Putting up great content without tracking its progress through certain time-tested metrics is akin to driving fast to nowhere. Metrics tell you what’s working and what’s not. With this information you can steer your blog towards achieving your blogging objective.
Here is a list of the truly important blogging metrics you should track –
- The number of visitors – If you track nothing else, you need to track this. The number of visitors can be further sub-divided into other insightful categories. These include number of new visitors, number of repeat visitors, ratio of the two, and location of visitors. Each of the above metrics enables you to better target your visitors with content designed specifically for that category. You can write custom content designed to inform, capture leads, or sell.
- Visitor origin – Visitors can arrive on your site from search engines or as referral traffic, either paid or unpaid. This information informs you on how well your social media strategy is working and the platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – that are sending you traffic. Are blogs linking to your content? If they are you can reach out to them and explore beneficial associations like ads, a project, cross-promotion, etc.
- Keywords – Your choice of keywords is a huge driver of results for your business blog. Keep track of the keywords that are driving traffic, the ones that are ranking high. These indicate that you have chosen your sub-niche correctly. Develop more content based on these keywords. Find out the keywords that could do well with a little push, the ones that appear on the second page of the SERPs. Work on these keywords by creating quality articles around these.
- Type of content – What kind of content do your visitors respond to? Is it how-to articles? Infographics? Videos? Podcasts? You can also research successful content in terms of visitor origin. Visual media works great with social media, but your audience will also be in need of informational articles, looking up sources on search engines. Always be on the lookout for a sudden increase in traffic. Find out what led to it? Try a well-timed post coinciding with an occasion or content that went viral? Try to ride that wave.
- SEO – How optimized is your blog for the search engines? How long does a page take to load? Are you tagging your posts correctly? Do the meta data, post title, and content carry the appropriate keywords? Are the images relevant and properly tagged? Pay special attention to inbound links. These inform you about the quality of third party referrers. Good one-way links are a powerful endorsement that you can use in a number of ways. For instance, you can approach influential blogs linking to your site to endorse your skills on LinkedIn.
- Navigation path – What does a visitor do upon arriving at your blog? Which pages encourage further exploration and which pages reflect a high bounce rate? There are learnings here about the quality of your content and also a good internal linking policy to follow.
- Mobile devices – Mobile traffic deserves special consideration. Your website should be optimized for both tablets and smartphones. You need a responsive web design to ensure a mobile-friendly website. Check what the browsing experience is on mobile devices, not just by device type – smartphones and tablets – but also by brand.
- PPC – If you’re running a PPC campaign you should be tracking the performance of your ads. Which keywords are doing well? Is your geo-targeting spot on? What about the performance of the landing pages, are they converting? How effective is the call to action? Try using a split A/B test to find out what’s working.
- Cost – There’s a cost attached with running a business blog and you need to measure costs in order to control and assess your ROI correctly. What is the cost of creating content and marketing it? Have you employed a third party for marketing, PPC, and SEO? Are the leads and sales generated by the blog enough to justify the cost, now and in the future?
Blogging is an effective way to increase your SEO, establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase leads and generate sales. Keeping track of results and how they affect your bottom is just as important as publishing the blogs themselves. If you keep that in mind, you increase your chances of having good things happen.