tracking your progress in implementing the suggested optimizations
The Overview report displays your total number of suggested on-page ideas. It also shows you the potential traffic these ideas can help you gain and suggestions on pages to start with.
The Optimization Ideas report lists ideas to prioritize based on strategy, content, backlinks, semantics, user experience, technical SEO, and SERP features.
You can view your pages with the corresponding target keywords. You can then sort by total volume to prioritize optimization ideas.
The Top 10 Benchmarking tab analyzes the top 10 competitors on the first page for every keyword you request. The tool also provides featured snippet ideas. Go after these to potentially grab some of the most valuable real estate on the SERP.
The Idea Tasks Report will help you follow the progress of all your SEO improvements. It’ll show you a bar graph to measure progress and ideas with either a “To Do” or “Done” status.
This view helps unpack what’s working and where you may need to direct more attention.
3. Track Your Keyword Positions
Tracking positions for target keywords against your competitors helps you gauge the value of your SEO efforts over time. And spot long-term trends.
Semrush’s Position Tracking tool is one way to do this. It tracks rankings, monitors your competitors, identifies weak pages, and keeps you updated on SERP features on a daily basis.
With Position Tracking, you can follow:
- Any keyword and domain, including those not in Semrush’s database
- Many geographic locations or device types
- Local competitors
Start by entering your domain and selecting the keywords you want to target.
Once you get the results, click on the Position Tracking Overview tab to see the Visibility Trend Chart. This chart shows your website’s progress in Google’s top 100 keywords in your current campaign.
If your domains ranked in the first position for every keyword, your Visibility percentage would be 100%. The closer you are to 100%, the more visibility your site has.
On the “Overview” page, you can also see a summary of the positions over time for each keyword you track.
With Position Tracking, you can measure progress with three metrics:
- Positions: Your website’s ranking positions on the SERPs
- Estimated Traffic: An estimate of the amount of organic traffic your website receives
- Visibility: The overall presence and prominence of your website in search engine results
Need help reminding yourself to track? You can set up email notifications to monitor your organic search positions.
4. Gauge Site Health and Performance
Measuring your website’s health gives you a comprehensive overview of your website’s performance.
Site health scores highlight functionality issues, errors, and optimizations for improved health and visibility.
Semrush’s Site Audit tool allows you to analyze your website’s health.
This tool provides an issue list that lets you see what to fix on your website. Use it to check over 140 on-page and technical SEO elements, like broken links and duplicate content.
Need a more zoomed-out picture? The Site Audit Overview Report will give you a Site Health Score from 0 to 100%. That accounts for the number of errors and warnings the tool finds after crawling your site.
Any score below 50% has many technical issues and usually needs major improvements.
You can also use this score to compare your site to your competitors and track your progress over time.
Finally, you can view the top issues plaguing your site, like missing title tags and duplicate content.
Clicking on the “View Details” tab will show you specific pages tied to each issue so you know what content to fix.
5. Monitor Your Brand
Brand monitoring involves tracking unowned channels to see how and where your brand is being mentioned.
Analyzing mentions across online platforms helps you understand people’s sentiments. It also lets you collect feedback and protect your reputation.
The Brand Monitoring app tracks all your mentions across the web and allows you to set up custom alerts so you can check relevant updates. Whenever a new brand mention appears, you get an email.
You can track your own brand’s mentions, along with:
- Other brands: Monitor competitors to gauge their popularity. Keep an eye on what they’re doing to inform your strategies, campaigns, and customer sentiment.
- Keywords: Track any keyword or phrase you want
- Person: Monitor other people, from subject matter experts to managers
- Author: Track article authors
- Backlinks: Monitor the number of articles containing a backlink
In the “Analytics” tab, you can see statistics like the total number of mentions, estimated reach, traffic, and share of voice.
These metrics let you see what people are saying about you online and where there may be gaps in your messaging.
Start Monitoring Your Site Today
With the help of website monitoring features and tools, you can optimize your website content, attract more organic traffic, and provide a better user experience.
Semrush offers a variety of tools that can improve your content monitoring efforts and, ultimately, your content’s performance. Get started with a free trial today.