You’ve been keeping a blog for your small business, and you feel like your content is interesting and engaging, but how can you measure how effective this time investment is for your business? Keeping track of key metrics using the right methods is a great way to identify ways to improve the reach and performance of your blog, and ensure you are getting a good return on investment for your blogging efforts.
To start with, it’s a good idea to identify what your aim is: what do you want to achieve through your blog posts? Some examples of this could be:
- Drive more traffic to your website through search engine optimisation
- Raise the profile of your business
- Engage with your current customer base
- Gain new customers through interest and trust
- Learn more about what your customers want
- Share and gain expertise in your area
Depending on what your aim is, there are a variety of ways to keep track of how effective your blog is at achieving this.
Google Analytics is a great, free tool to keep an eye on the natural growth of your blog. Monitor the number of visits to your blog and the average visits for each individual post to see if any content got a particularly high number of visits, this way you can learn what kind of content your readers are interested in and focus more on sharing this. Through Google Analytics, you can also monitor the sources of this traffic: which social media sites are most effective at promoting your content? This will enable you to focus on promoting your blog through these sites, and stop wasting time on those that don’t bring you any traffic. Keywords are another area to keep an eye on, by monitoring what people are searching for to find your blog you can utilise these words within new posts in order to gain more views. You can also monitor the click-throughs for your call to action: a link to your business’s products or services, and how many of the blog readers are following up on this, which is a real measure of the success of the blog for your business rather than for its content.
This is an important metric to keep track of, and is usually much higher for blogs than other kinds of web pages. It is usually measured in one of two ways:
- User visits for 10 seconds or less
- User visits one page and then leaves
If a user discovers your blog post through a search engine, they will read the page that they are directed to and usually once they have found the information they are searching for, will exit. When users are visiting the site of a business, they will generally be looking for that business specifically and are therefore more likely to spend time looking around the site. It is suggested by this source that a bounce rate of below 65% should be aimed for, however this is easier said than done as you can’t directly control what people want to read! Visitors that find your blog through social media are likely to remain on the site for longer, as they are usually more engaged with your business: although this is intangible and difficult to define. Reducing your bounce rate is clearly beneficial as it means that visitors are more interested in your content, so perhaps if your rate is very high you should consider thinking about what you are posting.
One of the biggest measures of the success of a blog, and the biggest benefits to a business running one, are the real conversations that are happening with their customers (Briffet & Ruebke, 2013). A key measure of this is the number of subscribers, comments and shares that your blog posts are having, and ensuring that your business is responding to those comments and providing real value to your customers: both current and future.
Overall, there are many metrics you can monitor to check your blog is achieving what you want it to achieve, and these should be utilised in order to improve your content and to increase the number of leads you are getting through the blog post. It is important to consider your metrics against the time, effort and funding put into the blog, and ensure that you are getting a good return on investment (Davis & Crawford, 2011).
Read more here:
How to measure the success of your business blog
Social media measurement tools
How effective is your blog?