Most content management systems today can give you a huge variety of metrics regarding your business blog. But if you aren’t reviewing them, with an eye toward improvement, you are wasting the potential your chosen blog publishing platform provides.
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Take a day off from writing to dive into your blog’s metrics and analyze its performance to determine which topics, titles, and types of articles are working—or not working—for your audience. When you ignore this information, you are leaving valuable insights untapped.
Ignoring analytics is just one common business blogging blunder. Are you making any of the others? 15 Business Blogging Mistakes and Easy Fixes.
Here are eight metrics you should be tracking to foster continuous improvement of your business blog.
1. Monthly reach
Measuring the number of monthly visitors to your blog, as a whole, can give you a basic overview of its performance and total reach. Are your monthly numbers growing or stagnant? Where do those visitors come from? Compare traffic from social media links, search engines, direct traffic, email links and other channels.
If you publish daily, you may want to consider breaking down your traffic to small time frames, looking at weekly totals, rather than monthly, to narrow down differences from week to week.
2. Top keywords
Your inbound marketing software should be able to identify what keywords web visitors most frequently search that bring them to your blog. Compare them to the keywords you are targeting and determine if you need to include more content to address the most popular topics.
3. Blog subscribers
Keeping tabs on the number of subscribers to your blog, both via email and RSS, will give you an idea of how many readers value your information enough to opt-in and receive it on a regular basis. Monitor whether your numbers are growing steady, become stagnant, or if people are opting out of subscriptions, which would be an indicator your content is no longer meeting their needs.
4. Blog comments
Take time on a regular basis to review the comments your blog posts generate, both the quantity and the content. If your posts aren’t generating many comments, then you need to encourage additional engagement by asking questions within your posts.
The content of the comments, and which posts tend to generate the most interaction, can also provide clues to how to improve your blog posts in the future.
5. Page views
Compare the number of page views on individual blog posts. Are certain articles generating more views than others? What do they have in common that the less successful posts are missing? Consider headlines, topics, format (how-to, lists, Q&A), and how the posts are promoted on social media or in email.
6. Leads and conversion rate
While overall website traffic and individual page views are good indicators of how many people your business blog is bringing to your website, it is vital to remember that the ultimate goal in creating inbound marketing content such as a blog is to generate leads and encourage sales.
Track and review how many leads originate as blog visitors, which posts are most prolific in producing leads, and how many of your blog-originated leads go on to become customers.
7. Inbound links
How can you prove that your blog is a recognized voice of authority in your industry? Inbound links. When your readers link to your blog posts it gives you a three-way boost: tacit endorsement of your quality content, greater reach because your link has been shared by your readers, and improved search engine optimization due to the algorithms that reward quality inbound links with great search authority.
8. Social media shares
One specific type of inbound link that you can track also, is the number of social media shares your blog posts receive. Again, this is a good measure of your blog’s authority on your topics and the usefulness of your content. Readers tend to share things they find useful and interesting.
How often do you review your business blog’s analytics? Who do you involve in those reviews? And what changes has your marketing department made as a result?
Find ways to correct this and 14 more business blog blunders in our free ebook 15 Business Blogging Mistakes and Easy Fixes.