Not everyone enjoys crunching numbers. In fact, many of us entered the marketing arena through a creative venue—writing, design, photography, videography, public speaking.
But it is in the numbers, in analyzing the metrics, that we find the hard facts about what does and does not work, whether the focus is on paid advertising, social media, promotional events or business blogging.
So, set aside your need for creativity for a bit and turn on the research side of your brain, then comb through these metrics from your business blog in order to find ways to maximize its effectiveness as a lead generation and lead nurturing tool.
Don’t stop with your business blog. Download our ebook, Unlock Your Marketing ROI with Analytics, to improve other aspects of your marketing strategy as well.
1. Individual post views
One of the most basic metrics you should be tracking is individual post views. This will help you identify which specific posts are generating the most traffic for your website.
Knowing which posts have gained the most views is a key to improving performance by improving your content. Break down your blog posts into groups by topic— which topics are most popular? Topics that receive more views should receive more emphasis as you plan your next blog calendar and other content to continue your lead nurturing campaigns.
Then, sort your blog posts based on the number of views and look for other trends in common characteristics such as:
Blog post structure or format (how-to, list, video, infographic, etc.)
The top formats and headline structures should be emphasized as you add to your blog moving forward.
2. Blog traffic and referral sources
Along with knowing which posts generate the most traffic, you need to know how readers find or arrive at your blog. Analyzing where the traffic comes from can help you improve content promotion and distribution. If you know where people are finding your blog, and where they aren’t, you can refocus your efforts.
Which of your social media networks is driving the most traffic? And does it come from sponsored (aka paid) promotions on those networks or from regular tweets, pins and status updates?
In order to track your referral sources, implement a closed loop marketing system that not only tracks where traffic comes from, but also traces the lifecycle of each customer. By looking at which channels generate not only traffic, but also actual customers, you can identify the behaviors you need to encourage in your leads and move them through the sales funnel.
3. Call-to-action performance
To improve your blog’s CTA performance, start by analyzing the click-through rate on your CTAs. If that performance isn’t up to your standards, consider one of these three ways of improving:
Create more compelling offers—Make sure your offer is something worth clicking and converting for.
Create offers that align more closely to blog posts—Using a CTA for an offer that isn’t relevant to the topic of the post isn’t likely to result in conversions.
Conduct an A/B test of the CTA copy and design—Try changing it up to be sure the copy is clear about the value of the offer, the CTA stands out, and the CTA matches the landing page headline.
4. Blog leads
Compare the number of leads generated by your blog to those generated by other channels. Knowing this can help you determine what your return on investment is for the time and resources devoted to publishing and maintaining a business blog. It can also help you pinpoint where to prioritize your marketing efforts for greater returns in the future.
5. Visitor-to-lead, visitor-to-customer and leads-into-customers conversion rates
Don’t stop at analyzing the number of leads generated by your blog. Just as you went beyond traffic and page views to leads, take your analysis further and follow leads through to see how many and which ones become customers.
Your blog’s visit to lead conversion rate shows how effective you are at converting blog traffic into leads. It can also point to which topics are most popular not just among readers, but among those readers most likely to become customers.
These figures can also illuminate other circumstances. Do you have low traffic, but a high conversion rate? Then you know you should put more effort into generating traffic to your blog and promoting it. (Check out our Blog Promotion Solutions here.) Among the steps you might want to take: increase content publishing frequency, target keywords that generate quality traffic, and amp up social media promotion efforts.
Now that you’ve examined the numbers to find the facts behind your business blog’s performance as a lead generation and sales tool, it’s time to get creative again. Put what you’ve learned about what is working to use as you plan your next inbound marketing and content strategy.
Of course, your blog analytics are only the beginning. Use the advice in Unlock Your Marketing ROI with Analytics to improve your landing pages, SEO, social media, email and lead nurturing efforts. Or learn more about how JONES and HubSpot make analyzing your metrics simple in JONES & HubSpot Analysis Solutions: The Data You Need to Know.