Blogging is the heart of content marketing.
It’s how you get people’s attention and keep them coming back for more.
But it’s difficult to quantify and measure your success. There’s so many metrics, and they’re useless by themselves.
You should use blog metrics to give you clues and insight about your audience. And match them with stages of your sales funnel.
Here are 5 metrics to measure that will shed light on your blogging success.
First and foremost is traffic.
How many visitors are coming to your website? You want to measure this trend over time, from period to period.
Do you have a traffic generation strategy?
After creating great content, how are you going to promote it?
Remember that the first step is all about getting attention and awareness.
You need to have a promotion plan based on the three ways to attract customers.
And finally, think about where people find your content.
2. Traffic Sources
Monitoring your traffic sources will give you a wealth of information.
It will show you your strengths.
You can see the referral sources that are sending you most traffic, and which ones are underperforming. So you can focus more on the strong referral sources, and forget about the weak ones.
And it will shed light on your weaknessess.
Is your search traffic a substantial portion of your overall traffic? If not, then you might need to focus more on SEO.
Is direct traffic a large portion of your traffic sources? If so, it’s probably because your links aren’t tagged.
If your traffic reporting tool (like Google Analytics) can’t read where your link is coming from, then it defaults to “Direct”. That means your Direct traffic is actually overstated, while your SEO or social media efforts are understated.
Use Google’s URL builder to tag your links with more supplmental information.
3. Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate is one of the most important metrics you can track.
It’s usually measured in one of two ways.
- Visit only views 1 page and then exits
- Visit lasts less than 10 seconds.
Bounce rates for blogs will usually be higher than other websites.
People will first discover a blog through search engines or social media recommendations. But they’re looking for whatever that post or article is about. So if they find their answer, and aren’t interested in anything else you have to say, then they’ll bounce.
Whereas when people go to business websites, they’re looking specificially for that brand or solution. So they tend to stay on site much longer.
Try and keep your blog bounce rate below 65%.
It’s also interesting to look at how bounce rates compare by visitors from social media or search engines.
Your social media visitor’s should bounce much less. Social media visitors are more engaged with your brand and there’s a stronger contextual relationship.
Yet another intangible, hard-to-define benefit of your social media presence.
Next, you want to measure visitor retention.
Pages per visit tells you how many pages or posts each visitor looks at before leaving your blog.
This hints at visitor depth and retention.
Your pages per visit metric is also closely related to the bounce rate, and your overall pageviews.
So a blog with a higher bounce rate will have a lower overall Pages/Visit, and lower pageviews.
And a blog with a high Pages/Visit will have a more pageviews for each visitor.
This tells you how interested people are in your information. So try to keep it above 2.0 Pages/Visit over time.
5. Conversions to Subscribers
Finally, how many subscribers are you converting?
Subscribers are the lifeblood of a blog. And by subscribing to receive updates, they’re giving you the chance to build more trust with them.
This means you’ve moved people down another step of your sales funnel.
You’re builing a precious marketing asset, and you’ve been given permission to develop a relationship with them.
And you’re now one step away from your actual business goals.