If you’re wondering whether and how to track blog performance, let me ask you a question:
Would you drive a car without a dashboard or put your money in a bank if you couldn’t see your balance?
Not likely – right?
So why are you investing in a website, but not measuring and tracking results?
Of course, if you are measuring your results, please pat yourself on the back and go back to your spreadsheets.
If not…you really need to take 5 minutes and read this article.
Every day at BlogWorks we speak with wonderful, hard-working business owners who have a website and a blog. Almost all fail to measure results.
No numbers, no comparison of this month to last month—no way of knowing what’s working.
Meanwhile 78% (I just made that up) want to invest more money into their website so it will “perform better”!!
What if you knew how to track blog performance and could get basic feedback – without having to hire a pimply 21 year old or having to learn SEO?
Well, it is possible to measure your blog’s performance stats and do it quickly and easily.
Here’s 5 ways to get you started…
1. Dollars in the Bank
The most basic question to ask yourself is: does your blog put money in the bank? After all, you should be getting a return on your the investment you put into your blog.
The most obvious return on that investment is enquiries from prospects who read your blog:
- a prospect replies directly to the email you sent announcing your latest blog post.
- prospects are responding to an offer in your blog announcement.
When you email your blog to your list do you get a spike in traffic to your site (see Google Analytics below)? That spike in traffic can drive more attention to your product and services pages. This article will show you 7 ways to include a Call-To-Action in your blog posts.
2. Comments and Shares
This isn’t the most scientific measure of blog performance, but reader engagement is a sign to watch. On the most simplest level, more comments and social shares equates to performance of that post.
Let’s face it, we all have blog posts that miss the mark and complete winners that haul in half your traffic. More comments on one post is a positive sign, just as posts that get shared more mean your readers found value in your content.
We wrote about social sharing plugins that are free and easy to use in this article.
3. Growing your list
Your mailing list is one of the most powerful ways to reach your audience and boost blog performance. Even with the incredible power of social media, emails have more shelf life—an email might be opened, read and responded to days – even a week – after you send it.
So consider your list growing strategy. Do you have obvious opt-in invitations on your blog? Is the incentive to join your list working? Do you have a simple email sequence that is sent out automatically when someone joins your list? This article is all about adding call-to-actions to your blog.
As a speaker, I invite my audience to sign up for my blog. At a typical presentation 50-80% of the room complete a simple form to sign up. My blog becomes a way into those businesses. That’s a value I can measure.
4. How to Check your Numbers
The real data behind how your blog performs comes from Google Analytics. This is a must-do for anyone who wants to know how to track blog performance.
Once you log-in, set the date range for the last 30 days (top-right hand corner of display). The basic 3 numbers to pay attention to are:
- Users – this is the number of unique visitors (each person is counted once).
- Pages/Session – average number of pages per visit (session) indicates if readers are exploring your site.
- Avg. Session Duration – the higher this number, the better – you want readers to spend enough time to go from reading your blog to your “revenue pages.”
If you want to go a bit deeper (and impress your friends), set your dates to the last 30 days and then click “compare.” Now you can see how your site performance compares to the past 30 days.
It’s unlikely you’ll log into Analytics very often which is why we recommend it comes to you! In one minute you can set up Analytics to send you a simple dashboard report every month to help you track blog performance:
- Click “Share” (top right corner)
- In the pop-up window, enter your email address.
- Choose “Attachments” – PDF
- Choose “Frequency” – Monthly
- Click “I’m not a robot” > Send
5. Think long term
You have lots of marketing choices – always will. And one of the best marketing strategies is to create relevant, valuable unique content to attract prospects. That takes time.
With a little planning, some consistent effort and learning how to track blog performance, you can outdistance your competitors.
Blogging is not a bright-shiny-object you do for a week. It’s about thinking long-term and committing. The good news is, measuring your results results not only will let you know what’s working and what needs attention, but you’ll also get to enjoy watching your investment pay off.
Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more articles to help boost your blogging efforts: