‘Metrics’ is a word that can strike fear in to the heart of many a blogger. As a blogger, you are probably a very creative person, so sifting through blog stats and metrics may seem like a bit of a nightmare. However, once you know what you are looking for, you will gain a better insight in to how your blog should develop, and what blog posts works best for you. Metrics are just a way you can measure your success, and subsequently plan ahead. So before you start your next post, why not write down what your blog’s goals are (and remember to install Google Analytics for your blog!). More new visits? Social shares? Comments? Once you have an idea of what you want, then write a post to engender the desired action on your blog. Here are my top metrics all bloggers should keep an eye on:
1. Traffic Referrals
It is important to know where your traffic is coming from. Knowing how much traffic is being referred to your blog from Search Engines can give you an insight in to the behavioural patterns of the people who come to your blog. Some sites will receive a ton of traffic from search engines alone; others may receive referrals from Twitter, Facebook, or from other blogs and websites. If your blog is receiving more referrals from one particular source than any other, maybe write posts catering to that particular audience, and optimise posts to be found and shared that way.
2. Blog Visits
This is a big metric! If you are going to pay attention to any metric, I would probably start off with this one. How many people are visiting your blog? You can either use analytics in WordPress (or any other blogging platform), or Google Analytics again, to keep on track of daily, weekly, and monthly visitors. Brands often want to know how many visits you have, so keeping track of this metric, is a good idea!
3. Social Media
Social Media is part and parcel of blogging success. Being present and tweeting about your blog and your interests is a great way of finding like-minded people, collating inspiration, and enhancing your following. To be ‘social’ is to be part of a conversation. Keep track of your Social Media Metrics such as: Followers (for Twitter), Likes (for Facebook), and interactions (such as shares, comments, retweets and the like), so you can see how much of an impact you are making. Increasingly, people are going to Social Media channels to search for information, rather than search engines, so keeping track of your social following is essential. There are tools, such as Social Bro for Twitter, or Facebook Insights, that can chart your Social Media following and help you plan for success!
Look at your on-page activity. Which blog posts received the most ‘likes’ and comments? Have a look at the ones that received the most comments and interactions, and think about why those particular posts worked so well. Have a think about why these posts received that on-page attention, and try and emulate this in future posts. One way is to create a series of posts, or write weekly or themed instalments.
I hope you found this introduction to blogging metrics useful, and that you end up using them in practise! Obviously, this is a very basic and brief introduction in to the world of metrics and blog analysis, but remember: knowledge is power!
Are there any other metrics or factors that you look out for when planning your blogging? Any tips and comments welcome!