Most blogs have a simple goal in mind: to increase traffic. As a result, they keep track of the number of visits to the site and little else. But racing after more and more visitors isn’t always the best strategy. Instead, more blogs should be looking at finding (and keeping) the visitors that are relevant and engaged. If you have a corporate blog, you don’t just want anyone to check out your content, you want current and potential customers.
But how do you measure that? There are a number of metrics that you can study to see if you are reaching and engaging your audience, and it’s a good idea to track the growth over time.
Number of Comments – Not all readers will comment, but it is a key sign of engagement. You should not only analyze how often and how many people comment, but also what blog entries are getting the most comments in order to see how you can repeat your past success.
Visit Duration – This can help you to analyze a page’s “stickiness.” You can have a great ad campaign that gets you thousands of new visitors, but in the end, it’s not worth much if they don’t actually stick around and read your content.
Bounce Rate – This refers to how many people just visit one page and then leave the site. If you notice that you have a high bounce rate, this isn’t always a sign of poor performance. It may be that people are checking your site regularly and thus only need to visit your most recent entry. However, if your ultimate goal is to get people to explore the rest of the site and learn about your company, this is a statistic worth tracking.
New vs. Returning Visitors – Typically, your goal with a blog is to develop a loyal readership base, so that means returning visitors. Of course, if you just formed a new partnership with another blog or created a new advertisement, you’re looking for an increase in new visitors. Understanding where your balance normally lies can help you see if you are successfully attracting new people with a new campaign – and also let you know if you are turning off regular followers by helping you to notice a drop off.
Traffic Sources or Referrers – How are people finding your site? This is crucial to understanding what marketing efforts are working and which are falling flat. You may also discover sites that you didn’t know were linking to you, and you may be able to form partnerships with them in order to increase your exposure.
The web provides a wealth of information about the behavior of people who visit your site. Don’t be afraid to explore what’s available in the analytics tool you are using. You may uncover all sorts of new ways that you can use the data to reach out to build your readership and engage your target audience.