Skip to

Google Analytics, Inbound Marketing

How To Quickly Calculate Content ROI

18 September 2017

Have you been investing in great content to fuel your marketing campaign? Congratulations! You’re on the surest path to success laid down by search engine guidelines. Engaging content raises your website and your brand’s value in the eyes of your audience and Google. But after consistently putting out high quality content, there is another challenge that you’ll need to overcome – calculating your content ROI .

Finding the answer to this question will tell you which types of content most appeals to your audience. It will also reveal blind spots in your content creation and promotion processes and help you refine your strategies further. Generally speaking, content, even great content, does not show instant effects. It takes time for it to permeate through your target audience and have the desired impact. This makes it relatively harder to gauge the ROI.

So how can you do this? By paying a lot of attention to one very useful little metric – Page Value.

What Is Page Value?

Page Value is the average value assigned to each page that a user visits before reaching a goal page. A user’s experience evolves through your website from awareness to interest to action by following the breadcrumb trail of content you have left to guide them through their journey.

*Goal Page:

A goal page is the page where you want your website traffic to go and take some action. This action does not involve a monetary transaction. Instead it contributes to the business in some other meaningful way such as getting a user to subscribe to the newsletter or provide contact details which can be used to reach out to a potential customer. Any, such action can be assigned a set Goal Value. This value has to be assigned in the Google Analytics Goals Settings are and is completely at your discretion.

As they follow this journey from page to page, ‘Page Value’ determines which content pages contributed more to bringing the user to the desired page. This contribution of each page is given a numerical value calculated using a simple equation. (Be warned, a bit of math is coming your way!)

eCommerce Revenue + Total Goal Value/ Number of Unique Pageviews for a given page

Unique pageview counts the number of individual users who’ve loaded a given page in a session. A user is counted only once per session regardless of how many pages they open. The Google Analytics team has provided a couple of very helpful examples to illustrate how Page Value is calculated.

Let’s examine the practical application of this metric by considering a couple of examples of our own, shall we? Consider the following assumptions regarding four pages – A, B, C and D.

  • Page D has a goal value of $10
  • The end goal of the pages is to complete a $100 revenue transaction after Page D.

Now let’s find out how to calculate Page Value after comparing two separate sessions by users.

Example 1

Session 1:
(User goes from Page A to Page B, back to Page A, then to Goal Page D ($10) and finally goes to the revenue page to complete the $100 Transaction)

Page A  >  Page B  > Page A  > Page D > Revenue Page ($100 Transaction)

Session 2:
(User goes from Page A to Page B, then to Page C, then to Goal Page D ($10) and finally goes to the revenue page to complete the $100 Transaction)

Page A > Page B > Page C > Page D >  Revenue Page ($100 Transaction)

Page Value = [ (Transaction Revenue + Goal Value) /Unique Pageviews of the Page ]

Now the Page Values of pages A, B and C will be calculated respectively, as follows.
Page A:  [  (100+100 + 10*2 ) /2] = $110
Page B:  [ (100+100 + 10*2) / 2 ] = $110
Page C:  [ (100 + 10) /1 ] = $110

We see that Page C has the same Page Value as Page A and Page B. This is because Pages A and B had two unique pageviews while Page C only had one. This, of course, is a hypothetical scenario that assumes a perfect conversion rate.

Let’s make it a bit more interesting by considering a few different, yet likely, scenarios.

Example 2

Session 1:
(User goes from Page A to Page B, back to Page A and then onto Goal Page D ($10) but doesn’t complete the $100 transaction on the revenue page)

Page A  >  Page B  > Page A  > Page D

Session 2:
(User goes from Page A to Page B to Page C then onto Goal Page D ($10) and finally goes on to complete the $100 Transaction on the revenue page)

Page A > Page B > Page C > Page D >  Revenue Page ($100 Transaction)

Session 3:
(User goes from Page A to Page C then onto Goal Page D ($10) and finally goes on to complete the $100 Transaction on the revenue page)

Page A > Page C > Page D >  Revenue Page ($100 Transaction)

Session 4:
(User goes from page A to Page B and then leaves)

Page A > Page B  > —-

Page Value = [ (Transaction Revenue + Goal Value) /Unique Pageviews of the Page ]

The Page Values of pages A, B and C will be calculated respectively, as follows.
Page A:  [  (100*2 + 10*3 ) /4] = $57.5
Page B:  [ (100 + 10*2) / 3 ] = $40
Page C:  [ (100*2 + 10*2) /2 ] = $110

By comparing the Pages Values of Pages A, B and C, we get quite a few insights into the performance of these pages.

  • We find out that Page C is the highest converting page of the bunch while Page B is the least converting page.
  • We also find out that Page C is getting only half as much traffic as Page A.

Now how do we convert these insights into an actionable strategy? Like this:

  1. Promote Page C to increase traffic and therefore increase website revenue.
  2. Evaluate the content on Page B to figure out why it is failing to win over the users and we make the necessary changes to enhance the content quality.
  3. Try to find ways to further improve the content quality of Page A so that it can achieve a greater rate of conversion.

As per the Google Analytics team, Page Value is the ‘measure of the influence of a page’. The more influential a page is, the higher its Page Value will be. This is how this metric helps you identify the high and low performing pages of your website. Not only that, it also provides a unique insight into the possible reasons behind the good or bad performance of these pages.

It gives you a practical understanding of what works and what needs more work where your content is concerned. Comparative analysis of these two metrics – Page Value and pageviews, will illuminate the best path to take your content strategy forward as explained in the above two examples.

The following process should be carried out once the comparative analysis of the Page Value metric has been done.

Refining Your Content Strategy

Case 1: If Pageviews Are High But Page Value Is Low

Clearly the content on the page is failing to motivate the user to continue their journey to the desired goal page. The answer? Enhance the content.

Here’s a quick checklist that can help you look for the weak spots in your content quality:

  • Is the content audience specific? Perhaps more market research is needed to arrive at that perfect voice and tone to garner a response from your audience.
  • Does the existing content need additional media (images, audio, video etc.) to make it more engaging?
  • Are there any broken links? Is the call to action button connected to the right page and working properly?
  • Does the content need to be supported with more facts and figures to make your central argument more convincing?
  • Does the language need to be edited? Sentences that are too long or too verbose or filled with jargon often fail to retain attention. Use a competent copy editor to review it and weed out such issues.
  • Have you sufficiently illustrated the benefits for the user? Are the essential takeaways for the user been emphasised enough?

These are just a few of the questions that can help you identify why your content is falling short of the mark. Answers to these questions will provide insights that will help you make your content more persuasive. Resolving the specific issues for your content’s underperformance will help you align it more effectively to user expectations.

Content that is in tune with the needs of your audience will retain their attention and motivate them along to the next step in the user journey. A sure sign of whether the content is doing better will be a gradual but steady rise in its Page Value.

Case 2: If Page Views Are Low But Page Value Is High

This means that the page is converting quite nicely but its efficacy is hampered by low traffic. Solution? Promote that content page.

Here are some strategies you can use to promote your content:

Invest Time In Keyword Research
If traffic is not reaching your high quality, high converting landing page, then check if you have overlooked proper keyword use. Thorough keyword research for your niche can make a world of difference. Using the right keywords can mean the missing link between your landing page and users who are searching for it.

Syndicate The Content
Seek out other popular blogs that might be interested in republishing the content. This awesome list of the top syndication networks provides you plenty of options where you can pitch your content. Getting republished on any of these networks ensures that you’ll get a lot more eyeballs on your content.

Share On Social Media. Again. And Again
The average active social media user can be assumed to have 140 friends/followers. This means that within just three cycles of sharing the potential audience exposure of your content reaches 140 X 140 X 140 = 2.7 Million. So don’t limit yourself by sharing your content just once!

Name Drop An Influencer
Mention a prominent influencer in your content piece and then reach out to them. This may sound sycophantic but is actually a fair give and take. They get bragging rights and reinforce their status as an industry influencer and you get access to their massive following. Both win.

Page Value – The Efficient Answer To Your (And Your Client’s) ROI Question

Page Value provides a metric that content marketers have struggled to find – a clear numeric value that tells you how well a particular landing page is doing compared to the rest of your content. It makes it easier than ever to chart your content strategy’s course. Understanding this metric can lead to not just better strategy but also more rewarding returns on the time, energy and money that you invest while creating amazing content. If working with a client, you can provide precise figures that demonstrate how effective content marketing has been and how much it has contributed to their business. Use the insights provided by this metric wisely and you should be well on your way to marketing success!