So, you’ve started a blog. You take pride in the in-depth research you do and the quality content you produce, and you post consistently, sticking to best practices.
Yet, the overall performance of your blog content is far from what you think it should be. Your competitors outrank you on SERPs, the traffic is unsteady and you hardly get any conversions.
Something doesn’t feel right.
You see, running a successful blog is like running a marathon (and certainly not a sprint!). It requires ongoing effort and refining your output on a regular basis.
Therefore, in order to improve your content marketing results, you need to keep tabs on a set of benchmarks and KPIs to see areas for improvement and act on them.
In this article, we will describe 10 key blogging metrics to track in order to improve your content, and how to do it.
Invest In A Professional Website
Considering the fact that WordPress is the most widely used CMS, it is quite popular for bloggers. After all, it has a lot of built-in SEO functionalities for permalinks customization, automatic metadata, image and mobile optimization, social media integration, enhanced UX, better site speed etc.
Although in its early days, WordPress was precisely a platform for community blogging, businesses soon recognized it as a powerful marketing tool. As it is completely free to build a basic website on it, it has quickly become the standard if you want your company to be taken seriously.
However, due to its popularity and accessibility, it is quite challenging to stand out from the crowd and generate organic results with a website you just put together yourself. Working with a WordPress development agency will ensure your blog is built professionally and has consistent maintenance.
What Are The Main Blogging Metrics To Watch?
Now that we’ve highlighted the importance of having a professional website and tracking the performance of your blog content, let us explore a few key blogging metrics to keep close attention to.
The traffic of your blog is the amount of visitors it gets for a certain period of time. Keeping a close eye on this KPI can help you create user profiles and tailor your content to the groups that are more active.
Pageviews measure the total number of times a page has been viewed by visitors, including multiple visits and page reloads. It gives you an idea of how many people are accessing your content and how engaging it is. Increasing page views indicates that your content is attracting more readers.
However, this metric may need further investigation as it can serve as a benchmark to compare your blog posts and find out what content is most accessible and ‘digestible’ for users.
Mind you, pageviews show the number of occasions a page has loaded, not the number of unique visitors. This is important as one user can load/ refresh/ revisit a page several times, and may cause confusion about how well the page is actually performing. So, make sure you track unique pageviews on Google Analytics to get the full picture.
Unique visitors represent the number of individual people who have visited your website for a particular period of time. It helps you get the gist of the size of your audience and the reach of your content. Tracking unique visitors allows you to gauge your blog’s popularity and monitor growth over time.
Google traces unique visitors by placing a cookie. It registers the IP address that accessed the website, but not the actual person behind it. Thus, this metric wouldn’t recognize multiple visitors accessing the same website from the same device as “unique”. At the same time, if the same person visits a site from different browsers within a specified period, they will be counted as several unique visitors.
Referral sources indicate where your traffic is coming from. It includes direct traffic (people who visit your blog by typing the URL directly), organic search traffic (visitors from search engines), social media traffic (visitors from social media platforms), and referral traffic (visitors from other websites). Understanding referral sources helps you identify which channels are driving the most traffic to your blog and optimize your marketing efforts accordingly.
When investigating your referral traffic, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to max out the sources that referred to you the most. However, the key here is to target those that generated the lowest amount of referral traffic to you as they are usually larger publishers that wouldn’t mind linking to you again!
Engagement is a somewhat subjective blogging KPI as it is really up to you what you consider to be worthy engagement.
Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your blog after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors are not finding your content relevant or engaging enough to explore further. Lowering the bounce rate requires improving your content quality, optimizing website design, and enhancing user experience.
Keep in mind that the bounce rate is different from the exit rate. Exit rate is the percentage of people who leave a website from a page, but that may not have been the only page on the website they have visited. Bounce rate shows the portion of individuals that land on your website, on one single page, and bounce without navigating through any others.
If you find that a blog page has a high bounce rate, there are certain steps you can take to fix that. First, carry out ‘the eyeball test’ – are there any disruptions that may drive users away? Think pop-ups, adverts, external links, flashy content, lack of graphics, poor formatting etc. Next, delve into the SEO of the page. Is it well-optimized for the keyword it (is meant to) rank for? Have you sprinkled secondary keywords and phrases across the content?
Time on Page
Time on page tracks how long visitors spend on each page of your blog. It gives you an estimate of how engaging your content is and whether users are actually reading it. If your time on page is low, it may suggest that your content needs improvement or that it is not effectively capturing readers’ attention.
Improving this blogging metric is quite easy – make your content attention-grabbing and a high-quality read. Include statistics and recent trends, use infographics and diversify format to keep the visitor engaged. Also, set all links to open a new window that the users can easily find their way back to your page after reviewing a different source you referred to.
Comments and Social Shares
Comments and social shares reflect audience engagement and interaction with your content. It shows that readers find your blog posts valuable enough to leave a comment or share it with others. Encouraging comments and social shares helps build a sense of community and indicates that your content resonates with your audience.
Hence, it is important to respond to comments and queries on your social channels regularly. This will establish trust and transparency in you as a professional, and in your brand. Remember to moderate comments and omit any spammy and offensive inputs. Some webmasters purposefully submit comments on good authority websites hoping to get a dofollow link but do not add any value to your content.
Click-through Rate (CTR)
CTR measures the percentage of visitors who click on a specific call-to-action or link within your blog posts. It can be an indicator of how effective your content is in driving users to take the desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. Monitoring CTR helps you optimize your content and call-to-action placement to maximize conversions.
Conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who complete a specific goal or conversion action on your blog, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. It helps you understand how well your blog is performing in terms of achieving your business objectives. By tracking conversion rates, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your content and conversion funnel to increase conversions.
Last but not least, let’s talk about SEO. Since 93% of Internet experiences start with typing in a query on a search engine, there is no surprise that how your blog content ranks along with other results pretty much determines your overall online success.
Tracking keyword rankings helps you monitor how well your blog posts are performing in search engine results pages (SERPs). It allows you to identify which keywords are driving traffic to your blog and whether your SEO efforts are effective. Improving keyword rankings can increase your blog’s visibility and attract more organic traffic.
To track how your keywords perform, Google Search Console would be a good starting point. Investigate the performance report to get an overview of how your website does in Google Search results. By default, it shows data for the past 28 days. If you want to see how individual keywords are getting by, then go to “Queries”.Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites that direct visitors to your blog. They are an important factor in search engine rankings and can significantly impact your blog’s organic visibility. Monitoring backlinks helps you identify opportunities for landing a link on an authority website and establish yourself as a valued player within your industry.
Google still considers backlinks as a top ranking factor. Unfortunately, still, 90.63% of web pages get no traffic, and 66.31% have no backlinks at all. Although backlinks are really worth it if they come from authority sites that do not engage with link schemes and other black hat link building practices, it is a blogging metric worth implementing in your overall SEO strategy.
And there you have it! With our comprehensive guide, you now know which blogging metrics to pay close attention to. Remember, do not rely on only one or the other and compare their progress on different tools.
Mariela Kashukeeva is an Outreach & Content Specialist at DevriX. With over 5-year experience in SEO, she is responsible for establishing collaboration opportunities with high-authority websites and creating amazing content.