You hear it constantly. Phrases like, “your website needs a good blog to generate traffic,” or “content marketing is king.” It’s simple enough to understand that blogging is important, but how do you know if what you’re doing is truly working? Tracking your blog growth is important because it will help you understand what’s working well for your blog and what areas need improvement.
Let’s break it down into separate steps to show you how you can track your blog growth efficiently:
Give it time to play out.
The success and effectiveness of a blog goes beyond just tracking how many page views a post has in the first couple of days it’s up. You need to go further. Blog success comes from benchmarking the cumulative data of its many posts over a span of weeks and months. In short, SEO takes time to show results.
Paying attention to metrics.
Before you start tracking numbers, determine what data is important. What’s the purpose of your blog? If it’s to drive email subscriptions, then signup clicks are your de-facto yardstick. If it’s measuring engagement for a certain topic, such as personal injury or bankruptcy law, tracking a host of data is likely to be important. Some of the most common success metrics for blogs include tracking:
- Overall sessions: How many people visit the blog?
- Session duration: How many people are reading your posts?
- Shares: Who thought the topic was engaging enough to share?
- Comments: Are people engaged enough to start a conversation?
- Cost: What’s cost to produce a post vs. its engagement?
Quantifying each of your blog posts against metrics like the ones listed above are going to put everything in terms of real numbers for you. This enables you to track single post performances or the overall engagement of a blog versus the time and effort you are putting into it
Pair metrics to method.
If you pay $50 for a blog post and it receives 20 page views and a single share, was it worth it? How about a blog post you paid $150 for that receives 100 page views, 10 shares and five comments?
It’s important to qualify the success of your blog by paying attention to the quantified metrics you’re tracking for it. For a boutique law firm in a small town, 20 page views may be well worth the expense. In a larger market, this might not cut it. Determine how much a page view, a share or a comment are worth to your firm and decide if the numbers you’re seeing are justified by the cost of a blog post—whether you’re outsourcing your content or writing them in-house.
Set SMART goals.
Setting goals is one thing—setting SMART goals is another. Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based goals are instrumental in the pursuit of blog success. Consider how your blog is performing, what metrics are important, what benchmarks are attainable, the purpose of posts and a timeframe for success. Then, set a goal.
Each time you publish a new blog post, ask yourself how it aligns with your SMART goal. You’ll keep your blog on track to higher levels of success and give yourself a way to measure the benefits of blogging in a way that makes sense.