The final step in creating an effective blog for your business is measurement. You must measure your blog. First, you want to consider your goals. What do you hope to get out of your blogging? Here are some examples: lead generation, brand awareness, maybe you want to increase your social followers, you wanna search engine to optimize for specific terms, inbound links, and thought leadership. These are just a selection of specific goals you might wanna consider when it comes to measurement.
But before you delve into actually measuring each of the posts in the blog itself, definitely write down what these goals are.
1# Google Analytics: Overview
Google Analytics is actually a great place to start when it comes to measuring your blog performance. The first thing you wanna look at is your overall Audience Overview. You can set Google Analytics to look at any time frame you want, a day, a week, months, a year. In the overview, you are looking at sessions, a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given frame.
For example, a single session can contain multiple screens or page views, events, interactions, or transactions. You are also looking at users, how many people come to your site, page views, how many pages were viewed, and you can also look at new visitor versus returning visitor. This is where you can really see growth over time in regards to traffic. So your overview page is certainly a metric that you wanna continue looking at over time.
2# Google Analytics: Content
The next thing to look at in Google Analytics is the content.
This tab shows you your best-performing blogs. You can see here if you have an old blog that is performing really well, and this can actually help shape your content strategy. Here you are looking at page views, unique page views, average time on page, and bounce rate. The average time on page is an interesting metric since it will show you how long people are actually staying to read your content. If it is over two minutes, people are probably reading most of your post, or at least skimming it. But if it's under a minute, you know the post isn't very interesting or that you really have to work on your content.
3# Google Analytics: Referring Sources
Another interesting metric you can look at in Google Analytics is referring sources. Through this metric, you can see where people are learning about your blog, and how are they are getting there. In this example you can see that most people find this blog from social networks, Twitter and Facebook being the top sources. So this is a great metric for your promotion strategy because you know where your promotion is working best. And if you see that Twitter and Facebook are your best-performing referral sources, make sure that you're posting more, and make sure that you're putting some of that paid promotion behind some of your blog posts there.
4# Lead Generation: Subscriptions
You also wanna look at subscriptions to see how many leads you are actually generating through your blog, especially if lead generation is a goal, and I definitely believe that it should be, particularly for B2B. So this is a critical metric to track. You can do this in a marketing automation tool. This is a screenshot from Marketo, and we can see that this particular blog has generated 3,299 leads since it was created in October 2014. So these are generally your subscription areas where somebody can put in their email address or contact information, this is where those leads will ultimately show up.
5# Social Sharing
Social sharing is another extremely important metric when it comes to your blog. You wanna know how interesting are these blog posts for your audience, what blogs are people sharing, and what blogs aren't they sharing. You can look at the sharing counts overall, or you can look at each of the individual social networks are performing when it comes to each of your posts. You may find that some posts perform better on one social network than they perform on another.
6# Post Engagement
Your post engagement is also an important thing to take a look at. Are people actually commenting on your posts? Are you commenting back? How many of these comments are you getting, and are they positive comments? Obviously, the blogs that have a high engagement when it comes to commenting mean that the readers are really interested in your content and they're interested in giving you feedback and in you giving them feedback in the form of commenting.
7# Inbound Links
Inbound links are also a great indicator of how your blogs are doing. You need to determine who else is linking back to you. This actually helps with your reach and your SEO. So notice how they include a direct link to the website. These is great links use for your blog. Measuring your blog is critical to know how it is performing and where you want to go next. By measuring various aspects of your blog over time, you can determine what content is resonating, and what content needs to be tweaked.