Statistics show that 88% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers use content in their overall strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Whether your company revolves around B2B or business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, though, chances are it can benefit from content marketing. But if you plan on using content to generate more sales, you’ll need to keep an eye on the following key performance indicators (KPIs). Using these metrics, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t.

Page Views

This KPI is pretty self-explanatory. When publishing content on a web page, you need to monitor the total number of page views it receives. Generally speaking, the more page views it receives, the more relevant it is to your target audience. If a particular page receives few-to-no views, however, it usually means your audience isn’t interested in it.

Inbound Links

In addition to page views, you should also keep an eye on the number of inbound links your content generates. When someone enjoys reading your content, they may share it on their website, blog or social media profile. And each time this happens, it creates a new inbound link for your content. So, measure the quantity — as well as the quality — of inbound links your content receives. This is one more KPI that can help reveal the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.

New vs Returning Visits

It’s not just the amount of page views that matters; it’s also the number of new vs returning visits. Conventional wisdom should tell you that a high number of returning visits indicates high-quality content. After all, users typically only return if they enjoyed your content in the first place. On the other hand, a low number of returning visits and a high number of new visits indicates the opposite: low-quality content.

Number of Social Shares

Of course, the number of social shares your content receives is a clear indication of its quality and effectiveness. As previously stated, users may share your content on social media if they enjoy reading it. Therefore, you should analyze your content’s Facebook likes, Twitter tweets and Google +1s. There are dozens of third-party social media management tools that can reveal this information.

Comments

Finally, keep an eye on the number of comments your content generates. Assuming you allow visitors to comment on your content, this otherwise simple KPI can create greater transparency into your content marketing strategy. The more comments your content receives, the better.