How do you measure the effectiveness of your digital copy? 

We asked how businesses measure the effectiveness of digital copy, and which metric is most useful. Ironically, the 2 answers often didn't match up...

 How do you measure the effectiveness of your digital copy? 

Which metrics matter? And which ones are you actually using?

In our recent survey of 365 content professionals about the State of Digital Copywriting, we asked how businesses measure the effectiveness of digital copy, and which metric is most useful. Ironically, the 2 answers often didn’t match up.

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of digital copy, we found:

  • most respondents use the number of page views or unique visits to measure copy
  • just under half of respondents focus on conversions to measure copy effectiveness
  • metrics in common use for copy are social media shares as well as anecdotal feedback such as from call centres
  • 1 in 5 of our respondents aren’t measuring copy at all

We believe measuring the success of a piece of copy is crucially important, but is often misunderstood. To see that page views and bounce rates are still some of the most commonly-used copy metrics could suggest that people don’t know how to effectively measure copy.

The relative importance given to social shares was interesting, too. Are people measuring Facebook likes and Twitter followers because they’re key to their business? Or because they’re metrics that are highly visible and easy to obtain? These are metrics that show the volume – but not necessarily the value, or engagement levels – of an audience.

Most surprising of all is how few of our survey respondents measure copy performance at all. After all, without supporting evidence it can be hard to build a strong internal business case for content investment.

Which content metrics matter?

Turning to the question of which metrics are most useful for measuring the success of a piece of copy, we found.

  • 41.5 per cent of our survey respondents say conversions 
  • approximately the same proportion (11 per cent to 16 per cent) of respondents indicate that page views, call-centre traffic reductions and social shares are most useful for copy measurement 
  • bounce rates are a useful copy metric for only 5.9 per cent of our respondents

Ultimately content needs to contribute to the bottom line and so quite rightly,conversion rates are considered the most useful content metric by most.

But some of the most commonly-used metrics are also some of the least useful. Lots of people measure page views and bounce rates, for instance – even though few actually consider these figures of any use…