Want to get consistent with content? take this 1-minute quiz to discover how

How to Measure the ROI of Your Content

Hailey Dale


I’m Hailey – content strategist and founder here at Your Content Empire where we help you create more profitable, purposeful and productive content — and hopefully enjoy yourself more while doing it too. Learn more about me here >>

Let’s Connect


Content Systems
Content Strategy
Sales Funnels
How to Measure the ROI of Your Content

As the smart and savvy business owner you are, you know that you’re supposed to focusing your energies on the things that have the biggest payoff for your business. And that’s where things can get a little fuzzy with content – it isn’t always easy to pinpoint and track the return of investment for the amount of money, time and energy you pour into your content marketing. Some of the benefits are long-term like building an engaged audience full of people who may not become customers or clients right away but as soon as they’re ready, they’ll hopefully think of you first since you’ve spent so much time nurturing them.

But just because they’re not right away things doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile.

So why do we need to measure at all if so much of content is seemingly unmeasurable?

“What gets measured gets managed.” Peter Drucker

If growing your business is a priority this year, if you have goals that include increasing your income, growing the number of clients and customers you serve, building your email list – then measurement is going to be a secret weapon you can use to reach those goals. The biggest reason why measurement is so key to these types of goals is that it allows us to notice things. Measurement is like finally finding the right prescription glasses and seeing things clearly for the first time.

We're going to be able to notice things like, “I published weekly blog posts consistently for the first time many blog posts and my traffic doubled,” or “I ran this challenge and my list grew 30% faster than in the previous 6 months.” Ding, ding, ding. Those are the hints you need so you can double down on what’s working and cut the rest.

Having the ability to measure your goals during the process will give you the power to know if your methods are being effective or ineffective, what you should adjust and can help you reach your goals more quickly. You won’t have to wait until the end of year or whatever date you put as the end date for your goal to know if you’re going to meet it.

Most creative entrepreneurs I know shy away from looking at their numbers.

And for me, it’s one of the most exciting parts of starting to work with a new clients. Because I know that they’re going to surprise themselves when they gather up enough courage and the 15 to 20 minutes it takes to look.

It’s never as bad as we think it is. And even if it isn’t what we’d want, just knowing, instead of worrying/wondering/guilt-tripping ourselves sick, clears up space for possibility.

I’ve taken entrepreneurs from, “I’m embarrassed to talk about this but my business is basically an expensive hobby,” to “Wow – I didn’t know how much I’d actually accomplished and I can now see that with a few shifts this thing can be an entirely different story next year.”

What are we wanting to measure?

I’ve created a content ROI cheat sheet for you below:

How to Measure the ROI of Your Content By Your Content Empire

There are a few places where you’ll have to go to get these numbers. Including:

  • Google Analytics
  • Shopping Cart or payment processor
  • Email Service Provider
  • Social Media Platform Built-In Analytics

BTW – a question that I get all the time is how often to measure. I think you could look at the important metrics every week (i.e. Sales, list growth, ad costs and returns) but look at everything else monthly. Then on a quarterly or annual basis, you can simply review your monthly numbers, look for trends and come up with any strategy adjustments.

How can we measure these things? Where to get the info?

Step 1 – How to Find Your Sales Numbers:

  1. Write down each offer you’ve sold this year in your business and the price point
  2. Write down the price point (or range) for each offer
  3. Find the total units sold of each offer (might be in your shopping cart, bookkeeping program, Paypal or Stripe or even through email tags depending on how you sold and delivered the offer)
  4. Find the total revenue from each offer (might be in your shopping cart, bookkeeping program, Paypal or Stripe or even through email tags depending on how you sold and delivered the offer)

Step 2 – How to Find Your Website Numbers:

  1. Check your Google Analytics or Built-In Website analytics (depending on what platform you’re using)
  2. Select the date range (go month by month)
  3. Total traffic = Sessions
  4. Unique traffic = Users
  5. Average time spent = Avg. session duration
  6. Bounce rate = Bounce rate
  7. Most popular pages: Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages (Grab the top pages, ignore auto-direct pages like thank you or confirmation pages)

And if you haven’t installed analytics and so don’t have these numbers – your job for today is just to get them installed so you can start tracking from now on.

Step 3 – How to Find Your Email Numbers:

  1. Go to your email service provider and to reports (the exact name and location of these reports will depend on which platform you’re using)
  2. Select the date range (go month by month)
  3. Grab total subscribers for each month
  4. New subscribers: Total monthly subscribers (minus) Previous month’s subscribers (You can do it this simple way or you can factor in monthly unsubscribes if you wish)
  5. # Emails sent – Look at your broadcasts (one-off emails) sent during the monthly time period
  6. Average open rate – Add up the open rates of emails sent within monthly time period and divide by the number of emails sent
  7. Average click rate – Add up the click rates of emails sent within monthly time period and divide by the number of emails sent
  8. Popular opt-in gifts – Review your forms, which opt-in gifts were most popular in that particular month?
  9. Average time spent = Avg. session duration

Step 4 – How to Find Your Social Numbers:

  1. Go to each social media platform and grab follower counts
  2. Go to Google analytics
  3. Go to Acquisition > Overview
  4. Select the date range (January 1st til present date)
  5. From the table in Acquisition Overview, click on social
  6. You’ll find your traffic from each social platform listed
  7. Jot down any trends or notes you have about each platform: How you use it, if something changed about your strategy (i.e. a particular campaign, a new tool, a new posting schedule, engagement)

Again if you haven’t installed analytics and so don’t have these numbers – your only job for this is to get Google Analytics set up and start establishing some benchmarks!

Tutorial – Setting Up A Google Analytics Dashboard

I hear from so many people that they find Google Analytics a little overwhelming. It’s such a powerful tool but with great power comes great confusion.

So I love helping people set up a custom dashboard so that they can find their numbers at a glance without having to go hunt to track down each one.

I’ve completed a little tutorial for you to walk you through setting up a custom dashboard (plus I have some dashboard data recipes) as a reference for you below:

Step 1 – Planning Your Dashboard:

What do you want to measure through Google Analytics? What are your relevant measurements?

I like to break them into categories:

  • Website (Total visits, users, traffic sources, bounce rate, time spent on site, pages per visit)
  • Content (Popular posts/pages,
  • Email list (# Sign-Ups, Sign-Up Sources)
  • Sales (Consult Calls, Purchase Product 1, Purchase Product 2, etc.)
  • Social media (Visitors from each, most popular pins)

Step 2 – Add These Metrics to Your Dashboard

Click on add widget. This will bring up widget settings. You’ll need to add a name, choose the type, select the metric and click save. I’ve created some recipes below for types of data to include.

Step 3 – Arrange your dashboard

Choose customize dashboard and pick the number of columns you’d like to add.

I usually go with 4 and arrange: Website, Content (Including Email Sign-Ups), Purchases and Consults, Social

Step 4 – Set up your monthly reports

In your dashboard:

  • Click Email
  • Enter Your Email Address
  • Enter the Subject (ie. Monthly Metrics (analytics))
  • Frequency – Monthly and Last Day
  • Send

Good luck setting up your dashboard and happy (data) hunting!

You Might Also Be Interested In These Posts

5 Questions to Know If You Have Enough Content

5 Questions to Know If You Have Enough Content

There comes a time in your content creation journey where you start to question whether you’ve already said everything there is to really say about your topics. Basically, do you have enough content?  One of the ways you’ll know you’re getting close is when you start...

An Alternative Exit Plan if Selling Isn’t an Option (Yet)

An Alternative Exit Plan if Selling Isn’t an Option (Yet)

Just the past week, I’ve seen 5(!) people announcing they’re quitting their businesses. One of them is transitioning to a full-time position. Another one is sort of influencing, sort of writing (or at least experimenting with both to see what happens).  And this week...

The Minimalist Content Strategy 2.0

The Minimalist Content Strategy 2.0

It’s been a few years since I first introduced the Minimalist Content System (read the post here). Here’s a quick recap: The Minimalist Content Strategy is based on creating a capsule content which is a collection of 12 core blog posts...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This