My Top 5 Blog Success Metrics

If you’re new to business blogging, I’ll let you in on a little secret.

You’re not taking blogging seriously, unless you’re measuring your results.

I promise you, it’s not hard. When you have the ease of programs like Google Analytics, Clicky and Aweber, measuring your blog is a cake walk.

I measure a lot of different aspects of my blog. More than I’m going to discuss today. But if this is your first opportunity to get some direction on how you can measure your blog, don’t proceed until you’ve started an Excel spreadsheet to log your results.

But Amy, why would I create a spreadsheet when Google Analytics has everything so beautifully laid our for me?

Because I said so.

Okay not just because I said so. But also because the spreadsheet helps you focus on setting new goals and checking to see if they are met. When you enter all the results from the last week (or whatever time period you’re measuring), also fill in the results you would like to see for the next week. If certain numbers aren’t progressing the way you’d like them to, you’ll have a better idea of where you need to improve upon your blog.

Now that you know how I view and analyze my blog’s metrics, here are my Top 5 Things to Measure for the success of my blog:

Total Unique Visitors This metric is important to me because I want to know that the promotional tools I am spending my time on for Savvy Sexy Social are working. If the number of new people visiting my blog is not progressing at a mutually beneficial rate of how often I promote my content, then I need to find out what I’m doing that is not enticing people to check out my site. So far, this category has done well. We have increased by an average of 1500 unique visitors every month, reaching over 7,000 at the beginning of October.

Bounce Rate This is an important one. All those visitors that I mentioned don’t make a difference in my community near as much if they only check out one page of my site and leave. Keeping you bounce rate below 65% means having a blog that’s nice to look at, content that is sticky (makes people want to click to more articles), and a source that is trustworthy and easy to understand. To keep Savvy Sexy Social below 65%, with every blog I write I’m trying to figure out how to get my readers to read it and want to click to another page as well.

Page/Visit This goes hand in hand with Bounce Rate. I want my number to be an average of 2 or more because less than that means more people only viewed 1 page and left, which means my bounce rate is up.

New Newsletter Subscribers The main goal for my blog is to have my visitors join my newsletter list. Why? Because that is simply the best way to stay in communication with the people who have decided to put their trust in you. You can’t depend on them to remember to come back to your site. There are too many other sites distracting them. And RSS subscribers are great, but Google Readers are often avoided. Getting the ticket to someone’s inbox if the best way to invite them back to your community for days, week, and years to come. I log in to Aweber once a week to see how many new subscribers joined my list. This is usually very indicative of the content you promoted. Great content means more recipients.

Average Click Through Rate I know how many of you love to look at your open rate when it comes to e-mail marketing. But that’s only the beginning. You better have a high open rate because if you don’t then you probably didn’t add your subscriber list ethically. If they sign up for your list, they’re expecting to hear from you… so they’re going to open. But what is your click rate? How were you able to write words that made them want to click your call-to-action (CTA)? That’s the important metric here. Because that measures your influence on an audience who you might not just share great content with in the future, but an invitation to buy your product as well.

Those are my Top 5 Metrics for a Successful Blog. What are some of the important one for you?

Image: zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Amy Schmittauer

Amy is the Founder of Savvy Sexy Social and President of Vlog Boss Studios, a digital marketing agency specializing in video content creation. Connect with her on Twitter.

6 comments
FixCourse
FixCourse

Seeing how subscribers are the lifeblood of most blogs, I've been testing a Subscribers to Visitor ratio recently. It's like a conversion rate that I can use to measure my effectiveness of converting traffic to subscribers. (Or you could also use Subscribers per thousand Visitors.)

vinceblackham
vinceblackham

My first and foremost metric is the amount of links generated from the post (which you likely won't see for 3-4 weeks). Social signals are great, but they've only proved to have short term affects in rankings, whereas links will go a very long way to increase the authority of your blog and, in the long run, your overall rankings.

This is obviously a perspective from an internet marketer, but I do most of my work in the social & viral field. Clients want ROI, and one of the best ways of providing that is by giving them something that will help in their main objective which is getting people to purchase their products and make them money. Links will solidify that #1 ranking and get them those results. From a social standpoint, though, I think these metrics are all on the money.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hi Amy,

Nice overview of tips on what to look out for. One I'd probably add to your Unique Visitors is the Loyalty of these visitors, and how much of your traffic is new versus returning. If the majority of your traffic is new, then that might suggest that people aren't finding your content interesting enough, and aren't coming back.

Also, check out the percentage of search engine traffic versus direct and referring. Ideally, you want yo have search dominate more than the others (around 40%+). That way, if something happens to Twitter or Facebook, etc, your blog won't suffer too much.

Cheers! :)

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@vinceblackham I definitely understand the value in viral links for internet marketers to use a measurement. I think my focus and the focus of most of my readers is to not only track viral posts, but also, as Danny Brown was saying, the loyalty of the community as well. Interesting perspective, Vince. Thank you.