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Marketing Analytics: How to measure your blogging

April 9, 2013

Simon Fryer
Simon is CandidSky's Search Director, with strong roots in organic SEO and analytics, and a disturbing passion for spreadsheets.

Online marketing should start and end with analytics. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, every visitor, every action, and every penny spent can be accounted for and analysed. 

This is the third of a 4-part series on how to measure your online marketing efforts. We’ll post up links to the latest articles as we release them.

  1.  How to measure your SEO
  2.  How to measure your PPC
  3.  How to measure your blogging
  4.  How to measure your social media marketing


How to measure your blogging

Measuring your business blog is the best possible way to assess and improve its performance. Its worth noting at this point that what you call your  blog may vary depending on your vertical and target audience, so just to be clear, we’re referring to any area of your site where you are regularly publishing content for your audience. This might be in the form of a ‘Press’ or ‘News’ section, or a more informal ‘Blog’.

What you measure should be decided by what it is your blog is trying to achieve. There are an awful lot of people (and businesses) who blog ‘for the sake of it’ or because they have been told they should to improve their online exposure, but if it’s something you’re investing time (or money) in, you need to know what it’s doing for you and how well it’s doing it.

If the main goal of your blog is to generate leads, you need to understand how many leads it’s generating at the moment and which articles or tactics are working best to achieve this goal. Your aim is to identify the key factors which make (or could make) your blog successful, so that you can incorporate them in to your upcoming posts and improve your blogs performance.

We’re going to be looking at

  • Blog traffic & referral sources
  • Individual post views
  • Visitor-to-lead conversion rate
  • Call-to-action (CTA) performance
  • Blog generated leads


Blog traffic & referral sources

“How many visitors your blog is receiving, and where that traffic comes from (organic search, referrals, direct traffic, social media etc.)”

Being able to identify where your traffic comes from and in what volume will reveal valuable information as to how effective you are at promoting your blog content in certain channels. If 80% of your traffic is coming from social media and only 5% is coming from search engines, it would suggest that you’re doing a great job of writing and sharing your content on social platforms, but a poor job of optimising it for search engines. If a large chunk of your traffic is coming direct to your website it would suggest that you’ve got some dedicated followers coming back for more.

You can draw actionable conclusions by studying your traffic sources carefully, telling you what you’re doing well and where there’s room for improvement.


Individual post views/shares/likes

“How many views each individual blog post receives”

You can use this data to identify trends in articles which are more popular with your audience. Over a period of time you can identify patterns in the data and tailor your content to fit the themes that your audience are already engaging with. This isn’t limited to the actual body of the post; it may be that articles with actionable page titles are getting more clicks, or that ones with certain types of featured images are enticing more people. We recommend that you analyze each article that works well and make a list of the lessons you’ve learned from it. Over time you can incorporate the successful tags in to  you approach to blogging.


Visitor-to-lead conversion rate

“The rate at which your blog converts visitors in to leads”

If you’re blogging as a business and you aim for your content to help generate leads for you to action, you need to know how many leads you’re generating and how effective you are at converting visits to leads. You should aim to maintain the highest conversion rate possible, so that as you gain new traffic you receive a proportional increase in leads being generated.

If you see your conversion rates increasing it means you’re doing a good job of converting  people.


Call-to-action performance

“How well your individual calls-to-action convert blog visitors in to leads.”

When your aim is to generate leads, each and every one of your blog posts should contain a call-to-action which leads to a contact form (or product page). This is the main way a blog can generate leads for your business. You should try using different calls-to-action to find out which work best for your industry and audience.


Blog generated leads

“Leads generated which can be attributed to your blog”

After all, this is your goal. Whilst conversion rates are a decent indicator of leads, the actual number of leads being generated scales with the traffic you’re receiving. If you’re serious about generating leads on your blog, you should set yourself a monthly goal and commit to it. If you don’t hit your goals you can dig in to analytics and find out what needs to be improved for better performance; perhaps you need to increase search traffic, promote your content more on social media, or tweak your content strategy.


Any questions?

All of the above metrics can be taken using Google Analytics. If you have any questions on how to use Analytics to measure and improve your blogging, ask them in the comments here…

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