I'm developing a content strategy for a website. I'm at the point where I need to create a few KPIs to measure the value of the content (relating to the organization and the content strategy). One of the more common suggested KPIs is "website visits", but I feel this can be very misleading:

  • It's pretty difficult to tie a such a simply stated KPI stated like this back to a goal of an organization, unless one of their goals is to inform as many people as possible.
  • Even still, page visits can't tell the entire story. A user could visit the page and immediately close it or open the page in a new background tab and never read it before closing their browser.

Are there any research articles or guidelines that discuss how a page visit could be classified as simply a "page visit" vs maybe a more valuable KPI, possibly a "page read?"

I realize there are many external factors that could influence whether or not content on a page was actually read, that's why I'm hoping there are guidelines or rules of thumbs, even if they aren't rock-solid ways to always measure a "page read" 100& of the time.

  • 1
    Great question. UX practitioners sometimes treat content as the forgotten stepchild. We don"t see too many questions about content on this site, but without content, where would we be?
    – JeromeR
    Oct 24, 2015 at 23:50

3 Answers 3


You are spot on that a mere page visit doesn't give much insights. The easiest solution is to provide a mechanism to capture feedback/rating from the user. Tie the page visits and feedback/ratings together to make a meaningful KPI.

Not everyone rates an article so you need to figure other ways. May be a scroll down to most of the content, signifying a user reading it could add to its relevancy rather just landing on the content.


Here are metrics you can use for content:

  1. time on page
  2. repeat visit (if your content is good, people will use you as a source of knowledge, it may not work at the page level, but at the site level it should)
  3. explicit feedback (bug reports, ratings, etc.) StackExchange uses views, answers, and votes. I would recommend having various mechanisms for each type of explicit action (report bug, suggest improvement, ask question, etc)
  4. activity on page (clicks, select, copy paste). If people like your content, they are more likely to engage with it.
  5. Cursor movement: there is research demonstrating that there is a correlation between cursor movement and eye gaze [Huang et al. 2012]

[Huang et al. 2012] Jeff Huang, Ryen W. White, Georg Buscher, User See, User Point: Gaze and Cursor Alignment in Web Search in proc. of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012), 2012, available at http://jeffhuang.com/Final_GazeCursor_CHI12.pdf


My first thought is that you may be asking the wrong question. IMHO, the value of content is meaningless unless it helps achieve a business goal. There must be some business goal tied to having valuable content, once you understand the business goal, it may be possible to create a KPI to measure success/failure towards achieving that goal. As an example, a company may want to reach more people, engagement might be one way to measure reach. If you want more content engagement, you might conclude that content with greater value is more likely to be shared, therefore, you measure shares through email or social media. Once you see which content is shared you may discover a trend in the types of content that is perceived as having value to customers/visitors and may offer more opportunity for increasing reach for the business. You may be able to compare existing customer shares vs non customer shares vs the type and/or intent of content being shared.

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