How to Measure Your Blog’s Effectiveness
Writing a blog without measuring its performance among readers is like drifting in the high seas without a compass. There is a pretty good chance you will reach some land, but who guarantees it’s going to be the land you were heading to from the very beginning?
To avoid such outcome and to do effective blogging develop a list of blog metrics you are going to track. The total number of existing blog metrics can overwhelm you, but don’t worry, you don’t have to use all of them at once. Instead, we recommend to remember (in the best scenario) or to identify (in worse one) the goals for your blog. The blog metrics will then vary depending on your objectives.
In our article we’ll dig into the most common metrics you can use to check whether you are writing an effective blog.
Most common blog metrics to assess performance
The first metric to identify is the number of visitors that come to your blog. It represents the people who come to read the content you produce. Page views is another name for this metric.
You can study the overall number of visitors or concentrate on every single article you have. This way you’ll be able to see the trends and understand the type of content that your audience enjoys reading. Look at the best-performing articles. Do they have something in common? Is it the subject? The style? Are they all short? Or long, maybe? It’s a great point to start the assessment of your blog’s content or develop a more successful content strategy.
The other useful metric to look at is the number of unique visitors. What is that and how does it differ from page views in terms of its usefulness for you? Well, page views number represents all the loads of a page, while unique visitors determine how many users accessed a page, using different IPs. Thus it doesn’t matter how many times one single user have visited a page with the same device, it only counts once.
Which one is more important depends on your blogging objectives. If you place ads on your blog then page views will be a defining factor of your income. At the same time, unique visitors rate shows more or less real size of your audience.
If you’ve decided to blog for business then leads are going to be another factor to keep an eye on. Lead generation doesn’t always give you a hint on how to blog more effectively but it’s a process that fuels the development and growth of your business and you should spend some time learning how to evaluate it.
When you’re looking at your leads, it’s equally important to assess the general number of leads you are getting and the visitors-to-leads conversion rate. Nonetheless, avoid making any assumptions or decisions based solely on one kind of statistics.
For example, if you see that your blog demonstrates a rather low visitors or views rate, you may consider it as a failure. However, it can be so that the conversion rate for this post is quite satisfactory. Then you’d better spend more time promoting or optimizing this particular blog post for better results.
Another factor that signals whether you demonstrate effective blog writing is the number of people who decide to subscribe to your newsletter. You may use email or RSS subscription for this.
If your subscribers’ base is increasing steadily it means your content provides some value for people and they really want to stay tuned. On the contrary, when you notice that the number of subscribers stays the same or even decreases, that’s a sure sign something is wrong. Reasons can be different starting with the deterioration of the content, new unfriendly design or excessive ads.
Your subscribers are your true supporters that can help you spread the content you produce, so value them and take them into consideration when assessing the effectiveness of your blog.
Truly significant blog metric when it comes to understanding whether you’re writing an effective blog. Why are backlinks important?
First of all, they show that someone out there liked your piece of content so much that he decided to share it with the world by placing a link back to your website.
Secondly, these links can boost your traffic by bringing new unique visitors to your blog and, eventually, new subscribers (if you manage to constantly produce relevant content).
Lastly, backlinks possess the power to determine the website’s position in search engine results as the more quality backlinks the website gets, the better are its chances to rank higher.
All these factors support the idea that you should track backlinks number to understand how to blog effectively and produce the content that readers will prize and value.
Social Media Shares
Social networks aren’t always the best source for testing long-term strategies, but they can show great results in a short run, for each separate article.
If your blog provides a possibility for social shares (and it definitely should) you have a chance to get an exposure to a large audience in case your content is good and of high quality. Always compare the data of social shares you’ve got with the data of fresh traffic coming to your blog. Assess whether social networks work for you as a promotion channel and help you reach out to a bigger number of people in comparison with other traffic sources.
As any other blog metric social media shares should be used consistently to allow you track the performance of your blog over time, one single number doesn’t explain to you how to write an effective blog.
This is probably one of the most expressive blog metric demonstrating the success of your blogging activity. Think about the last time you commented on a blog post – it must have been an extremely engaging piece of writing that forced you to spend some valuable time to write a response.
Unlike other interaction indicators, comments not only evaluate the numerical level of audience engagement but also allow you to find out what exactly the readers enjoyed about it. Even if you see criticism from some of the readers, consider it a piece of advice for your content’s future improvement.
You may not always use CTAs in your personal blog, but having them on your company blog makes perfect sense. And that’s why:
- They help readers stay longer on your site
- They improve internal linking (if your CTAs are the buttons promoting related articles on your blog, for example)
- They help convert readers into leads
Add several concise CTAs and track their performance. You may notice that some work better than others and it will help you identify useful content, see readers circle of interest and preferences.
What to do with the metrics you’ve got?
Having all these numbers in your hands is one thing. Using them reasonably to work on your content and doing more effective blogging is totally different. Your further actions will be inseparable from the objectives you have set for the blog, website or business.
Let’s invent a situation.
You happen to have a well-written blog post that performed rather well on social networks. It brought you 20 unique visitors from LinkedIn and 50 unique visitors from Facebook. Obviously, Facebook is a much stronger promotion channel in this case. What can you do next?
Example 1. You need new subscribers. Place a subscription form in the form of CTA on that post and promote it generally on Facebook.
Example 2. You need more leads. Finish the post with the list of your social profiles.
Example 3. You need more traffic to your blog. Suggest some related articles at the end of the post.
At the end of the day, effective blogging comes down to creating valuable content, measuring its performance and doing more of things that work. Implement blog metrics in your content assessment process, find out what your readers want and learn how to give it to them in the most appropriate form. You may not need all of the metrics we’ve mentioned in this post. Figure out the most significant components of your blog’s success, use them and track continuously to improve the results you get from blogging.