free content marketing tools

4 Free Tools to Measure Content Effectiveness

You’re publishing content, but do you know how effective it is? From Buzzsumo to Google Analytics, inbound and content marketing experts have put out dozens of research tools to measure its effectiveness. These are four of our favorite ways to measure content.

By C&EN Media Group

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Content marketing is an outstanding way to connect with your audience and add value before the point of sale. By cultivating a relationship and becoming the go-to resource for all things related to your industry, you can build trust and stand out in the minds of potential customers.

But how can you be sure that your content is making this impact? There are over two million posts published every day—on WordPress alone. That says nothing of content published on other platforms, which includes the 400 hours of video uploaded on YouTube each minute and the 95 million photos published daily on Instagram.

It’s difficult to stand out from the noise. A report from Forrester Marketing states that 50 percent of B2B content marketing goes unread. Research from Buzzsumo shows that 50 percent of all content gets fewer than eight shares, and 75 percent gets no links. The majority of content marketing is ineffective.

How do you fix this? To stand out, you need to be able to measure your content and make adjustments based on the data you get back. This is the only way to determine whether your content is connecting with your audience – or languishing in a dark corner of the internet. Enter the tools to make that measurement possible.We’ve compiled four free resources that help you measure the effectiveness of your content.

Tool 1: Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is an online tool that measures social media shares for content. If you’ve ever wondered which of your content gets shared the most or wanted to find the top performing content in your industry, Buzzsumo can provide some answers.

The free version of Buzzsumo has three key uses: measuring your own content, measuring your competitors’ content, and measuring industry content.

Buzzsumo allows you to search for shares on topics, websites, or individual posts. If you wanted to know the most popular articles on content marketing, you would simply search “content marketing” and receive the following output.

The results page is similar for other searches. Entering a website will return the most shared content on that site, and entering the URL of a specific post will show you the shares on just that post.

Seeing the most popular posts on your website, or your competitors’ sites, can help you adjust your content marketing and repeat successes.

Tool 2: MozBar

Moz is known as a key thought leader in search engine optimization, and their paid platform provides valuable insight during keyword research and content measurement.

But their free services provide value as well. MozBar, a browser extension, allows you to access insights for individual web pages and search engine results pages.

On an individual page, MozBar will tell you “page authority,” a measure of that page’s ability to rank in search engines based on the number of links it receives, the domain it’s under, and other ranking factors. This number, alongside information about number of links to the page, allows you to determine whether your content has a high probability of ranking in search engines.

In addition to providing on-page information, MozBar can be used to identify the opportunity to rank in search engines. On a search engine results page (SERP), MozBar shows you the page authority, domain authority, and number of links for every page that ranks. This information can help you determine whether it’s worth investing resources into SEO for a specific term, as well as help you improve the performance of your content that ranks low on the first or second page of results.

Tool 3: Buffer

Buffer is a social media scheduler, but its analytics features can provide key insights that help your content distribution.

Given the amount of content that goes unread, distribution is a critical component of the content marketing process. By optimizing social media and post headlines, you can improve content distribution and improve readership.

Individual social media platforms provide some analytics information to account owners. Buffer can supplement this information by showing overall performance and performance across networks, as well as by sorting your posts by performance.

The ability to sort by performance allows you to identify trends in your work. What kinds of posts perform best for your audience? Which headlines are most effective? Are there differences in the kinds of posts that generate strong reach versus strong engagement?

Content production is the foundation of content marketing, but cannot guarantee success on its own

Analytics from Buffer can help answer these questions and improve content performance.

Tool 4: Google Analytics

It’s impossible to discuss content measurement without mentioning Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is the premier website measurement service, and provides deep insights and data regarding activity on your website. For those who may just be getting started with the service, with Google Analytics, you can see:

– The number of visitors to your site—and where they come from
– How long users spent on specific pages
– What users click on, including subscription and purchase tracking
– How many pages users tend to view on your site, and which pages connect to each other
– Which pages visitors leave from

What’s more, Google Analytics provides these insights over time, allowing you to view trends and make measurable adjustments to improve performance.


It’s worth a refresher for even more advanced Google Analytics’ users: If visitors are reading your content for a long time without subscribing, you can try to adjust your opt-in forms. If they are leaving your website after only one page, you can include links to other relevant content. If they click to your site but leave quickly, consider changing your headline or reformatting content to make it more user-friendly.

The insights generated by Google Analytics are unparalleled, and can inform content distribution and production.

In the end….

Content production is the foundation of content marketing, but cannot guarantee success on its own. To ensure effectiveness, content must be measured and tweaked often to provide maximum value to your audience. Measuring content marketing effectiveness can be difficult, but these four tools make it easier.

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