In order to measure your success as a blogger, you need to start measuring your blog metrics.
Of course you know what a blog is. But do you know what metrics are?
Metrics are the specific ways you measure the success of the strategies you have chosen to meet your goals.
An example I know you’ll love is weight loss. For most of us, the goal is usually to maintain or lose weight. To make the example very clear, I’ll talk about weight loss.
Weight Loss Metrics
Pounds is a metric you can use to measure whether you are successfully losing weight. It’s pretty easy, although not always fun, to see whether you have lost weight. All you have to do is step on the scale.
The world of blogging offers quite an array of complex metrics to find out whether our blogs are successful.
The first thing you need to do is sign up for Google Analytics. Click here for a helpful tutorial. This tutorial covers how to add analytics to both custom sites and WordPress sites.
Important Blog Metrics Definitions
In order for you to get started measuring success with blog metrics, you need to know definitions for some of the most common blog metrics.
- Unique visitors. This is the number of unduplicated people who come to your site. You want this number to be trending up.
- Repeat visitors. These are people who liked your site and came back again. Although we all love repeat visitors, this number should be around 15% of your total because the idea is to get new traffic.
- Traffic sources. There are three important kinds of traffic. They are:
- Direct. Direct traffic is people who typed in your URL. These are people who know you well enough to know your URL. That means they may be your husband or your mother. Not exactly hot leads for new purchases!
- Organic. Organic traffic comes from search terms (also known as keywords) people typed into their search boxes.
If this number is 40 to 50% that means you’ve optimized for search and people who need your service or product can find you.
- Referral. Referral traffic comes from other websites. This is also valuable because it brings new people to your site while building your site’s authority. You should be looking for 20 to 30% of your traffic from sources like other websites and social channels.
For blogs, it is especially important to know where your traffic is coming from because that will help guide your promotion efforts.
- Most/least popular pages. This information allows you to know where you need to be spending your time. Unpopular pages may not merit your time and energy or, if they are important (such as your home page), you may need to tweak the content to make it more inviting.
- Bounce rate. This is one of the few numbers that should be falling over time. You wouldn’t want people to knock on your door and then run, would you? If your bounce rate is high or climbing that means that people aren’t finding what they expected when they got to your site.
- Individual post views. Individual post views can tell you which topics you cover are most attractive to your audience. Or, they might tell you something seasonal — like if you do a post about Halloween in December, you just may find yourself getting fewer page views.
- Social Media Engagement. There are many interesting things for beginners to analyze among their social media channels. Here are some examples:
- Facebook “likes”
- Twitter retweets and @mentions
- Blog comments (don’t forget to respond to each one!) and
- YouTube video views
Many bloggers maintain opt-in subscriber lists for email newsletters. Here are some email marketing metrics:
- List growth rate. List growth rate is, of course, how fast your list is growing.
- Click Through Rate (CTR). CTR is how often people click on a link embedded in your email.
- Email sharing. Email sharing is how often people share the email with friends or through social channels.
- Conversion rate. Conversion rate measures how often people did something you wanted them to as a result of the email–such as clicking a link in an email to make a purchase.
As you start learning about blog metrics you will be surprised to find just how much information can be tracked and analyzed. Take some time to understand these blog metrics and apply them to your own blog.
Put what you learn into a spread sheet so that you can start to see how your results change over time. You may be surprised to find how small changes you make as a result of analyzing your blog metrics make big changes.
Now that you know more about measuring success with blog metrics, what will you do to make your blog even more successful?
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