Your blog is published. You’re writing content and promoting it. Is it working? The only what to know is to create a measurement plan and implement an analytics tool or marketing automation platform. Use your data to refine your blog traffic strategy and make blogging improvements.
There are several different programs to choose from, but the most popular/familiar is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free platform that offers very comprehensive reports on website performance. The really nice thing about Google Analytics — other than being free — is that there are lots of tutorials, videos, and posts out there to help you learn to use the program. You can also hire a certified Google Analytics expert to setup and manage your account.
What Are Your Most Important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Your Blog?
Your analytics program will help you understand how much traffic your site is getting and where that traffic is coming from (the traffic “source”). This specific set of metrics can help you understand how successful your various promotional efforts are. If you notice that a particular guest blog source isn’t driving much traffic, you may consider replacing it with another for example. You may notice that blog posts that you promote with special teaser videos through Facebook gain more visits than those you promote with only static images.
Bonus: an easy way to test and record situations like the Facebook example above is to use the Google Campaign URL Builder. Here’s a screenshot where I used the “Campaign Content” field to specify that I promoted this specific blog post on Facebook using an image. I then created another URL for promoting my blog post by posting a video with a link. I then created a simple custom report that helps me track which Facebook post type is driving the most traffic. Easy!
An analytics program may also tell you how your blog is performing in terms of keywords, but for the most part you will see a lot of (not provided) instead of actual keywords. One way “sort of” around this with Google Analytics is to link your Google Webmaster Tools. This will give you insights into which keyword queries are getting you impressions and clicks for your site. You just can’t tie those queries back to a specific piece of content unfortunately.
Google Analytics and most other analytics or marketing automation platforms can give you a wealth of other information about who’s visiting your blog and what they’re doing there. You should be able to see insights on:
- geographic region
- the device or operating system (OS) visitors use
- whether new or repeat visitors are visiting
- which pages are being viewed
- goal conversions
- specific visitor names at times with marketing automation tools
Google Analytics and other analytics programs give you a tremendous amount of information, but not all of it will be useful for you. Create your measurement plan, understand your objectives, then implement your solution.
Explore your Analytics and the statistics that are available to you. If you don’t already have your blog set up with Google Analytics, read the instructions for setting it up. Most blogging platforms will have a place in the theme to add your analytics code, or there are Google Analytics plugins to help.
Identify which key statistics you’ll track to maximize your blog results
Review your analytics every week or so to see where you can adjust your traffic and content tactics.