You spend a few hours each week crafting blog content, scheduling posts, sharing those posts, and watching the traffic numbers. What exactly are you hoping for? In other words, what constitutes blogging success? The answer to this question depends on your specific goals.
4 Metrics to Help You Judge Blogging Success
When you think about it, the word “success” is rather ambiguous. Your definition of success depends on the specific objectives you have in place – i.e. direct sales, traffic and brand awareness, click-throughs, etc. With that being said, you can quickly determine whether or not you’re moving in the right direction by keeping an eye on the following.
1. Lead Generation
The easiest way to tell if you’re getting anything out of your blog is to study the number of direct leads you’re generating. This isn’t always a perfect solution because only a small percentage of visitors will convert in the form of direct leads, but it’s a good starting point.
Not sure how to set up traceable lead generation efforts? Opt-in forms and campaign-specific hyperlinks are two really simple strategies. If you’re looking for other tips, you can study what other leading marketers are doing on their blogs. Consultants 500 has compiled a pretty good list for your convenience.
2. Website Traffic Numbers
The end blogging goal for most companies is to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and create revenue. It’s sometimes difficult to get a feel for how things are going in the brand awareness department, but the quickest way to guesstimate is by studying your website’s traffic numbers.
Individual blog posts shouldn’t be the only URLs receiving traffic. When your blog is doing well, you should see spikes on other pages. This will be a result of click-through traffic, as well as organic traffic that finds you as a result of improved SEO.
3. Inbound Links and Shares
How are you doing in terms of organic inbound links? If you’re receiving a high number of inbound links, this is a sign that your blog is not only visible, but also deemed quality enough to command attention.
One of the easiest ways to track inbound links and shares is by using a backlink checker tool, such as the Open Site Explorer from Moz. If you see a sudden uptick in the number of links and shares – or a lot of backlinks pointing to one specific post – then you should seek to find common denominators and repeat in the future.
4. Comment Section Activity
Here’s a little technique that many bloggers use to gauge the health of their blogs: Check out the comment section. You should have a feel for how many blog comments you get per post, on average, as well as the types of comments you’re receiving on a regular basis. If your comment section dips or increases, this can help indicate the reach of your blog and how well it’s resonating with your audience.
If you don’t currently have blog comments turned on, now’s a good time to review your settings and get it set up. This is easy to do in WordPress. Simply scroll over “Settings” in the lefthand menu and click on “Discussion.”
Then click on “Allow people to post comments on new articles.” You can also specify how long you want comments to be open, what type of approval process will be required, and more on this page.
Your comment section can be one of the strongest touch points you have with readers, so don’t ignore it. You should be looking for any possible points of engagement.
Commit to Continual Optimization
After developing a set of metrics by which you can judge the success of your blog, it’s important that you don’t just sit back and analyze. Analysis is nothing without practical application, and it’s absolutely imperative that you continually optimize your blog so you can be sure you’re doing everything possible to make your blog one of your company’s greatest assets.