If your blogging strategy has reached the point that you are considering evaluating it with analytics tools, then you already know the value of blogging. So I don’t need to tell you that businesses that blog 20 time a month or more generate five times more traffic than those who post just once a week, or that companies that blog four times a week still generate 4 times more leads than non-blogging companies. Whew, I’m glad I didn’t have to tell you that.
Aside from the quantity of blog content—which you probably have a handle on by now—the real purpose of blogging analytics is to rate the content and effectiveness of your overall strategy. The data you can get from analytics tools is a a veritable cornucopia of insights. While there are many insights that can be gleaned from analytics tools, there are 4 key analytics to look at when it comes to blog marketing:
Looking past the obvious fact that views/traffic tells you how popular your blog is, if you drill down further it can give you valuable insight about your content and format. Looking at individual page views tells you which blog posts are most popular, and if you compare blog post traffic over time it can tell you which topics are the most popular and which type(s) of formatting is favored. If posts in one genre are doing significantly better than others, focus on that genre moving forward. If how-tos and top 10 lists perform better than anecdotal and informational blog posts, then you know which format(s) to focus on.
2. Referral Sources
Your sources of referrals are quite possibly the best tool you have in marketing your blog. Unless your blog has somehow warranted front-page real estate on Google searches then you need to carefully examine your referral sources.
Analytical tools can tell you what your best sources of traffic are, and the worst. This can let you know where you need to focus your attention. If your organic search traffic isn’t referring well then you likely need more SEO work, if you had a spike in social networking traffic last month then you need to examine (and repeat) whatever caused that spike.
3. Lead Generation
This is the money metric. Traffic is good but unless you are an affiliate marketer (if you are, click here for more advice), traffic doesn’t pay the bills. Most businesses running blogs are looking to generate leads; if that is you then look at how much traffic is turning into tangible leads.
Lead generation stats provide a helpful how-to on sales growth. Drilling down to which pages/posts on your blog generate the most leads can give you a lead-to-customer roadmap for the future. If your top lead-gen pages have more call-to-actions than other pages then you need to replicate a similar CTA strategy across all your posts/pages. If the CTAs are the same then specific content must be driving leads—so create similar content.
4. CTA Click-Through Rates
Your CTA click-through rates give you the raw data that you need to run A/B tests and eventually the info you need to boost sales. You likely have different types of CTAs on your blog, but if you don’t then play around with which type of CTA is most effective by running CTA click-through rates in your analytical tool. While testing which CTAs work best with your audience, vary the size, placement and wording, to find out what works best.
If you can regularly monitor, test and analyze the above 4 blogging insights, your blog traffic will continue to grow—as will your leads. For more tips on driving traffic to, and sales from, your blog, click here.