Managing a business business blog? You probably know by now what a commitment you signed up for! Google wants fresh content, and it wants it right now. So if you aren’t churning these bad boys out on the regular, you will likely find yourself falling behind the curve. Not good in the days of digital marketing (i.e. these days).
More optimistically, consistent blogging is highly rewarding in terms of returns on investment. And how do you monitor your ROI? Analytics! Here are some of the most important metrics you ought to track using the analytics platform of your choice (for most people, that means Google Analytics).
1) Overall Blog Visits
In other words, how many visits does your blog rake in in a given period of time? Tracking this on a monthly basis will give you a good sense of whether you’re growing traffic to your blog over time and insight into monthly trends. For example, is January typically a strong month for your blog? Are there certain months in which your blog’s performance is particularly sub-par? Picking up on these trends allows you to plan your strategy differently for months you know are known to be challenging.
2) Average Time on Site (TOS)
Because more people are online than ever before, it’s more important than ever to present your site in a way that won’t bog down their browsing experience. Knowing how long people spend on your site (the average for your specific blog, say) allows you to make better content choices based on that information, e.g., “Is the content really only appropriate for readers who click through within the first 15 minutes?”
3) Bounce Rate
Another simple but effective metric to track is the bounce rate. It’s the percentage of visitors who leave after a single visit. If your site is high for this metric (meaning it’s a pain point), you should consider making your site a little more interactive — in other words, try adding links or buttons that could potentially encourage more visits (a higher bounce rate means more time spent browsing for a good reason). But if your site isn’t high for this metric, you can be more efficient by using a landing page for every single blog post (I talk about landing pages a little further down the page).
4) New Blog Adversaries
If your website (or social media channels, or whatever your content is all about) isn’t regularly getting attacked by malicious hackers, you might be missing out on a lot of potential revenue (or possibly your blog’s entire existence). Monitoring the number of new problems that come up on your site on a weekly basis will provide insight into any patterns that could lead to a malicious hack.
5) Average Amount of Visitors Per Hour
When looking at different metrics, you can often tell a lot about the different pieces of your content. For example, if you’ve written a handful of posts lately about raising and selling pigeons, the average number of visitors per hour will provide insight into how well your content is doing, which would allow you to make adjustments.
6) Average Time on Site per Unique User
You probably have a ton of unique users visiting your blog every month. That’s great! But knowing the average amount of time these users spend on your site each day, week, and month allows you to make decisions around where you should focus your effort. For example, maybe people who visit your blog on the weekend tend to spend more time on your site than people who visit your blog during the week. This information will allow you to make better SEO and marketing decisions, because it will let you know where to direct your time, money, and energy for maximum results.
7) Search Traffic
Whether you’re using Google Analytics or another tracking system, keeping tabs on the traffic you’re generating from search engines is extremely important. Knowing your rankings (which can be seen in the natural search results on Google or in the paid search results on Bing) and your keyword rankings will help you be more specific and targeted when it comes time to write a new blog post or launch a new marketing campaign.
8) Social Media Engagement
As a content marketer, social media is an excellent way to generate both leads and sales for your products and services. And while you probably want to post and share things on your social media pages for your own personal enjoyment, it’s also important to remember that your social media followers, or more specifically, your followers’ social media followers, are often the first to hear about new content you publish. In other words, get your content out there, and you’ll be glad you did.