While every organization my structure their goals differently, a standard for content marketing is traffic: How many people can I draw to the website?
This is a great start, since the more traffic you drive, the more likely it is that some of those people will convert—always good news.
Why You Should Care About New Users
The real measure of success for your content isn't necessarily the number of eyeballs (though it's a very good metric to track), it's the number of new eyeballs you attract. This is because while total traffic can show how popular a piece is, it might also be the result of spinning around your content promotion machine—your current followers on social, your email subscribers, and your customers.
New eyeballs, on the other hand...these are people you haven't met yet. They aren't your customers, but they could be. That way, you're spreading your message and your brand to new people, not just the people who already know, love you, and buy from you.
It's easy to see your total traffic. What's harder is to find out how many new visitors you're attracting. The good news: I've put together this how-to in Google Analytics so you can see exactly how many new users you're attracting to your website.
The Ultimate Google Analytics How-To: New Users
To find this metric in Google Analytics, start with the Overview dashboard. Change the dates in the top right for the time period you wish to measure.
Click "Add segment" and choose "New Users." This will separate all of the people coming to your site from the brand new people.
You can now compare traffic sessions between all users and new users.
Then, scroll down to "Behavior" on the left hand side, and click on "Site Content" and then "Content Drilldown." For any specific page on the site, you can see where the new users are coming from.
In our case, we house our blog on litmus.com/blog. For accurate content reporting (for your blog, or website, or a specific page where you house your resources and content), choose the appropriate subdomain. Then, you can compare posts:
From there, export the data and manually do the percentage of new users. As annoying as it is to have to do this manually (or with a formula in Excel, but still) it's important, because the data that Google Analytics displays can be misleading. Just taking the percent of page views means it’s the % of total new users, not the % of new users to that actual blog post.
Phew! Now you know. With this newfound data in hand, you'll be able to accurately show not just which posts are performing well by traffic, but which posts are drawing in brand new people to your ecosystem.
Side note: Sometimes new users isn't 100% accurate on Google's side. But as long as you know the limitations, you can still use this in your data.