Increase in brand awareness, or the extent to which consumers are familiar with your brand, is one of the most common content marketing business cases. Another way to think of this, is how many early-stage prospects are finding their way to your brand’s website?

We can measure brand awareness a few different ways:

  1. Paid vs. Organic Search Traffic: Search traffic your site receives from paid search advertisements versus traffic due to a high organic search ranking.
  2. Unbranded Organic Search Traffic: Search traffic your site receives from keywords that never mention your brand name or products.
  3. Organic Search Share of VoiceThe percentage of online conversations in your space that include your brand.

Let’s take a close look and see how to calculate each metric.

1. Paid vs. Organic Search Traffic

Because content marketing allows you to gain additional reach, engagement and conversion without having to pay for it, you can literally earn your audience’s attention versus buying it. To calculate the value of this, we want to compare how much we’re paying for traffic versus earning organically. This can be easily calculated via Google Analytics. First, go to:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Campaigns
  3. Organic Keywords

You’ll then see the keywords people have used to find your website. This will include the number of visits and percentage of overall visits you have received from each keyword. In this example, the site has received 359,953 visits from organic search traffic, totaling roughly 25% of overall traffic.

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Next, we want to see how much paid traffic we’re receiving. To find this, go to:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Campaigns
  3. Paid Keywords

For this example, let’s say we spend $100,000 on for 1,078,779 visits. Based on those numbers and percentages, we can calculate the value of that organic traffic. We can use the chart below to cross multiply and divide to find “x”. Keep in mind our total site traffic is 1,410,977 visits.

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Based on those calculations, we find that organic search traffic is worth $39,954. 

2. Unbranded Organic Search Traffic

Any visitor that searches your brand name already knows where they want to go. Unbranded organic search traffic is important to calculate because we want to know about the people who didn’t know where they would end up. They had a question or need, asked a search engine for direction, and that interaction brought the to you. IDC said it best with, “The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.”

To calculate unbranded organic search, we need to exclude your brand or products’ name from the search. To do this, create an “Advanced Filter” on your Google Analytics that will exclude those branded keywords. In this example, our brand and products contain the word, “Raspberry.”

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Let’s say the results showed that now with excluding branded keywords, your site’s organic search traffic accounts for 269,694 visits, or about 19% of total organic traffic. We go back to our table to calculate the value of this traffic.

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Based on those calculations, we find that organic unbranded search traffic is worth $24,100. 

3. Organic Search Share of Voice

Share of voice essentially measures how much your brand or product is talked about compared to your competitors.

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To calculate this, we first want to choose a group of words based around your brand’s product or service. When choosing your words, be sure to stay within a common theme. In general, it’s better for your SEO strategy to focus on a specific topic. Think narrow and deep, instead of broad and shallow. For this example, we’ll use a dance brand.

Keywords:

  • Dance Shoes
  • Dancing Shoes
  • Cheap Dance Shoes
  • Affordable Dance Shoes
  • Ballet Shoes

Next, choose your competition. Who do you want to compare your brand against? Be sure to know what URLs you’re wanting to track of your competitors. Some may use off-branded URLs for their content marketing efforts. For example, ConAgra’s content marketing is done on an off-brand site, Forkful, which provides time-saving kitchen tips and advice for cooking with kids.

Now, record the organic search rankings for each keyword you selected for yourself and your competitors. If you do rank, record in what position (Note: You can rank more than once). When doing this, keep in mind there is no point in looking at more than the top 10, because only 2% of users travel to the 2nd page of Google.

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Now that you have your rankings, we want to calculate your share of voice via average click through rates for each position. To do this we can use the 2014 Google Click Through Rates chart below.

google ctr

If you rank more than once, simply add the click through rates to find that keyword’s total share of voice. Now to find your overall share of voice, average the share of voice for all your keywords.

For this example, we calculate: 55.13 + 30.86 + 14.04 + 5.5 + 0 / 5 = 26.38

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Based on those calculations, we find that our share of voice is 26.38%. 

If there’s a gap between your market share and your share of voice, that means your competition is wooing your prospects before you!


If you don’t want to go through the manual trouble, there are a few tools that will help you calculate this:

Quick Sprout: Allows you to enter up to 3 competitor sites and get a ranking on key scores for each.

SEMrush: Offers free search analysis for your site and your competitors.

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