Measuring your progress is extremely important.
Fortunately, the internet makes that easy. You have access to literally every single statistic about your blog or marketing effort.
But that’s also the problem. There’s just too much stuff. How do you make sense of it all?
Here’s what I measure, and the tools I use to keep track of everything.
Website Traffic & Usage Data
Google Analytics is a great, free product. It gives you a tremendous amount of performance data.
But it’s really good at reporting basic performance data (i.e Visits, Pageviews, Bounces, etc.) and website traffic information.
“Usage data” gives you a good overview of how your website is doing. And when you give these metrics some context, they will give you insight into your blogging success.
Your traffic data breaks down into direct, search engines, and referrals.
When you think about how to reach customers, it’s basically these same three ways. You can get traffic from existing websites you own, through search (SEO), and referrals from other communities (social media).
(You can also advertise. But that’s a story for another day.)
They’ve recently improved how you can set up, track, and measure sales funnels and events. But I use something else for that…
Conversions are the most important element you want to track.
Because real conversions give you tangible events or actions. Examples include people subscribing to your email list, or making a purchase.
The best tool for this is Spring Metrics. It’s simple to install and easy to understand.
You can also drill down into the details of individual conversions. For example, I can see exactly what pages someone read before they converted to a subscriber or buyer. That helps tremendously to know what they’re interested in, and which pages are converting the highest.
User Actions & Behavior
Finally, you must measure how your users interact with your website.
Use CrazyEgg to monitor where people click on your site, how far they scroll down a page, and more.
You can also segment users. This helps you figure out how people from Facebook interact differently than people who come from search engines.
Now you can make changes based on real user behavior.
People don’t always make rational decisions. So you can’t ask people what they like or don’t like. Using CrazyEgg, you can see how users act and make changes accordingly.
So don’t get overwhelmed with measuring everything. Just focus on what matters to your website or blog success, and forget about everything else.