A successful blog means different things to different people. But regardless of how you define success, tracking your metrics can help you measure your blog’s performance and identify areas for improvement.
The good thing about blog analytics today is that there are many different metrics to choose from. But which metrics are the most important?
Take a look at our handy guide to which metrics to focus on as a blogger to help you enjoy continued blogging success.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Page views will give you an indication of how many people are visiting your blog posts. Page views will track each visit to a specific page, including multiple visits and refreshes. Your page views will give you a better idea as to which posts work well with your readers, while also helping you identify trends.
Overall blog traffic
In addition to individual page views, you should measure the overall traffic to your blog. This can help you track your blog’s progress over a series of weeks, months and years, so you can see how your blog performs over time. With these insights, you can establish which months your blog performs best, allowing you to plan your strategy and help you find new blogging ideas for your underperforming months.
Blog traffic sources
Where do your readers come from? Is it through subscriptions? Share? How about your social media? Understanding where your blog traffic comes from will make it easier for you to decide where to focus your blog promotion efforts. A better knowledge of your blog traffic will help you decide which platforms are best to push your posts, and where you might benefit from some paid promotion. You may even find there are some surprising sources for your blog traffic you hadn’t considered before!
Home page views
There are different ways that people can access your blog. Some people will access it through a specific page link, while others may go directly to the home page. Tracking your home page views can be a simple way to see how much direct traffic your blog attracts. This will help you see whether you have some loyal, repeat visitors, or whether you tend to attract new visitors through your individual posts.
If you achieve a high number of home page views, you should consider how you can maximise your home page’s effectiveness. From displaying your most popular posts to pushing some of your monetisation methods, your home page holds a lot of value. Start tracking your home page views to give you deeper insights into its performance.
In general, the more blogs you publish, the more traffic your blog receives. But unless you look at this data, you won’t know how much your blogging frequency translates into blog traffic. By monitoring the number of blogs you publish each month, you can decide whether you need to be publishing more or less to see results.
Developing a loyal following is a fantastic measure of your blog’s success. Having readers who repeatedly visit your site can affirm that what you’re saying is relevant, and it can also help you secure partnerships and sponsorships that can help you grow your blog even further.
Monitoring your returning visitors can help you see your blog’s growth over time, as well as help you break down your visitor data even further. Where are your readers based? What is their age range? Having this information at your fingertips can help you adjust your content to help you give your readers what they want.
Time spent per page
While not always the easiest metric to track, understanding the time spent on each page can be valuable insight when it comes to planning content. This can help you front-load your content to help draw readers in so you can hold their attention, and could even help you make decisions around post length.
A low dwell time can also be an indicator that something on your page isn’t working. From slow-loading times to broken links or images that won’t load, you can use the time spent per page to identify areas that need fixing so you can get your posts up and running again.
Most viewed posts
What are your blog’s most viewed posts? Do the same posts come out on top month to month? These can be a good indicator of the types of posts that make ideal ‘evergreen’ content, that will maintain their popularity month after month. Understanding your most viewed posts will give you some ideas for blog promotion, as well as some solid examples to share with brands and collaborators.
Keeping tabs on your most viewed posts will also allow you to make some adjustments to help keep them relevant, as well as give you a space to promote other posts that your readers may be interested in. You may also want to use these pages to push email subscriptions so that people can sign up to see more of the same kind of content.
Inbound links are another important indicator of your blog’s success. How many people are linking to your blog each month? This helps you learn more about your blog’s relevancy, but it also helps boost your SEO – dramatically. More inbound links will improve your search authority, which will lead to higher-ranking posts, and give you some good data to pursue brand collaborations and sponsorships.
Analysing your keyword rankings can give you an indication of how well your blog posts address different queries. These metrics can become quite complex, but if you break them down to specific posts, especially in the first few weeks or months of their lifespan, you can make some decisions on keywords going forward, and adjust your existing posts to help improve their rankings.
Comments per post
Comments may not be a popular metric to focus on, but they can give you some great insights into the performance of your blog. Comments can lead to boosted engagement rates, while also helping to show if your readers made it to the end of your post. Having an established and engaged following can make blogging worthwhile, helping you develop a community you can connect with and enjoy building relationships with.
Social shares per post
How share-worthy is your content? This is what your social shares per post metric will measure. Not all posts translate well on social media, but knowing which ones do will help you tailor your content, and give you some targets to promote. It can also help you understand more about your audiences and the platforms they’re more active on. Social media remains a valuable promotional tool for your blog, and this metric will help you understand how social media can help your blog become more successful.
Your bounce rate can provide you with some valuable insights into your blog’s performance. Bounce rate measures how many people landed on a page, but didn’t stay or interact with it. This could help you learn more about the content that doesn’t work with your readers, but could also indicate issues with your blog that send people away. Pay attention to your bounce rate to help you make some ongoing improvements to your site.
How many people subscribe to your blog? Is the number increasing, remaining steady or decreasing? Email subscriptions are valuable for bloggers, putting your posts directly in your reader’s inboxes. Using a mailing tool can help you measure your subscriber rate more effectively, and help you work out where your subscribers are coming from. Your goal should be to increase subscriber rates, and you may need to adjust your tactics to help you see improvements.
Email open rates
Once you have a bank of subscribers, it’s good to analyse these metrics in addition to ones related to your blog. Email open rate is important, as you could have acquired many subscribers (perhaps through promotions or giveaways), but don’t hold their interest once subscribed. If your open rate is low, you should consider adjusting your email content to help you increase your open rates and drive more subscriber traffic to your blog.
Next comes your email click-through rate. Once people have opened your email, the goal should be to get them to click through the links featured in your newsletter. From click-throughs to posts, affiliate links and other types of content, email click-throughs can help you achieve some of your blogging goals. Pay attention to the links people click on – if they are located near the top of your post, try front-loading your content to help you achieve higher rates for more successful emails.
Finally, conversion rate is a metric which many bloggers who promote products and services find useful. If generating leads is important for your blog, you then need to know how these leads convert into sales. Posts that generate high traffic, but low conversion rates may need adjusting to push promotions and take action on your posts.
Paying attention to your blog metrics can help you develop a smarter, more successful blog. Metrics will help you improve your content, and can also give you some valuable data to present to brands and businesses you’d like to work with. This way, when you sign up to receive blogging opportunities from Blogger Tuesday, you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips.