Having a blog is essential to boosting SEO and increasing leads or sales. On average, companies that have blogs generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
The key to a great business blog is to create valuable content that is relevant to your target audiences. To ensure measurable results, you need to find out what you’re doing right and what can be improved upon.
To measure the success of your blog efforts, Google Analytics offers a tremendous amount of insight. You’ll get basic data on total traffic, new versus returning visitors, the length of time on site, bounce rate, sources that drive traffic, specific referrals, the physical location of visitors – and that just scratches the surface.
To start, here are some specific metrics to concentrate on to analyze the success of your blog efforts:
Short Term and Long Term Traffic
When you first promote a new post through social media or automated emails, there will be a spike in traffic. Annotate those dates in Google Analytics Overview so you can reference them going forward. Compare the short term traffic spikes to that of other posts, look at the similarities between the posts that are performing the best. This is what’s resonating with your audience.
You don’t have to stop pushing blog posts once you have new content. We actually suggest continuing efforts to drive traffic to old posts as time goes on. Push it again on social media, repurpose your content or link back to old posts in new posts – and you’ll see a more continuous rise in traffic. Also look at whether or not individual posts are driving organic search traffic over time, as that will indicate that your posts are increasing in position on the Google search engine results pages.
Unique and Returning Visits
Unique visits is a measurement of how many individuals are getting to your site and actually seeing your content. If your number of uniques is low, try other ways to reach new people via social media, email marketing, affiliate relationships, news outlets, and so on. A high percentage of new visitors, on a per post basis, shows that your promotional efforts are becoming successful. Your percentage of returning visitors helps you understand the quality of your content. If this number is high, readers are finding your content appealing and feel that is has value, so they return.
Your site’s bounce rate is another metric that holds value when analyzing the success of your blog. The bounce rate indicates the percentage of people that visit your site and leave without taking any action. Compare your blog post visits with your bounce rate; if there is a lot of traffic, but a high percentage of bounces, that would indicate that the topic might be right for your audience, but the content itself and/or the design needs some help.
People determine whether or not they will take your content seriously by the professionalism, design, layout and overall credibility of your website within a few seconds. If visitors are staying on the post pages for a long time, that likely means they’re engaged and reading your content actively.
Within Google Analytics, you can see how much traffic your blog posts are driving from social media referrals. You can also see the social engagement of your posts (shares, likes, retweets, mentions, etc.). These are great indicators of engagement and visibility. Comments are also a valuable resource when it comes to gauging your blogging efforts. What are people saying about your content? And more importantly, are you continuing the conversation by answering their questions, diving a little deeper, or thanking visitors for neutral or positive comments?
Knowing this information about your blog content and your audience’s behavior will help you strategize when creating content and promoting that content. Understand what topics drive traffic – and what visitors do after they read your posts – will help reach your goals.
If you’re looking to really understand how these metrics can help increase your bottom line, we can interpret your site’s data. At Liqui-Site, we work with our clients to fix what’s not working and to get more leverage out of existing content that is driving traffic. Contact us to schedule a consultation with our experienced digital marketing team.