One of the biggest hang-ups when it comes to blogging isn’t writing content for the blog itself, but, measuring the blog and judging whether it is performing well or not. We hear from marketers all the time that they want to do a better job of measuring their blog posts, so, we created this post all about this important topic.
Before diving into this post, ask yourself if any of these three questions resonate with you:
- Do you ever feel like you’re running a company blog because you think you should but don’t know if the blog is actually lifting your brand?
- Do you have a weak grasp on how well your blog actually performs for your brand?
- Ever wish you could measure your blog to report on it’s success to your co-workers and/or boss?
If any of these questions sound like something you ask yourself, then this post will help you define and target which metrics you should measure for your blog and help you start measuring your B2B blog posts today.
Why Should I Measure My Blog Posts?
Defining metrics allows marketers to determine what components equate to success and track whether or not their blog is producing positive business outcomes.
Measuring blog posts on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis gives marketers tremendous insights into what is working and what is not working. This allows us to constantly refine what is working to exponentially power our blogs.
Measuring your blog posts and having data to back them up also helps marketers make the case for more budget and time to spend on the blog.
Blog post analysis is just as important as coming up with great post ideas so let’s dive right in and look at the metrics that you should be tracking when it comes to your B2B blog and how to get started.
Traffic is one of the most basic and important metrics to keep an eye on when analyzing the power of your blog. This simply shows how many people are viewing your blog in any given time frame and how they are getting to your blog post in the first place. Luckily, Google Analytics is free to set up and offers robust reporting when it comes to your blog.
There is a lot of information you can gather when referring to your blog’s traffic but there are two main metrics to pull about your blog:
- Page Views: How many people are viewing each of your posts?
- Traffic Source: How do your post visitors find your blog?
These metrics will help you identify your most successful blog posts so that you know what topics resonate the most with your readers. You’ll also be able to identify how people find your blog so that you can put more effort into those traffic sources whether it be social, guest posts, etc.
A social share of a blog post means that each person who shared your post on their social channels thought your post was good enough that they want to share it with their own followers. In a way, when someone shares a post, they are attaching their reputation to your post. So, it’s a big deal!
It’s the goal of a blog post to always be refreshing, new, or educational. Looking at which blog posts get the most social shares let you know which topics your readers care the most about so you can refine the posts you publish.
There are a variety of tools out there to help you measure social shares of your blog posts but we recommend Nelio if you use WordPress to host for your blog.
When a potential customer finds one of your blog posts, your blog may be the first time they hear about your brand. A well thought out blog post can represent your brand well and make them want to learn more so a blog is a source of lead generation.
We mentioned Google Analytics and we’ll mention it again here—you can track leads generated to their original point of entry to your site. This allows marketers to track how many leads their blog posts generate in any given time frame.
This metric is key when showing the success of your blog to your team or boss because it shows that your thought leadership blog posts are getting the attention of potential new consumers.
When someone opts into email updates whenever you publish a new post, they are telling your brand that they enjoy your blog posts. So, with each new subscriber, you should feel great about the work you do.
Each subscriber means that someone new is reading and maybe sharing your blog posts. Additionally, many brands put new blog subscribers into an email drip campaign, making a list of subscribers very valuable when paired with good email marketing.
Keeping a pulse on your subscriber list and tracking the growth can clue you and your brand into how much interest your blog is gathering.
Open Rates and Click-Throughs
After you email your blog posts out with FeedOtter, monitor the open rates of your blog digest emails and links clicked.
It’s important to monitor your open rates and click-throughs so that you have analytics to clue you in on your blog post strategy. Helpful hints will come in the form of how to write the most engaging emails that accompany your blog posts and to know if the topics you’re writing about make people want to click on the posts.
After monitoring open rates and click-throughs, you’ll start to get a feel for what your audience wants to hear from you so these metrics should keep getting better.
When someone unsubscribes from getting emails about your blog posts, this means one of two things:
- That you’re sending out too many emails
- Your blog posts aren’t interesting to them anymore
Look and see when the spike in unsubscribes happens. Analyze your post frequency for that week and which topics just hit the blog. You may want to consider sending a blog digest of all your posts per month or changing the content you put up on your blog.
You want to keep your list of subscribers up, so, be sure to pay close attention when people are unsubscribing so you can remedy the issue quickly.
Whether it’s in Google Analytics, WordPress, or a different tool, it’s easy to monitor to see how many views your posts are getting and sort out your most popular posts.
Keep track of your popular posts and try to find commonalities. Do you see common topics or industries written about in your most popular posts? Did you boost that post on social? Did you link to these posts in guest posts?
After identifying commonalities, you can create a recipe for all of your blog posts. This recipe should include producing engaging posts, a solid social share plan, a budget, and a link-back plan.
Keep a running list of your brand’s top 10 posts and stick it on the wall so that you can refer to it when you’re planning your upcoming posts.
It’s hard to justify the time, let alone a budget, for your blog if you don’t have data to back up its existence. Whether these metrics are for yourself to refine your blog or for your boss to get more budget for your blog—measuring your B2B blog posts is crucial.
Stop creating content for content's sake and develop a data-driven strategy for your blog today. Start by identifying which metrics are the most important and how you’re going to track them. After implementing this approach, it should become easier to create posts that resonate with your readers and you should start to see metrics improving after building off of the data gathered.
What metrics do you care about when measuring your B2B blog posts? Let us know on Twitter @Feed_Otter as we would love to hear from you!