You probably spend a lot of time (and perhaps money) on writing and posting blogs. But how can you actually measure the success of your blogging and determine whether or not your content is resonating with your audience? Through monitoring certain metrics.
There are currently more than 600 million blogs on the Internet out of 1.7 billion websites, with the number of active bloggers estimated to hit 31.7 million this year in the U.S. alone.
With such a competitive online landscape, and the attention of our readers consistently pulled in every direction, it’s more important than ever to measure the results of your content and adjust accordingly.
The best place to look at metrics to measure the success of your blog post is through Google Analytics. This service is free and it provides valuable insights to help you better understand how interested your online audience is in your content.
When it comes to measuring the success of your blog posts, we recommend looking at the following metrics:
- Web traffic
- Onsite engagement
- Inbound links
Web traffic refers to overall traffic to the website. This is the most general of measurements.
There are five types of web traffic and we encourage you to take note of all of them.
- Direct traffic: the traffic coming in because a viewer entered your web address directly into the address bar of their web browser.
- Social media: the traffic that comes from social media, both from regular posts and from advertising or boosted posts.
- Organic traffic: the traffic coming in because a viewer entered a search term or question in the search bar on Google or another search engine. This is where your keywords come into play.
- Paid traffic: this includes traffic from any paid digital advertising.
- Referrals: the traffic that came in from an inbound link. We will discuss this further in the section below.
Where web traffic data is more general to the entire website, pageviews help you understand how many people are actually looking at a specific page or piece of content - the latter of which is the first step toward blog success.
Pageviews are an exceptional way to discover the number of people arriving on a page and whether or not they continue to look around your website.
Pageviews are divided into two categories:
- Unique pageviews
According to Google Analytics support site, a pageview (also referred to as a pageview hit or page tracking hit) occurs whenever a page is loaded or reloaded in a browser. It is the measure of how many times your content has been viewed. Even if the same person has viewed the page multiple times, it will be counted as a pageview.
A unique pageview, on the other hand, is the measure of sessions during which the specified page was viewed by a unique viewer. This metric eliminates repeated views by the same user, giving you the exact number of people who viewed your content.
And if you divide the number of pageviews by the number of unique pageviews, you’ll get the average number of times your content is viewed per session.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the pageview, the more popular the content. With that said, look at this statistic in conjunction with the other stats listed below to get a better understanding of how your content is doing.
Significant onsite engagement
Once people make their way to the website and find the page they’re looking for, how will you know if they are engaging with your content?
You do so by measuring these individuals’ next steps. Does the time they spend on your page reflect that they are fully reading the content? Do they click your call-to-action (CTA)? Do they click related articles?
Looking into engagement-related data can give you a deeper understanding of how valuable your content is to your audience. These measurements are less an indication of website optimization, social media, or paid advertising, and purely associated to the value of your content as it relates to the reader.
What defines a successful measurement:
- The average time a viewer spends on a blog post, an indication they are actually reading it. Though the time varies depending on the length, type, etc., the average time overall is two to three minutes.
- You should aim for a bounce rate (the number of people who visit your website and then immediately exit out of it) of 40% or less; if it’s above 50%, the reason could depend on a number of things. Bounce rate is partially related to the content itself but can also be related to the drivers of the traffic. People bounce because the content either wasn’t what they were looking for or it wasn’t compelling.
How many external sources are linking to your content?
It’s the highest compliment to you and your content when other websites, social media posts, or blogs are linking to your blog or website. These are called inbound links and they can show you just how much people value your content - and inherently you - for thought leadership.
You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Moz, or Hubspot to help you track who is linking to your site.
Now that you understand the importance of measuring the success of your blog post, and the best metrics to take note of, we invite you to learn how to actually create a content marketing strategy to get you the results you crave.
In our new Marketing Action Plan workshop, we will provide you and your team with the tools you need to begin your marketing strategy development or to ramp up your current efforts with your existing team and resources.
Find out more by clicking the button below!