86% of marketers use blogging as part of their content marketing strategy. It’s no wonder that blog posts remain the most effective form of content over email, ebooks, and white papers.
But how do you know if your blog posts are ‘working’ or not?
Key performance indicators, or KPIs for short, help you accurately track the success of your blogging efforts and how they align with your business objectives. They can also give insight on ways you can change your blog posts to work towards your business goals.
There are many reasons a business may choose to utilize blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, including:
Here are 10 blog KPIs you should track.
It doesn’t matter how good your blog posts are, if you aren’t getting any traffic they’re useless.
Knowing which blog posts are generating your site the most traffic can give great insight into the type of content your audience wants to see. It can also help you to plan future blog posts that align with their interests.
How many unique (and returning) visits is your blog getting?
Returning traffic is especially important because it shows how well your blogs are capturing the attention of your audience, this is key to building relationships with your readers that will eventually turn into conversions.
Likewise, new traffic is a great way to measure your brand awareness efforts and provides new opportunities to build long-lasting relationships that will ultimately lead to conversions.
You should also track which channels are generating the most traffic. If you understand where your traffic is coming from you can emphasize these channels to further grow your blog.
Your traffic sources will also provide valuable information about your readers and their content preferences, allowing you to form more detailed reader profiles.
Traffic sources include (but are not limited to) the following:
Which blog posts are generating the most organic traffic, and from what channels?
These are the posts that your new visitors are most interested in. Look into the topics and themes discussed in these articles, this is what your readers what to read! Use these blog posts to come up with similar ideas for new posts.
Also, consider where all these visitors are coming from. The majority of your visitors may come from a channel that isn’t utilized by any of your other posts. If that’s the case, you should absolutely focus on this channel for future posts.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without taking any action. The lower the bounce rate, the more engaging your content is.
If your blog is getting a lot of traffic but has a high bounce rate, chances are it’s not what your audience was expecting, or you simply aren’t taking advantage of internal links.
Depending on your business goals, typically in each blog post, you should have links to similar blog posts, or your product and service pages. Tracking your bounce rate can help you figure out what’s wrong and how you can fix it to keep readers on your blog posts.
Dwell time is the amount of time a user spends on a webpage. The higher your dwell time, the more you’ve captured your readers’ interest. It’s a much more effective KPI for blog posts than bounce rate.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who exit your site without clicking on the page. It doesn’t matter if the visitor spent two seconds, or two hours, on the page, if they exit without taking any action, it’s a bounce.
Due to the nature of blog posts, many will have a high bounce rate by default. Depending on your business goals, a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the dwell time is high. The more time a user spends consuming your blog post, the more likely it is that they’re satisfied with your content.
Google Analytics’ “Scroll Depth Percentage” feature lets you see how far visitors scroll through your blog posts, giving an estimate of how much they actually read. Having the ability to see where your readers are dropping off will help you understand their engagement with your blog posts and the ideal spots to place links and call to actions (CTAs).
For example, you may find that readers only scroll through 60% of your post before leaving. If your call to action is around the 75% mark, then many users won’t even see it! Knowing how much of your blog post your visitors read can help you strategically place links and CTAs.
Social shares are a powerful KPI because each person who shares your blog posts liked it and thought it was valuable enough to share with others.
Social Media is quite literally the ‘word of mouth’ of the digital age. People trust their friends and family’s opinions and are more likely to read your blog posts and engage with your business if somebody they respect has shared your articles.
In simple words, RSS is like a newsfeed for blogs and websites. Many blog readers subscribe to blogs they enjoy via RSS to get notified whenever a new post is published.
Growing and retaining these loyal RSS subscribers who continuously return to your blog and subscribe to keep track of new updates is a fantastic indicator of your blog’s stickiness
Similar to RSS subscribers, your email list offers another channel to engage with and target your audience. If your blog’s goal is to grow your emailing list then this is a key metric to track!
Unlike traditional forms of marketing, blogging is a long-term strategy. Yet, like all other forms of marketing, KPIs are essential for tracking your blog’s success as part of your content marketing strategy.
These KPIs are a great place to start, but ultimately, the blogging KPIs you choose to track should reflect your business goals. The key idea here really is to just track the KPIs that you’re actually trying to influence.
Don’t track your email subscription list if you aren’t planning on starting an email campaign! Only track metrics that are valuable to your business.